Advocacy in Middle East and Europe

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  • 3rd Thursday Alert: Tell Congress: The U.S. should not contribute to or benefit from increased militarization in the Middle East!

    3rd_Thursday_logo.jpgU.S. military aid and arms sales exacerbate existing conflicts in the Middle East and fuel ongoing regional militarization.

    In 2020, the amount of U.S. arms sales approved worldwide reached a record-high at $83.5 billion, a $15 billion increase from the previous year, with more than half of its weapons delivered to the conflict-torn Middle East. A Congressional Research Service report from 2017 noted that “the United States is the single largest arms supplier to the Middle East and has been for decades.” Now with new reports of plans for F-35 sales to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Saudi Arabia, the U.S. is demonstrating that it values profits for U.S. arms manufacturers over the practices of these governments toward their  own civilians as well as other civilians, such Yemenis caught in a civil war and who will suffer as a result of these deals.

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  • 3rd Thursday Action Alert: Tell Congress to hold Israel accountable for de facto annexation activities

    3rd_Thursday_logo.jpgIllegal settlement activity, home demolitions, and restrictions to Palestinian access to vital resources increase despite normalization deals and the global pandemic.

    Israel has been massively expanding its de facto annexation efforts in recent months, moving ahead with thousands of new settlement units in the occupied West Bank and with home demolitions there and in East Jerusalem. Despite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s annexation plans supposedly being put on hold after Israel’s normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain, de facto annexation continues as the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing settlement construction is slated to advance plans for over 4,400 Israeli homes in the West Bank this month. All of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law and settlement construction in occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

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  • 3rd Thursday Alert: Tell Congress to use its leverage to end the Gaza Blockade

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    For more than a decade, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have suffered under a brutal blockade and growing humanitarian crisis. The besieged population, lacking a functioning healthcare system, now faces a health emergency with the arrival of the first of COVID-19 cases among the general population.

    AP reports that Gaza’s first COVID-19 cases outside of quarantine centers were detected on August 24. As of September 13, over 1600 active cases have already been detected and 11 people have died.  

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  • CMEP: Churches Against Annexation - Please join!

    CMEP_logo.jpgThis spring, in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he would proceed with formal annexation of significant parts of the West Bank as early as July 1, CMEP launched its Churches Against Annexation campaign to ensure there was a clear Christian voice opposing annexation. Throughout the summer, CMEP has continued our advocacy with Congressional offices, bringing the voices of supporters along to press Congress to ensure U.S. policy does not provide diplomatic cover for or fund annexation. As of this writing, the Israeli government has not yet proceeded with formal annexation, though Prime Minister Netanyahu recently made clear in an interview that he remains committed to his annexation plans.

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  • 3rd Thursday Alert: During August recess, ask Congress to ensure US funds do not support annexation

    3rd_Thursday_logo.jpgWith U.S. support, on August 13 Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced normalization of diplomatic relations, with Israel agreeing to “suspend” annexation of West Bank lands. After the announcement Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified that he sees the suspension only as a delay, not an end to Israel’s annexation plans. The suspension will also not halt Israel’s de facto annexation and ongoing military occupation, as Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the West Bank, demolish Palestinian homes, and violate Palestinians’ rights.

    With Congress on recess in August, please take advantage of the opportunity to meet with your congressional representatives. Although in-person meetings are generally not possible right now due to COVID restrictions, Congressional offices continue to meet virtually with their constituents. Many Members of Congress and candidates are also holding virtual town halls, which provides another important opportunity to engage with them.

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