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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: ​​Anglican Church and UK Condemn Desecration of Jerusalem Graves

A look at religious flashpoints, new governments, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

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.

Image: Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum said hate speech and hate crimes were on the rise in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Anglican Church and UK condemn desecration of Jerusalem graves


“The Anglican Church and United Kingdom have expressed ‘dismay’ at an attack on a historic cemetery close to Jerusalem's walled Old City. More than 30 graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion were desecrated on Sunday (January 1). Crosses were broken and headstones toppled and smashed. Jewish extremists have been blamed for the vandalism. ‘We have noticed that hatred speech and hatred crimes are on the rise,’ Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum said. Standing next to the vandalised grave of the second Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, Samuel Gobat, he said there had been a recent increase in spitting at Christians and attacks on their holy sites.”

Image: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh greets European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 14, 2022. (Flash90)

 Israeli sanctions will lead to Palestinian Authority’s collapse, warns PM Shtayyeh
Times of Israel

“Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has warned that a series of sanctions approved last week by the security cabinet against Ramallah will usher in the PA’s collapse. In a rare interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz, published Monday (January 9), Shtayyeh defended Ramallah’s move at the United Nations to have the International Court of Justice draft a legal opinion regarding Israel’s conduct in the West Bank and Gaza — a step Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as ‘an extreme anti-Israel’ measure.”

Image: Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Jerusalem on Nov. 2, 2022. (AP)

Netanyahu announces new Israeli government

VOA News

“Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, announced that he has succeeded in forming a coalition government with several other hardline and ultra-Orthodox parties. Several of the incoming government ministers say they want to annex large parts of the West Bank or allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, which could spark tensions with Muslims and possibly, the U.S.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Week of Prayer For Christian Unity 2023: Do good; seek justice (Isaiah 1:17)

Join Churches for Middle East Peace, the World Council of Churches, and Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-24, 2023. The theme for 2023 is “Do good; seek justice (Isaiah 1:17).” CMEP will be hosting a religious leader live from the Middle East from January 18, 19, 23, & 24 for a time of prayer and reflection at 10 am Eastern. Join us on zoom as we pray together in hope of Christian Unity. 

Action Alert: Contact Your Senators Now: Ask Them to Support the Yemen War Powers Resolution

Right now, over 21 million people in Yemen are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Instead of continuing to support the Saudi-led coalition, the Biden Administration must advance policies that will help bring stability and meet the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people. It is Congress’ responsibility to hold the Biden Administration and Saudi Arabia accountable by passing the Yemen War Powers Resolution.

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: Register for the Freedom of Movement Trip to the Occupied Palestinian Territories: March 7-16, 2023

CMEP invites you to visit Palestine/ Israel to participate in the annual "Freedom of Movement" marathon (half-marathon, 10k, and 5k available for walkers and runners). This trip will focus on issues related to the UN-sanctioned "right to liberty of movement" and environmental injustice in the occupied Palestinian territories. Participants will have the opportunity to spend several days hiking on the Palestine Heritage Trail and for unique homestays with families in the West Bank. There are only a few spots left for this trip, and registration closes this weekend. 


Support CMEP:

MLK saw the interconnectedness of peace & justice throughout the world, as we must! Please support CMEP's work throughout the Middle East to honor his legacy.


Image: An Israeli security officer looks on at Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

US slams 'unacceptable' Ben-Gvir Temple Mount visit
Jerusalem Post

“The Biden administration slammed as ‘unacceptable’ National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Temple Mount visit on Tuesday morning (January 3), which sparked global condemnation and created immediate friction between Israel’s new government and the US. ‘The United States stands firmly for preservation of the historic status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem. We oppose any unilateral actions that undercut the historic status quo. They are unacceptable,’ US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.”

Image: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan speaks during a news conference in Yerevan, Armenia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (Tigran Mehrabyan, PAN Photo via AP)

Armenia cancels military drills, widening rift with Moscow
AP News

“The prime minister of Armenia said Tuesday (January 10) that his country has refused to host military drills planned by a Russia-dominated security pact, an announcement that reflected the Armenian government’s growing tensions with Moscow. Nikol Pashinyan has repeatedly criticized Russian peacekeepers for failure to secure free transit along a corridor linking Armenia and the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh that Azerbaijani activists have blocked since last month."

Image: Pope Francis presides over an Epiphany mass in St.Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope denounces Iran death penalty following protests
AP News

“Pope Francis on Monday (January 9) broke his silence on the nationwide protests convulsing Iran, denouncing the recourse to the death penalty there and seemingly legitimizing the rallies as demonstrations ‘demanding greater respect for the dignity of women.’ Francis made the comments in an annual speech to ambassadors accredited to the Vatican, a foreign policy speech the pope delivers at the start of each year outlining the areas of greatest concern for the Holy See.”

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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