Introducing And Still We Rise 2024, November 2, 2023
Join us on Zoom on November 2, 2023 at 11AM Eastern to kickoff our countdown to And Still We Rise 2024. And Still We Rise (ASWR) seeks to elevate the voices and contributions of Palestinian women working to build peace in their homes, communities, and the world, while also creating opportunities for meaningful exchange between Palestinian and American women. This webinar, designed to introduce this project, its history, and its mission, will feature remarks from CMEP executive director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, And Still We Rise Coordinator Tamar Haddad, and ASWR Leadership Team Member, Shireen Awwad Hilal from Bethlehem Bible College. Learn more and register here.
Meet Assyrian Christians with the Assyrian Aid Society – October 26, 2023
Learn about the Assyrian Christian community, an ancient Christian community from Mesopotamia, from our friends at the Assyrian Aid Society. CMEP’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Kyle Cristofalo, was joined by Karmella Borashan, Outreach Director at the Assyrian Aid Society of America, and Younan Markhail, Head of the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq. Learn about the Assyrians’ struggle for survival and the people working to elevate the voices of the Christians still living in the region by watching the recording, available on our YouTube channel. Watch Now.
Armenia at War: The Survival of the Church in the Oldest Christian State – Sept 20, 27 & October 4th, 2023
This September, CMEP hosted a mini-course about Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This course addressed several issues. The first week focused on the sustainability of the church in the oldest Christian state, the history of the Armenian genocide, and the ongoing struggle to protect the Christian heritage and presence in Nagorno-Karabakh and Ancient Armenia. The second week discussed the political dynamics in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Then the final session was a prayer gathering. You can watch sessions one and two now on our Youtube channel, or they are both available on the event page. Watch the recordings here.
Film Screening & Talk Back: Boycott – September 21, 2023
On September 21st, Churches for Middle East Peace and Just Vision co-hosted a virtual screening of the film Boycott, with a discussion following. Boycott traces the impact of state legislation designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. CMEP and Just Vision are pleased to offer discussion resources for churches and groups to host their own screenings of this important film. If you are interested, please email CMEP.
Conversations with Middle East Christians – July 17 & 24, August 7 & 14th, 2023
Churches for Middle East Peace and Embrace the Middle East hosted a four-week series in conversation with Christians across the Middle East. Rev. Colin Chapman spoke with Christian leaders from Iraq, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt, discussing the intersection between political context and personal faith. Learn about the work Christians are doing to address various issues present in these countries, and how Christians outside of these countries may still have a role to play. You can delve into these rich conversations on our Youtube channel (here), where the full mini-series is available.
Film Screening & Talk Back: Two Kids a Day – June 25, 2023
On Sunday, June 25th CMEP hosted a virtual film screening of the film “Two Kids A Day,” which explores the Israeli army’s systematic arrests of Palestinian children. The screening included a conversation with the film director David Wachsmann and film advisor Moria Shlomot of Parents Against Child Detention. You can view the recording of our conversation here and you can rent the film for an online screening here.
NCC Impact Week: International Impact – June 14, 2023
On June 14, 2023, CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, participated as a panelist in a National Council of Churches (NCC) webinar as a part of their “Global Impact Week.” The conversation was facilitated by CMEP executive committee member Tony Kireopoulus. Other panelists included Rick Santos (CEO of Church World Services) who addressed global refugee concerns and Dr. Pavlo Smytsnyuk spoke about the war in Ukraine. Cannon’s presentation was based on CMEP’s advocacy priorities of humanitarian and economic assistance (highlighting the war in Yemen), holistic peacebuilding and the sustainability of the church (highlighting the Armenian/Azerbaijani conflict), and human rights (addressing Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories).
Meet “Stand with Iraqi Christians” – May 2023
Churches for Middle East Peace (CEMP), The Episcopal Church, and Stand With Iraqi Christians (SWIC) host two leaders of the Anglican Church in Iraq. The Rev. Canon Faiz Basheer Jerjes, MBE, and Sinan Hanna Karakash speak on contemporary challenges for Christians in Iraq and their ministries with Internally Displaced People and refugees (respectively) in response to ISIS’s 2014 invasion and destruction. Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, CMEP Executive Director, facilitates the conversation.
Unholy Rights: Exploring the current legal realities and challenges in the Holy Land – May 2023
Given the recent attacks in Jerusalem on the freedom to worship – Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, have found themselves being forced out of the Old City and robbed of their ability to live there. Churches for Middle East Peace discusses this, along with issues of family reunification, land confiscation, the taxing of churches, and the current state of equality, and human rights in the Holy Land.
Raising your Voice for Peace in Israel/Palestine: Best Practices for Advocacy – March 2023
Watch Churches for Middle East Peace in a conversation with Hassan El-Tayyab, Legislative Director for Middle East Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. This webinar provides an overview of the best tools for engaging in virtual and in-person Congressional advocacy related to Israel/Palestine. It also highlights relevant legislative advocacy priorities on Israel/Palestine and the broader Middle East.
Healthcare in Gaza: Snapshots of Healing in Times of Destruction – February 2023
Gaza has been acquainted with unspeakable destruction for decades. Yet throughout its turbulent history, countless individuals have stepped in to offer healing. Doctors and nurses, medical technicians and first responders, international and local, have worked together to mend the wounds of those who suffer. In this seminar, we pose one question—what is it like to offer healing in times of destruction? To answer, we heard from panelists who provide snapshots of their experiences historically, organizationally, and personally.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – January 2023
In January, Churches for Middle East Peace, the World Council of Churches, and Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with the theme: Do good; seek justice (Isaiah 1:17). CMEP hosted several religious leaders from the Middle East for a live time of prayer and reflection. Join us as we pray together in hope of Christian Unity.
Land Full of God Mini-course – November 2022
Churches for Middle East Peace and Embrace the Middle East co-hosted a mini-course on A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land. This four-week series included different speakers each week covering topics such as Christian Engagement in the Holy Land, Theological Considerations in “A Land Full of God”, and current realities in the land. Learn more about the speakers and the book A Land Full of God and find the link to watch the recordings of the sessions.
American Complicity in the Israeli Occupation – November 2022
On November 2nd CMEP and American Friends of Combatants for Peace hosted the fourth and final installment of the joint webinar series “American Complicity in the Israeli Occupation.” The last discussion focused on the impacts of the upcoming U.S. midterm elections on U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and featured Matt Duss, former advisor to Sen. Bernie Sanders, and current visiting scholar at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and was moderated by Gili Getz, Chair of the board of American Friends of Combatants for Peace. Approximately 200 people watched the Zoom live.
Emerging Research from CMEP Academics – September 29, 2022
CMEP boasts a growing number of researchers and academics as members of the team. Join CMEP for this invitation into some of the exciting research these academics are developing. This is an opportunity to engage in internal conversations and emerging areas of interest. While CMEP’s work most often focuses on politics, members of the CMEP team are currently engaging on a variety of topics ranging from connections between archeology, theology, and politics; higher education in Bethlehem; the experience of American Palestinians; and disability.
Mini-Course: How Strong is the Biblical Basis for Zionism?: Churches for Middle East Peace, Embrace the Middle East, and author Rev. Colin Chapman presented material from Chapman’s book Christian Zionism and the Restoration of Israel: how should we interpret the scriptures? This 4 part mini-course ran weekly from June 21 to July 12, 2022. Watch the videos here.
American Complicity in the Israeli Occupation: A Conversation with Jim Zogby and Jeremy Ben-Ami – June 30, 2022
Watch a conversation between Jim Zogby, Founder and President of the Arab American Institute, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, Founder and President of J Street where they discuss how the US must act to help peacefully end the occupation — instead of exacerbating it. This webinar was hosted in partnership with The Arab American Institute, J Street, Churches for Middle East Peace, and Combatants for Peace.
Israel/Palestine and Apartheid: How Should the Church Respond? – June 23, 2022:
“Israel/Palestine and Apartheid: How Should the Church Respond?” We heard from guests Dr. Peter Makari, Hadar Suskin, and Dawood Hammoudeh on questions such as: “As church bodies gather this summer with the question of Israel/Palestine and Apartheid on the agenda, what is the role of U.S. Christians in the conversation? How are we to respond as Christians? As citizens of a government that provides $3.8 billion dollars a year to Israel in military aid?”
Mystagogia: What Can We Do to Build a Better Future in Palestine and Israel? – May 19, 2022
Part 4 of a virtual series hosted by the U.S. Association of Catholic Priests on Christians in the Holy Land. This webinar featured an excellent discussion between Amy Cohen of Ir Amim and Zoughbi Zoughbi of Wi’am, The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center and hosted by CMEP’s Outreach Manager, Jennifer Maidrand.
Is Peace Possible? – March 2022
Hosted by CMEP on the recent publication: Is Peace Possible: Christian Palestinians Speak, with representatives from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land and CMEP board member communions, and moderated by Julie Schumacher Cohen, Assistant Vice President in Community Engagement & Government Affairs at The University of Scranton. Is Peace Possible? provides a valuable resource for pilgrims, pilgrimage leaders, tourists, and anyone seeking to better understand the Christian perspective and experience of those living in the Land where Jesus was born, died, and was resurrected. It contains the findings of the Justice and Peace Commission, which functions under the direction of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land. The Assembly was established to foster unity within the Church and serves as a Catholic resource to further the social mission of the Church. It is composed of the Catholic Ordinaries of the various Rites, who have jurisdiction over the territory of the Holy Land.
Unpacking the Designation of Six Palestinian NGOs as Terrorist Organizations – Nov 4, 2021
In late October 2021, the Israeli Defense Ministry designated six prominent Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist organizations.” Many of these human rights organizations work closely with the international community to develop Palestinian civil society, document human rights violations, and defend Palestinians in Israeli courts. The decision was met with significant opposition from international policymakers, religious leaders, Israeli human rights activists, and members of Congress in the United States. On October 25, Rep. Betty McCollum (MN) introduced a Congressional Resolution opposing the designation of the NGOs as “terrorist” organizations. This webinar was hosted by CMEP to educate participants regarding the challenges facing Palestinian human rights groups and the impact this decision will have on not only these six organizations but Palestinian civil society as a whole. CMEP Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, facilitated a conversation with Lara Friedman, President of Foundation for Middle East Peace, and Mike Merryman-Lotze, Director of the Israel/Palestine Program at the American Friends Service Committee.
Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict – September 2021
A webinar with Olesya Vartanyan who works with Crisis Group as their Senior Analyst in the South Caucasus. The discussion was led by CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, and focused on providing a historical introduction to Armenia and Azerbaijan at War – specifically an introduction to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 2020. Crisis Group has a number of resources about the history and current issues affecting the Nagorno-Karabakh region. This webinar provided an introduction to geography, the history of conflict, and the key unresolved questions affecting the community today.
Israeli Peace Partners – June 2021
CMEP hosts a webinar with leading human rights advocates from Israel working to advance a just and sustainable future for all in Israel/Palestine. Our panelists are Tania Hary (Executive Director of Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement), Jessica Montell (Executive Director of HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual), and Rabbi Elhanan Miller (Rabbis for Human Rights). The discussion is led by CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, and focuses on the next steps now that the ceasefire between the State of Israel and Hamas is in place. With Palestinian families in East Jerusalem still facing pending expulsion orders and significant damage to infrastructure and loss of life in Gaza, our panelists will share the critical work they are doing in Israeli society on behalf of justice and human rights.
Peacemakers Working in Gaza – April 2021
Watch CMEP’s April 2021 webinar featuring local organizations working in Gaza. Beth Oppenheim, the Director of International Relations at Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Bassam Nasser, the Head of Office in Gaza for Catholic Relief Services, speak about their work and experiences as humanitarian workers and human rights advocates dedicated to serving the people of Gaza. Facilitating this discussion is Craig Swandby, a Senior Policy and Legislative Specialist at Catholic Relief Services.
CMEP1835 Summit: J Street Discussion – Nov 14, 2020
On Nov. 14, 2020, CMEP1835 hosted a half-day webinar: “Intersections of Faith and Advocacy: A Focus on Peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine”. Members of J Street discussed their involvement in working for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.
CMEP1835 Summit: Q&A with J Street – Nov 14, 2020
On Nov. 14, 2020, CMEP1835 hosted a half-day webinar: “Intersections of Faith and Advocacy: A Focus on Peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine”. Listen to a Q&A with J-Street.
CMEP1835 Summit: Q&A with Rev. Dr. Cannon and Rev. Dr. Isaac – Nov 14, 2020
On Nov. 14, 2020, CMEP1835 hosted a half-day webinar: “Intersections of Faith and Advocacy: A Focus on Peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine”. As a follow-up to their discussion, Rev. Dr. Cannon and Rev. Dr. Isaac answered participant questions.
CMEP1835 Summit: Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon and Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac – Nov 14, 2020
On Nov. 14, 2020, CMEP1835 hosted a half-day webinar: “Intersections of Faith and Advocacy: A Focus on Peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine”. Rev. Dr. Cannon, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), and Rev. Dr. Isaac, Bethlehem Bible College, discussed their work in Israel-Palestine.
Where Do We Go From Here: How do the election results impact the future of peace in Israel and Palestine? – Nov. 10, 2020
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) co-hosted a webinar to discuss the impact of the post-U.S. election result on the future for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Regardless of the election results, we know the work to support U.S. policies rooted in equality and justice for all in Israel/Palestine will continue. CMEP joined leading experts on U.S. policy on Israel-Palestine just a week after the election to hear more about how the results will impact the prospects for a just and lasting peace in Israel/Palestine. CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, moderated this important discussion on the future for peace with panelists Galia Golan, Laura Friedman, and Maya Berry on Tuesday, November 10th.
With experts from leading humanitarian and development organization, Oxfam and Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). The war in Yemen is responsible for the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today with the UN estimating nearly 12 million people–half the population– are at risk for famine. Yemen is also facing the world’s largest cholera outbreak, with over one million reported cases.
