May 25, 2021

Chairwoman Lee’s Statement on U.S. Increasing Funding to the Palestinian People and Reopening the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem

Washington, D.C. –– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, released a statement following U.S. Secretary of State Blinken’s announcement that the United States will increase funding to the Palestinian people and reopen the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem: 

“I have urged the Biden Administration on several occasions to reset U.S. relations with the Palestinian people and to resume the United States’ role of credible and constructive partner in the region.  I commend today’s announcements affirming that the U.S. will reopen the Consulate General in Jerusalem to serve as a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, in addition to increasing critically-needed development and humanitarian assistance, including to UNRWA.  

“I also applaud the Administration for its efforts in helping facilitate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which appears to be holding. It is now critical that the U.S. work to address the underlying causes of instability and injustice, and urge both sides to return to a diplomatic path. The events of the last few weeks reinforce the consequences of the previous Administration’s punitive and short-sided policies, which also made the goal of a two state solution even harder to achieve. 

“It’s painfully obvious that the status quo is no longer acceptable. As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, I fully support the Biden Administration’s commitment to making real improvements in the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians so that they enjoy ‘equal measures of security, peace, and dignity,’ as Secretary Blinken has aptly stated. 

“As Chairwoman, I also look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the expedited distribution of Congressionally-directed Fiscal Year 2021 economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as highlighted today in the Secretary’s announcement.”