September 17, 2019: CMEP: Church Leaders Share Vision for Peace in Israel/Palestine; Condemn Annexation
On the heels of the Israeli election and with the U.S. Administration preparing to release the political component of its purported Peace Plan for Israel/Palestine, 22 Christian leaders, including Churches for Middle East Peace Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, wrote to the President outlining their recommendations for US policies that would help bring about a just and lasting end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. A full copy of the letter, including signatories, is copied below. Read More
August 15, 2019: CMEP Responds to Israeli decision to not allow Representatives Tlaib and Omar to Visit
On August 15, 2019, the Israeli government announced it would ban two U.S. Congresswomen–Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN) to Israel just days before they were to depart on a Congressional delegation. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly condemns this decision and calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu to reverse this action. Read More
June 12, 2019: Ecumenical Letter to Congressional Leadership on Ending U.S. Support for Civil War in Yemen
Churches for Middle East Peace joined a group of 20 Christian leaders representing national church communions and Christian organizations calling on congressional leadership to continue efforts to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition’s involvement in Yemen’s Civil War and provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen. The letter was also sent to the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate Armed Services Committee, and House Committee on Armed Services. Read More
May 2, 2019: CMEP Strongly Endorses Rep. Betty McCollum’s “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Occupation Act”
On Wednesday, Rep. Betty McCollum introduced H.R. 2407, “The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Occupation Act.” Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly endorses this legislation as a proactive step toward safeguarding the lives of vulnerable children caught in the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Read More
April 25, 2019: Land Idolization and Annexation Sacrifices Human Dignity in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
As a faith-based organization striving above all else for a just peace in the Holy Land, we will continue to press the Trump Administration to make such a substantive offer. We will also continue to elevate the voices of Israelis and Palestinians as the situation evolves so that all possibilities are considered for obtaining the security and self-determination that they deserve as humans created in God’s image. Read More
March 27, 2019: Condemning the Hamas Missile Attack on Civilians and Retaliatory Strikes by the IDF
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemns the firing of a missile by Hamas at Israeli civilians March 25, wounding seven people. CMEP is deeply concerned by the continued violence, including retaliatory bombings by the IDF. We call on an immediate cessation of violence and for both sides to commit to a ceasefire. Read More
March 26, 2019: Recognizing Israeli Annexation of Golan Heights Another Dangerous Example of One-Sided U.S. Policy
President Trump’s decision on Thursday, March 21, to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights–a piece of Syrian territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 war–once again demonstrates the administration’s recklessly one-sided approach to Middle East foreign policy. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) deplores the move as violating one of the cornerstones of post-World War II international law: the illegitimacy of territory gained through conquest. Read More
March 7, 2019: Weaponizing Anti-Semitism Harms Free Speech
Over the past several weeks, the political discourse relating to Israel/Palestine has rapidly deteriorated. We have witnessed members of Congress attack their colleagues by name, making accusations of anti-Semitism, often talking over and distorting what was actually said. As an organization committed to advocating for U.S. policies that will help bring about justice, equality, and human rights for all in Israel-Palestine and throughout the Middle East, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) has been dismayed by the tenor of these conversations. They reflect just how far we are as a nation from helping to foster a sustainable end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. Read More
November 2, 2018: CMEP Affirms “Statement of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land on the Nation State Law Passed by the Israeli Knesset on July 19, 2018”
Churches for Middle East Peace stands by the statement released on October 31 by the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, which echoes many of the concerns we expressed about the passage of the Jewish Nation State Basic Law on July 19, 2018. We affirm with the Ordinaries that as Christians, “We recognize that Jerusalem and the whole of this Holy Land is a heritage we share with Jews and Muslims, Druze and Baha’i, a heritage we are called upon to protect from division and internecine strife.” We applaud their resolve to “call on the authorities [of Israel] to rescind this Basic Law and assure one and all that the State of ISrael seeks to promote and protect the welfare and the safety of all its citizens.” Read More
October 31, 2018: Joint Letter to Secretary Pompeo Regarding the Church Land Bill in Israel
The extent to which the Jerusalem Patriarchs and Heads of Churches consider this legislation to be an existential threat cannot be overstated. When the bill was first introduced this past February (concurrently with a proposed municipal tax on church property) the Heads of Churches protested by closing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in a historic act of solidarity. In response, eighteen religious leaders in the U.S., representing a diverse spectrum of Christianity, wrote to President Trump expressing the need to protect the vulnerable Christian community in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Mr. Secretary, all efforts must be made so that a similar crisis may be avoided. Read More
October 11, 2018: Jerusalem Conference: What Makes for Peace?
