Churches for Middle East Peace
Trump asks UAE to encourage others to build ties with Israel

Hundreds Attend Erekat’s West Bank Funeral as Palestinians Mourn Loss of ‘Icon’

A look at Middle East responses to the projected US election winner, the continuing response to the global pandemic, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Palestinian mourners and an honor guard carry the coffin of late Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat during his funeral procession in the West Bank city of Jericho on November 11, 2020 (Ahmad Gharabli / PPO / AFP)

Erekat funeral

Hundreds attend Erekat’s West Bank funeral as Palestinians mourn loss of ‘icon’
Times of Israel

“Hundreds of mourners gathered on Wednesday (November 11) in the West Bank city of Jericho for the funeral of Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat, who died a day earlier at the age of 65 due to complications from the coronavirus. Earlier in the day, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hosted the official memorial ceremony for Erekat at his Ramallah compound, where he eulogized the envoy and negotiator as a ‘great fighter.’ Erekat’s body was then taken to Jericho for burial. Photos from the funeral showed that social distancing was not enforced, and not all the mourners wore masks. Erekat was a lung transplant recipient who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. After contracting the novel coronavirus, his prospects for recovery were dim given his history of respiratory illness.” 

Image: Palestinian mourners and an honor guard carry the coffin of late Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat during his funeral procession in the West Bank city of Jericho on November 11, 2020 (Ahmad Gharabli / PPO / AFP)

middle east leaders react to biden win

Middle East leaders react to Joe Biden winning US election
Middle East Eye

“Leaders in the Middle East have begun congratulating Joe Biden on winning the US election after several media outlets called the presidential race in his favour. Biden, 77, was projected to have obtained the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win the hard-fought match-up with incumbent Donald Trump, CNN, the AP and other major news outlets reported. Trump has refused to concede defeat and vowed to pursue legal challenges in several battleground states. ‘We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don't want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,’ Trump said in a statement. ‘I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.’”

Image: Biden was projected to have obtained the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win his hard-fought match-up with Trump. (AFP)

Israel rebuked for demolitions

Israel rebuked for 'biggest demolition of Palestinian homes in years'

“Some 73 people, including 41 children, were made homeless when their dwellings were knocked down in the Bedouin settlement of Khirbet Humsa, in the Jordan Valley, the UN said. The Israeli military said the structures had been built illegally. But the UN called the Israeli actions a ‘grave breach’ of international law. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), 76 structures - including homes, animal shelters, toilets and solar panels - were destroyed when Israeli bulldozers moved in late on Tuesday (Nov. 3). Israeli authorities put the figure considerably lower, saying an ‘enforcement activity’ had been carried out involving seven tents and eight animal pens. Footage from the scene following the demolition, released by Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, showed the area strewn with wreckage including twisted metal, sheets and cots."

Image: Pictures from the scene showed the area strewn with debris after the demolition. (OCHA)

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP in the News:

On November 9, our executive director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, released an article through the Christian Reformed Church of North America’s blog, Do Justice, entitled “After US Elections, CMEP’s Pursuit of Middle East Peace Continues”.


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. 

grassroots activism

Take Action: Grassroots Activism Guide:

Advocating for a peaceful end to conflict can seem daunting, but you do have power to enact change! From meeting with your members of  congress to writing a letter to the editor, there are many steps you can take to be an advocate.



Your can help form the future leaders of faith & activism through donating to programs like CMEP1835 today! 

Biden and Abbas

Abbas lauds Biden win, said planning to demand return of US Embassy to Tel Aviv
Times of Israel

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on US President-elect Joe Biden Sunday to ‘strengthen’ relations between the Palestinians and Washington, which collapsed during President Donald Trump’s term in office. In a statement congratulating Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Abbas urged the incoming administration ‘to strengthen the Palestinian-American relationship” and to strive for Middle East “peace, stability and security.’ Palestinian ambassador to the UK Hussam Zomlot lauded what he deemed ‘historic & inspiring elections’ in a tweet citing Abbas’s statement. Zomlot was the Palestine Liberation Organization’s envoy to Washington until 2018, when the Trump administration closed the PLO’s diplomatic mission in the American capital.” 

Image: US Vice President Joe Biden (left) with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on March 9, 2016. (FLASH90)

Covid spread in Syria

Concern for Covid-19 spread in Syria
Vatican News

“As well as dealing with the consequences of a brutal nine-year civil war, which has left much of the country in ruins, Syrians are now facing the scourge of Covid-19 which is now rampant in refugee camps. According to doctors, the number of positive Covid-19 cases rose tenfold in the Idlib region last month. Doctors in the country are dealing with a severe shortage of medicines and even hospital beds are in short supply. According to aid agencies, a lack of testing will help the infection rate shoot up in the coming months. In an effort to help alleviate the situation, the World Health Organization (WHO) sent 8.8 tons of protecting and medical materials to Syria this week to help in the battle against the pandemic.” 

Image: A sanitation worker disinfects a camp for displaced Syrians in Idlib. (AFP or licensors)

US imposes Iran sanctions

US imposes Iran-related sanctions on individuals, companies

“The United States on Tuesday imposed Iran-related sanctions on six companies and four people, accusing the network of supplying sensitive goods to an Iranian military firm in the Trump administration's latest move to increase pressure on Tehran. The US Treasury Department in a statement accused the companies and individuals of facilitating the procurement of sensitive goods, including US-origin electronic components, for Iran Communication Industries, an Iranian military firm blacklisted by Washington and the European Union. The firm produces military communication systems, avionics and missile launchers, among other items, the Treasury said. Tuesday's action, taken under an authority that imposes sanctions on weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters, freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.”

Image: A woman walks in front of new murals of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran November 2, 2019. (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.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
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