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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: On Palestinian Issue, Biden Asks Lapid Not to Surprise US with Settlement Building

A look at diplomacy, reports on conflict, 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: New homes under construction in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, November 2015. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

On Palestinian issue, Biden asks Lapid not to surprise US with settlement building

Times of Israel

“During their Jerusalem meeting, US President Joe Biden tells Prime Minister Yair Lapid that Washington does not want to be surprised by any Israeli announcements about building settlements. Biden tells Lapid that while he won’t press him too hard on matters relating to the Palestinian conflict, he did not want there to be unexpected announcements.”


Image: A worker prepares for President Biden’s arrival in Israel. (EPA)

Joe Biden heads to Middle East amid faltering US sway


“The president's Democratic Party colleagues in the US Congress look to be heading for a bruising result in November's mid-term elections. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has touched off the most serious confrontation between the world's biggest nuclear-armed powers since the height of the Cold War. China is looking keenly for signs of American decline, as its own inexorable rise to global power moves forward. To make matters worse, President Biden's own previous visits to the Middle East have shown the limits of American power. When he visited Jerusalem as Barack Obama's vice-president, he was humiliated by the former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he called for a freeze on Israel's settlement projects for Jews in the occupied territories, which are illegal under international law.”


Image: L-R: Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jonathan Shrier, and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked at the signing of the Preventing and Combating Serious Crime information-sharing agreement, July 7, 2022. (US Embassy in Israel)

US, Israel sign final agreement needed for visa waiver, but key bills remain stuck
Times of Israel

“Israeli and US officials took another step on Thursday (July 7) toward a long-awaited visa waiver deal between the two countries, signing the final bilateral agreement needed to implement the program. Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, accompanied by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, signed the Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) information-sharing agreement with US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Jonathan Shrier. However, there is still a long way to go before Israel is eligible to join the Visa Waiver Program. The VWP requires additional legislation to be passed in the Knesset, which opposition parties led by Likud stymied before the Knesset was dissolved last week.”

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP is hiring: We are seeking a part-time Finance Manager who will implement and contribute to CMEP's annual finance strategy - including payroll, bookkeeping, accounts payable and receivable, audit support, and other financial tasks. Preference for someone who can work from DC, but remote is possible, 10 hours a week with seasonal increases, and includes PTO benefits.

CMEP is on Medium! Medium is an online publishing platform and CMEP is pleased to announce we have joined Medium. You can find articles by our staff on Medium, and we will post them on our CMEP in the News page as well as here in the bulletin. Read these recently published articles by CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, and one by our Manager of Middle East Relationships, Kevin Vollrath.

Accountability Matters: Advocate for Palestinian Children & Families: A virtual Advocacy Summit this August.
Join CMEP for a series of virtual events this August including a webinar, advocacy training, and virtual meetings with your elected officials. Accountability Matters will focus on the importance of Human Rights, specifically via the support of HR 2590: Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum.

Introducing Prayers4Peace: Revisited:
At CMEP, we understand that the work of holistic peacebuilding and advocacy is ongoing, and sometimes, the issues we faced in the past are still present with us today in a variety of ways. With Prayers4Peace: Revisited we would like to occasionally share some of our previous P4P blogs with you that we believe are still important messages to us today. We hope that you are encouraged as you continue supporting in prayer those working towards a just peace in Israel, Palestine, and the broader Middle East.


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: A ten-year-old boy walks in the courtyard in front of his family’s apartment in central Chernihiv, Ukraine, which was destroyed in an air strike. (UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson)

Thousands of children endure ‘horrific conditions’ in conflict zones: UN report
UN News

“The dangers outlined in the report range from conflict escalation, military coups, and takeovers, protracted and new conflicts, as well as violations of international law. Cross-border conflict and intercommunal violence also impacted the protection of children, especially in the Lake Chad Basin and Central Sahel regions. The report highlights almost 24,000 verified grave violations against children, an average of some 65 violations every day. The killing and maiming of children was the most verified grave violation followed by the recruitment and use of children and the denial of humanitarian access.”


Image: People gather as Israeli machineries demolish a Palestinian house in Masafer Yatta, in the West Bank, this month. (Mussa Issa Qawasma/רויטרס)

Palestinians ask Israel's top court to halt army training near contested villages after bullet hits house

“Palestinians from the West Bank village of Masafer Yatta have asked High Court of Justice to issue an interim injunction barring the Israeli military from continuing the training exercises that have been underway the past three weeks after a village home was struck by a bullet last Wednesday (July 6). Residents of Masafer Yatta, a rural area in the South Hebron Hills comprising over a dozen Palestinian villages and hamlets – many of them slated for expulsion – said they found a large bullet lodged in the roof of the house the morning after it allegedly was hit. In response, the army said that ‘no evidence was found showing the building was hit by training fire.’”


Image: A picture shows a side of the Israeli separation wall around Jerusalem in Jerusalem’s Old city, on March 8, 2020. (Muhammed Qarout Idkaidek/APA Images)

Palestinian Christians release “A Dossier on Israeli Apartheid”

“Repeated cries from Palestinian Christians naming Israel’s apartheid have largely gone unanswered. Last Friday, they and their allies around the globe spoke again, adding their voice to those of international human rights organizations and a growing number of church bodies that are naming Israel as an apartheid state. During last Friday’s release of A Dossier on Israeli Apartheid: A Pressing Call to Churches Around the World, Palestinian Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah said, ‘Israel needs true friends who tell Israel the truth. Those who say to Israel, ‘Everything you do, wrong or right, is right,’ are not Israel’s true friends.’ Patriarch Sabbah said, ‘True friends tell you, ‘Do not do wrong to yourself by doing wrong to others, namely to the Palestinian people.’”

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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