Churches for Middle East Peace
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Netanyahu Vows to Annex all Settlements, Starting with Jordan Valley

A look at campaign promises of more annexations, continued support for BDS, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that if reelected, he will extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, September 10 2019. (Avshalon Sassoni)

more settlements

Netanyahu vows to annex all settlements, starting with Jordan Valley

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that if reelected, he will apply sovereignty over all settlements in Judea and Samaria, starting with the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu said the steps would be taken in coordination with the administration of US President Donald Trump. He revealed that Trump intends to announce his Middle East peace plan soon after the September 17 election, adding that he would wait with his annexation plan until after Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ is revealed. Pointing to a map of the Jordan Valley, he said Israel could carry out the plan without annexing a single Palestinian, and ensuring that Palestinians maintain complete freedom of movement throughout the West Bank. He hinted that the plan had been coordinated with the US.” 

Image: Benjamin Netanyahu announces that if reelected, he will extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, September 10 2019. (Avshalon Sassoni)

arab league no to annex

Arab League calls Netanyahu's plan to annex Jordan Valley 'aggression'

“Arab foreign ministers condemned a plan by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea if reelected as ‘aggression,’ undermining any chances of a peace treaty with the Palestinians. Speaking to the press a week before Israeli general election, Netanyahu also said that the Trump administration's peace plan, which he said would be released days after the election, would provide a ‘historic opportunity’ for annexing the West Bank and other areas."

Image: Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (C) attends the opening session of the 30th Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital Tunis, March 31, 2019. (AFP)

continue bds

Dozens of US progressive groups urge Congress to protect boycott rights
The Globe Post

“With Congress back in session this week following summer recess, dozens of progressive advocacy groups sent a letter to all members on Tuesday urging them to support a resolution that affirms Americans’ right to participate in political boycotts. The resolution is in response to growing attacks on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS), a campaign that aims to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories, among other demands. Win Without War, a group that advocates for a more progressive foreign policy, led the organizing effort to draft the letter, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.” 

Image: The United States Capital Building. (

What's Happening at CMEP

Fall Pilgrimage to Peace (P2P) Tour:

Join Rev. Dr. Cannon over the next two weeks as she hosts conversations across the U.S. 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.


Prayers for Peace (P4P):

Check out our blog for a new post in our series Women behind the Wall. This week: Episode 3: Cultural Expectations of a Young Woman under the Occupation. Read our most recent Prayers for Peace blog and post your prayer in response here.

New Resources for You: 

Whether you are a seasoned follower or new to the subject, we have Issue Pages for you. New this month: updates on humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza. 



Congress is back in town! We are gearing up for engaging with Members on important issues of Middle East peace and justice. Please support our efforts. 


Church and society ethnic local church grant supports Middle East migrants
The United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church is one of CMEP’s member communions. 

“(Taken from) an interview with Rev. Dr. Zaki Labib Zaki, founder and president of the Middle Eastern United Methodist Caucus. The caucus received an Ethnic Local Church grant to support their work with migrants, especially focusing on survivors of trauma. Thanks to an ELC grant from Church & Society, the caucus began two pilot projects to incorporate a counseling, and trauma healing component in its ongoing work with refugees. An increasingly important ministry for the caucus is trauma counseling. Understandably, large numbers of refugees—especially children, youth, and women—are traumatized as a result of forced relocation. Serving refugees across the globe through our Global Connect journeys and medical mission trips has exposed us to this most urgent need." 

Image: Reverend Doctor Zaki Labib leads a prayer for a group of refugees during a mission trip in Athens, Greece with the Middle Eastern United Methodist Caucus. (The United Methodist Church)

harvard allows

Freshman previously denied entry to the United States arrives at Harvard
The Harvard Crimson

“Harvard freshman Ismail B. Ajjawi ’23, who United States border officials turned away ten days ago, arrived on campus Monday in time for the start of classes Tuesday. Ajjawi’s family issued a statement Monday through his lawyer thanking those who voiced support for him and assisted his arrival. ‘The last ten days have been difficult and anxiety filled, but we are most grateful for the thousands of messages of support and particularly the work of AMIDEAST,’ the statement reads. ‘We hope now that everyone can respect our and Ismail’s privacy and he can now simply focus on settling into College and his important class work.’ Immigration officers barred Ajjawi from entering the United States after he spent eight hours in Boston Logan International Airport on Aug. 23. Ajjawi, a 17-year-old resident of Tyre, Lebanon told The Crimson last week that a Customs and Border Protection officer searched his phone and laptop while he was detained at the airport.”

Image: University Hall in Harvard Yard. (Amanda Y. Su)


Syria’s war is drawing to a close. But the pain will go on
The Economist

“Eight years into a savage war, the images still numb. Near the village of Haas, a headless child lies amid the rubble of bombed homes. In the town of Ariha, an infant dangles several stories up from the wreckage of another building while her father looks on in horror. There is smoke and dust and blood, gnarled metal and smashed concrete, and the vacant stares of people who have endured almost a decade of violence. This is the start of a protracted battle for the province of Idlib, a swathe of scrubland in north-western Syria which contains dozens of towns and villages like Ariha and Haas as well as the city for which it is named. Lying between Aleppo and the coastal province of Latakia, it is the last big chunk of territory held by rebels."

Image: A street in Syria ravaged by bombing. (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)
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