CMEP Bulletin: New Year, New Challenges to Peace

CMEP_logo.jpgTrump Threatens Stop to Palestinian Aid Over Jerusalem Row [BBC News]

The BBC reports, “The US may stop aid payments to Palestinians who are ‘no longer willing to talk peace,' President Trump said. On Twitter, Mr. Trump said the United States received ‘no appreciation or respect’ in return for its aid. He also said his controversial recognition of the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital took the hugely divisive issue ‘off the table’ for new peace talks. Palestinians had said the move showed the US could not be a neutral broker. … Mr. Trump's tweets followed remarks from Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, in which she said the US would stop contributing to the UN's relief agency for Palestinian refugees. The agency runs education, health, and social programmes. The United States is its largest governmental donor, handing over almost $370m (£270m) in 2016.”

 

Emboldened Israeli Right Presses Moves to Doom 2-State Solution [The New York Times]

The New York Times reports, “An emboldened Israeli right wing is moving quickly in the new year to make it far more difficult to create a Palestinian state, signaling its intention to doom hopes for a two-state solution to the conflict. The actions have come on multiple fronts, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party for the first time has urged the annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the nation’s top legal officers pressed to extend Israeli law into occupied territory. In addition, the Israeli Parliament, after a late-night debate, voted early Tuesday to enact stiff new obstacles to any potential land-for-peace deal involving Jerusalem, while abandoning at the last minute a measure that would have eased the way to rid the city of several overwhelmingly Palestinian neighborhoods.”

Unicorns, Santa Claus, And Annexing Area C [Israel Policy Forum]

Michael J. Koplow, Policy Director for Israel Policy Forum, writes, “On Sunday, the Likud Central Committee – think of it as roughly equivalent to the Republican or Democratic platform committees but with a heavy dose of actual political power – voted unanimously to call for Likud politicians to apply Israeli law and sovereignty to settlements in the West Bank. Yesterday, the Knesset passed an amendment to the Basic Law on Jerusalem requiring that any decisions to cede part of the city as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians must be approved by 80 Knesset members rather than by a simple majority. … The challenge ahead is to make sure more people understand why annexing Area C would be the equivalent of jumping out of a plane without even checking to see if you have a parachute.”

Click here to read the full Churches for Middle East Peace Bulletin, including links to these stories.


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