ICMEP Annual Report, 2018

Indiana Center for Middle East Peace had a very successful program year in 2018. ICMEP sponsored panel discussions; presentations and lectures by scholars, activists, justice advocates, journalists, military personnel, and others; concerts; a “service of solidarity”; film screenings; and more.

ICMEP hosted the following programs:

January 18Religion and Race in Donald Trump’s America: One Year In  
Irene Paxia (Amani Family Services); Rev. Bill McGill (Imani Baptist Temple); Dr. Michael Spath (Indiana Center for Middle East Peace

February 8Refugee Voices: A Syrian Refugee Family, resettled in Indianapolis, tells their story
The Alhamwi family, sponsored by the Presbyterian Church USA

March 10Andalusian Trail: Music and Dance from India, North Africa, and the Middle East
A Benefit Concert with Ronnie Malley and the Surabhi Ensemble
With an Arts United “Amplify Arts” Matching Grant

April 12It’s Kosher to Boycott: A Jewish Journey to Palestinian Solidarity
Robert Cohen, journalist, commentator

April 26In Honor of Rachel Corrie: Voices of Palestinian Resistance
Joe Catron, journalist, International Solidarity Movement activist

May 22Palestinians Speak Justice: The Bible, Justice, and Palestine-Israel
Fr. Naim Ateek, Sabeel Liberation Theology Center, Tarek Abuata, Friends of Sabeel North America

June 1A Benefit Concert for the Children of Palestine 
Ali Paris, Palestinian oudist and international recording star
With an Indiana Arts Commission & Arts United grant

August 23Families Torn Apart: US Immigration and Palestine
Christine Stonebraker-Martinez, immigrant & refugee activist, Inter-Religious Task Force, Cleveland, OH

September 131948: Creation and Catastrophe (film screening)

October 4The State of American Muslims: Citizenship, Immigration, Palestine Advocacy and the Current US Political Climate
Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, American Muslims for Palestine

October 20Annual Gala – “The Palestinians Are Winning”: BDS, the One-State, Campuses, and Congress 
Ali Abunimah, journalist, founder of the Electronic Intifada

November 15 – The Influence of Israel on US Middle East Military Policy 
Major Danny Sjursen, US Army, Military Historian                              

December 9A Service of Solidarity: To Commemorate the UN’s Universal Declaration  of Human Rights 
Rev. Graylan Hagler, Plymouth Congregational Church, and Poor Peoples Campaign, Washington DC; Luci Murphy, songleader, Poor Peoples Campaign, Washington DC; Union Baptist Church Choirarea clergy and community leaders

In addition to the above, Indiana Center for Middle East Peace accomplished the following:

  • Executive Director Michael Spath gave six presentations during the year on Palestine and other justice-related issues;
  • ICMEP successfully transitioned ArabFest to its own 501c3 organization;
  • ICMEP remained financially solvent with a positive financial outlook throughout 2018, the fourth year with a full-time Executive Director;
  • Michael coordinated the tours of Robert Cohen (four Midwest US cities, in addition to his participation in a Marc Ellis Festschrift in Texas); and a six-city FOSNA tour featuring Fr. Naim Ateek and Tarek Abuata – both of which helped to support the programming and other work of ICMEP;
  • ICMEP continues to support its sister organization, Michiana Voices for Middle East Peace;
  • ICMEP successfully garnered two grants from Arts United and the Indiana Arts Commission (totaling $9000) and Plymouth Congregational Church United Church of Christ ($1200);
  • The above Arts United and Indiana Arts Commission grants enabled ICMEP to host two “benefit concerts” for our Palestinian mission partners. This fulfilled one of our ICMEP goals for 2018 to expand our arts programming;
  • ICMEP was able to offer person- and 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, Nablus Old City); as well as to the Iyad Burnat family in Bil’in;
  • Michael led his 14th “Come and See” Solidarity Tour to Palestine and Israel, with 28 travelers from NE Indiana, Seattle, WA, and Palo Alto, CA;
  • $12,000 worth of scholarship money was contributed for travelers on Michael’s solidarity tour
  • ICMEP presented its first two Tree of Life “Champion of Justice” Awards to (1) Rev. Dr. John Gardner and (2) Plymouth Congregational Church United Church of Christ.