Churches for Middle East Peace

Despite International Support, Obstacles Threaten Palestinian Elections

A look at continuing elections development, a historic papal visit, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Palestinian members of Central Elections Commission register voters for the upcoming elections, on Feb. 10, 2021 in Gaza City. (Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

egypt oil minister visits israel

Despite international support, obstacles threaten Palestinian elections

“It remains unclear whether or not the Palestinian legislative elections, scheduled for May 22, will be held in the Palestinian territories in line with the decree President Mahmoud Abbas issued Jan. 15. Doubts about the success of the elections persist within large population segments."

Image: Palestinian members of Central Elections Commission register voters for the upcoming elections, on Feb. 10, 2021 in Gaza City. (Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

pope's visit to iraq

Pope, top Iraq Shiite cleric deliver message of coexistence
AP News

“Pope Francis walked through a narrow alley in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf for a historic meeting with the country’s top Shiite cleric Saturday (March 6), and together they delivered a powerful message of peaceful coexistence in a country still reeling from back-to-back conflicts over the past decade.”

Image: Women wait outside the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph, in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 6, 2021, where Pope Francis, depicted on a giant poster at their back, is concelebrating a mass. Earlier today Francis met privately with the country's revered Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

harris calls Netanyahu about ICC

U.S. opposed to ICC probe of Israel, Harris tells Netanyahu

“Vice President Kamala Harris, in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday (March 4), reaffirmed U.S. opposition to an International Criminal Court probe of possible war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, the White House said. The call, the first between the two since Harris and President Joe Biden took office in January, came a day after the ICC prosecutor said she would launch the probe, prompting swift rejections by Washington and Jerusalem.”

Image: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Joe Biden speaks during a bipartisan meeting on cancer legislation in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2021. (Alex Brandon/Pool via Reuters)

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP in the News: US Military Attacks on Syria Detrimental to Peace:

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon and CMEP Intern Alexander Lutz write in Red Letter Christians: “The use of military force makes the prospect of diplomacy and peaceful conflict resolution an even fainter possibility." 


CMEP Journeys:

We are adding events to our Journeys programming all the time. Check out the latest additions today and join us at an event soon!

Public Statement: Church Leaders Write to Biden with Middle East Policy Recommendations:

 In the letter, the leaders share their vision: “We seek to encourage a US foreign policy in the region that addresses issues in a fair, just, and consistent way. As faith leaders, it is our duty to speak up on behalf of those who suffer injustice.”


Please remember CMEP this Lenten season.

west bank archeology

Israel established 41 herding posts in West Bank under Trump - B'Tselem

“The Israeli Right helped solidify its hold on Area C of the West Bank through the creation of 41 herding outposts during the four years former US president Donald Trump was in the White House, according to a report by left-wing NGOs Kerem Navot and B’Tselem. ‘You can see that in the last four years, this trend has become the main trend of land grab in the West Bank,’ Kerem Navot founder and researcher Dror Etkes told The Jerusalem Post on Monday (March 8). ‘Most of the herding outposts have been established in the last four years during the Trump administration period,’ he said.”

Image: View of the Jewish settlement of Efrat and the surrounding fields, in Gush Etzion, West Bank, on December 1, 2020. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

lebanon protests

Lebanon's army chief warns of 'implosion' as economic collapse takes toll on security forces

“Discontent is brewing in the ranks of Lebanon's security forces over a currency crash wiping out most of the value of their salaries as unrest and crime surge. In unusually outspoken comments, army chief General Joseph Aoun said his warnings that the pressure on soldiers' earnings and morale could lead to an ‘implosion’ had fallen on deaf ears. Lebanon's pound has crashed 85 percent since late 2019 in a financial meltdown that poses the biggest threat to stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.”

Image: Lebanese riot police and army soldiers scuffle with anti-government protesters. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

syria strikes

Biden is discovering his presidential power by striking in Syria. How far can he take it?

“The Biden administration’s recent airstrikes in Syria have resurrected the debate in Washington on both the president’s legal ability to independently authorize military action and whether the strikes are strategically prudent in the first place. The ensuing debate will likely set the tone for President Joe Biden’s approach to Iran and its proxy forces in the region, as well as how his administration plans on interpreting domestic and international law in order to best protect its interests.”

Image: Damascus skies erupt with service-to-air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria three year ago. (Hassan Ammar/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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