US CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION

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CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ALERT
(07/09/02)
Threats in Congress to End US Aid to Palestinian Refugees

Call Your Representative and Urge Ongoing Support of UNRWA

Several members of Congress have begun a vicious and unsubstantiated attack on the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA has, since 1949, provided education, health, and relief and social services to 3.9 million Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The attack on UNRWA aims to eliminate all US funding for the agency, and
must be seen in the context of the vitriolic anti-Palestinian campaign of support for Israeli occupation currently underway in the Congress.

• In late May, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) sent letters to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan accusing UNRWA of complicity in terrorism. Lantos actually charged that UNRWA is "perpetuating" the Palestinian refugee problem.

• In early June, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) parroted Lantos' allegations and criticized US funding of UNRWA.

• In a House International Relations Committee hearing on US policy in the Middle East on June 18, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) urged the State Department to cut US funding for UNRWA completely in next year's budget. The House International Relations Committee has scheduled a July 10th hearing on the effectiveness of UNRWA. This hearing is being driven by
those who believe that the US should discontinue funding to the agency. This is a desperate attempt to place blame everywhere except where it belongs--with Israel's ongoing military occupation.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

• Call your Representative in Congress and urge him/her to support continued US funding for UNRWA in its mission to help Palestinian refugees. It is particularly important for you to call if your Representative sits on the House International Relations Committee. [A list of Committee members follows.]

• Send an email to the Congressional Taskforce of the U.S. Campaign to let us know you've made the call (congress@endtheoccupation.org).

• Contact the Congressional Taskforce of the U.S. Campaign if you need more information (congress@endtheoccupation.org).

TALKING POINTS

• See http://www.un.org/unrwa/myths/index.html for UNRWA's response to the allegations being levelled against the agency.

1) President Bush, Secretary of State Powell and members of Congress have repeatedly expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Administration has stated clearly that for peace to be achieved the economic situation of Palestinians must be improved.

2) UNRWA is the main provider of basic education, health, relief and social services to over 3.9 million registered Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. In the occupied territories, Israel does not, and the Palestinian Authority cannot, provide those vital services.

3) Eliminating US funding to UNRWA will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and will further undermine America's ability to play a constructive role in peacemaking efforts.

4) Palestinians control security in only one area where UNRWA operates. Other UNRWA areas in the West Bank and Gaza remain under Israeli security control.

CONTACT INFORMATION

To find your Representative call the House Switchboard: (202) 225-3121 or visit www.congress.org and search by zip code.


MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-5th-NY): Tel (202) 225-2601
Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-10th-NC): Tel (202) 225-2576
Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-1st-NE): Tel (202) 225-4806
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-1st-NV): Tel (202) 225-5965
Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-26th-CA): Tel (202) 225-4695
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-3rd-OR): Tel (202) 225-4811
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-13th-OH): Tel (202) 225-3401
Rep. Dan Burton (R-6ht-IN): Tel (202) 225-2276
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-7th-VA): Tel (202) 225-2815
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-1st-OH): Tel (202) 225-2216
Rep. John Cooksey (R-5th-LA): Tel (202) 225-8490
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-7th-NY): Tel (202) 225-3965
Rep. Jim Davis (D-11th-FL): Tel (202) 225-3376
Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-1st-VA): Tel (202) 225-4261
Rep. William D. Delahunt (D-10th-MA): Tel (202) 225-3111
Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-17th-NY): Tel (202) 225-2464
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-1st-AZ): Tel (202) 225-2635
Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-23rd-CA): Tel (202) 225-5811
Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-20th-NY): Tel (202) 225-3776
Rep. Mark Green (R-8th-WI): Tel (202) 225-5665
Rep. Earl F. Hilliard (D-7th-AL): Tel (202) 225-2665
Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel (D-13th-PA): Tel (202) 225-6111
Rep. Amo Houghton (R-31st-NY): Tel (202) 225-3161
Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Chairman (R-6th-IL): Tel (202) 225-4561
Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-48th-CA): Tel (202) 225-3906
Rep. Brian D. Kerns (R-7th-IN): Tel (202) 225-5805
Rep. Peter T. King (R-3rd-NY): Tel (202) 225-7896
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-12th-CA): Tel (202) 225-3531
Rep. James A. Leach (R-1st-IA): Tel (202) 225-6576
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-9th-CA): Tel (202) 225-2661
Rep. John M. McHugh (R-24th-NY): Tel (202) 225-4611
Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney (D-4th-GA): Tel (202) 225-1605
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-6th-NY): Tel (202) 225-3461
Rep. Robert Menendez (D-13th-NJ): Tel (202) 225-7919
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-34th-CA): Tel (202) 225-5256
Rep. Ron Paul (R-14th-TX): Tel (202) 225-2831
Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-10th-NJ): Tel (202) 225-3436
Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-16th-PA): Tel (202) 225-2411
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-45th-CA): Tel (202) 225-2415
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-18th-FL): Tel (202) 225-3931
Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-39th-CA): Tel (202) 225-4111
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-27th-CA): Tel (202) 225-4176
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-24th-CA): Tel (202) 225-5911
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-4th-NJ): Tel (202) 225-3765
Rep. Nick Smith (R-7th-MI): Tel (202) 225-6276
Rep. Thomas G. Tancredo (R-6th-CO): Tel (202) 225-7882
Rep. Diane E. Watson (D-32nd-CA): Tel (202) 225-7084
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-19th-FL): Tel (202) 225-3001