Churches for Middle East Peace
Netanyahu no coalition

Israel's Netanyahu Down But Not Out After Failing to Form Government
A look at continuing efforts for a coalition government, Palestinian efforts to secure trade agreements, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial ceremony held at the supreme court honouring former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar who died on Saturday in Jerusalem October 22, 2019. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

netanyahu no coalition

Israel's Netanyahu down but not out after failing to form government

“For the first time in a decade, someone other than Benjamin Netanyahu will be asked to form a government in Israel.The 70-year-old prime minister has called two elections this year, has twice been given the chance by the president to put together a ruling coalition, and has twice failed. President Reuven Rivlin will on Wednesday turn to Netanyahu’s centrist rival Benny Gantz, leaving Netanyahu even more vulnerable in his fight for political survival. But although he has failed, Gantz - a former general and political novice - also has no clear path to success.” 

Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial ceremony held at the supreme court honouring former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar who died on Saturday in Jerusalem October 22, 2019. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)


Despite the view of Abbas, there’s no plan to replace him

“Palestinians say they have become accustomed to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s  ‘zigzagging’ policies on several issues, particularly toward Israel. The Palestinian public, however, does not seem to be seriously bothered by its leader’s shifting policies – as long as the PA continues to pay salaries to its public servants and ensure economic and security stability in the West Bank. That’s precisely why Abbas’s decision earlier this month to accept reduced Palestinian tax revenues from Israel did not surprise many Palestinians. Since February, the PA had refused to receive the revenues, to protest Israel’s decision to withhold more than $12 million a month – the sum the PA pays to terrorists and families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks against the Jewish state."

Image: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Osman Orsal/Reuters)


Palestinians seek Egypt’s support to join free trade pact

“The Palestinian government is continuing its effort to disengage economically from Israel. Palestinian Minister of National Economy Khaled al-Asaily has asked Egypt to support finalizing Palestinian participation in the Agadir Agreement on free trade among Arab states. In March 2017, Palestinians obtained initial approval to join the agreement from the foreign ministers of the pact's signatories: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. Protocols are generally supposed to be completed within six months so the Senior Foreign Trade Official Committee can submit recommendations to the four foreign affairs ministers for approval. However, Palestinians are waiting for the ministers to meet. A date hasn't been set.” 

Image: Palestinian Minister of National Economy Khaled al-Asaily, seen in an undated photo. (Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs)

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New Small Group Material from CMEP!

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Warren says ‘everything on the table’ to halt settlement expansion
Jewish News Syndicate

“Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on Oct. 19 that all options will be considered to prevent Israel from ramping up settlement building in the West Bank, including cutting aid to the Jewish state, according to a report in The Hill. A reporter asked Warren during a campaign event if she would ‘make aid to Israel conditional on freezing settlements.’ Warren replied, ‘Right now, Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements; that does not move us toward a two-state solution. It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table.’” 

Image: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, October 2016. (Wikimedia Commons/Tim Pierce)


Violent Jewish settlers won't be easily deterred — even with increased Israeli security presence

“The series of violent incidents near the settlement of Yitzhar didn’t take defense officials by surprise. Right-wing extremists, many of whom live in the outposts near Yitzhar, are under close surveillance by the Shin Bet security service’s Jewish division and clash periodically with the Israel Police in the West Bank. Not all Yitzhar residents support violence against soldiers and the police; far from it. But for years now, the settlers in Yitzhar have had a complicated relationship with the ‘hilltop youth’ radicals living around them. The public condemnations by some of them of stone throwing or threats against soldiers and the Border Police are coming a bit late – after years of tacit acceptance of attacks on neighboring Palestinian villages.”

Image: An Israeli firefighting plane extinguishing a fire at a village near Yitzhar, where Palestinian farmers were reportedly attacked by settlers, October 16, 2019. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP)

dome of the rock

A Christian group Is building a movement that could destabilize Jerusalem’s most explosive Holy Site
The Daily Beast

“Christian Zionists were instrumental in Donald Trump’s lightning-rod decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the American embassy there, a move many imbued with spiritual meaning. Now, a Christian group aims to harness that same evangelical people power to alter radically the status quo at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the most bitterly contentious holy site in the Middle East. Cry for Zion, an Israel-based organization started in 2014, is recruiting Christians worldwide in its campaign to push Israel to fully control the site, which is administered by a Muslim religious trust, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.”

Image: The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. (Spencer Platt)


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.

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