[Originally published August 12, 2011, in the context of the Supreme Court's consideration of a case challenging longstanding U.S. policy in Jerusalem (the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Obama Administration and - by extension - every U.S. administration that preceded it.  -Archived version is here]

The United States does not recognize the sovereignty of any party in any part of Jerusalem (East or West).   This is not a new policy imposed by the Obama Administration, as some seem to believe or want others to believe.  It is a policy that dates back to pre-1948, and has been followed by every U.S. Administration since, regardless of the President or party in the White House.  Across this entire period, the policy has applied equally to Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian claims in the city.  What follows are representative examples across this entire period illustrating the consistency of this policy.

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APN's Ori Nir in JWeekly: A shrine to tolerance shows grave insensitivity


The opinion piece by Rabbi Abraham Cooper (“Museum of Tolerance not being built atop Muslim cemetery,” Sept. 23) takes issue with my assertion that the Wiesenthal Center is knowingly building its Museum of Tolerance at the site of a historic Muslim cemetery and that bones of people buried there have been dug up to make room for the museum (“American Jewish progressives must act to defend their values in Israel,” Sept. 16).

My assertion is based on facts. These facts have been discussed in Israeli courts and in the Israeli public arena, and are included in Israel’s Supreme Court ruling. The heart of this ruling was not the question of whether there were skeletons buried where the museum now stands, but the manner in which the bones in the “Purple Zone” would be handled.

The Wiesenthal Center never refuted the presence of human bones in the “Purple Zone,” which it depicted in court as “the heart” of the museum’s construction site.

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Peace Now Settlement Watch: Plan Promoted for a New Settlement Near Shiloh

News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

On Wednesday, September 28th, two plans were promoted by the Civil Administration's Higher Planning Committee (HPC): one plan for a new settlement east of Shilo (approved for depositing), most likely meant for the settlers of the illegal outpost o Amona, and another for a new industrial zone west of Ramallah (approved for validation). see details below.

Peace Now: "While world leaders are gathering to commemorate Shimon Peres and his path to peace, the Israeli government is creating another obstacle for the two state solution by establishing a new settlement in the heart of the West Bank. The government's decision to reward settlers who stole private Palestinian lands will make the rest of Israel's law-abiding citizens pay a heavy political price."

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News Nosh 10.05.16

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday October 5, 2016  

Quote of the day:
"There is no more father Peres, who will bear the morality of Israel on his shoulders while the children run amok. The full moral responsibility for the image of Israel has now been passed to his successors. It is sad, difficult and frightening."
--Haaretz+ commentator Caroline Landsmann writes that the death of Israel's last founding father will force Israel to grow up.**
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The Campaign to Legislate Support for Settlements: The Battle in Congress

 As of April 1, 2017, the up-to-date version of this table is found

In 2015, a campaign began in Congress (as well as at the state level) to hijack concerns about BDS against Israel in order to pass legislation giving unprecedented legitimacy and recognition to Israeli settlements by, in effect, making it U.S. policy to treat them as part of Israel. These efforts continue through the present day.

This table  -- which will be updated regularly -- is intended to help people understand and follow what is happening in Congress.

APN rejects this cynical effort to exploit concerns about BDS in order to erase the distinction between Israel and the occupied territories. 

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APN Condemns New Israeli Settlement Plan

Today Americans for Peace Now joined its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), in condemning the Israeli government’s announced plan to establish a new West Bank settlement in the Shiloh Valley (full details on the announcement are here).

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Today (October 5th, 2016) Peace Now and Ir Amim jointly released a new report on settlement planning in one of the most sensitive and volatile areas in Jerusalem, in a Palestinian neighborhood in the heart of Silwan. The report,  "Broken Trust: State Involvement in Private Settlement in Batan Al-Hawa, Silwan." The report describes how, since 2001, the Ateret Cohanim settler organization has been working to transform Batan al-Hawa into a large Israeli settlement through sales without tender, questionable acquisition of Palestinian properties, forced eviction and removal of Palestinian families who have lived in the neighborhood for decades. If the settlers are successful, Batan al-Hawa will become the largest settlement compound in a Palestinian neighborhood in the Historic Basin of the Old City,  significantly tightening the emerging ring of settlements around the Old City, creating,"an irreversible reality" and severely undermining the possibility of a future two state solution.

