Churches for Middle East Peace
coronavirus iran sanctions

Former U.S. Diplomats and European Leaders Call for Easing Sanctions Against Iran
A look at the continuing impact of the spreading virus, calls for changes to policy in challenging times, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Iranian women, members of paramilitary organization Basij, make face masks and other protective items at a mosque in Tehran on April 5. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

solidarity during virus

Former U.S. diplomats and European leaders call for easing sanctions against Iran
Washington Post

“Two dozen former diplomats and national security leaders from the United States and Europe called on the Trump administration Monday (April 13) to ease sanctions against Iran as part of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. Even as the statement came out, an Iranian government spokesman said Iran would never ask the United States for help during the outbreak and demanded that sanctions be lifted instead.” 

Image: Iranian women, members of paramilitary organization Basij, make face masks and other protective items at a mosque in Tehran on April 5. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

corona economic impact

Coronavirus crisis expected to ravage battered Middle East economies, IMF says  

“The Middle East, already wracked by high numbers of unemployed youth, unrest, conflict and large numbers of refugees, will sink into a recession this year sparked by the double shock of the coronavirus outbreak and low oil prices, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday (April 15). The impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, threatens to leave in its wake significant economic turmoil across the region, the international lender says. If governments mishandle the outbreak, the IMF warns this will sow the seeds for even more social unrest and instability.”

Image: A normally busy market in Cairo, Egypt on March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

coalition extension

U.S. announces $5m Coronavirus grant to Palestinians after a two-year freeze of aid

“The United States announced on Thursday it would provide a five-million-dollar grant to the Palestinians ‘to meet immediate, life-saving needs in combating COVID-19,’ breaking away from a freeze of aid funds that has lasted for over two years. American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in a tweet he was ‘very pleased’ by the decision to provide funds for Palestinian hospitals and households. The United States ‘is committed to assisting the Palestinian people and others worldwide in this crisis,’ he said.” 

Image: Palestinian police officers check the identity card of a vehicle's occupant during a home-confinement order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Hebron, the West Bank, April 7, 2020. (Mussa Qawasma/Reuters)

What's Happening at CMEP
press release

Public Statement: CMEP Affirms UN and Vatican’s Calls for Global Ceasefire:

The ceasefire is especially critical in the Middle East as an effective response to COVID-19 by reinforcing diplomatic action, allowing delivery of life-saving aid, and bringing hope to the most impoverished and vulnerable.


Eastertide Meditations: A Zoom Series:

Join CMEP for one or the full series of conversations with Christian leaders from across the Middle East. Learn how Christians in the Middle East are doing during this time and how you can help. Tuesdays until May 19, 11:30am EST, via Zoom.


Webstream: Joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony:

CMEP is honored to co-sponsor the ceremony organized by Combatants for Peace and Parents Circle-Families Forum. During the ceremony, Israelis and Palestinians come together to acknowledge the pain felt by both sides and commit to working together for peace.The Ceremony will be webstreamed at 8:30 pm EST on Monday, April 27.



Next week is National Volunteer Week! Volunteers are vital to CMEP's work. Please contact for more information.

Thanks for your support! Churches for Middle East Peace is following guidelines related to the Covid19 Pandemic to allow our employees to work from home and to observe social distancing measures. As a result, we are temporarily updating our mailing address to receive donations. We appreciate your ongoing support. If you are planning to donate to CMEP via check, we encourage you to take advantage of online credit-card or E-check options at since our staff will be working from home for the foreseeable future, making it hard to process checks.

Please write your checks out to Churches for Middle East Peace and mail your checks to: 

Churches for Middle East Peace
PO Box 328
Cedarville, AR 72932

coalition unity

Israeli PM and rival look to finalize emergency unity deal
AP News

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival met Tuesday (April 14) in an effort to finalize an agreement on an emergency government that would tackle the coronavirus threat and prevent another costly and divisive election. The meeting between Netanyahu and former military chief Benny Gantz followed an overnight session in which the two asked for, and received, a deadline extension from President Reuven Rivlin to try to complete the talks.” 

Image: In this March. 1, 2020 file photo, people walk next to election campaign billboards showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Benny Gantz, left, in Bnei Brak, Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)


Opposition to Palestinian state harms sovereignty, settler leader says

“Right-wing opponents of a Palestinian state are harming Israel’s chances of applying sovereignty to the settlements in Judea and Samaria, Efrat Council head Oded Revivi told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday (April 14). Revivi spoke out as three major settler leaders were in the midst of a public campaign to sway Derech Eretz parliamentarians Zvi Hauser and Yoav Hendel to help Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form a right-wing government."

Image: YESHA Council’s chief foreign envoy Oded Revivi. (Yesha Council)

easter children's workshop

Palestinian woman creates Easter workshops amid coronavirus lockdown

“Bethlehem, the cradle of Christ, will celebrate Easter this year under curfew. The Palestinian Authority declared a state of emergency in the Palestinian territories on March 5, after the first cases of coronavirus were identified in the city. Social distancing is the order of the day. Gatherings are forbidden and people must stay home unless on urgent errands. To help fill the gap, innovative virtual activities are being posted online, targeting children and families.”

Image: Salam Al Bandak works with children during an outdoor workshop. (Salam Al Bandak)


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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