Churches for Middle East Peace

Pope Appoints Archbishop Pizzaballa Patriarch of Jerusalem

A look at new church appointments, the continuing global influence of the upcoming US election, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa leads a prayer service on Mount Olivet on Palm Sunday. (Vatican News)


Pope appoints Archbishop Pizzaballa Patriarch of Jerusalem
Vatican News

“Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., as the Patriarch of Jerusalem on Saturday. He was serving as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem since June 2016. His Beatitude was born in 1965 in Cologno al Serio in Italy, in the Diocese and Province of Bergamo. He entered the Franciscan Cristo Re province in 1976 and made his first profession of vows in 1985, followed by his perpetual profession in 1989, and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a Bachelor's degree in theology from the Pontifical Antonianum University, Rome, and completed his studies in the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem. He subsequently served as professor of biblical Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical and Archaeological Sciences of Jerusalem.” 

Image: Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa leads a prayer service on Mount Olivet on Palm Sunday. (Vatican News)

oman israel normalization possible

Report: Oman could be next to announce normalization with Israel
Israel Hayom

“The next Arab country most likely to sign a normalization deal with Israel is Oman, Channel 12 News reported on Sunday night (October 25). Washington and Jerusalem are working extensively to make the deal come to pass before the US election on Nov. 3, the report added. However, due to Oman's recent appointment of new Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Israeli officials cast doubt an announcement would arrive in the next 10 days, as Oman is not interested in rushing the move, Maariv daily reported. Despite there not being formal relations between the Jewish state and the Gulf state, both have been conducting behind-the-scenes relations for some time.”

Image: Oman's Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah stands at al-Alam palace in Muscat. (AP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool)

sudan israel 'rotten regime'

In Tel Aviv, Sudanese migrants say Israel making peace with a rotten regime
Times of Israel

“On October 23, US President Donald Trump called the White House press corps into the Oval Office to announce a ‘historic’ and ‘very special’ peace deal between Israel and Sudan. ‘This is an incredible deal for Israel and Sudan,’ Trump said. ‘For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel… and boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever.’ The next day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who had been on the call, together with Sudan’s Sovereign Council president General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, when Trump made the announcement — appeared on Israeli television and declared enthusiastically: ‘This is a new era, an era of true peace.’” 

Image: Alteyb Hhmad, a Sudanese asylum seeker, in Tel Aviv on October 25, 2020. (Simona Weinglass/Times of Israel)

What's Happening at CMEP

Webinar: Where Do We Go From Here: How do the election results impact the future of peace in Israel and Palestine?

CMEP is excited to co-host an upcoming webinar to discuss the impact of the post-U.S. election result on the future for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Regardless of the election results, we know the work to support U.S. policies rooted in equality and justice for all in Israel/Palestine will continue. Join leading experts on U.S. policy on Israel-Palestine just a week after the election to hear more about how the results will impact the prospects for a just and lasting peace in Israel/Palestine. Tuesday, November 10th from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST.


CMEP1835 Online Event:

CMEP1835 engages young adults ages 18 to 35 in advocacy, justice, and peacebuilding in the Middle East. Please join us for Intersections of Faith and Advocacy: A Focus on Peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine on Nov. 14th, 11AM - 3PM EST. Speakers will include: Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Churches for Middle East Peace; Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, Bethlehem Bible College; Carla Montilla Jaimes, Morghan Cyr, and Josh Curtis, J Street. 

CMEP Statement on Encyclical

October 29, 2020: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Affirms Pope Francis’ call for peace in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti:

On October 4th, 2020, the Holy See Press Office published Pope Francis’ most recent encyclical which he entitled Fratelli tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship. The encyclical, which is addressed to “all Christians and people of good will,” bears teachings that are relevant to the work of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). We are grateful for the leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis and affirm the words of his encyclical as he calls for us to work towards justice and peace.



No matter the results of the U.S. election, CMEP remains dedicated to supporting you in all your advocacy efforts. Please consider making a gift today!

Palestinian foreign minister

Palestinians push for international conference, US is open
Arab News

“The Palestinian foreign minister said Monday an international peace conference is the only way to generate momentum to bring Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a peace agreement. The US ambassador said the Trump administration has “no objection” to meeting international partners. Riad Malki, the top Palestinian diplomat, strongly backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for an international conference early next year, telling the UN Security Council: ‘Anything else is volatile, and it is futile.’ Abbas called for a conference in his virtual address to the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting of world leaders in late September to launch ‘a genuine peace process.’ He called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to undertake preparations along with the so-called Quartet of Mideast mediators — the US, UN, European Union and Russia.” 

Image: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki sits before a meeting during a visit to Sarajevo October 28, 2011. (Reuters)

what does a trump or biden presidency mean

What does a Trump or Biden presidency mean for Israel and Palestine?
The Cairo Review

“The U.S. presidential election on November 3 promises to be one of the most consequential in recent memory, with far reaching implications for Americans and the global community alike. Insofar as Israelis and Palestinians are concerned, the differences between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger former Vice-President Joe Biden could not be more stark. In his distinctly iconoclastic approach to the conflict, Trump has upended one sacred pillar of international diplomacy after another, including the long-cherished goal of two states for two peoples in Israel and Palestine and the very principles that undergird it. For his part, Biden has pledged to reverse the most destructive of these policies in a bid to salvage what remains of a two-state solution and restore U.S.-Palestinian relations.”

Image: People release pigeons during an event to show support for a unity deal between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, in Gaza City, October 13, 2017. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

US says settlements not illegal

US acts on declaration settlements are legal, extends deal to West Bank

“The US is set to turn its declaration that settlements in Judea and Samaria are not necessarily illegal into action for the first time on Wednesday (October 28), expanding a set of scientific cooperation agreements with Israel to include those areas and the Golan Heights. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman plan to sign the revised agreements on Wednesday in Ariel, in Samaria, at which point there will no longer be any agreements between Israel and the US with territorial limitations."

Image: The Israeli national flag flutters as apartments are seen in the background in the Israeli settlement of Efrat in the West Bank August 18, 2020. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)


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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