On Sunday advocates for peace from across the United States will gather in Washington, D.C. for “50 Years Too Long: A CMEP Advocacy Event.” June 2017 marks 50 years of Israeli occupation and control of the Palestinian territories. Participants will hear various different perspectives – Jewish, Muslim, and Christian - and learn from experts in the fields of politics, history, religion, and church leadership. The event will culminate with training about how to advocate for a just peace and hope for a future for all people in Israel and the Palestinian territories while calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. That learning will be put into practice by visiting government representatives to promote a solution that advances human rights, security and self-determination for all Palestinians and Israelis. In this special “50 Years Too Long” edition of the Bulletin we have included articles from diverse perspectives analyzing both the challenges to and urgency for peace that 50 years of occupation has created.
Are you an advocate for peace? It’s not too late to register for “50 Years Too Long: A CMEP Advocacy Event.” Register here!
Unable to attend? You can be an advocate for peace in your home district. We’ve included resources on Gaza here. These resources will give you background information on Gaza’s humanitarian situation to assist you in raising the issue with your Members of Congress.
Follow “50 Years Too Long: A CMEP Advocacy Event” on Facebook and Twitter @ChurchesforMEP #50YearsTooLong
In The News: 50 Years Too Long
Israel Still Occupies Palestinian Land 50 Years after its Six-Day War [The Economist]
The Economist reports, “This is a year of big anniversaries in Israel: 120 years since the First Zionist Congress in Basel; 100 years since the Balfour Declaration promised the Jews a national home; and 70 years since the UN proposed to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. But the commemoration of the half-century since the six-day war will be the most intense. This special report will examine the legacy of that conflict. The territories that Israel captured are the defining issue of its politics and its relations with the world; they are also at the heart of Palestinian dreams of independence. The six-day war was the last unalloyed military victory for Israel, and the start of a transition from existential wars against Arab states, which it always won, to enervating campaigns against non-state militias which it could never wipe out. The threat of invasion across its borders has vanished, but the violence within them is unceasing.”
50 Years: Legacies of the 1976 War [Brookings]
According to Brookings, “The June 1967 war transformed the Middle East’s geopolitics, its military balance, its ideological trends, and several of its borders. Fifty years later the Middle East order is again in flux. Here, Brookings experts weigh in on the legacy of the Six-Day War and what it can teach us about the volatile region today.”
50 Years Since 1967: What is the West Bank's Real Legal Status? [The Jerusalem Post]
Human rights lawyer Michael Sfard told the Jerusalem Post, “I believe that the occupation will end, but I don’t know what the price will be. Maybe a bleeding democracy, since we have harmed our democracy to perpetuate the occupation. We can’t continue like this… It is a great disaster for both Israel and the Palestinians. Whether with negotiations or a catastrophe, the occupation will end because such an oppressive regime is by its nature unstable. There is a limit how far it can continue to prevent millions of people from determining their own fate.” “After 50 years, one thing that is clear is that the legal status of the West Bank and the settlements are as unresolved as ever. In the final analysis, while the top experts surveyed here have very different predictions about the future, all of them believe the present is unsustainable and that 50 years from now the picture will look much different,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
50 Acts of Resistance for 50 Years of the Occupation [Haaretz]
According to Haaretz, “Half a century since Israel's occupation of the West Bank began, the struggle to resuscitate Israel's democratic character, and for a just and sustainable future for Israelis and Palestinians, goes on. Here are 50 acts of resistance from the five months of this year alone.”
How Palestinians Plan to Mark 50 Years of Occupation [Al-Monitor]
Al-Monitor columnist Uri Savir reports, “June 5, 2017, will mark 50 years since the Six Day War — half a century of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The Palestinian public is very mindful and conscious of this date. Fifty years after the occupation, the leadership in Ramallah is well aware that time is running out on the patience of their people to give diplomacy a chance. With this in mind, the Palestinian leadership is planning a major Palestinian and international political and public campaign on 50 years of the occupation."