Churches for Middle East Peace

Palestinians Excluded From Israeli Covid Vaccine Rollout as Jabs Go to Settlers

A look at continuing responses to the global pandemic, opinions on how to pursue peace, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

 Image: Vaccinations in progress in Ashdod, Israel last month. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

covid jabs for settlers

Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers
The Guardian

“Israeli officials have suggested they might provide surplus vaccines to Palestinians and claim they are not responsible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, pointing to 1990s-era interim agreements...Those deals envisioned a fuller peace agreement within five years, an event that never occurred. Almost three decades later, Israeli, Palestinian and international rights groups have accused Israel of dodging moral, humanitarian and legal obligations as an occupying power during the pandemic."

Image: Vaccinations in progress in Ashdod, Israel last month. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

pope to visit iraq

This is why His Holiness Pope Francis will go to Iraq
Vatican News

“Pope Francis will definitely send a message for the pursuit of paths of peace, dialogue, fraternity, cooperation and constructive cooperation among the various politicians in Iraq in order to rebuild a strong modern Iraqi state after years of hard and bitter wars, sectarian squabbles, and attacks by terrorist groups, so as to restore the spirit of hope among all Iraqis, especially the youth, for  a better future.”

Image: Iraqi Christians attend Christmas Eve Mass in December 2019 at the Syriac Catholic Church in the town of Qaraqosh in Nineveh province, Iraq. (AFP or licensors)

US can help Israel and Palestine

Oped: The US can help Israel and Palestinians reach a just peace
Religion News

“CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, and Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, CMEP Board representative for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, write: ‘The fundamental question is how Congress and the administration can help build peace. On the question of annexation, the Israeli government needs to hear more clearly than it has from some American lawmakers that annexation of current Palestinian areas of any kind — de jure or de facto — is unacceptable.’”

Image: Israeli border police officers, right, and Palestinians clash during a Palestinian protest against the expansion of Israeli Jewish settlements near the West Bank town of Salfit, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

What's Happening at CMEP

Upcoming Webinar:

As a new Congress takes their seats in early January, and as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are inaugurated later in the month, what might we expect from the new Congress and new Administration related to Palestinian rights? How do we best advocate for Palestine with Congress and in our own locales? ⁠

Join CMEP's Kyle Cristofalo for this webinar hosted by the Methodist Federation for Social Action and United Methodist Kairos Response on Monday, January 13th.


CMEP Journeys: 

We are excited to bring CMEP Journeys to you beginning early this year. This event series of online activities will introduce you to the people, issues, and work of pursuing peace and justice in the Middle East. Follow us on social media to learn more in the coming weeks.


Travel with CMEP:

 It can take months to plan a visit to the Holy Land! With vaccines coming, if visiting the holy land is on your bucket list, CMEP can help! CMEP pairs with MEJDI to provide the chance to hear multi-narrative perspectives through the use of two local guides, one Israeli and one Palestinian.



Hoping our Orthodox community members had a festive Christmas! Please remember CMEP in your holiday giving.

stop ethnic cleansing

Oped: Gantz, stop the ethnic cleansing in the West Bank

“There have been mounting signals in recent weeks that Israel plans to exploit this multinational transition period in order to promote far-reaching acts of annexation and disinheritance. The Netanyahu-Trump initiative for full, official annexation of parts of the West Bank was shelved in exchange for normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain...and there’s nothing like an interregnum for introducing acts that in normal times would have triggered international condemnation and political pressure, which even if not heavy, is likely to be onerous.”

Image: Defense Minister Benny Gantz, December 2020. (Ohad Zwigenberg)

biden yemen oped

New US foreign affairs chairman considers resuming aid to Palestine
Middle East Monitor

“The new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington announced yesterday that the US will consider the resumption of aid to Palestine through the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as part of a push by President-elect Joe Biden for a two-state solution. Israel has long sought to have UNRWA closed down, claiming that the agency perpetuates the conflict with the Palestinians. Outgoing US President Donald Trump's administration backed Israel in this by cutting donations to UNRWA in 2018.”

Image: Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory Meeks in Washington, US on 11 February 2016. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

biden must break with past

If Biden wants Israeli-Palestinian peace, he must break with the past
Foreign Policy

“In 1967, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan epitomized Israeli triumphalism in the aftermath of the Six-Day War when he told Nahum Goldmann, the veteran American Zionist leader: ‘Our American friends offer us money, arms and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.’ The statement reflected the widely held belief that Israel could take U.S. support for granted. ‘What would happen if ever America were to tell you: you can have the aid only if you also take the advice?’ Goldmann asked him. Dayan, with resignation, answered: ‘Then we would have to take the advice, too.’”

Image: An Israeli man wears a hat supporting U.S. President Donald Trump while holding the Israeli flag in the settlement of Givat Hamatos on Nov. 16, 2020 near Jerusalem. (Foreign Policy)


CMEP's Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP's behalf.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
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