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joins Bright Stars of Bethlehem, National Council of Churches (NCC), and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in support of statement regarding “Jerusalem: What makes for peace?” Read More
October 11, 2018: CMEP Executive Director Joins Christian Pastors and Leaders Call on U.S. State Department to Support Lara Alqasem
We who are pastors and Christian leaders in the U.S. add our voices to those of many faiths calling for the freeing of detained college student Lara Alqasem. Specifically, we call on the State Department to do its duty to protect the rights of this American citizen, traveling on an American passport with a valid Israeli visa to study at Hebrew University in Israel. “Consular access” is not enough; the State Department needs to make clear that the detention of Ms. Alqasem must end, as she has committed no crime nor has been charged with one by the Israeli authorities. Read More
September 27, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace Joins Letter to President Regarding Cuts to Humanitarian Aid to Palestinians
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) joined 17 Christian Denominations and Organizations in a letter to President Trump. In the letter, the signatories called upon the President to immediately reverse the recent decision to cut over $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians as well as cease all US funding for UNRWA. Read More
August 1, 2018: Nation-State Bill Passed by Knesset Raises Concerns
On Thursday, July 19, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the “Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People” bill, one of many Basic Laws that collectively serve as Israel’s constitution. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), while reiterating its support for Israel as a democratic state, expresses its gravest concern over the harm that this new Basic Law will inflict upon Israel’s cultural, ethnic, and religious minorities, which account for 20% of Israel’s population. This law will have devastating effects on the rights of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Palestinians with resident status living in Jerusalem. Read More
May 18, 2018: Trump Administration Needs to Acknowledge Harm Done by Embassy Relocation
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) voices our most vigorous opposition to the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel without equally acknowledging Palestinian claims. The timing of this dedication–coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence and coming the day before both Palestinian Nakba Day and the start of Ramadan–is insensitive at best, and offensive at worst. We express our outrage at this administration for refusing to acknowledge the role this decision played in escalating violence in Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 60 people and injury to over 2,200 Palestinians during the week. Read More
May 3, 2018: Churches for Middle East Peace Welcomes PLO Re-Commitment to Peace Negotiations, Condemns Anti-Semitic Remarks
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes President Abbas’s renewed commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel and his calls for non-violent popular resistance to Israel’s occupation. CMEP condemns the anti-Semitic and inflammatory remarks and affirms that support for a Palestinian state does not require downplaying historical Jewish suffering or denying their connection to the land. Read More
January 9, 2018: Free Speech is a Cornerstone of Nonviolent Protest
On Sunday, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published a list of 20 organizations whose leaders and activists will not be allowed to enter Israel due to their organization’s support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions are expressions of free speech and forms of nonviolent protest. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is concerned to hear that 20 organizations, including five from the United States, will be prevented from entering Israel due to their support of economic measures against the state of Israel. Read More
December 6, 2017: Advent Statement by U.S. Christian Leaders in Solidarity with Jerusalem Heads of Churches
An ecumenical statement in support of the August 2017 appeal by the Jerusalem Heads of Churches. The signatories stress their concern for religious freedom, free access to Holy Sites for all religions in Israel and Palestine, and reaffirm their vision of a shared, multi-faith Jerusalem for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Read More
February 8, 2017: CMEP to President Trump on the U.S. Embassy
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges President Donald Trump not to move the U.S Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as the move would be an obstacle to peace and would undermine U.S. credibility as a facilitator in peace negotiations.
September 2016: Letter from Christian Leaders to the Presidential Candidates
Churches from Middle East Peace (CMEP) and twenty-one other American Christian leaders call on the presidential candidates to, will if elected, take urgent and vigorous new steps to seek creative political solutions that will foster a just and lasting peace and help each party to realize self-determination with necessary confidence building measures to build mutual security.
April 20, 2016: Pursuing Peace and Strengthening Presence: The Atlanta Summit of Churches in the USA and Holy Land
“We have come together in this unique first-time large scale Summit for Christian churches and
church-related organizations from the USA and the Holy Land following the example and teachings of
our Lord Jesus Christ on peacemaking, the dignity owed to all created in God’s image and kindling the
hope that some day there will be a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land.”
August 28, 2015: CMEP to Sec. Kerry on Cremisan Valley
As Israeli authorities continue to build a separation barrier wall across the Cremisan Valley, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) calls on Secretary John Kerry to instruct the State Department spokesperson to say that in the interest of reducing conflict, it is the view of the United States that unilateral impediment of access to Palestinian lands imposed by Israel or unilateral seizure of Palestinian lands by Israel without mutual agreement of the parties, is illegal and unacceptable
June 29, 2015: CMEP to President Obama Concerning Settlement Language and Resolutions for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges President Obama and the administration to make clear that the U.S. views Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine not merely as “illegitimate” and “foolish,” as it has already said, but also “illegal.” CMEP also insists the administration clearly reject language in bills now passed or pending in the Congress that deliberately includes settlements in measures designed to support Israel.
May 20, 2014: CMEP to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem concerning Price Tag attacks
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) stands with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem after recent graffiti attacks on the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem and joins the Patriarch in calling for increased efforts by the Israeli authorities to find the perpetrators of these crimes and bring them to justice
March 19, 2014: Christian Leaders commend Kerry’s Efforts to Reach a Comprehensive Agreement to End Conflict
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and 42 Jerusalem and U.S Christian leaders pledge support for Secretary Kerry’s efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement and call for a framework for conclusive negotiations as an essential step towards a final status agreement.
July 22, 2013: Church Coalition Welcomes Talks Breakthrough
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) congratulated Secretary Kerry, as well as courageous Palestinian and Israeli leaders, for the announcement that negotiators are expected to meet in Washington to resume direct negotiations on terms for the establishment a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure and democratic State of Israel.
April 26, 2013: CMEP Condemns Abduction of Syrian Bishops
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly condemned the kidnappings on April 22 of two Orthodox Bishops near Aleppo, Syria and called for the immediate and unconditional release of these Bishops.
March 14, 2013: CMEP to the President on March Trip to Israel and West Bank
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to President Barack Obama on the Eve of his visit to the Holy Land to urge President Obama to seek firm commitments from leaders on both sides to re-engage in a peace process rooted in a just resolution of the conflict, universal security and recognition for both Israelis and Palestinians, an end to all forms of violence, and peaceful co-existence.
January 7, 2013: Christian Leaders Letter to President Obama Urging a New Beginning for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) urges President Barack Obama to bring the full energies of the Administration to bear toward facilitating a just, durable, and final negotiated agreement to end the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict as he embarks on his second term in office.
November 30, 2012: CMEP Letter on Senate Amendments
On November 30th, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) sent a letter to one hundred senate offices urging them not to vote on amendments S. 3254, The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) namely SA 3171, SA 3139, and SA 3203, that would severely limit or eliminate US assistance to the Palestinian Authority under various conditions
November 16, 2012: Churches for Middle East Peace Calls for Immediate End to Violence, Return to Peace Talks
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) expressed deep sorrow and distress about the acts of deadly violence that have broken out in Gaza and southern Israel. CMEP urged all parties involved to end violent actions and to work with regional allies to achieve an immediate ceasefire.
September 21, 2011: CMEP Statement on the Palestinian Initiative at the United Nations
In the face of an imminent confrontation at the United Nations, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) reasserted that there is an urgent and immediate need for a just and sustainable resolution to the conflict in the Holy Land. CMEP also called for continued foreign aid to Palestinians and opposed threats to cut off aid to the Palestinian government and people in an effort to punish them for actions at the UN.
June 27, 2011: Letter to President Obama Urging Bold, Concrete, and Immediate Action for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian Leaders call for visible additional steps by President Barack Obama and the Administration to keep the parties focused on making concrete progress.
April 21, 2011: Letter to Secretary Clinton about Access to Holy Sites
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) asks Secretary Hillary Clinton for assistance in helping Christians, Muslims and Jews enjoy full religious freedom and complete access to their holy places.
March 14, 2011: CMEP Statement on Tragic Murders in Itamar
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly denounces the tragic and senseless killing of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, a small Israeli settlement in the northern part of the West Bank near Nablus on March 11.
March 7, 2011: Letter to President Obama on UN Settlement Veto and Further Peace Efforts
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders urge President Barack Obama to open up broad new channels of diplomatic effort to encourage both sides to take responsibility now for creating the conditions necessary for talks to succeed. This initiative must necessarily include support from the Middle East Quartet, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference for a set of proposals, building on the Arab Peace Initiative.
February 18, 2011: CMEP Responds to U.S. Veto of Settlements Resolution
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) profoundly regrets that the United States found it necessary to veto the resolution in the United Nations Security Council calling for an end to Israeli construction in the Palestinian Territories and recognizing the urgency of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. CMEP called upon the United States to mount a major effort to help reduce fear and build trust among all involved in this conflict. CMEP also urged the President to make a well-prepared visit to the region, including Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring Syria, to help create strong regional support for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors.
February 2, 2011: Statement from CMEP on UN Security Council Resolution on Middle East
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) expressed its concern with the lack of progress in negotiations for a comprehensive peace. Brief direct talks were suspended in September 2010. U.S. proposals intended to reignite direct negotiations failed to bring the parties back to the table. A United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Israel to stop illegal construction of settlements in the territories over which it gained control in 1967, including East Jerusalem, was submitted for Security Council consideration and will be discussed by the Middle East Quartet (U.S., UN, EU and Russia). CMEP called on the Obama Administration not to stand in the way of this resolution in a Security Council vote.
November 1, 2010: CMEP Letter to Secretary Clinton Regarding Attacks on Iraqi Christians
Following the tragic violence that took place against Iraqi Christians in Baghdad, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urge that U.S. policies that seek in every way possible to reinforce the strong history of peaceful religious coexistence in Iraq.
September 8, 2010: Denouncing Anti-Muslim Bigotry
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemned plans by a group in Florida to burn copies of the Holy Koran on September 11 and to incite others to do so. In this connection Churches for Middle East Peace fully supports the statement issued on September 7 in Washington, DC by 35 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders that denounces the bigotry being directed against America’s Muslim community.
June 22, 2010: Relieving the Blockade of Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomed the statement by the Government of Israel on June 20th that eased its blockade of Gaza. The announcement follows widespread international criticism of the violent confrontation at sea May 31 between Israeli forces and a flotilla headed for Gaza that led to the death of nine persons and injuries to others.
August 30, 2010: Letter from Heads of Denominations to President Obama on Restart of Direct Talks
After bringing together Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of the Palestinian Authority, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders call on President Barack Obama and his negotiating team to continue vigilant efforts to help the parties find acceptable solutions.
April 5, 2010: Ecumenical to President Obama in Support of Strong U.S. Leadership for Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders applaud President Barack Obama and the administration’s efforts to halt settlement construction in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories, and join in seeking a comprehensive agreement that ends the occupation, provides security and recognition for Israel, and establishes a viable, secure and independent Palestinian state.
March 12, 2010: Ecumenical to President Obama on Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders urge President Barack Obama to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to use America’s unique relationship with Israel to persuade it to lift the closure of its border crossings with Gaza.
February 4, 2010: CMEP and Multiple Organizations to President Obama on Gaza
Churches for Middle East Peace and other organizations urge President Barack Obama and the administration to persuade Israel to lift the closure of its border crossings with Gaza.
November 5, 2009: CMEP to President Obama on Goldstone Report
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) supports the recommendation in the Goldstone Report that independent investigations into allegations of war crimes committed during “Operation Cast Lead” from December 2008 to January 2009 should be carried out by Israeli and Palestinian authorities. CMEP supports the administration’s efforts to encourage such independent investigations and urges President Barack Obama to continue to press Israel and the Palestinians to conduct them.
October 30, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Eviction of Bethlehem University Student
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton to request the government of Israel on compassionate and humanitarian grounds to allow Ms. Berlanty Azzam, a fourth year student at Bethlehem University in Bethlehem who was detained and deported to Gaza by the Israeli military on October 28, 2009 to return to Bethlehem to complete her studies.
September 24, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Gaza Water Crisis
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton to urge the United States to exert every effort to address the water crisis by ending restrictions on humanitarian goods and opening Gaza’s borders in a secure manner to reconstruction and repair materials.
September 22, 2009: CMEP and Multiple Organizations Support Comprehensive Middle East Peace
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other organizations support President Barack Obama’s efforts and determination to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to ensure stability and peace in the Middle East,
August 7, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Sheikh Jarrah Evictions
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton expressing grave concern about the eviction of 50 Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah section of East Jerusalem in the early morning hours of August 2, 2009 and urges the Department of State to insist on the immediate reversal of this ill-considered eviction and on the restoration of these houses to their former residents.
July 22, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Violence Against Iraqi Christians
Following attacks on Iraqi Christians in Baghdad and Mosul, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urging the U.S to work closely with the Iraqi government to ensure that all possible security measures are taken to combat these violent attacks.
June 4, 2009: Ecumenical Letter to President Obama Following Egypt Speech
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and other Christian leaders pledge support for President Obama’s commitment to peace between Israelis and Palestinians and to join with the administration to work with and support those in both societies who seek peace, justice, and security, standing beside those who hope for a better future.
May 5, 2009: CMEP to Sec. Clinton on Palestinian Christian Issues
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urging the U.S to address several specific issues as part of the Administration’s broader efforts to resolve the conflict including, restrictive Israeli residency and “family unification” laws and regulations in East Jerusalem, which are contributing to the rapid decline of Jerusalem’s Christian population.
March 2, 2009: CMEP to Secretary Clinton regarding her trip to the Middle East
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) writes to Secretary Hillary Clinton urging her make clear during her trip to the Middle East that the Obama Administration will not tolerate ongoing Israeli settlement activity.
September 23, 2008: Iran
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) called for robust U.S. diplomacy throughout the Middle East to resolve conflicts and reduce tensions, including direct, serious and sustained negotiations with Iran.
March 20, 2003: Policy Statement on Iraq War
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) expressed its deep regrets of the decision by the United States and other nations to begin military action against Iraq.
December 3, 2001: Policy Statement on Suicide Bombings in Israel
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) condemned unequivocally the suicide bombings carried out in Israel. CMEP also urged the United States to work with other nations to dispatch an international monitoring and observer force to the conflicted region as one immediate means of discouraging further violence.