CMEP Action Alert: Urge President Biden to Stand Up for Peace and Justice During His Trip to Israel and Palestine
As President Biden’s July 13-14 visit to Israel and Palestine approaches, events on the ground are propelling the region towards escalating conflict, violence, and suffering. Approvals of plans for more Israeli settlements in the West Bank are accelerating, as are threats to dispossess and forcibly expel Palestinians. No one has yet been held accountable for the May 11 killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, though multiple media investigations have all concluded that she was likely shot to death by an Israeli soldier. And the East Jerusalem hospital network that is critical for the welfare of so many Palestinians remains drastically underfunded. The President must address these issues in his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leadership.
In May, Israel approved over 4,000 new settlement units for advancement, and another 3,000, in an area known as E-1 in the center of the West Bank, are scheduled to be advanced on July 18, just after President Biden leaves. Meanwhile, over 1,000 Palestinians face imminent expulsion from their homes in Masafer Yatta, an alarming escalation that dozens of members of Congress have called on the administration to prevent. Dozens of members of Congress have also called on the administration to ensure a transparent and independent or U.S.-led investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.
The President must insist with the Israelis that such an investigation be allowed to proceed, and he must demand that Israel halt expansions of settlements and expulsions of Palestinians, practices which are flagrant violations of international law.
Reportedly, the President will be visiting one of the hospitals in the East Jerusalem hospital network. CMEP Member Communions have a close relationship with three of the hospitals in the network, all of which provide vital services to patients from Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. The President must pledge that funding for these hospitals will be delivered.
It is critical that President Biden use his trip to push for human rights for all in Israel and Palestine, and take actions that will respect human rights, uphold international law, benefit the health and welfare of Palestinians, and enhance chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.