Churches for Middle East Peace

Rare Visit to Israel by Egypt’s Oil Minister Sends Signals to Biden, Erdogan

A look at continuing relationship developments with new administration, ongoing settlement issues, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla meet in Jerusalem, February 21, 2021. (MFA)

egypt oil minister visits israel

Rare visit to Israel by Egypt’s oil minister sends signals to Biden, Erdogan
Times of Israel

“Although the visit of Egypt’s Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister to Israel on Sunday (February 21) had the trappings of a routine discussion about energy cooperation by regional partners, it also sent a message to rivals and to the United States. Tarek el-Molla’s trip was noteworthy for the mere fact that he was the first Egyptian minister to visit Israel since foreign minister Sameh Shoukry met with Netanyahu in 2016."

Image: Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla meet in Jerusalem, February 21, 2021. (MFA)

egyptian foreign minister

Biden administration says human rights will be ‘central’ to ties with Egypt
Times of Israel

“The Biden administration on Tuesday (February 23) told Egypt that human rights will be ‘central’ to its policy in dealing with the key Arab state and major American partner in the Middle East. The pronouncement came just a week after the administration approved a nearly $200 million missile sale to Egypt despite concerns about Cairo’s jailing of dissidents, including American citizens and their families. It was not immediately clear how the new emphasis on human rights would manifest itself. The Trump administration had largely given Egypt’s leadership a pass on human rights.”

Image: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks at an international meeting to discuss the Israel-Palestinian peace process, in Amman, Jordan, September 24, 2020. (Khalil Mazraawi/Pool via AP)

Blinken covid vaccines

Blinken asks for Israeli help in facilitating COVID vaccines to the Palestinians

“Secretary of State Tony Blinken asked his Israeli counterpart in their phone call on Monday (February 22) for Israel to facilitate the transfer of COVID-19 vaccines to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli officials told me. On Tuesday (February 23), the Israeli prime minister’s office announced that Israel has decided to send a ‘symbolic amount’ of vaccines to the Palestinian Authority and to several countries that have asked for assistance.”

Image: US Secretary of State, Andrew Blinken. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

What's Happening at CMEP

Lent Devotions from CMEP:

 Devotions written on the theme of “Beacons of Hope: Journeying in Faith for Peace and Justice in the Middle East” are CMEP’s encouragement to you during the season of Lent. 


CMEP Journeys:

We are excited to bring CMEP Journeys to you! This event series of online activities will introduce you to the people, issues, and work of pursuing peace and justice in the Middle East. Check out our upcoming events today!

CMEP in the News:

U.S. Reps. Urge Transparency from Biden Admin: CMEP endorses letter regarding U.S. involvement in Yemen war as U.S. ends support for ‘offensive’ engagement.


Support the work of our Ambassador Warren Clark Fellows and honor the legacy of a former Executive Director of CMEP.

west bank archeology

Settlers take on West Bank archaeology as ancient ‘Joshua’ wall tumbles down
Times of Israel

“On January 26, Shooki Levine witnessed the aftershocks of what he describes as a ‘terrorist attack.’ At an extremely rare early Iron Age archaeological site on Mount Ebal near the West Bank city of Nablus, an outer wall that had stood for over 3,000 years was repeatedly breached during Palestinian Authority roadworks, causing irreversible damage. While the interpretation of what exactly this cultic site was used for — and by whom — is still up for debate, a consensus of archaeologists date it to somewhere around the 11th century BCE, or when the Israelites evidently began to settle the land of Canaan.”

Image: ‘Joshua’s Altar’ at the Mount Ebal archaeological site, February 15, 2021. (Courtesy, Shomrim Al Hanetzach)

palestinian woman in the west Bank

'They destroyed our dreams': Israel’s bulldozers target Palestinian women farmers
Middle East Eye

“After a five-kilometre walk from her home in the northern occupied West Bank, 49-year-old Khitam Ismail arrived on her plot of land at six in the morning, a routine she has maintained for years, and began to work. Her constant cries over the recent loss of her beloved olive trees, which she has spent more than a decade growing, can be heard in the area. On 6 December, Israeli bulldozers and dozens of army personnel raided the Khallet al-Abhar area in Deir Ballout, on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Salfit, and carried out one of the largest tree uprooting operations to date in the West Bank, destroying 3,400 olive trees in one day.”

Image: On 6 December 2020, Israeli bulldozers carried out one of the largest tree uprooting operations to date in the West Bank, destroying 3,400 olive trees in one day. (Social media/Daoud Abdullah)

npr christian nationalism

Evangelical leaders condemn 'radicalized Christian nationalism'

CMEP’s Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon joined “A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders (in) condemning the role of ‘radicalized Christian nationalism’ in feeding the political extremism that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of former President Donald Trump. In an open letter, more than 100 pastors, ministry and seminary leaders, and other prominent evangelicals express concern about the growing ‘radicalization’ they're seeing, particularly among white evangelicals.”

Image: Protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., some with signs and symbols of Christianity. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol that day after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


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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