Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Israel Shutters Palestinian Rights Groups, Drawing Diplomatic Backlash

A look at designations, proposed deals, 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: People attend a news conference outside the offices of the Palestinian human rights group al-Haq in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Aug. 18, 2022. (Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

Israel shutters Palestinian rights groups, drawing diplomatic backlash

Washington Post

“Israel closed the offices of five leading Palestinian rights organizations in an early-morning raid in Ramallah on Thursday (August 18), tightening its restrictions on civil society nearly a year after it labeled the organizations terrorist groups in an internationally criticized move. Israel says the organizations have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an armed group that has carried out deadly attacks against Israel. The rights groups deny the allegation, and the United Nations criticized the move.”


Image: US State Department spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news briefing in February 2021, at the State Department in Washington, DC. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden administration expresses ‘concern’ over Israeli raids, but refuses to condemn them


“On August 18 Israeli forces carried out an overnight raid on the offices of seven Palestinian civil society organizations in the occupied West Bank. Armed soldiers stole documents, damaged property, and welded the office doors shut. Six of the seven targeted groups (Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, The Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees) had been designated as terrorist organizations by the Israeli government in October 2021. Israel has never provided any public evidence to back up these allegations and classified documents obtained by +972, Local Call, and The Intercept show that the accusations are dubious.”


Image: St Andrew's Church, Ramallah. (ICN)

Jerusalem: Diocese condemns Israeli attack on Anglican church
Independent Catholic News

“The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East has condemned a ‘shocking’ raid by Israeli soldiers on the premises of their church in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, in the early hours of Thursday morning (August 18). In the following statement released later in the day the actions of the Israeli forces involved in the incident are described as ‘a violation of international law and a terroristic act against the entire community’.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Meet the Academics of CMEP:

Register to meet the Academics of CMEP on September 29, 2022 at Noon Eastern via Zoom to learn about the work each is doing. We’ll hear from:

  • Tala Raheb: Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow & a Ph.D. candidate in West and South Asian Religions (WSAR) at Emory University
  • Ben Norquist: Research Assistant & a PhD candidate in Higher Education, Azusa Pacific University
  • Jennifer Maidrand: Outreach Manager & a Ph.D. candidate in Bible and Cultures at Drew University
  • Kevin Vollrath: Manager of Middle East Partnerships & a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary

Facilitated by Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon: Executive Director & holds both a Ph.D. in American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies from the University of California (Davis) and a D.Min in Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Northern Theological Seminary.

Public Statement: August 17, 2022: CMEP calls on the U.S. Government to address underlying causes of Israeli violence against Gaza

CMEP calls on the US government to work to preserve the ceasefire and to insist Israel ends its 15-year blockade of Gaza, an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe, and an act of collective punishment that has turned Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison. The U.S. must stop enabling Israeli impunity in violating human rights and humanitarian law, and instead, work toward a comprehensive and enduring end to the conflict that will result in human rights and equality for all Israelis and Palestinians.

Action Alert: Tell Congress: Cosponsor HRes 751

In the middle of the night on August 18, 2022, Israeli forces raided and ordered closed the offices of the 6 Palestinian Human Rights organizations it earlier designated as “terrorist groups.” Right now it is urgent for Congress to speak out against the attack on human rights defenders in Palestine. Ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor HRes 751, a resolution introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum opposing the declaration of these respected human rights groups as “terrorist organizations.”


It's the Dog Days of Summer:

Summer is tough for non-profits and our cash flow is stretched thin. About 70% of our annual giving comes in at year-end. We're asking any of our supporters who can give to consider giving a donation this summer. Whether you can give $10 or $100 or more - every bit matters in this work for peace and justice. If you're able to commit to giving monthly, your commitment will provide stability to the work of holistic peacebuilding.


Image: A general view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City last year. (Ammar Awad / REUTERS)

Gantz: Jerusalem is Israel's; can't be the Palestinians', too
Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem is the united capital of Israel, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday (August 22) morning as he pushed back at former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attacked him on social media over the past day for his previously announced stance. ‘Jerusalem is the united capital of the State of Israel – so it has been, and so it will be,’ Gantz told Radio 103 FM.”


Image: The atomic symbol and the Iranian flag are seen in this illustration, July 21, 2022. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

U.S. says it is working as quickly as it can on response to Iran over nuclear proposal

“The United States on Monday (August 22) pushed back against Iranian accusations of delaying the indirect talks aimed at reinstating the 2015 nuclear deal, saying it was working as quickly as it can to put together an appropriate response to Tehran's comments on a draft text put forward by the European Union. Speaking at a daily press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price also said Washington was encouraged by Iran dropping some of its demands such as the lifting of the terrorism designation for Iran's Revolutionary Guard but added there were still outstanding issues to be ironed out.”


Image: This grab from AFPTV footage shows a smoke plume rising after the new collapse of the northern section of the grain silos at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut, August 23, 2022. (Dylan Collins/AFPTV/AFP)

For 3rd time in a month, blast-damaged silos at Beirut port collapse
Times of Israel

“Eight more grain silos at Beirut port toppled Tuesday (August 23), succumbing to damage from a devastating 2020 explosion in the third such collapse in a month, AFP correspondents reported. A cloud of dust rose over the port after the collapse, which brought down the last of the northern block of silos that was more heavily damaged in the blast and where a fire had been burning since July. The remaining southern block is more stable and not at imminent risk of collapse, said French civil engineer Emmanuel Durand, who has installed sensors on the silos.”

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
(202) 543-1222 | info@cmep.org

Follow Us

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences