Press Release

Washington, D.C. - March 30, 2023

Media Contact:

CMEP's Executive Director’s Recent trip to Israel/Palestine 

Following a recent trip by our executive director to Israel/Palestine, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is more concerned than ever about the rapid erosion of democratic values in Israel and increased violence in the occupied Palestinian territories. CMEP stands for a democracy that works for all members of Israeli society, not only for one group or political faction. CMEP is committed to pursuing "a negotiated and durable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in which Israelis and Palestinians realize the vision of a just peace, which illuminates human dignity and cultivates thriving relationships."

The judicial overhaul in Israel has been delayed, but not abandoned. If approved, the needed checks and balances on the Knesset and Prime Minister would be compromised on issues like corruption and scheduling of elections. Although the Israeli supreme court does not usually challenge the Knesset on action in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), the loss of accountability would make radical policies the current government wants to advance even harder to stop. The agenda items of the current right wing government include annexation, taxes on international NGO’s, legalization of outposts, and expansion of settlements. CMEP believes these unilateral actions by the Israeli government will only exacerbate the conflict, causing more division and harm. The Biden Administration and Congress must make clear in more than statements, that such actions will not be supported by the United States government. 

Given the recent strong demonstrations within Israel, CMEP sees an opportunity for the conscience of Israel to be sensitized to the rights of all members of its society including Israel’s Palestinian citizens and Palestinians in the oPt. Democratic values are not democratic unless they provide protection, security, and freedom for all.

On her recent trip Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon had a series of meetings with US embassy officials, church leaders, and peace advocates. A range of challenges were discussed that further heighten CMEP’s concerns. 

The Christian community continues to face undue governmental pressure and is shrinking in Jerusalem and the oPt. The municipality continues to pursue certain churches in Jerusalem for back taxes, a sharp departure from long-observed agreements and the historic status quo. Frequent violent attacks by extremists against Christians are not consistently prosecuted. The current government of Israel is seeking to aggressively expand settlements in the oPt. Human rights abuses, including violence against Palestinian civilians,and the demolishment of Palestinian structures, continue to take place in the oPt. CMEP's policy position in response to human rights abuses states that CMEP ``opposes anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-Islamic actions and all other forms of racism or bigotry in rhetoric or actions that dehumanize, stereotype, or incite distrust or violence toward anyone."

CMEP remains actively committed to addressing many of these issues. For example, CMEP joined with church-based leaders around the country to condemn a recent attack on the Church of Gethsemane in East Jerusalem. CMEP’s network also continues calling on US elected officials to ensure Israel is not using US aid funding to perpetrate human rights abuses against Palestinians. On the trip, Cannon also emphasized to US officials the importance of responding to extremism, increased settlement expansion, and de facto annexation.

CMEP remains committed to a comprehensive resolution in Israel/Palestine and for US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.



Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of more than 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.


Contact Us

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 505
Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 543-1222

Follow Us

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences