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
This week’s Middle East Notes highlights Israeli/U.S. tensions, the pursuit of civil rights in Israel, the growing “intifada,” the widening division between Jewish and Arab Israelis, increasing international isolation of Israel, terror killings of Palestinians and Israelis, the reality and future conflicts of the present Israeli bi-national state, Palestinian despair responded to by further Israeli repression to acts of despair, and other issues of concern.
Land confiscation, settlement expansion, and home demolitions continue in the West Bank, with Israel resuming its practice of demolishing homes as a punitive measure.
This week’s Middle East Notes give information on the “war of words between Israel and Washington, actions by the Israeli Prime Minister to make a Palestinian State impossible, camouflaged methods of expulsion of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, violence in Jerusalem, the fear that Washington’s protection at the UN can no longer be taken for granted, fanatics on The Temple Mount/the Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) stirring up conflict, movement of the European Union States towards recognizing the State of Palestine, and other timely issues.
These Middle East Notes focus on the debate concerning the UN recognition of the State of Palestine, continued Israeli settlement building and erosion of international support for Israel, an informative lecture in the UN by Noam Chomsky, self-censoring of U.S. media re: criticism of Israeli policies, the duty of Palestinians to resist the occupation, and other issues.
Financial support for reconstruction in Gaza is urgently needed. Adequate oversight will be important to ensure that materials are used for their intended purposes, but restrictions should not be so onerous that they tie the hands of those seeking to rebuild. In addition, to end the cycle of violence, underlying causes must be addressed, including the lifting of the Gaza blockade.
These Middle East Notes begin with Sweden’s promise to recognize the State of Palestine and end with the UK Parliament’s vote in favor of the Palestinian State. Other articles focus on continued Israeli settlement activity, the massive destruction in Gaza, the reality of Israel as a de facto binational state, and other issues.
This week’s Middle East Notes focus on the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation, destruction and rebuilding of Gaza, criticism and support of Mahmoud Abbas’ UN speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s UN speech, and other items of interest.
While peacemakers everywhere welcome the ceasefire in Gaza, the underlying issues that led to the war remain.
This week’s Middle East Notes articles concern the destruction in Gaza, the present “long-term” cease-fire, continued construction of Israeli housing units on the West Bank, growing Israeli intolerance of Israelis’ criticism of their government, and other pertinent articles.
Latin American nations have had strong negative reactions to Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, the term used for its recent military operation against Hamas, threatening to set back Israeli-Latin America relations that had been growing in recent years.
Maryknoll Sisters are members of the Dominican order; Dominican priests, brothers and sisters have had a long history in Iraq, and it is in solidarity with their fellow Dominicans in Iraq that we share the following letter and action suggestions from U.S. Dominicans.
On Tuesday, July 22, the following letter was sent to President Obama (and copied to members of Congress); it was signed by the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and several other members of the Faith Forum.
Maryknoll Sister Jean Fallon lived and worked on mission in Japan. “Living and working in a non-Christian milieu is very different from what Missioners might expect, say, in Latin America,” Sister Jean said. “The New Testament, however, brings insights to us all that are ever-new, ever deepening our faith and ever giving life to everyone.”