Judaism teaches that the world is God's creation and all human beings are its stewards. The institutions of Reform Judaism have long supported humanitarian foreign aid to underdeveloped countries. We have also participated in private philanthropic efforts to assist the victims of starvation, earthquake, and disease in many parts of the worlds.
In order to comply with the provisions of the Gramm-Rudman legislation, the United States Congress was asked last year to slash approximately $1 billion from the overall $13.3 billion Foreign Aid budget while exempting from the cuts four countries - Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and Ireland. Since these four countries receive $5.6 billion in aid, the $1 billion in reductions was to come from $7.7 billion budgeted for other recipients. Had these reductions been implemented, they would have slashed desperately needed humanitarian assistance to needy third world countries.
Drastic cuts were not implemented last year because foreign aid was passed by a continuing resolution and not a new aid bill. The problem was deferred, but not resolved. Under Gramm-Rudman guidelines, the cuts required this year will be even more dramatic.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations urges the governments of the United States and Canada:
- To avoid greater deficits in the total national budgets, to increase the overall foreign aid budgets so that they can meet the imperative requirement of humanitarian aid for developing countries.
- To place greater priority on humanitarian and developmental aid than on military aid in allocating scarce foreign aid resources.
- To give significant emphasis to the tragic plight of Sub-Saharan countries.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Congress of the United States be urged to continue its commitment to Israel so that Israel may continue to restructure its economy and to meet its security and human needs.