Churches for Middle East Peace

Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah: How is the World Reacting to the Situation in Jerusalem?

A look at violent clashes, the importance of the evangelical voice, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: A protester holds Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul on 9 May 2021. (AFP)

We at Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) are monitoring the situation and violence in Jerusalem and throughout Israel/Palestine very closely. We grieve the loss of life and call for an immediate end to all violence. Our Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, says: “We stand strongly in support of a prosperous future for all in Jerusalem and throughout Israel/Palestine, where all who live in the land called Holy—Israelis and Palestinians alike—have their rights protected and can live in peace. We condemn all violence, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian people, and the conditions which have led to the injury and death of Israelis and Palestinians in the last week.”
Read More and Take Action

Al Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah

Image: A protester holds Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel in front of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul on 9 May 2021. (AFP)

Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah: How is the world reacting to the situation in Jerusalem?
Middle East Eye

“As tensions have soared over the planned eviction of at least 40 Palestinians from the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, official reactions from around the world have varied from dismay and anger to silence. Hundreds of Palestinians were reported wounded during an Israeli crackdown in al-Aqsa mosque on Monday morning (May 10), as far-right Israelis prepared to march through Jerusalem's Old City that afternoon to mark Jerusalem Day, celebrating Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem since 1967.”

Read the Patriarchs and Heads of Jerusalem Churches statement on the recent violence in Jerusalem.

Sheikh Jarrah protest

Image: A sign protesting evictions in East Jerusalem.
(Getty Images)

Progressive Groups Call for Biden to Denounce Evictions of Palestinians as 'War Crimes'
The Hill

The statement by progressive groups (including Churches for Middle East Peace) calls on the administration to “immediately send the strongest possible diplomatic message to Israel to desist from its plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Al-Bustan and evict Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah,” two neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.

Take Action: Tell President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to oppose violence and evictions in Israel/Palestine

fleeing violence in Gaza

Image: Palestinian women walk at the site of destroyed houses in the aftermath of Israeli air and artillery strikes in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14, 2021. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

U.S. Christians Can't Ignore Israel's Ongoing Occupation of Palestine

CMEP’s executive director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, and Joyce Aljouny write: “Christians and people of all faith traditions need to take on a more prominent role in calling for a just and lasting peace that is built on realizing equality for Palestinians and ending human rights abuses. This is the path to a more secure and peaceful future for Israelis as well. For those of us in the U.S., we can ask our elected officials to support H.R. 2590. Members of Congress need to hear from people of faith who object to U.S. funds being used for these immoral policies.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Public Statement: CMEP Condemns Violence in Jerusalem and Calls for the Biden Administration to Intervene

The U.S. cannot play a positive role in helping to bring a peaceful end to the conflict in Israel/Palestine unless we can acknowledge the primary drivers of the ongoing occupation and use diplomatic pressure to help to bring about its end.


Take Action: Tell President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to oppose violence and evictions in Israel/Palestine:

Your voice is critically important. Please act now as we work to push the Biden Administration to play a proactive role in bringing about justice and peace in Jerusalem and throughout Israel/Palestine.

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.


Help us reach our matching fund goal of $21,000. Donate to the work for peace today!

Wafa NGO calls for end to violence

Image: Israeli occupation police during their raid of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and attack against the worshippers. (WAFA)

Palestinian NGOs call for concrete measures to halt Israel’s aggression against Palestinians in Jerusalem

“The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), which represents 14 non-governmental organizations, today called on the international community to assure an immediate halt to Israel’s aggression against Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, warning the use of force could lead to further escalation on the ground. Since dawn of today (May 10), Israel and its occupying forces have escalated their attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem, and specifically against worshipers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, they said in a statement. Storming Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where some 20,000 Palestinians were present for Al-Fajr (dawn) prayer, the Israeli occupying forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and sound bombs, targeting Palestinians, while preventing the entry of the Red Crescent medical teams into the compound, where dozens are wounded, some in serious condition. Paramedics and journalists are among the injured.”

Read CMEP’s statement condemning the violence in Jerusalem and calling for the Biden Administration to intervene immediately.

Biden Israel not overreacting

Image: President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Republican Senators in the Oval Office of the White House. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Biden: I don't believe Israel has significantly overreacted to Gaza rocket fire

“U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday (May 13) said that he has not seen a ‘significant overreaction’ from Israel in response to rocket fire from Gaza amid the latest regional flare-up. ‘The question is how we get to a point where they get to a point where there is a significant reduction in the attacks, particularly the rocket attacks that are indiscriminately fired into population centers,’ Biden told reporters.”

funeral of Mousa Hassouna

Image: Palestinians in Israel carry the coffin of Mousa Hassouna, killed during demonstrations, in Lod on 11 May 2021. (AFP)

Explained: Who are Israel's Palestinian citizens?
Middle East Eye

“The explosion of anger that erupted this week in the city of Lod took many in Israel by surprise. Palestinian citizens of Israel tore down Israeli symbols and put up the Palestinian flag in the mixed Arab-Jewish city, which is located within the internationally recognised borders of Israel. Although Palestinians in Israel have regularly supported Palestinians in the occupied territories before, the scale and nature of the demonstrations in Lod, known as Lydd in Arabic, indicates how the relationship between the two groups is stronger than ever."

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)
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 311 | Washington, District of Columbia  20002
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