On December 8, 2015, eleven faith groups who are members of the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy met with the U.S. Department of State.
Maryknoll and its international affiliates have been engaged in the struggle for peace and justice in the Middle East for many years. We support the work of Muslims, Christians, and Jews around the region who challenge of racism, political and economic inequality, military occupation, and who promote inter-religious dialogue. In Washington D.C., the Office for Global Concerns analyzes issues affecting the Middle East in its cultural and historical contexts so that U.S. citizens and law makers can make informed decisions about foreign policy and better understand this important and diverse region of the world.
Articles, alerts, events
Most of this issue’s articles focus on reactions to the reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; his present and future relationship with the White House; the possible end of the two-state solution; the reality that Israel seems to have already chosen a one-state solution by expanding its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; the weakening of unquestioned support of Israeli policies by U.S. Jews and Christian Evangelicals; acknowledgement of Israel’s nuclear weapons; and other issues.
A peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue is in the best interest of its neighbors in the region – including the Israelis and Palestinians – as well as the best interest of the United States and the world.
This issue of Middle East Notes (MEN) highlights Hamas’ interest in a long term ceasefire with Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s constant focus on Iran with little mention of the occupation, President Obama’s possible more aggressive attitude on resolution of the Palestinian issue, documents clarifying that Israel knew that Egypt, Syria and Jordan were not planning to attack when beginning the Seven Day war, the impossibility of Israel being both democratic and the nation state of the Jewish people while denying the Palestinians their right to self-determination, settler violence against the Palestinians, and other issues.
The following articles focus on the analysis of and response to Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress, March 3, 2015.
This issue focuses on pre-speech opposition to Netanyahu stating that he speaks for the “entire Jewish people,” initial surprise and dismay by AIPAC leadership to the news of the invitation to speak to Congress, the media drowning out of any news on the Israel/Palestine conflict, the dire situation for the nearly two million people of Gaza living in a “giant prison,” the absence of “symmetry” in the Israeli/Palestinian violence with the overwhelming power on the Israeli side and the majority of victims on the Palestinian side, the stain on the upcoming Israeli elections caused by the land grab through settlements, and other issues.
The controversial speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress scheduled for March 3 is problematic for a number of reasons including the way the invitation was issued without coordination with the White House, the anticipated content of the speech which is expected to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue at a critical time in the negotiations with Iran, and the timing of the speech just prior to the Israeli elections.
This issue of Middle East highlights Israeli and U.S. opposition to the speech to Congress by Prime Minister Netanyahu, slated for March 3, the claim by Netanyahu that he speaks for Jews worldwide, (“Israelis in Exile”), the situation in Gaza, U.S. tax exempt funding of settlements, continuing opinion that the “two-state solution” is already impossible, civilian deaths in Gaza, and other issues.
Raise your voice to protest Netanyahu’s speech which will be used to undermine the U.S. strategy of diplomacy with Iran.
This issue of Middle East Notes focuses on the confusion of the invitation by Speaker John Boehner and acceptance by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress two weeks before the Israeli elections, the large number on non-combatants killed by the IDF during the Gaza disaster, support of the two state solution, Israeli terrorism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and other issues.
This issue of Middle East Notes focuses on the destruction/non-reconstruction of Gaza, Arab and Israeli responses to the massacre in France, the Palestinian initiative to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), the economics of the Israeli settlements, links to articles on the history and reality of Zionism, calls for Palestinian statehood, Israel’s growing international isolation and other issues of interest.
Following the defeat of a UN Security Council resolution that would have set parameters and a timeline for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas signed a number of international treaties and conventions including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), paving the way for Palestine to join the ICC.
The following analysis is excerpted from Syria and Iraq Alert II, a recent analysis by PAX, the Pax Christi International member organization in the Netherlands.
This issue of Middle East Notes highlights the rejection of the Palestinian resolution to end the Israeli occupation by the UN Security Council at the prompting of the U.S. and Israeli governments, the subsequent Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court, Israel’s response, growing European recognition of the State of Palestine, the future of the State of Israel, a possible confederated two state solution, settler violence, the isolation and diminishment of the Bethlehem area, and other issues.
The Palestinian Authority's attempt for a UN resolution on a peace agreement fails, but it signs onto the International Criminal Court.