Escalating tensions with Iran in the last two weeks verging on war resulted in the Iraqi parliament voting overwhelmingly to expel US troops from the country. The vote was received with a strong rejection by the US, despite President Trump having campaigned on a promise to bring US troops home. Having been present as an occupying army since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the vote called renewed attention to US military presence in the region. But the US has done more to militarize the Middle East than station troops there. It has provided military arms and equipment, allocated military aid, and approved arms sales to the region in staggering quantities.
Please contact your representatives in Washington, urging them to constrain the US military presence in the Middle East in the form of troops, military aid, provision of arms, and arms sales approvals.Read more
Israel demolished a record number of homes in East Jerusalem in 2019, also setting a record for homes demolished by their own owners on Israel’s orders. The number of homes Israel demolished in the rest of the West Bank, both over permit issues and as a punitive measure, also spiked in the past year.Read more
Like Autumn leaves, the years go by, and here we are at the end of another year, and ready to welcome 2020 with vigor and “Sumud” resilience. It is very important that this new generation continues to hold on to hope for justice and peace to prevail, so that our country and the whole region is spared further wars and suffering. Despite the onslaught on East Jerusalem and its institutions, Rawdat El-Zuhur continues to be a beacon of hope for those young children, so that they will carry with them beautiful memories as they leave their safe haven and face the new challenges in their new surroundings. As we send you our greetings for Christmas and the New Year, we hope we can continue to count on your support that will make a difference to the lives of those children.Read more
The Link, published on a bi-monthly basis, is Americans for Middle East Understanding's primary education and information tool. More than 175 issues of The Link have followed since the first issue in 1968.
The Link archive constitutes a body of informed commentary, fact and anecdotal evidence that is all the more valuable for writers, researchers and historians because each issue (for the most part) covers only one subject.
Click here to read the current issue, entitled, "Fact and Fiction in Palestine." This issue is written by Gil Maguire, a retired human rights lawyer. His grandfather served as a judge at the Nuremberg War Crimes. His father was a WWII pilot who, following the war, transported Jews from all over the world to the new state of Israel. All that is true. What follows, though, is a clash of two Exodus stories: one, a bestseller, written in 1957 by Leon Uris, and one a newly self-published novel by Gil Maguire.
Lectionary Selection: John 1:10-18
Prayers for Israel/Palestine:
O Son of God, begotten of the Father before all things began, God of God, Light of Light, we praise and glorify you for taking upon yourself our human form and coming to live among us. We thank you for your light that shines in our dark and troubled world. We rejoice in the promise that your light has forever overcome the darkness of sin and evil. May this be fulfilled in our land that we may again see your glory. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.Read more
The Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, Bishop Rev. Sani Ibrahim Azar, has sent this Christmas meditation to the world, from Jerusalem. Click here to read the full message.
Tree Lighting & True Light
By the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, President
Dar al-Kalima University College and the Diyar Consortium
Dear sisters and brothers, dear friends,
Christmas Greetings from the little town of Bethlehem. As we approach Christmas, there is an influx of Christmas Tree light sweeping through Palestine. These events are now celebrated in each town, village and University. While these events are joyful, I’m asking myself if people are so absorbed by tree lighting ceremonies because the true light is becoming a commodity that is hard to find.Read more
The year 2019 has witnessed continued occupation, oppression and violence in Palestine with devastating impact on women, children and whole families.
The Israeli occupation forces continue to strike the besieged Palestinians in the Gaza strip that has been under blockade for over 12 years now. They are also tightening their grip on Jerusalem and have closed several Palestinian organizations in occupied East Jerusalem last November.
Please join Brad Parker (Defense for Children International - Palestine) and #nowaytotreatachild campaign co-leader, Jennifer Bing (American Friends Service Committee), for a webinar on December 17 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. They will share updates on congressional advocacy efforts during 2019 and provide a glimpse into 2020. Click here to register for the webinar »Read more