Churches for Middle East Peace

UAE Condemns Jewish Extremists’ Violence in Jerusalem, Calls for Restraint

A look at continuing unrest, a long-awaited recognition, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Police stand in front of demonstrators from the Lehava Jewish extremist group at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on April 22, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

UAE condemns extremist violence

Image: Police stand in front of demonstrators from the Lehava Jewish extremist group at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on April 22, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

UAE condemns Jewish extremists’ violence in Jerusalem, calls for restraint
Times of Israel

“The United Arab Emirates on Sunday called on Israel to reduce tensions in Jerusalem and condemned a recent march by an extremist Jewish group in the city. The statement was a rare criticism of Israel from the Arab nation since the two countries signed a normalization agreement last year and have been pushing ahead with increasingly warm ties. ‘The United Arab Emirates has expressed concern over the acts of violence committed by right-wing extremist groups in the occupied East Jerusalem, which have resulted in injuries among civilians,’ the statement said."

riots in Jerusalem diplomatic crisis

Image: Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian protester outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on April 23, 2021, amid tensions following April 22 clashes between Palestinians and far-right Jews. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Riots in Jerusalem become diplomatic crisis

“After a long night of clashes between police, Jewish far-right activists and Muslim protesters, tensions in Jerusalem are becoming an international issue. The US Embassy in Israel expressed concern Friday (April 23) over escalating tensions in Jerusalem. ‘We are deeply concerned about the incidents of violence in Jerusalem over the last several days. We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem,’ read the statement, which was published in English, Hebrew and Arabic."

inside Jewish settlement

Image: Houses illuminated with Sars of David and Islamic crescent moons in Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood on Sunday (April 18). (Ohad Zwigenberg)

'Like spy agencies': Inside East Jerusalem's Jewish settlement

“The endless conflict between Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood and Jewish settlements has taken an unexpectedly visual turn in recent years. Jewish residents started placing bright blue Stars of David, visible from afar, on their roofs. The Palestinians responded by putting up green crescents. From a distance, the bright colors may look celebratory and benign, but a closer look shows otherwise."

What's Happening at CMEP

Public Statement: CMEP Lauds President Biden’s Historic Announcement on Armenian Genocide Day

On Armenian Remembrance Day (Meds Yeghern), CMEP lauds President Biden’s historic statement about the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide.


Conversation with Apeirogon Author Colum McCann:

Join us on Wed, May 12, at 11 am Eastern for a conversation with bestselling author and National Book Award winner Colum McCann about his book, Apeirogon: A Novel. You do not need to have read the book to participate in this event.

CMEP1835 Spring Advocacy Training:

This event aims to empower people ages 18 to 35 to make their voices heard on important issues. Participants will learn how to advocate with Congressional members on behalf of peace and justice in the Middle East. If you work with this age group or are a member yourself, please join us on Wednesday, May 26, 7-8pm Eastern.


Recent changes allow $300 in charitable tax deductions for those who don't itemize. Please consider CMEP in your giving.

Biden declares Armenian genocide

Image: A torchlight procession in Yerevan on Friday (April 23) to mark the 106th anniversary of the massacres in which about 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed during World War I. (Karen Minasyan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Breaking with predecessors, Biden declares mass killings of Armenians a genocide
NY Times

“President Biden on Saturday (April 24) recognized the mass killings of Armenians more than a century ago as genocide, signaling a willingness to test an increasingly frayed relationship with Turkey, long a key regional ally and an important partner within NATO. ‘Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,’ Mr. Biden said in a statement issued on the 106th anniversary of the beginning of a brutal campaign by the former Ottoman Empire that killed 1.5 million people.”

Read CMEP’s statement lauding President Biden’s announcement.

Gaza covid surge

Image: People, some wearing masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, pray the evening prayer during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, outside a mosque in Gaza City, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Virus surge in crowded Gaza threatens to overwhelm hospitals
Washington Post

“More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, some of the worst fears are coming true in the crowded Gaza Strip: A sudden surge in infections and deaths is threatening to overwhelm hospitals weakened by years of conflict and border closures. Gaza’s main treatment center for COVID-19 patients warns that oxygen supplies are dwindling fast. In another hospital, coronavirus patients are packed three to a room. For months, Gaza’s Hamas rulers seemed to have a handle on containing the pandemic. But their decision to lift most movement restrictions in February — coupled with the spread of a more aggressive virus variant and lack of vaccines — has led to a fierce second surge."

Hamas consider Christian media center

Image: Father Manuel Musallam, (C) the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Gaza Strip, attends a national conference with leaders of the Palestinian factions in Gaza City against the upcoming US-hosted peace conference in Annapolis, Nov. 26, 2007. (Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)

Hamas considers creating Christian media center

“Father Manuel Musallam, head of the World Popular Organization for Jerusalem Justice and Peace, urged Hamas on April 13 to establish a Christian media center to defend the movement from claims that it mistreats Christians. A few days earlier, the Palestinian Central Elections Commission published the final list of candidates for the legislative elections to be held in May. Hamas’ electoral list only included one Christian among its 132 candidates after several Christians withdrew.”

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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