Churches for Middle East Peace

Harvard Freshman is Denied Entry to the US at Logan Airport by Immigration Officials

A look at a Palestinian student’s denied entry to the US, demolotions and continued annexation efforts, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

The Harvard motto is seen on a flag at Harvard University. (Craig F. Walker/Globe staff/File 2018)


Harvard freshman is denied entry to the US at Logan Airport by immigration officials
The Boston Globe

“A 17-year-old Palestinian student en route to Harvard University to begin his freshman year was denied entry to the United States at Logan Airport last weekend, heightening fears that the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration policy is making it harder for international students to come to study. The student, Ismail Ajjawi, lives in Lebanon and had a valid visa to study in the United States, but upon his arrival at Logan he was questioned by immigration officials and then sent on a flight back home, according to officials with Amideast, an international education nonprofit that administers the Hope Fund scholarship the student received to help him attend Harvard.” 

Image: The Harvard motto is seen on a flag at Harvard University. (Craig F. Walker/Globe staff/File 2018)


Deadly explosions target Hamas police checkpoints in Gaza
The New York Times

“Two explosions that ripped through Hamas police checkpoints in Gaza City late Tuesday killed three police officers, security officials said on Wednesday, in an uncommon attack believed to have been carried by forces within the territory. Two of the officers were part of the armed wing of Hamas, the Islamist militant group that governs Gaza. The group has been mostly engaged in cross-border clashes with the Israeli military. But at times it has faced internal opposition from more stringent Islamist militants aligned with Al Qaeda or the Islamic State. The Interior Ministry of Hamas declared a state of emergency throughout Gaza, putting security forces on alert. Eyad Al-Bozom, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said that security forces were investigating the explosions but did not disclose further details. He said later that a number of suspects had been arrested."

Image: Palestinians examined the destroyed booth of a police checkpoint after an explosion in Gaza City on Tuesday. (Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)


For Netanyahu and Trump, Palestinian Christians are only pawns for political gain
972 Mag

Written by one of CMEP’s Middle East partners, Father Emmanuelle of the Greek Orthodox Church in Aboud. Fr. Emmanuelle is featured in CMEP's curriculum.

“When Israel barred Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Palestine last week, it was a clear attempt to keep the congresswomen from witnessing the impacts of military occupation for themselves. This decision, however, also revealed the extent to which the very leaders who claim to care about Christians in the Middle East are willing to weaponize religion. I was supposed to meet with the congressional delegation. My plan was to introduce them to the reality of my people, and particularly the Christian Palestinian community, by telling them about Aboud, the village I have been serving for over a decade. I was hoping that our village could symbolize not only the hardships of life under military occupation, but also a message of hope for the prospects of peace through the fulfillment of the rights of everyone, including the right for Palestine to be free.” 

Read CMEP’s statement on the barring of Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib here

Image: A photo taken near the ruins of the shrine of Saint Barbara in the West Bank village of Aboud. (Bukvoed/CC-BY-4.0)

What's Happening at CMEP

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.


Preparing for 2020: Advocating for Rights, Justice, and Freedom in Palestine and Israel:

Join CMEP’s executive director and observer member organization American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) for an exciting two day gathering in Washington D.C. on September 7th and 8th.

Fall Pilgrimage to Peace (P2P) Tour: 

Join Rev. Dr. Cannon in September as she hosts a conversation with Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth from Israel & Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian-American, about multifaith dialogue and engagement in constructive conflict, peace, and the reality of life in Israel and Palestine. 



Commemorate Labor Day by supporting CMEP's laboring for peace and justice in the Holy Land! Please give as generously as you can. Thank you. 

abu hummus

Israel forces arrest community leader in Issawiya
Middle East Monitor

“Israeli forces on Sunday arrested a prominent community organiser in Issawiya, occupied East Jerusalem, reported NGO Ir Amim. Muhammad Abu Hummus remained in detention at the time of writing, ahead of a hearing today. According to Ir Amim, Abu Hummus, a local leader and residents’ representative in Issawiya, ‘was pulled from his bed in the middle of the night and arrested by Israeli police forces based on unfounded claims of incitement and support of terrorism.’ In fact, as the NGO noted, Abu Hummus is ‘a well-known activist and community leader who plays a central role in the nonviolent civil resistance to Israeli policies in East Jerusalem.'" 

Since the publication of this article, CMEP learned that Mr. Abu Hummus has been released from detention.

Image: Israeli soldiers stand guard in Issawiya, East Jerusalem on 19 December 2012. ([Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages)

annex warning

Following pressure from KKL, Israel razes Palestinian buildings near Bethlehem
Times of Israel

“Israeli security forces demolished a family’s home and restaurant near Bethlehem on Monday, ending a nearly 15 year-long legal battle against the Palestinian locals led by a subsidiary organization of KKL-JNF Jewish National Fund. The razing of the Cassia family’s compound followed a High Court of Justice ruling last month that rejected the Palestinians’ last ditch petition against the demolition orders. The property, located between the villages of Battir and Beit Jala south of Jerusalem, are located in Area C of the West Bank, where Israel exercises civilian and military control.”

Image: Israeli security forces demolish a building near Beit Jala in the West Bank, August 26, 2019. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

annex warning

25 former Israeli security officials warn against annexing West Bank territory
The Times of Israel

“Twenty-five former Israeli senior security and defense officials thanked the US Congress for passing legislation that endorsed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while rejecting efforts to boycott the Jewish state. The letter sent Tuesday also weighed in against Israel unilaterally annexing all or part of the West Bank, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is considering if reelected. ‘Any unilateral annexation of territory or extension of sovereignty to the West Bank will put Israel’s security and safety along with the well-being of its citizens at risk,’ the letter said."

Israeli security forces demolish a building near Beit Jala in the West Bank, August 26, 2019. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)


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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