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, CMEP’s Executive Director, hosts a webinar conversation with Brad Parker and Farah Bayadsi from Defense for Children International-Palestine. This webinar is part of CMEP’s Summer 2018 Campaign, Document Detention, to raise awareness on issues of child justice and the mistreatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. More info available here.
Kyle Cristofalo, CMEP’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, hosts a webinar interview with Elizabeth Campbell, the US. Director of UNRWA. Elizabeth provided an introduction to UNRWA services and an update on the funding crisis after the U.S. announced it would freeze U.S. aid to the agency by 83%. They also discussed what’s next for Palestinian refugees and UNRWA. More info available here.
Lent 2018 Webinar Series [2/13/18, 2/14/18, & 2/15/18]
Join CMEP’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon as she interviews three special guests throughout February about the numerous issues related to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Three Middle East experts will discuss current realities on the ground in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the broader area; geopolitical perspectives inherent to the American administration’s recognition of Jerusalem and plan to move the Embassy; and challenges to the peace process that have arisen from their decision. More info available here.
Choosing Hope: Christian Leaders Speak about Realities this Advent [12/12/2017]
Watch Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, Rev. Najla Kassab, President of the World Communion of Reformed Churches and ordained minister in the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and Fr. Dr. Michel Jalakh, Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and President at the Antonine University in Lebanon, in conversation with CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, discussing the current realities faced by Christians living in the Holy Land. Click here for more information and speakers’ bios
Nonviolent Resistance in Israel/Palestine: A Conversation with Issa Amro [11/02/2017]
Watch CMEP’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations Kyle Cristofalo for a conversation with human rights defender Issa Amro as they discuss Amro’s nonviolent activism, upcoming trial, the challenges of life in Hebron, and the role of youth in peace activism. Read a transcript of their conversation HERE
Pilgrimage to Peace P2P with Daoud Nassar & Tent of Nations [10/23/2017]
Watch Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of CMEP as she hosts a conversation with Daoud Nassar from Tent of Nations near Bethlehem about daily living, human rights concerns, and peacebuilding. We advocate for peace, security, freedom, and dignity for all the people of the Holy Land.
Israel Anti-Boycott Act Explained [09/19/2017]
Since its introduction, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act has raised many concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said the Israel Anti-Boycott Act “would criminalize constitutionally protected boycotts and certain speech targeting Israel.” Watch Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, in conversation with CMEP’s Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon as they provide analysis of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, the concerns it raises, and opportunities for you to oppose the legislation.
How Do We Fund Peace? Experts Discuss the International Fund Model [08/24/2017]
Learn about the possibility of an International Fund for Israel and Palestine in the method of the “International Fund for Ireland” from individuals working to make it a reality. The panel of speakers features: Joel Braunold, Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace; Fr. Josh Thomas, International Executive Director of Kids4Peace; and Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, Director of Rethinking Conflict with Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, CMEP’s Executive Director moderating.
Gaza: Working Toward a Better Future [07/24/2017]
Gaza Field Manager for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Bassam Nasser, speaks with CMEP’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Kyle Cristofalo, about CRS’ work in Gaza providing emergency relief to the most vulnerable. Nasser also discusses his hope for a better future and steps to take to help move toward a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Growing Up In Gaza [07/18/2017]
Fulbright Scholar Oday Abdaljawwad speaks with CMEP Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon about growing up in Gaza and the unique challenges the ongoing humanitarian crisis places on children. Abdaljawwad was a Development and Advocacy Intern with CMEP at the time of filming.
Gaza: Searching for Light [03/28/2017]
In 2014 Gaza’s main power plant sustained severe damage as a result of the Gaza War. Three years later the power plant remains mostly inactive. Today, most Gazans live in the dark for as many as 21 hours every day. Learn about the current realities of life in Gaza and where there might be opportunities for hope.
Hand On The Switch, A Conversation About Gaza with Gisha [03/09/2017]
Hear Tania Hary, Executive Director of the Israeli human rights organization Gisha, and Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, recently returned from Gaza, engage in a conversation on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Learn about the current realities of Palestinian life in Gaza where most Gazans live in the dark for as many as 21 hours every day.
Pilgrimage to Peace [03/08/2017]
Join Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace as she hosts a conversation with Christians Sharona Weiss from Jerusalem & Shadia Qubti from Nazareth about daily living, human rights concerns, and peace building.
Prospects for Peace: Obama’s Last Stand and Opportunities in the New Administration [02/10/2017]
In this CMEP webinar, Executive Director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon talks with Lara Friedman (Americans for Peace Now), Matthew Duss (Foundation for Middle East Peace) and Dr. James Zogby (Arab American Institute) about what Obama could do before the inauguration and what to expect during a Trump presidency.