Churches for Middle East Peace
Netanyahu stay

Netanyahu Can Stay Prime Minister For Now - High Court
A look at upcoming elections in Israel, updates on congressional resolutions, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. (Marc Israel Sellem)

netanyahu stay

Netanyahu can stay prime minister for now - High Court

“The High Court of Justice ruled on Thursday (Dec. 12) that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can remain premier for the time being, rejecting one of the petitions seeking his resignation. A separate petition was recently filed, and it appeared that the second petition is still in play. The rejected petition, filed by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, sought to have Netanyahu fired for one of three reasons: that he was incompetent; that as a transitional prime minister, the indictment against him obligated him to resign; and that he was prohibited from forming a new government.” 

Image: Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. (Marc Israel Sellem)


Likud hopeful Sa’ar says two-state solution with Palestinians is an ‘illusion'
Times of Israel

“Gideon Sa’ar, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sole challenger in the upcoming Likud party leadership race, said Sunday that a two-state solution with the Palestinians is an ‘illusion,’ and attacked the premier for giving the notion credibility over the last decade. ‘Throughout the world they say that a two-state solution remains the path to an agreement,’ Sa’ar said, speaking at a conference.’I have to say to you, this is not a position that helps anyone. Two-states in an illusion.’ Sa’ar said this had been shown through decades of negotiations based around two-states that had failed to bring peace. He also blamed the Palestinians for ‘never being able to agree to a compromise, despite very generous offers.’”

Image: Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar speaks at a conference at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, December 15, 2019. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

congress rejects peace plan funds

Congress rejects request for $175m to support Trump's 'deal of the century'

“Congress on Monday (Dec. 16) rejected a request from the Trump administration to devote $175 million to a special fund that could have supported the White House's Mideast peace plan plan. This decision, which was reached as part of a bi-partisan agreement on the U.S. government’s budget for 2020, is the latest signal coming out of Washington that the peace plan isn’t likely to be released anytime soon, mostly because of the ongoing political crisis in Israel. In March, the White House sent its budget proposal to Congress, including a request for $175 million for a ‘Diplomatic Progress Fund.’ As first reported by Haaretz, the White House document explained that this fund was necessary in order to provide ‘flexibility’ in the administration’s Middle East policy, in the event of progress toward regional peace.” 

Image: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stand behind U.S. President Donald Trump as he speaks at the White House on December 11, 2019. (Reuters/Tom Brenner)

What's Happening at CMEP

Advent Devotional Series:

Over the Advent season we will provide you with spiritual resources to encourage your faith and our work.


Discounted Registration for CMEP’s June Summit + Hotel Discounts Available!

Join us in the Washington, D.C. area June 21-23, 2020. This year’s theme is Equal in God’s Eyes. Click FAQ to learn about hotel options.


New Women behind the Wall Blog Live! 

The final post in our series! Episode 10: A Grandmother’s Prayer. We love to hear your thoughts. Please read and then comment with your prayers. 



All of us at CMEP wish you a very happy Christmas and thank you for your generous support!

trump won't recognize genocide

Trump administration won't call mass killing of Armenians a genocide despite congressional resolutions

“The Trump administration still does not view the mass killing of Armenians from 1915-1923 as genocide, despite overwhelming bipartisan support by US lawmakers to formally recognize it as such. In a statement released Tuesday, (Dec. 17) State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the administration has not changed its position on the matter. ‘Our views are reflected in the President's definitive statement on this issue from last April,’ Ortagus said. In that statement, which commemorated ‘Armenian Remembrance Day,’ President Donald Trump called the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire that took place from 1915 to 1923 ‘one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century.’” 

Image: People visit the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on October 30, 2019. (Karen Minasyan/AFP via Getty Images)

assad sanctions

Congress on verge of passing long-stalled Assad sanctions package

“Congress is very close to expanding sanctions on the Bashar al-Assad government and its supporters after three years of struggling to pass the legislation. Lawmakers have put the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act in the annual defense authorization bill that the Senate is voting on this week, marking a significant victory for Syrian American advocacy groups that have lobbied Congress to pass the long-stalled bill. ‘My family and I have suffered personally at the hands of the Assad regime,’ said Ismael Basha, the president of Americans for a Free Syria. ‘I have waited my whole life for this. President Assad and his cronies will be held accountable for their countless crimes against the Syrian people.’"

Image: A returnee sits in a bus next to a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Qusayr, Syria, July 7, 2019. (Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)

Shuhada settlement

Palestinians plan legal steps to stop new Hebron settlement

“Palestinians in the southern West Bank staged a general strike Dec. 9 to protest Israeli authorities’ intention to build a settlement neighborhood in the old market of Hebron. The settlement is to replace the huge wholesale vegetable market that the Israeli military closed in 1994 after the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre when settler Baruch Goldstein stormed the mosque and shot dead 29 Palestinians and wounded 150. Israel has enforced the closure for 25 years, preventing merchants from returning. Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett approved the new settlement project on Shuhada Road at the center of the city. The Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank on Dec. 1 informed the Hebron municipality of authorities’ plan to raze the market and build new shops and other facilities for settlers.”

Image: A view of Hebron's Palestinian cemetery (foreground), and beyond it the old market building (C) along al-Shuhada street that was newly announced by the Israeli defense minister to be designated as a new Israeli settlement, Hebron, West Bank, Dec. 1, 2019. (Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images)


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 |

Follow Us