Squire Patton Boggs Senior Associate Matthew Kulkin and Public Policy Specialist Emily Dillard were instrumental in securing the introduction of bipartisan legislation to establish an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The International Fund is a key initiative of a longstanding pro bono client, the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), aimed at providing a stable source of funding to support on-the-ground programs that promote cross-border and sectarian reconciliation in the Middle East.
“It is an honor to provide pro bono counsel to ALLMEP. I’ve worked with them since I joined the firm seven years ago, and I am inspired by their members’ efforts to a bottom-up approach to peace,” said Mr. Kulkin. “They work tirelessly to bring change on an individual basis and I’m glad we can help make policymakers aware of their impact.”
Ms. Dillard added, “Squire Patton Boggs’ commitment to pro bono allows us to apply our substantive skills and public policy expertise for organizations that may not otherwise have a voice in Washington. I appreciate the firm’s dedication to pro bono service.”
ALLMEP is a 501(c)(3) coalition – founded by a former legacy Patton Boggs colleague Avi Meyerstein and incorporated and established nearly a decade ago with Squire Patton Boggs pro bono counsel – of over 80 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that conduct people-to-people work in conflict transformation, development, coexistence and cooperative activities on the ground in the Middle East among Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, and Jews. Serving thousands of Israelis and Palestinians, these NGOs daily lay the foundation for any sustainable peace in the region, striving through their programs both to solve intractable problems and to produce the behavioral shifts essential to attitudinal change.
H.R. 5795, introduced on December 4, 2014, by Congressmen Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), is modeled after the successful International Fund for Ireland which gathered US$1.5 billion from all participating donor nations to encourage dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland. Like the International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, the International Fund for Ireland was a bipartisan effort between then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-MA) and President Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Kulkin, Ms. Dillard, and a team of Squire Patton Boggs lawyers advised ALLMEP on the substantive legislative language, advocated for the International Fund with Members of Congress, the White House, State Department, United States Agency for International Development, and the diplomatic community.
Most recently, in November, Squire Patton Boggs hosted ALLMEP’s Board of Directors, staff, and member organizations during its annual Advocacy Day, during which ALLMEP promoted the International Fund on Capitol Hill. Squire Patton Boggs’ counsel and ALLMEP’s efforts resulted in the bill’s introduction just two weeks later.