June 8, 2021

International community rallies to prioritize peace at the G7 Summit this weekend

This past December, ALLMEP celebrated the U.S. Congress passing of the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act. The culmination of twelve years of ALLMEP’s advocacy efforts, this law committed $250 million over five years to peacebuilding initiatives in the region and projects that bolster the Palestinian economy. However the horrendous violence of the past month, and the rising tensions, racist attitudes, and hateful rhetoric that preceded it, has revealed the depth of the crisis at hand, and the need for the world to rally in response. 

In response to the violence, the ALLMEP community has shown up in incredible ways over the past few weeks. Our members organized their communities, gathered in demonstration, and convened with one another across differences. They refused to settle for a status quo defined by racism and violence and, instead, called for peace, ceasefire, and an end to the needless loss of life seen at every turn. This is exactly the type of people-to-people work, the daily work of members, that the Lowey Fund was designed to scale.

While our members rallied on the ground, a flurry of international support rose alongside them. New funding streams, advocates, and supporters are turning up continually in response. Former U.K. Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, publicly acknowledged ALLMEP and its community of peacebuilders as the “only chink of light” in this moment. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez championed the Lowey Act and its potential to “build up those voices who want to work in support of peace”. As the U.K. prepares for the arrival of G7 partners, 65 MPs signed a letter urging the summit to prioritize an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Meanwhile, the Canadian government has just dedicated $5 million in peacebuilding funding to the region, it’s largest ever investment in this type of work. Efforts toward an International Fund have been covered by the Times of Israel, Haaretz, and many others. Right around the world, governments have expressed their support for the idea of an International Fund and are waiting to take their cues from the G7 Summit this weekend.

From June 11-13, world leaders will gather in the U.K. for the first in-person summit in two years. The seven members, the U.K., U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, France, and Italy, and EU representatives– plus guests, Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea– will come together to address shared issues and challenges. After last month’s terrible violence, it is an opportunity to ensure that global leaders focus not only on reconstruction efforts, but on putting in place a strategy that radically scales Israeli/Palestinian peacebuilding efforts.

That is why ALLMEP has been working diligently to ensure that the concept of an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace is prioritized at the summit. With the generous support of a collective of ALLMEP donors, ALLMEP was able to place a full page ad in the New York Times that urges those who believe in peace to sign a letter to Secretary Blinken and the Biden administration calling for Israel-Palestine to be a priority at the G7. The U.K., who host the summit, have already endorsed the International Fund, with 65 Parliamentarians writing to Foreign Secretary Raab urging him to use the G7 to catalyze this idea. 

Every day that passes since the ceasefire, international attention to the conflict seems to wane. The international community is returning to life as it was, while the drivers of violence and underlying attitudes of racism and hatred in the region persist. As we look to the weekend and the G7 Summit, we cannot miss this opportunity. Peace needs to be a priority for our world leaders and we cannot allow another outbreak of violence like last month’s to occur. Join ALLMEP in calling for an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace at the G7 Summit this weekend.

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