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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Over 80,000 Israelis Protest Against Supreme Court Reform

A look at protests, diplomatic decisions, 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: A huge crowd gathered in Tel Aviv to protest at the judicial reforms to reduce Supreme Court powers. (Reuters)

Over 80,000 Israelis protest against Supreme Court reform


“More than 80,000 Israeli protesters have rallied in Tel Aviv against plans by the new right-wing coalition government to overhaul the judiciary. The reforms would make it easier for parliament to overturn Supreme Court rulings, among other things. Protesters described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed changes as an attack on democratic rule. It follows the installment of the most religious and hardline government in Israeli history.”

Image: A picture taken with a drone shows Palestinian houses and buildings at Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, 2021. (Yosri Aljamal/Reuters)

 Israeli forces kill 14-year-old Palestinian boy in West Bank
The Guardian

“Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian boy near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, where the army said they opened fire after people threw molotov cocktails.Omar Khmour, 14, was shot in the head early on Monday (January 16) in the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern West Bank and ‘succumbed to his wounds’, the Palestinian ministry said.”

Image: Jordanian Ambassador to Israel Ghassan Majali visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on January 17, 2023. (Screenshot: Twitter; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Diplomatic flurry as Jordan envoy briefly delayed at Temple Mount entrance

Times of Israel

“Jordan’s ambassador to Israel visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Tuesday (January 17) after earlier leaving the holy site in protest at being held up by police at the entrance, prompting a diplomatic protest from Amman. The Jordanian foreign ministry said it summoned Israel’s envoy Eitan Surkis after Ghassan Majali was allegedly ‘refused entry’ to the Temple Mount. A statement from the ministry said Surkis was handed a letter of condemnation.”

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On April 20 we will hear from keynote speakers and panelists from Israel/Palestine and the U.S. including Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, and Rev. Dr. Jack Sara. Participants will have the opportunity to take the stories they have heard and advocate on behalf of human rights in Israel and Palestine with their Congressional offices on Friday, April 21. We hope you will consider joining us for fellowship, learning, and the chance to raise your voice on Capitol Hill this April.  Keep on eye on CMEP Events page, social media, and your email for registration and pricing in the coming weeks.

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. 


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Image: A nine-judge panel of the High Court of Justice headed by then-Supreme Court President Asher Grunis during a hearing of a petition by human rights groups against the an amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law, April 1, 2014. (Flash90)

US not planning to pressure Israel to call off legal overhaul
Times of Israel

“The Biden administration is not currently planning to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government against implementing a recently announced overhaul to Israel’s legal system, two US officials told The Times of Israel this week (January 5). ‘We’re not going to get into internal issues over there,’ one of the officials said, while recognizing that the planned reforms could have massive implications, given that the High Court of Justice, whose power the new government is seeking to curtail, weighs in regularly on Israel’s conduct with regard to the Palestinians.”

Image: A Yemeni fighter backed by the Saudi-led coalition fires his weapon during clashes with Houthi rebels on the Kassara frontline. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Yemen rebels, Saudis in back-channel talks to maintain truce
AP News

“Amid Yemen’s longest-ever pause in fighting — more than nine months — Saudi Arabia and its rival, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, have revived back-channel talks, according to Yemeni, Saudi and U.N. officials. The two sides hope to strengthen the informal cease-fire and lay out a path for a negotiated end to the long civil war. The quiet is fragile, with no formal cease-fire in place since a U.N.-brokered truce ended in October. It has been shaken by Houthi attacks on oil facilities and fiery rhetoric from Yemen’s internationally recognized government, allied with Saudi Arabia, which complains it has so far been left out of the talks. Lack of progress could lead to a breakdown and a renewal of all-out fighting.”

Image: A woman carries bread down a lane in Cairo. With an estimated 60mn people living below or just above the poverty line, the state is already failing its citizens (Islam Safwat/Bloomberg)

Egypt’s deepening economic crisis
Financial Times

“For almost a decade, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised his people that he would revive the economy and build a new state. But when Egypt this year marks the 10th anniversary of the coup that brought the former army chief to power, Egyptians will find little to cheer. Instead, tens of millions of people will be struggling to put food on their tables as the Egyptian pound has fallen to record lows and inflation soars above 20 per cent. The private sector is grappling with an almost year-long foreign currency shortage that is choking businesses. Egypt is a country in crisis.”

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.

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