Churches for Middle East Peace and the Tent of Nations

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of 31 U.S. Church communions and organizations seeking to shift U.S. policy to support just and lasting peace in the Middle East. To do so, CMEP educates U.S. Christians about the realities on the ground in the Middle East, elevates the voices of local peacemakers, and advocates for U.S. policies that will contribute to a just and lasting end to conflicts in the region, including for humanitarian/ economic assistance, and respect for human rights. Our Middle East church relationships and connections are critical in helping us advance these priorities in the cause of peace.

As a U.S. advocacy organization, CMEP’s advocacy work primarily focuses on U.S. lawmakers. Here, though, is one story of how CMEP’s advocacy directly impacts our partners in the Middle East. 

CMEP has been working with Tent of Nations and Friends of Tent of Nations North America to advocate for the re-registration and legal protection for the Tent of Nations. Tent of Nations’ land has been registered in the Nassar family’s name since 1924, but lack of Israeli recognition of Nassar ownership has wrongfully licensed frequent attacks, legal and physical, from both the Israeli government and Israeli settlers. CMEP worked closely with our contacts in the U.S. government and submitted a petition organized by the Tent of Nations and Friends of Tent of Nations, to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to pressure the Israeli government to grant Tent of Nations a court date to officially reregister their land, now slated for February 2022.

For many in CMEP’s network, the story of the Tent of Nations remains a place of great hope in spite of numerous challenges and earthly obstacles. For the past several months, CMEP joined alongside many other organizations including the Friends of Tent of Nations, advocating for a court date in order for the Nassar family farm to be able to be registered. We rejoiced when the Israeli authorities set a court date of December 13, 2021. Holding onto hope and prayer, we did all we could to advocate for a favorable outcome. 

On December 9, 2021, Daoud Nassar wrote on the Tent of Nations Facebook page:We hope and pray that this hearing will not be postponed and the reregistration process will move forward smoothly and end in our favor. This would end our thirty years of legal battle in Israeli military and supreme courts to protect the Tent of Nations land from the danger of confiscation. Now we are in the last stages of our legal struggle, we pray and hope that at the end of this long struggle we will see the sun of justice rise again. 

However, shortly before the court date arrived, the Nassar Family received a notice that the date would be delayed, now set for January 16, 2022. CMEP is encouraged by the progress Tent of Nations has made in acquiring Israeli registration and will continue to work with the U.S. government until they obtain full rights to their land.

 

To learn more about CMEP and their work, visit their website here.