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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: ​​Biden Hails "Historic Breakthrough" on Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border

A look at historic agreements, rising 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: President Biden on Oct. 7. (Craig Hudson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden hails "historic breakthrough" on Israel-Lebanon maritime border


“President Biden on Tuesday (October 11) hailed an agreement to end the maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon as a ‘historic breakthrough.’ Driving the news: Israeli and Lebanon earlier Tuesday announced they had accepted a U.S.-mediated agreement on the maritime border between the two traditional enemies. Once signed, the deal will allow the beginning of natural gas exploration in the disputed area — a potentially gas-rich, 330-square-mile area with an estimated value reaching billions of dollars — in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and reduce the threat of regional war.”


Image: Armenia's Head of the Parliament Alen Simonyan (R) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (L) attend a joint press conference in the Parliament in Yerevan, Armenia, on Sept. 18, 2022. (Karen Minasya/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. might be the surprising determining factor in the future of Armenia

“Few would be surprised to hear that the United States is involved in supporting a democratic nation that was recently invaded by its authoritarian neighbor. But many Americans are likely unaware that their country is doing so for two such post-Soviet nations: not just Ukraine, but also Armenia, which has been suffering from Azerbaijan’s invasion for almost three weeks now. The two situations are not unrelated. A key factor behind the ongoing U.S. engagement in Armenia is Russia’s visible absence in a region that the latter considers its backyard. But the U.S. isn’t simply trying to push Russia out from the post-Soviet South Caucasus. Rather, Washington seems to have realized just how serious the threat is—not just for Armenia, but for the world.”


Image: Armed men attend the funeral of Palestinian Mahmoud Al-Sous, who was killed by Israeli forces during clashes in a raid, in Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank October 8, 2022. (Reuters/Raneen Sawafta)

West Bank violence escalates as Israeli election nears


“In the alleyways of the Old City of Nablus, posters commemorating young men killed in clashes with Israeli forces are everywhere, an unavoidable reminder of the escalating violence in the occupied West Bank over recent months. After years of relative calm, more than 100 Palestinians from the West Bank have been killed this year, most since late March during a crackdown following a string of fatal street attacks by Palestinians in Israel which killed 19 people.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Series of Online Events this Fall: American Complicity in the Israeli Occupation:

A Series of Educational Events, organized in collaboration with American Friends of Combatants for Peace. Join us on October 18th and November 2nd for different webinars focusing on American complicity in the Israeli Occupation. We'll hear from several experts on topics such as how American religious and political institutions sustain the occupation and how the upcoming US midterm elections will influence the future of Israel, Palestine, and the Occupation. The October 18 conversation will focus on support for Israel from the U.S. Evangelical community.

Action Alert: Contact Your Representative Now: End Discriminatory Visa Rules for Entering West Bank

On October 20 the Israeli government will implement new procedures for those seeking to enter the West Bank. First published by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in February, and revised in September, these new procedures discriminate severely against those seeking to visit the West Bank and will have a profoundly negative impact, separating Palestinian families, undermining Palestinian education, and subjecting Palestinians and foreign national visitors to intrusive data collection.

Public Statement: October 11, 2022: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Supports Administration’s UNRWA Funding and Urges Congressional Support for Full Funding for Palestinian Humanitarian Needs

CMEP welcomes the ongoing efforts of the Biden Administration to restore vital funding for Palestinian humanitarian needs that had been cut during the previous administration.


Support the work of CMEP:

We couldn't continue in the work of holistic peacebuilding and advocacy without the support of friends like you. Make supporting peace a regular routine part of your month by joining CMEP's Sustainer Circle today!


Image: Major General Muhammad Nasser al-Atifi (C), defense minister of the administration of Yemen's Huthi rebels in control of the capital Sanaa, attends an official parade commemorating the eighth anniversary of the Huthi takeover of Sanaa, on Thursday. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP)

Yemen's extended ceasefire likely to collapse and fighting to resume, UN warns

“The UN envoy for Yemen warned that the risk of a return to fighting ‘is real,’ urging warring parties to accept a longer extension of the current ceasefire due to expire next month. Hans Grundberg's stark warning late Tuesday (October 11) came after he met in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, with Rashad al-Alimi, head of the internationally recognized presidential council, and in Oman's capital of Muscat with Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the chief negotiator of the Houthi rebels.”


Image: Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference. (CBCEW)

Cardinal to PM: No valid reason to move British Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

“Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference, has written to Prime Minister Liz Truss to express his ‘profound concern’ after it was announced that the PM told her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid that she is reviewing the location of the British Embassy in Israel. The suggestion is that the review is focussing on whether to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, where almost all other countries have their embassies, to Jerusalem – a move that Cardinal Nichols says ‘would be seriously damaging to any possibility of lasting peace in the region and to the international reputation of the United Kingdom.’”


Image: Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, N.M., during his Sept. 12 reflection at the United Nations Annual Prayer Service at Holy Family Church in Manhattan. (Maria R. Bastone)

Archbishop Wester Reflects on nuclear disarmament at UN service
Catholic New York

“At the United Nations Annual Prayer Service, Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, N.M., offered a reflection, ‘A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament.’ The multi-language evening service Sept. 12 at Holy Family Church on East 47th Street near the UN, preceded the opening of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. It was hosted by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, which offered Vespers of the Most Holy Name of Mary. The officiant was Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations. ‘For many of us, myself included, these last five decades or so have put us all into a false sense of security, relative to the clear and present danger posed by nuclear weapons,’ said Archbishop Wester during his reflection. ‘This all changed for me five years ago as I explained in my (pastoral) letter.’”

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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