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Churches for Middle East Peace

Biden Quietly Puts Pressure on Israel Over West Bank Settlements

A look at complex relationships, new policies, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with President Biden in the Oval Office. (Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Getty)

biden puts pressure on israel over settlements

Image: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with President Biden in the Oval Office. (Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Getty)

Biden quietly puts pressure on Israel over West Bank settlements


“The Biden administration has been privately pressuring the Israeli government to show restraint ahead of a key decision on settlement building in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell Axios. Why it matters: Both sides want to keep this from becoming a point of tension between President Biden, who considers the settlements a threat to the two-state solution, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who leads a pro-settler party and is under political pressure on the issue.”

jordan to supply lebanon power

Image: Workers operate on high voltage towers after they were damaged on May 23, 2019. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP via Getty Images)

Jordan to supply Lebanon with electricity via Syria
Middle East Monitor

“Jordan today (October 6) agreed to supply Lebanon with electricity via Syria, a few weeks after Egypt agreed to supply Beirut with gas. The announcement came after the electricity ministers of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria met in Amman to discuss a work plan for re-operating an electric interconnection line between Jordan and Syria. ‘The meeting was held to discuss the re-operation of interconnection lines between Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon to assist the Lebanese brothers to meet part of their electricity needs,’ Jordanian Energy Minister Hala Zawati said.”

settler attack in hebron hills

Image: The aftermath in the village of Khirbat al-Mufkara after dozens of Israeli settlers hurled stones and vandalized property, September 29, 2021. (Tomer Appelbaum)

Settler attack on Palestinians in Hebron Hills serves Israeli policy

“The descriptions given by eyewitnesses of the attack allegedly carried out by Jewish Israeli citizens on Tuesday’s (September 28) Simhat Torah holiday against the residents of the Palestinian village of Khirbat al-Mufkara are horrifying. Basel Adraa, an activist from the nearby village of al-Tuwani, wrote that dozens of masked men ‘went from house to house, and broke windows, smashed cars with knives and hammers. A large stone they threw hit a 3-year-old boy, Mohammed, in the head, who is now in the hospital. The soldiers supported them with tear gas. The residents fled. I can’t forget how the villagers left their houses, terrified, the children screaming, the women crying, while the settlers entered their living rooms, like they were possessed with violence and wrath.’”

What's Happening at CMEP

Webinar: Armenia and Azerbaijan at War: If you missed our webinar: An introduction to the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict of 2020, it is available to watch now. Olesya Vartanyan from the Crisis Group joined Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon to provide a historical introduction to Armenia and Azerbaijan at war.

Sheikh Jarrah Virtual Tour: Travel via Zoom through the City of David, Silwan, and Sheikh Jarrah, starting with the relevant background and sharing the local narratives. CMEP staff were present during the recording of this tour to talk about current events and advocacy opportunities related to the Holy Land.


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shrinking the conflict

Image: A wall separates the Palestinian village of Abu Dis from Jerusalem. (Dan Balilty for The New York Times)

‘Shrinking the Conflict’: What does Israel’s new mantra really mean?
New York Times

“There’s a new three-word concept taking root in political and diplomatic discourse in Jerusalem: shrinking the conflict. The idea is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved in the near future, since the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships are both too divided to restart peace negotiations, let alone reach a peace deal. But Israel can work to reduce the impact of the century-long conflict on Palestinians, thus making peace more likely. If the conflict cannot be solved, the argument goes, it can at least be shrunk.”

baghdad rejects iraqi kurdish push for ties with israel

Image: Iraqis attend a conference of peace and reclamation organized by US think tank Center for Peace Communications in Erbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, on September 24, 2021. (Safin Hamed/AFP)

Baghdad rejects Iraqi Kurdish forum’s push for normalization with Israel
Times of Israel

“More than 300 Iraqis, including tribal leaders, called for a normalization of ties with Israel at a conference in autonomous Kurdistan organized by a United States think-tank, drawing a chorus of condemnation Saturday from Baghdad. The first initiative of its kind in Iraq, a historic foe of Israel and where its sworn enemy Iran has a strong influence, the conference was held on Friday (September 24). The organizers, the New York-based Center for Peace Communications (CPC), advocate for normalizing relations between Israel and Arab countries, alongside working to establish ties between civil society organizations."

azerbaijan shuts mosque

Image: Senator Bernie Sanders in the Senate on September 30th, 2021.(Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanders pushes Gaza aid in exchange for “yes” vote on Iron Dome funds
Jewish Currents

"Ahead of a Senate vote that is expected to authorize an extra billion dollars in military aid for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, Senator Bernie Sanders’s office says Sanders has secured a commitment from Democratic leadership that the US will also send additional humanitarian funds to Palestinians in Gaza, the coastal enclave devastated by Israel’s aerial assault this spring. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer obtained by Jewish Currents, Sanders seemed critical of the Iron Dome funding, which would fulfill an Israeli request for targeted aid to the program on top of the $3.8 billion in US military aid that goes to Israel every year."

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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