Churches for Middle East Peace

Supreme Court Delays Decision on Deportation of Human Rights Watch Director  
A look at updates on the deportation of Human Rights Watch director, talks of a coalition government, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Human Rights Watch Israel/Palestine Director Omar Shakir. (Human Rights Watch website)


Supreme Court delays decision on deportation of Human Rights Watch director
Jewish News Syndicate

“Israel’s Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to push off making a decision regarding the deportation of Human Rights Watch’s Israel/Palestine director Omar Shakir until after Rosh Hashanah, extending a 14-month legal battle centering on whether Shakir is engaged in illegal boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities in Israel. In a hearing Tuesday, the court appeared to agree with Shakir’s lawyer, who argued that the decision should be postponed until the new government is formed because new officials could have a different perspective on his client’s case.” 

Image: Human Rights Watch Israel/Palestine Director Omar Shakir. (Human Rights Watch website)


Israel’s Netanyahu begins coalition hunt amid deadlock
The Washington Post

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began Thursday the daunting task of trying to cobble together a coalition government amid political deadlock that emerged from this month’s repeat elections, which had no clear winner. He now has up to six weeks to attempt to resolve the political impasse, but his odds appear slim. Even with the support of smaller allies, both Netanyahu and his main challenger, Blue and White party leader and former army chief Benny Gantz, lack the support for the required 61-seat parliamentary majority needed to establish a government. That’s including the support of Netanyahu’s traditional ultra-Orthodox and religious-nationalist allies. On Thursday, the two largest parties were jockeying ahead of a planned meeting by their negotiating teams the following day, with each side blaming the other for the stalemate."

Image:  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2109. (Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press)


Israel election results: seventy-six percent of Israeli Arabs support joining ruling coalition, poll shows

“In Israel, Arabs are more open to political cooperation with Jews than Jews are open to political cooperation with Arabs, a survey published on Sunday shows. The survey, conducted by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Jerusalem-based Israel Democracy Institute, found that more than three out of every four Arab citizens (76 percent) were in favor of Arab parties joining the ruling coalition and their members serving as ministers in the government, but that nearly half of all Jewish citizens (49 percent) were resistant to the idea.” 

Image: A woman votes in Nazareth on September 17, 2019. (Gil Eliahu)

What's Happening at CMEP

New Prayers for Peace (P4P) Post:

Check out our blog for a new post in our series Women behind the Wall. This week: Episode 4: Finding Light in Darkness. Read our most recent Prayers for Peace blog and post your prayer in response here.

peace day

Fall Pilgrimage to Peace (P2P) Tour:

The Fall P2P tour took place September 18-25. Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth, Aziz Abu Sarah, and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon spoke in locations near Detroit, MI; Denver, CO; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; and Winston-Salem, NC.  See photos and videos from past P2P tours at our website. If you're interested in hosting a future P2P event, send us an email and let us know!

Travel with CMEP: 

If visiting the holy land is on your bucket list, CMEP can help! CMEP pairs with MEJDI to provide the chance to hear multi-narrative perspectives through the use of two local guides, one Israeli and one Palestinian. 



Starting to think about end-of-year tax issues? CMEP now accepts stock donations -- a better-than-ever tax benefit! Contact for more information. 

greenblatt essay

In farewell essay, Trump envoy ‘hopeful’ for peace plan, encourages compromise
Times of Israel

“The outgoing US envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, on Friday penned an op-ed marking his resignation from the position expressing his regrets about stalled peace efforts and his hopes for future progress. Greenblatt, who met on Friday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is one of the architects of the Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan, which has yet to be unveiled, has raised widespread skepticism, and has already been dismissed by the Palestinians. Earlier this month, Greenblatt announced his intention to quit his position shortly after the plan is unrolled. He later clarified that he may stay on longer to see the peace proposal unfold." 

Image: White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt (center), with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Senator Lindsey Graham at the opening of an ancient road at the City of David archaeological site in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, June 30, 2019. (Flash90)


Palestinians preparing for their day in court against Israel

“The Palestinian leadership moved on several fronts this month to implement its threats to redefine and limit relations with Israel. The PLO took steps toward taking Israel to court on a number of commerce- and labor-related issues and amending the Paris Economic Protocol, the agreement governing the economic relationship between the Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians have repeatedly accused Israel of violating the provisions of their arrangement. Bishara announced that the leadership would ask the court to rule on 11 commercial and financial issues involving Israel and inquire separately into amending the Paris agreement. The file is expected to be officially presented to the court at the end of September.”

Image: Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara gestures during a news conference in Ramallah, Israeli-occupied West Bank, Feb. 21, 2019. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)


Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy
United Nations

“Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said there is ‘no time to waste’ in ending four years of fighting between Houthi rebels and the internationally-recognized Government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, which has pushed the country to the brink of famine. The UN humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, estimates roughly 80 per cent of the population—or 24 million people—require humanitarian aid. ‘The attack on ARAMCO facilities in Saudi Arabia this past Saturday morning, 14 September, which has caused significant disruption to the Kingdom’s crude oil production, has consequences well beyond the region’, Mr. Griffiths warned ambassadors, speaking via videoconference.”

Image: Millions of children across Yemen face serious threats due to malnutrition, in particular, and the lack of basic health services, in general -- all caused by the country's hostilities and ongoing war. (UN/October 2018)


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 |

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