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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Israel Heading to Polls as Coalition Moves to Dissolve Parliament

A look at political upheaval, violence, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

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.

Image: Yair Lapid (left) is slated to take over as prime minister from Naftali Bennett (right). (Reuters)

Israel heading to polls as coalition moves to dissolve parliament


“Israel is set to hold a fifth general election in under four years, after its fractured coalition government concluded it could not survive. In a major political development, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will switch places with Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid under an existing deal. An election could take place in late October, commentators say. The former prime minister and current opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, has vowed to return to office. Monday's (June 20) announcement comes after weeks of speculation that the coalition - the most diverse in Israel's history - was on the brink of collapse.”


Image: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on March 27, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Blinken speaks with Bennett, Lapid, vows support for Israel amid political turmoil
Times of Israel

“Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on the phone Tuesday (June 21) with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who promised strong support for Israel, and highlighted shared opposition to Iran, as Israel heads to its fifth election in under four years. Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced Monday (June 20) that they plan to dissolve their own government. The earliest the Knesset can disband is Wednesday, although a more likely scenario would be Monday of next week. Lapid will become the caretaker prime minister once the process is complete.”


Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin after a virtual meeting at the Pentagon, in Washington, in May. (Alex Brandon /AP)

U.S. Senators urge Pentagon not to downgrade U.S. Palestinian Security Post

“Thirty-two bipartisan U.S. senators urged U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday (June 17) not to downgrade the post of the official in charge of security coordination between the United States and the Palestinian Authority. The letter, led by Sens. Jon Ossoff and Lindsey Graham, comes two weeks after Axios first reported emerged that the Pentagon is mulling downgrading the United States security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority from the rank of a three-star general to a colonel. The State Department, Israel's Defense Ministry and experts in both countries have warned that this move, though technically required by a U.S. law to decrease the number of generals, could harm both U.S.-Palestinian security cooperation and Israeli-Palestinian coordination.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Upcoming Webinar Next Week: Join CMEP on June 30th for "American Complicity in the Israeli Occupation: A Conversation with Jim Zogby and Jeremy Ben-Ami." CMEP is honored to co-sponsor this conversation with J Street, the Arab American Institute, and Combatants for Peace.

Christian Zionism Webinar Mini-Course Has Begun: We hope you were able to join CMEP, Embrace the Middle East, and author Colin Chapman for the first session of our webinar mini-course this week. If you missed it, there’s still time to register for the next three sessions, which will take place weekly from June 28 to July 12.

Press Release: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Announces New Board Member Organization: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is pleased to announce the addition of Community of Christ (CoC) as CMEP's newest member communion.

Action Alert: On June 1, 2022, a bi-partisan Yemen War Powers Resolution (HJRes 87) was introduced by Reps. DeFazio, Jayapal, Mace, and Schiff, with 41 total cosponsors. Instead of continuing to support the Saudi-led coalition, the Biden Administration must advance policies that will help bring stability and meet the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people.


Support CMEP

We could not continue to pursue our mission to Educate, Elevate, and Advocate for a just and holistic peace in Israel, Palestine, and the broader Middle East without your support. Consider supporting CMEP today.


Image:  New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, passed resolution opposing apartheid in the holy land, June 11, 2022. (Mondoweiss)

Another Christian church condemns ‘apartheid in the Holy Land’

“The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church condemned Israel’s apartheid system June 11 by an 88 to 12 percent vote (out of 354 votes), becoming the first unit of that United Methodist denomination to address the apartheid issue. The move comes at a key moment in the larger movement by Christian churches to attack by name the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. The Presbyterian Church will vote on their apartheid ‘overtures’ in the first week in July, while the Episcopal Church is expected to vote on apartheid the following week.”


Image: Demonstrators gather during a protest to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Adaisseh village near the Lebanese-Israeli border, southern Lebanon May 15, 2021. (Aziz Taher/Reuters)

Lebanese Maronite patriarch calls for 'final solution' for Palestinian refugees

“Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi called on Saturday (June 18) for the deportation and resettlement of Palestinian refugees with the help of the international community, stressing that Lebanon must consider its own national interests. ‘We are with you, dear brothers, and we call on the international community to relieve Lebanon, which is exhausted economically and living difficultly, by finding a final solution to the presence of Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians on Lebanese soil,’ said al-Rahi after a meeting of the Patriarchal Synod.”


Image: Israeli security forces look on as Jewish settlers enter the occupied-West Bank town of Huwara waving Israeli flags from their car, last month. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

'I got a rock in the face': No arrests after series of attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem

“Three weeks ago, Riyad Sumrin and his son Laith were driving on a dirt road that leads to their home in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem when they encountered a gathering of about 20 Jews, some of them armed. ‘They started shouting at us, they raised a gun and told me to get out of the car and stand on the side’ says Sumrin. He adds that his 23-year-old son tried to hold the door shut, but they managed to open it and started pulling him out. ‘I was afraid,’ the father says. ‘I wanted to say to them, ‘What are you doing?’ And then I got a rock in the face, I couldn’t see anything.’”

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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