Churches for Middle East Peace
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EU Ministers Expected to Weigh Punitive Response to West Bank Annexation
A look at updates on continued response to the coronavirus, ongoing discussions of impending annexation, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks in Aachen, Germany, Jan. 22, 2019. (Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images via JTA)

eu responds to annexation

EU ministers expected to weigh punitive response to West Bank annexation
Times of Israel

“European Union foreign ministers will meet in Brussels Friday (May 15), a day after the swearing-in of Israel’s new government, to consider punitive responses to Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, multiple reports have indicated. Several European nations led by France, and including Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg, have reportedly expressed support for threats of punitive action in a bid to deter the new Israeli government from carrying out the move with a green light from Washington.” 

Image: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks in Aachen, Germany, Jan. 22, 2019. (Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images via JTA)

likud rebellion

Likud rebellion delays Knesset swearing-in

“The swearing in of  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz's new government will be delayed until Sunday (May 17), Netanyahu and Gantz announced on Thursday evening (May 14). The delay came due to the logjam of ministerial hopefuls in Likud. Netanyahu was supposed to announce the list of his cabinet ministers at 6 p.m. Thursday evening and they were supposed to be sworn in later at night. But Likud ministers complained about the portfolios they were offered by Netanyahu. They also complained that the head of the Likud's negotiating team, outgoing tourism minister Yariv Levin, did not leave the party enough portfolios after coalition deals with other factions in the Knesset.”

Image:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the nation on the coronavirus outbreak, March 19, 2020. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

steal of the century

In their own right: evangelical rejection of Palestinian human rights and dignity
Palestine-Israel Journal

This article was written by CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon. 

“The largely uncritical support of a large percentage of white evangelicals of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s policies toward Israel is deeply distressing. These evangelicals have affirmed the Trump administration’s move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the identification of the city of Jerusalem as the ‘undivided capital’ of the Jewish people, the annexation of the Golan Heights from Syria, the cutting off of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. government funds meant for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Palestinian humanitarian assistance, and the recent ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan that was announced in January. Each of these policies further perpetuates the elevation of the aspirations of one people over another. It is possible to laud and esteem Jewish human rights and self-determination and to also uphold the same rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.” 

Image: Palestine-Israel Journal cover, vol. 25, no. 1 & 2, 2020 (PIJ)

What's Happening at CMEP

Advocacy during COVID-19:

With shelter in place rules still in effect in many places in the country, you may be wondering how you can advocate during this time. Congress and the Administration must take immediate action to ensure U.S. policy helps end the occupation and alleviate the suffering of Palestinians, who will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.


Eastertide Meditations: A Zoom Series:

Join our final conversation with a Christian leader from the Middle East. Learn how Christians in the Middle East are doing during this time and how you can help. Tuesday, May 19, 11:30am EST, via Zoom.
Watch prior sessions here.


47 Days to Stop Injustice: Join #ChurchesAgainst

CMEP is excited to announce the launch of our Churches Against Annexation campaign. With all signs pointing towards formal annexation of Area C in the West Bank beginning July 1, speak out against this injustice! We will offer webinars, action alerts, and other ways for you to engage.



Be the first to donate to our $20,000 match campaign and double your impact!

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


As Israel considers annexation, Biden calls to keep the two-state solution alive

“Joe Biden said the U.S. should press Israel not to take any actions that jeopardize a two-state solution, a reference to reports that Israel may try to annex part of the West Bank. Biden, in a statement Tuesday (May 12) to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, also said that as president he would resume U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, reopen the U.S. consulate in eastern Jerusalem that administers primarily to the Palestinians and would seek to reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington. ‘A priority now for the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace should be resuming our dialogue with the Palestinians and pressing Israel not to take actions that make a two-state solution impossible,’ Biden said.”

Image: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a campaign rally at the WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri on March 7, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

coronavirus children detainees

Coronavirus: UN calls for release of Palestinian children detained by Israel
Middle East Eye

“The UN agency for children has called on Israel to release imprisoned Palestinian children amid the spread of the coronavirus, warning that children in detention ‘face heightened risk of contracting Covid-19’. In a joint statement released on Monday (May 11), three UN officials based in the region, including the Unicef special representative for Palestine, Genevieve Boutin, said 194 Palestinian minors were in Israeli detention by the end of March, an increase from the monthly average last year. ‘The rights of children to protection, safety and wellbeing must be upheld at all times,’ the statement said. Additionally to the risk of infection, Palestinian children are suffering from a ban on visitations and are denied in-person access to their lawyers because of Israel's social distancing guidelines, the officials said, all while legal proceedings are on hold."

Image: 'The best way to uphold the rights of detained children amidst a dangerous pandemic, in any country, is to release them,' statement says. (AFP/File photo)


Ahead of visit, Pompeo says sovereignty is 'in the end, an Israeli decision'
Israel Hayom

“It's been months since Israel had its a high-profile visit. This is not just because of the coronavirus crisis but also because of the year-long political limbo and the three elections we have had. But all this will end on Wednesday when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive in Israel. For Pompeo, it is one of his rare trips in recent months. Speaking with Israel Hayom, Pompeo said ‘it's important for a number of reasons that we do this face to face,’ referring to his talks with senior Israeli officials on his visit. He plans to discuss the implementation of the administration's newly unveiled peace plan.”

Image: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appears at the State Department in Washington, 2019. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)


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.

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