2013 Middle East Workshops

The Middle East has long been the focus of political anxiety over actual and possible conflicts. Violent conflict and political tension are often intertwined with humanitarian need and access to food. At times conflict creates scarcity while at other times international pressure such as sanctions creates tension and a shortage of food and other resources. We focused on the humanitarian costs of the conflict in Syria, the impact of sanctions on Iran, and the current political landscape and humanitarian conditions around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Human Costs of the Conflict in Syria

The people of Syria continue to suffer greatly as a result of the conflict that has engulfed their country. Learn more about the challenges faced by people displaced from their homes within Syria, as well as refugees who have fled to neighboring countries, and how we as U.S. Christians can respond to the crisis.

Speaker: Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, Director, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office


Iran: Food, Sanctions, and Human Need Monroe

As broad U.S. and international sanctions cripple Iran’s economy, ordinary Iranians are caught in the crossfire, often blocked from accessing life-saving medicines and even basic food staples. While the latest rounds of sanctions are often justified as a tool to compel Iran to curb its nuclear program, sanctions have emboldened Iran’s hardliners in their defiance of U.S. and international demands, while civilians pay the price. Despite the Iranian pro-democracy movement’s staunch opposition to broad sanctions, Congress continues to press for more aggressive sanctions designed to collapse the entire civilian economy in Iran.

Speaker: Jamal Abdi, Policy Director, National Iranian American Council


The Past, Present and Future of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An Update from Churches for Middle East Peace

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is always evolving but also often does not appear to change. This session will bring an update on the conflict especially looking at the escalation between Gaza and Israel in November 2012, issues of food security and changes in post election US policy. These issues will be addressed through attention to conflicting views of international law and human rights.

Speaker: Ambassador Warren Clark, Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace


Topper photo (c) Linda Panetta. Used with permission.

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