Churches for Middle East Peace
olmert and abbas

Olmert and Abbas Meet in New York, Urge Direct Talks as Trump Plan Rejected
A look at continued responses from around the world to proposed peace plan, new budget policies, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert hold a briefing to the press on February 11, 2020 in New York. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP)

olmert and abbas

Olmert and Abbas meet in New York, urge direct talks as Trump plan rejected
Times of Israel

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with former premier Ehud Olmert Tuesday (Feb.18) and committed to restarting peace talks where they left off with the former Israeli leader over a decade ago, while rejecting a current US-backed peace effort. The New York meeting and press conference by the two drew vociferous condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused them of trying to undermine the US peace plan. Rejecting the Trump plan in a joint press conference held on the sidelines of a UN Security Council meeting, Abbas called for a resumption of the talks he had held with Olmert when the latter was Israel’s prime minister 12 years earlier.” 

Image: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert hold a briefing to the press on February 11, 2020 in New York. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP)

palestinian erasure

The erasure of Palestinians from Trump’s mideast ‘peace plan’ has a hundred-year history 
The Intercept

“The erasure of the Palestinians on display this week as President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a one-sided ‘vision for peace’ might have been an unusually blatant act of disregard, but it was in no way new. The omission is the essence of the conflict. I was reminded of this back in the early 1990s, when I lived in Jerusalem for several months at a time, doing research in the private libraries of some of the city’s oldest families, including my own. I spent over a year going through dusty worm-eaten books, documents, and letters belonging to generations of Khalidis, among them my great-great-great uncle, Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi.”

Image: Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi, approximately in the 1890s. (Khalidi Library)


A CIS position statement regarding the American plan and annexation

“CIS welcomes any effort to renew the national discussion over the necessity of separating from the Palestinians in a two-state agreement, and the prime minister’s endorsement of this solution. However, the Movement warns against any attempt to use the initiative for unilateral annexation. Whether the American initiative serves as a basis for future negotiations - which Israel will enter after the prime minister accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state over 70% of the West Bank and additional 14% of sovereign Israeli territory - or should future conditions for negotiations with the Palestinians result in a different Israeli approach, CIS warns against any attempt to exploit the initiative for a unilateral annexation move.” 

Image: Commanders for Israel’s Security logo 

What's Happening at CMEP

Trump 2020 Vision Plan:

Curious about the “Peace to Prosperity” plan the Trump administration released and what the actual prospects for peace are if this plan is implemented? Read our analysis of the plan today.


New P4P Blog Post:

Read the latest on our Prayers for Peace (P4P) blog. In this post, Dan Koski discusses how meaningful engagement in the Holy Land contributes towards a sustainable, just peace.

action alert

Action Alert: Tell your Rep. to hold U.S. accountable for its impact on Palestinian lives: 

In 2012, the UN raised the alarm: without improvements, Gaza would be unlivable by 2020. The humanitarian crisis has reached a tipping point and left Gazans with little hope for a peaceful and secure future. 



Show CMEP some love on Facebook this Valentine's Day. It's easy to start a fundraiser for CMEP. Click on the link to learn how.

UN list

UN list targets firms linked to Israeli settlements
The NY Times

“The U.N. human rights office on Wednesday released a list of more than 100 companies it said are complicit in violating Palestinian human rights by operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank — a first-ever international attempt to name and shame businesses that has drawn fierce Israeli condemnation. The list's publication after repeated delays escalated a looming showdown between Israel and the international community over its more than half-century policy of building settlements in the West Bank. Emboldened by a new U.S. Mideast initiative, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex Israel's more than 100 settlements, while the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague has indicated she will soon launch a war-crimes investigation into settlement policies.” 

Image: The Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the West Bank. The U.N. published a list of 112 companies doing business with Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. (Dan Balilty for The New York Times)

war powers bipartisan

In bipartisan bid to restrain Trump, Senate passes Iran War Powers resolution
NY Times

“The Senate voted on Thursday (Feb. 13) to require that President Trump seek congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran, as Democrats joined forces with eight Republicans to try to rein in the president’s war-making powers weeks after he escalated hostilities with Tehran. The bipartisan vote, 55 to 45, amounted to a rare attempt by the Senate to restrain Mr. Trump’s authority just over a week after it voted to acquit him of impeachment charges, and nearly six weeks after the president moved without authorization from Congress to kill a top Iranian security commander."

Image: Screengrab from video announcing resolution. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

no budget for palestinians

Trump administration nixes funding for Palestinian Security Forces from 2021 budget plan

“The Trump administration excluded funding for the Palestinian Security Services in its budget request for the 2021 fiscal year, after 27 years of bipartisan support and Israeli backing. However, the budget request does include $200 million for a ‘Diplomatic Progress Fund’ that could be used to support the administration’s Mideast plan, unveiled two weeks ago. According to the State Department, some of that money could go toward an ‘agreement to resume security assistance in the West Bank.’ But such an agreement would likely require the Palestinian Authority to accept the Trump plan.”

Image: A Palestinian protester burns a poster with a picture of Trump during clashes in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 30, 2020. (Nasser Nasser/AP)


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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