Israel Advancing Annexation with New Settlement Homes
A look at continued settlement efforts, resistance to the proposed peace plan, and more news in this week’s bulletin.
A general view picture shows houses in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the West Bank February 15, 2017. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)
U.N.: Israel advancing annexation with new settlement homes J-Post
“The United Nations and the United Kingdom warned that Israel was promoting annexation after the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria advanced plans for 2,304 new settler homes on Monday and Tuesday. ‘By advancing the effective annexation of the West Bank, it undermines the chances for establishing a Palestinian state based on relevant UN resolutions, as part of a negotiated two-state solution,’ US Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said. Such activity must ‘cease immediately and completely,’ he added."
Image: A general view picture shows houses in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, in the West Bank February 15, 2017. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Israel actively pushing Palestinian emigration from Gaza, official says Times of Israel
“Israel is actively promoting the emigration of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and is working to find other countries who may be willing to absorb them, a senior Israeli official said Monday. Israel is ready to carry the costs of helping Gazans emigrate, and would even be willing to consider allowing them to use an Israeli air field close to Gaza to allow them to leave for their new host countries, the official said, apparently referring to air force bases deep inside Israel.”
Image: Palestinians wait to travel to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 18, 2018. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)
What Israeli and Palestinian activists had hoped to tell Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib The New Yorker
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to ban the two women was all but dictated by President Trump, who tweeted, last week, ‘It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.’ It was also a public-relations disaster for the Israeli government, as Netanyahu undoubtedly understood. Members of Congress—Republicans as well as Democrats—have come out against the Prime Minister’s decision. In a rare move, aipac, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, expressed disapproval of the ban, stating that, while it disagreed with Omar and Tlaib’s ‘anti-Israel’ positions, ‘We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.’”
Image: The fallout from Israel’s ban of Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar has exposed a growing rift in the country over how to respond to B.D.S. supporters. (Jenn Ackerman/NYT/Redux)
Tell Congress: This August Support Palestinian Children and Cosponsor HR 2407!
Rep. McCollum (MN-4) has introduced legislation to protect Palestinian children detained in Israel’s military court system from human rights abuses. Encourage your representatives to join her in standing up for Palestinian children and cosponsoring H.R. 2407.
On August 15, the Israeli government announced it would ban two U.S. Congresswomen just days before they were to depart on a Congressional delegation. CMEP strongly condemns this decision and calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu to reverse this action.
The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees faces another crisis The Washington Post
“This summer, the top management of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) were accused of serious abuses of power, including sexual misconduct, nepotism, bullying and retaliation. Al Jazeera reported that the agency’s ethics department made these claims in a recent report. The U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services is investigating. This is not the first time that it has been called on to look into the agency. The Swiss, Dutch and Belgian governments have all suspended payments to UNRWA while the investigation is ongoing. Danny Ayalon, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, has formally called on the international community to completely defund UNRWA. The allegations, if true, violate U.N. standards and represent a significant breach of responsibility and trust. But beyond the immediate crisis, UNRWA has deeper structural flaws.”
Image: Palestinian schoolchildren chant slogans at a U.N.-run school in the Arroub refugee camp near Hebron in the occupied West Bank in 2018. (Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)
Netanyahu willing to stand up to Trump on peace plan, says official Times of Israel
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to go head to head with US President Donald Trump over his administration’s peace plan if it contains demands rejected by Israel’s government, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday. The official, a member of Netanyahu’s delegation to Ukraine who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the prime minister has proven in the past he can stand up to US presidents and is willing to do the same with Trump, if necessary. Netanyahu has communicated to Trump what polices he would reject, according to the official, among them the demolition of even a single West Bank settlement home, dividing Jerusalem, or allowing Palestinian refugees and their descendants the 'right of return' to homes they fled or were expelled from after Israel’s creation in 1948.”
Image: US President Donald Trump, left, welcomes visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in Washington, March 25, 2019. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
How anti-Semitic beliefs have taken hold among some evangelical Christians The Washington Post
“As she cleans up the counter where the teenagers at her church’s Vacation Bible School ate their cookies and yogurt, Luba Yanko complains about the state of the country. President Trump is trying to act on Christian values, she believes. But from what she reads online, it seems that a certain group keeps getting in the way. Trump, she says, ‘is surrounded by a Zionist environment with completely different values from Christians. It’s kabbalist. It’s Talmudic values. Not the word of God.’ In other words: It’s the Jews’ fault. ‘Why do we have pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ values, and we do not have more freedom to protect our faith? We are persecuted now,’ Yanko says about evangelical Christians like herself. ‘[Jews] say, ‘We’ve got America. We control America.’ That’s what I know.’ It’s an anti-Semitic viewpoint shared by a number of evangelical Christians across the country. The relationship between Christians and Jews has been fraught for almost 2,000 years since the death of Jesus. Today, with a president who levels accusations about Jews and who encourages his fans to mistrust the mainstream media, a growing number of evangelicals are turning to the Internet for information and finding anti-Jewish beliefs there."
Image: Steven Anderson, the firebrand pastor of a Baptist church in Arizona, has preached online that “the Jews believe that it’s okay for them to steal from Gentiles.” (AFP/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.