Israel's Separation Wall Endures, 15 Years After ICJ Ruling
A look at the anniversary of the ICJ ruling on the separation wall, commentary on the conference in Bahrain, and more news in this week’s bulletin.
Palestinians climbing the separation wall. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Israel's separation wall endures, 15 years after ICJ ruling Aljazeera
“Tuesday marks the 15th anniversary since the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN judiciary organ, issued an advisory opinion that deemed Israel's separation wall illegal. While the decision is non-binding, it found the wall violates international law and called for its dismantlement. It also ruled that Israel should pay reparations for any damage caused. Yet 15 years on, the wall has continued to cut through Palestinian communities, taken over natural resources in the occupied West Bank, and has annexed Palestinian land, including areas where Israeli settlements are built on."
Image: Palestinians climbing the separation wall. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Trump’s envoys take a hammer to Mideast peace Washington Post
“On Sunday, David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, and White House Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt journeyed underground to an archaeological dig near Jerusalem’s Old City. There, they participated in an inaugural ceremony for the subterranean 'Pilgrimage Road,' what some archaeologists and a right-wing Jewish nationalist organization believe to be an ancient thoroughfare that led to Jerusalem’s holy sites.In the company of figures including American Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson; Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife; and prominent former mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, Friedman hoisted a sledgehammer and knocked holes in the last thin wall obstructing the passageway. Greenblatt followed suit. Footage of the event was live-streamed on Facebook.”
Image: U.S. envoys Greenblatt, Friedman, break ground in a tunnel under a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem (timestamp 1:05:30), June 30, 2019 (Screen capture from "City of David" Facebook page)
Trump rolls out the big guns for pro-Israel evangelicals' confab ahead of 2020 Haaretz
“On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump attracted thousands of supporters to the National Mall to celebrate the Fourth of July. The event generated lots of media coverage, but it won’t be the most important gathering of Trump supporters in Washington this summer. That title is more appropriate for the annual Washington D.C. Summit of the group Christians United for Israel, which takes place Monday and Tuesday. Thousands of evangelical Christians from across the country are expected to attend the event, which will include speeches by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (both evangelicals), as well as by Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, his special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, and his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.”
Image: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in New Jersey, July 5, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Nearly 200 church leaders have signed this essential statement embracing peacemaking over war making. Join them; make your convictions clear to a dangerous administration that War Is Not the Answer to Iran.
Press Release: US & Palestinian Christians Meet; Affirm What Would Make Peace:
In a special consultation hosted by CMEP and others, US and Palestinian Christians addressed the current context in Israel/Palestine, the US-sponsored economic workshop in Bahrain, and the elements necessary to reach a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
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The new Middle East peace plan promises projects, not peace Carnegie Endowment
“The glitzy presentations and marketing materials largely repackage old, failed ideas about the potential for economic development, even while Israel keeps control over Palestinian land. There is no acknowledgment of the existence of an Israeli military occupation, no mention of the likely formal annexation of the West Bank following Israeli elections in September, nor of Israel’s intention to continue its twelve-year isolation and siege of Gaza. Instead, the plan assumes what ails Palestinians is not a lack of freedom and self-determination, but the poor management of their economy and a lack of knowledge about how to run basic municipal services.”
Image: Protestors carry signs displaying messages about Trump’s peace plan (Getty Images)
US House members talk restoring aid to Palestinians with Israeli, PA officials Times of Israel
“A bipartisan delegation of US House members visited Israel and the West Bank this week, meeting with Palestinian Authority officials about legislative efforts to restore American aid to the Palestinians that the Trump administration slashed. The members of Congress also discussed these efforts with Israeli officials, according to Florida Representative Ted Deutch, a Democrat, who headlined the visit. ‘Throughout our trip, we discussed legislative efforts to reinstate US economic and security assistance which would foster stability, strengthen security for Israelis and Palestinians, and further the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace,’ Deutch said in a statement Friday.”
Image: A bipartisan Congressional delegation meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in July 2019. (Courtesy)
West Bank grows calmer as pocketbook issues take priority over protests New York Times
“‘People want money to live, and permits,’ he said, referring to the Israeli permits allowing laborers to work in Israel, where they can earn twice as much as they do in the Palestinian territories. On the surface, his experience seems to confirm the correlation between economic growth and peace — the logic behind the Trump administration’s recent economic conference in Bahrain, which was meant to show the financial benefits awaiting Palestinians if they signed on to the yet-to-be-released Trump peace plan. But for many Palestinians in the West Bank, the lull in grass-roots protests has less to do with economic optimism than despair.”
Image: Abdallah Abu Rahma, a co-founder of a popular resistance movement. (Samar Hazboun/The New York Times)
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.