2019 Annual Report


Indiana Center for Middle East Peace had a very successful program year in 2019.
January 14Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis, with panelists Maali Luqman, Hashem Awnallah, Imam Hamzah Sharif, and moderated by Ahmed Abdelmageed
January 31Dr. Jeff Halper, Israel Committee Against House Demolitions; One Democratic State Campaign
February 21 – Journalist Max Blumenthal, Israel’s (and the US’s) Perpetual War Against Palestinians
March 9Dance of Unity, Dance of Peace: Rumi’s Poetry, Sufi Music, and Whirling Dervishes. With Ronnie Malley, Intercultural Music Production, and Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble
March 28Nakba Tour, with Nakba survivor Marian Fathalla and journalist, and granddaughter of Nakba survivors, Amena El-Ashkar
April 14Beating Guns Tour: Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin
May 2 – Ha’aretz journalist Amira Hass and Bethlehemite Elaine Zoughbi
May 13-25“Come and See” Solidarity Tour: Palestine and Israel, with Dr. Michael Spath
May 21 – Three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Blood Brothers author, Archbishop Elias Chacour, Mar Elias Educational Institutions
June 29 – TaybehFest
September 14CodePink co-founder, Medea Benjamin: Political Activism, Trump’s America, and the 2020 Elections
October 20Ambassador Dr. Akbar Ahmed: Journey Into Islam, Immigration, and Identity
November 2, ICMEP Annual Gala – Author, Playgrounds for Palestine founder; Chair, Palestine Writes, Susan Abulhawa
November 9-22Mystical Turkey Tour, with Dr. Michael Spath
December 5 – Commemoration of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, featuring Brian Zahnd

ICMEP 2019 Activity of Note

  • Executive Director Michael Spath gave five presentations during the year on Palestine and other justice-related issues;
  • Michael coordinated a 6-city tour for Dr. Jeff Halper, as part of his One Democratic State Campaign;
  • ICMEP was able to offer financial support to our Palestinian mission partners – Tent of Nations farm, Bethlehem; Wi’am Conflict Resolution Center, Bethlehem; Al-Rowwad Theater Center, Aida Refugee Camp,
    Bethlehem; Multipurpose Community Resource Center (Health Clinic, Kindergarten, and Women’s Center), Nablus Old City; and the Iyad Burnat family in Bil’in;
  • ICMEP received grants from the following organizations: National Endowment for the Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, and Arts United; Plymouth Congregational Church UCC; Emmaus Road Mennonite
    Fellowship; Mennonite Central Committee-Great Lakes Region; Ron and Jane Caldwell Orchard Gallery Art Benefit; and Northeast Christian Church;
  • Michael led his 14th “Come and See” Solidarity Tour to Palestine and Israel, now having taken 240+ travelers to the region;
  • $4000 worth of scholarship money was contributed for Michael’s Palestine-Israel solidarity tour;
  • Michael led a tour of “Mystical Turkey,” visiting seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, meeting with a political scientist, Syrian refugee, a local musician and cultural icon, Rumi’s 22nd generation granddaughter, an elementary school, Women’s Center, and more;
  • ICMEP hosted its first TaybehFest, featuring beers and wines from, and supporting, Taybeh Brewery (Taybeh, Palestine). Thanks to Board Chair Terry Dougherty, who made contact with the Khoury family’s Taybeh distributorship in Boston, MA;
  • ICMEP continued its very close partnership with Fort Wayne’s Muslim community as we hosted Ambassador Dr. Akbar Ahmed. At the reception for Dr. Ahmed, four local imams and other lay
    leaders of the Muslim community were present. We also facilitated strengthening the relationship between Plymouth Church and local Muslim congregations;
  • An important feature of ICMEP’s Dance of Unity, Dance of Peace program, 12 local peace & justice, and social service organizations hosted tables describing their work (Fort Wayne Arab Fest; Fort Wayne for Refugees; Friends of the Third World; Creative Women of the World; Amani Family Services; Peace & Justice Committee–Plymouth Church; Sierra Club; League of Women Voters; Just Neighbors; Human Library; Positive Resource Connection; and Beyond Coal);
  • ICMEP presented its Tree of Life “Champion of Justice” Award to Palestinian-American author, activist, and Playgrounds for Palestine founder, Susan Abulhawa;
  • ICMEP is are now supporting Playgrounds for Palestine distributing their Aida Olive Oil;
  • Thanks to Board Vice-Chair, John Detraz, we have begun to interview our guests and make them available to a larger audience on our own ICMEP YouTube channel;
  • Thanks to anonymous donors, and with Board Chair, Terry Dougherty, January Simpson is now regularly upgrading our website and consulting about our media impact, and Pamela Etheridge is posting
    current articles, ICMEP events, and other information on our ICMEP Facebook page;
  • ICMEP remained financially solvent with a positive financial outlook throughout 2019, the fifth year with a full-time Executive Director;
  • While maintaining its close partnership with Friends of the Third World, ICMEP has begun a relationship with Sari Bari, a local store whose hand-stitched items support women impacted by human trafficking and the commercial sex trade;
  • ICMEP once again provided financial and person support for ArabFest;
  • ICMEP continues to support its sister organization, Michiana Voices for Middle East Peace;
  • Board Chair, Terry Dougherty, and Executive Director, Michael Spath, met with representatives from the peace and justice community in Lafayette, IN, about future partnership, pursuant to the larger goal of
    building a state-wide coalition of Palestine solidarity groups;
  • Board Chair, Terry Dougherty, Board members, Amar Masri and Sam Jarjour, and Executive Director Michael Spath represented ICMEP at the March Washington Report for Middle East Affairs conference in
    Washington DC; and Terry, Amar, and Sam represented ICMEP at the AIPAC protest rally that followed;
  • ICMEP was featured in the United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network Winter newsletter.

With gratitude for the personal, financial, prayer, and other support of our members and friends, and in solidarity with our partners in Palestine and Israel, Christian “Living Stones,” and Muslims and Jews of conscience, this Annual Report is submitted on this date, the 23rd day of December 2019.

L. Michael Spath
Executive Director