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Churches for Middle East Peace

Israel Moves Ahead with Plans for Some 3,000 Settler Homes

A look at continuing settlements, clashes and droughts, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Jewish settlers youths construct a structure in Givat Eviatar, a new Israeli settler outpost, near the Palestinian village of Beita in the Israeli-occupied West Bank June 23, 2021. Picture taken June 23, 2021. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

israel moves forward with settlement

Image: Jewish settlers youths construct a structure in Givat Eviatar, a new Israeli settler outpost, near the Palestinian village of Beita in the Israeli-occupied West Bank June 23, 2021. Picture taken June 23, 2021. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Israel moves ahead with plans for some 3,000 settler homes


“Israel moved forward on Wednesday (October 27) with plans to build some 3,000 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, projects that have drawn strong criticism from its U.S. ally. An Israeli defence official said a planning forum of Israel's liaison office with the Palestinians gave preliminary approval for plans to build 1,344 housing units and its final go-ahead for projects to construct 1,800 homes. The United States had already voiced strong opposition to the plans to advance the settlement units in the West Bank, saying such moves would damage prospects of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

US criticizes settlement announcement

Image: Israelis protest at the Gush Etzion junction against Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's visit to US president Joe Biden and on what they claim to be the freeze on settlement development, on August 24, 2021. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Biden administration issues harshest critique yet on Israeli settlement building
Times of Israel

“The US on Tuesday (October 26) gave what appeared to be its harshest public critique of Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank since US President Joe Biden took office. ‘We are deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units on Wednesday, many of them deep in the West Bank,’ State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press briefing, four days after Israeli authorities published the agenda for an upcoming meeting of the Defense Ministry body that authorizes settlement building. ‘We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and restore calm. And it damages the prospects for a two-state solution.’”

Israel designates NGOs as terrorist orgs

Image: Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz signed off on the terrorism designations. (Ariel Schalit/AP)

Israel moves to ban six Palestinian rights groups it accuses of terrorism, prompting international outrage
Washington Post

“Israel designated six leading Palestinian rights organizations as terrorist groups on Friday, in the latest blow to activists who say space for dissent in the occupied territories has steadily shrunk amid intimidation by Israeli and Palestinian authorities alike. The announcement was swiftly condemned by watchdogs in Israel and internationally, who say the designations are unsubstantiated and are attempts to muzzle prominent critics of the Israeli government.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Webinar with the Islamic Council of New England:

On October 13, 2021, CMEP's executive director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon spoke as a part of a four-part webinar series co-hosted by the Islamic Council of New England in partnership with Boston Workmen's Circle and other sponsors. The focus of the conversation was The Sanctity of the Holy Land - How Can We Share. More than 200 people were in attendance and other speakers included Rabbi Barbara Penzer and Dr. Mustafa Abu Sway - Imam Al-Ghazali at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University.

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.

Tell Congress: Cosponsor New McCollum Resolution:

On October 28, 2021 Rep. Betty McCollum introduced a Resolution in the House of Representatives opposing the designation of six Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist” organizations. On October 19, Benny Gantz, the Israeli Defense Minister, signed an executive order designating 6 prominent Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist” organizations.


Support CMEP

At CMEP, we take a dual narrative approach to fighting for peace and a just path forward. We hope you will join us by making a gift today.

republicans intro bill to block reopening of Jerusalem consulate

Image: The United States Consulate General building in Jerusalem, March 4, 2019. (Ariel Schalit/AP)

Republican senators introduce bill to block reopening of Jerusalem consulate
Times of Israel

“A group of 35 Republican senators has introduced a bill to block the Biden administration from reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem. The ‘Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021’ proposal, spearheaded by Senators Bill Cassidy, (Republican-Lousiana) and Bill Hagerty (Republican-Tennessee), aims to prevent the US administration from relaunching the de facto mission to the Palestinians in Israel’s capital. With Republicans lacking a majority in both houses of Congress and with no Democrat likely to back legislation aimed at thwarting a key Biden administration policy initiative, the GOP bill has virtually no chance of passing.”

Tehran worst drought in 50 years

Image: Rooftops are seen under an overcast sky of Tehran, Iran, May 8, 2021. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

Tehran suffering worst drought in 50 years, says water supply official
Times of Israel

“Iran’s capital is suffering its worst drought in half a century, a water resources official said Tuesday, citing a 97 percent drop in monthly rainfall compared with last year. Tehran has had 0.4 millimetres of rain since September 23, compared with 14.3 mm over the same period in 2020, said Mohammad Shahriari, deputy director of the company that supplies the region. ‘Groundwater and surface water are at a critical state and there has not been a similar drought for the past 50 years,’ he was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA news agency."

Beirut clashes

Image: Lebanese Army commandos secured a Beirut neighborhood following deadly sectarian clashes. (Marwan Naamani/DPA/Zuma Press)

After Beirut blast and worst clashes in years, fears grow for fate of Lebanon’s capital
Wall Street Journal

“Hussein Hamdar sat in the backyard of his building in the shade of a tree and stared at the wall facing him. Forty-five years ago, his grandfather was killed on the other side of the barrier during Lebanon’s civil war, shot in the head by a sniper as he was performing his prayers. A floor above him, his sister-in-law, Mariam Hamdar, was killed on Thursday (October 14), during another flare-up of sectarian clashes, while hanging her laundry on her balcony. The mother of five was shot in the head. ‘Her 16-year-old son was the first to arrive,’ Mr. Hamdar said. ‘At that point she was gone. Imagine coming to your home and finding your mother now a corpse.’ Calm has largely been restored to the streets of Beirut after Thursday’s clashes, which killed six people and wounded more than 30 others. Lebanese military special forces patrolled the area Friday and set up checkpoints at the entrance of the neighborhoods rocked by the fighting."

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

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