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Churches for Middle East Peace

Israel: First East Jerusalem Settlement in 25 Years Met with US Silence

A look at settlement debates, the impact of violence on children, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists lift placards and banners denouncing Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on 2 August 2021. (AFP)

settlement met with silence

Image: Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists lift placards and banners denouncing Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on 2 August 2021. (AFP)

Israel: First East Jerusalem settlement in 25 years met with US silence

Middle East Eye

“An Israeli planning committee has given the green light to the first Jewish settlement in 30 years to be built in occupied East Jerusalem - and the first-ever beyond the 1967 armistice line - without any public protest from the United States. The new neighbourhood in Givat Hamatos, and its 1,257 housing units, is one of a handful of land expropriations and building plans for Jews currently moving forward in occupied East Jerusalem. Once completed, observers say the plans will make a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible because they will effectively split the West Bank in half, isolate Palestinians in East Jerusalem and force them to make even lengthier detours than they do already.”

Syrian govt to redraft constitution

Image: U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen gestures while speaking during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia July 22, 2021. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via Reuters)

Syrian government, opposition agree to redraft constitution -envoy

“The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said on Sunday (October 17) the government and opposition co-chairs of the Syrian Constitutional Committee had agreed to draft a new constitution. The drafting committee, comprising 45 representatives of Syria’s government, opposition and civil society, has a mandate to draw up a new basic law leading to U.N.-supervised elections. Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said its Syrian co-chairs, who he met together for the first time ahead of week-long talks, had agreed to ‘prepare and start drafting constitutional reform.’ The talks, the sixth round in two years and the first since January for the drafting committee, will discuss ‘clear principles’, he told reporters in Geneva, without elaborating.”

Lapid and Blinken discuss Iran

Image: Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, left, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, speaks at a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

US, Israel say they are exploring a ‘Plan B’ for Iran
AP News

“The United States and Israel said Wednesday (October 13) they are exploring a ‘Plan B’ for dealing with Iran if the Islamic Republic does not return in good faith to negotiations to salvage the languishing landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said discussions between their two countries have begun on ‘other options’ should Iran reject an offer to come back into compliance with the agreement if the U.S. rejoins it. They did not elaborate on what those options might be, but there are a wide range of non-diplomatic options that could be considered, ranging from stepped up sanctions to covert or military actions. A Biden administration priority has been to revive the deal and abandoning that goal would be a blow to its foreign policy objectives.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Online Forum with Friends of Wadi Fouqin: CMEP is co-sponsoring a forum with Friends of Wadi Fouqin on Wednesday, October 27 at 1:00 pm EST. The West Bank Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin is being threatened by land confiscation for the construction of a road to serve the settlement enterprise. Join us as we receive "on the ground" updates from the village, progress reports on our efforts to avert land confiscation and property demolition, and plans for continued community action and advocacy to Save Wadi Foquin. Registration is required.

Work with CMEP: We’re hiring a Director of Mobilization and Outreach to join the CMEP team in January and work out of our D.C. office. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the position, please review the job description linked below.


Support CMEP

Please consider donating to support the work of our Amb. Warren Clark fellow to honor the memory of our former Executive Director.

US reopening Palestinian mission in Jerusalem

Image: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses media ahead of U.S.-Mexico High Level Security Dialogue in Mexico City, in Mexico October 8, 2021. (Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

U.S. will move forward with reopening its Palestinian mission in Jerusalem -Blinken

“U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday (October 13) the Biden administration intends to press ahead with its plan to reopen the Jerusalem consulate that traditionally engaged with Palestinians, despite Israeli opposition to such a move. Blinken reiterated a pledge he originally made months ago on re-establishing the consulate, which had long been a base for diplomatic outreach to the Palestinians before it was closed by President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, in 2018. But Blinken, speaking at a Washington news conference with visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, stopped short of setting a date for reopening the consulate, which would strain relations with Israel’s new ideologically diverse government.”

Yemen child deaths

Image: Artist Haifa Subay paints a mural about children's suffering in the time of war as part of the 'Silent Victims' campaign in Sanaa, Yemen November 20, 2017. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

UNICEF says 10,000 children killed or maimed in Yemen since 2015

“Ten thousand Yemeni children have been killed or maimed since a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in March 2015 after the Iran-aligned Houthi group ousted the government, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on Tuesday (October 19). ‘The Yemen conflict has just hit another shameful milestone. We now have 10,000 children who have been killed or maimed since ... March 2015,’ UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told a U.N. briefing in Geneva after returning from a visit to Yemen. ‘That is the equivalent of four children every single day,’ Elder said, adding that many more child deaths or injuries went unreported."

BDS and Critical Race Theory

Image: (Center left to right) Sachiel Rosen, Hassani Bell, Ahkeel Mestayer, and Julia Retzlaff, four students referred to as the Third World Liberation Front 2016, who were on a hunger strike to defend the funding of the San Francisco State College of Ethnic Studies, raise their joined hands during an emergency press conference in the Quad, May 9, 2016. (Melissa Minton/CC BY 2.0)

How anti-BDS laws paved the way for the assault on critical race theory
+972 Mag

“During the final month of 2020, weeks after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump for the American presidency, many elements of the right-wing movement in the United States were focused on contesting the election result — calling for audits, supporting protests, and fomenting a coup attempt. The powerful corporate-backed bill mill American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC), though, was focused on something else. In December, ALEC brought together state legislators from 20 states, corporate representatives, and conservative activists for a virtual workshop entitled ‘Against Critical Theory’s Onslaught.’ The goal, as the title suggests, was to urge lawmakers to ban the teaching of critical race theory  — a decades-old academic field of study that interrogates the social construction of race and institutionalized racism, and which in recent years has turned into a catch-all for any progressive social studies education."

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

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