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News Nosh 10.06.16

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday October 6, 2016  
Quote of the day:
"Our group includes women and men together. We want a dialogue in feminine form, with more compassion, listening… We want women's representation among the staff of committees, of (peace) talks, (we want there) to be women in the accords there. And we are together, women and men, but the voice we want to sound is the women's attitude."
--Ulfat Haider, one of the 2000 women who began marching for peace this week.**
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Americans for Peace Now
Americans for Peace Now: October 6, 2016

Please note that the APN offices will be closed next Wednesday, October 12, in observance of Yom Kippur.


"We strongly condemn the Israeli government's recent decision... Proceeding with this new settlement is another step towards cementing a one-state reality of perpetual occupation that is fundamentally inconsistent with Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state."

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner, in a statement responding to Israel's plan for a new settlement to relocate residents of the illegal outpost of Amona.

Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher


Yossi Alpher is an independent Israeli security analyst. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

Due to the holiday, there is no Hard Questions, Tough Answers this week.

Go HERE for previous editions, including last week's Outgoing Year, 5776.

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APN's News Nosh - Daily News Summary from Israel

From today's News Nosh: Hebrew newspapers (with the usual exception of Israel Hayom) highlighted the unusually harsh statement that the US released against Israel for the latter’s latest settlement construction plans, (Israel rejected the criticism, blaming Palestinians for the lack of peace)...

Go HERE for more of today's headlines and news summary from Israel, and HERE to receive APN News Nosh as a daily email.

Government Relations

APN Legislative Round-Up: September 30, 2016

  1. Bills, Resolutions, and Letters
  2. Hearings II
  3. On the Record III

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Rosh Hashanah

APN wishes all a sweet and peaceful New Year


APN volunteer Barbara Green begins her Rosh Hashana thoughts with: This is an awkward time of the year for some secular Jews like me.

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Settlement Watch

APN Condemns New Israeli Settlement Plan

Highlighted red circle above shows the area for the newly planned Israeli settlement in the West Bank, which will add to already existing settlements in the vicinity (shown in blue).

APN President and CEO Debra DeLee: "...the Netanyahu government is sending a message to settlers that it is an eager partner and collaborator in activities that are illegal under Israeli law...(and) a message to the Palestinians and the world that its rhetorical commitment to peace and a two-state solution is at best a cynical political cover."

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Go HERE for more on plans for a new West Bank settlement plus an industrial zone.

Go HERE for the joint Peace Now and Ir Amim report "Broken Trust: State Involvement in Private Settlement in Batan Al-Hawa, Silwan"

APN Events

APN's 6th Annual Professor Gerald B. Bubis Lecture in Southern California - Wednesday evening, November 30

The annual APN event, done in partnership with Valley Beth Shalom, will feature Daniel Levy, President of the US/Middle East Partnership, an internationally known expert on Israeli affairs. More information to come.

The APN Weekly Update can be
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Peace Now: The 98 Housing Units Promoted Near Shiloh: A New Settlement Indeed

News from Peace Now:

Last Saturday, Our Settlement Watch team exposed that the Civil Administration's Higher Planning Committee promoted a plan for a new settlement east of Shiloh. Today, following the statement issued by the U.S. State Department condemning this development, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued its own statement, arguing that the 98 units that were promoted do not consist of a new settlement and do not expand the Shiloh's municipal boundaries.

These are the facts behind our analysis, which illustrate that this is indeed a new settlement:

1. The driving distance between the new settlement and Shilo is 2km (1km from Shvut Rachel).

2. The Municipal boundary of Shiloh was changed in May 2013 to including this new hill.

3. The fact that an area is included in the municipal boundary of a settlement means nothing about the location of it in or out of the existing settlement. According to our study of the municipal areas of settlements, the built-up area of the settlements takes only 9% of their jurisdiction. In other words, 91% of the municipal boundaries of the settlements is out of the built area of the settlement.

4. According to the protocol of the planning committee which took place last week, the architect who presented the plan said that "in terms of its functioning, the neighborhood could be independent, illustrating that this is a de-facto a new settlement, but the government needs politically to call it a neighborhood for political reasons.

For all of the reasons above, it is clear that the housing units promoted are not an integral part of Shiloh, but rather, a new settlement.

Peace Now's response to the U.S State Department's statement: "two weeks after President Obama approved a $38 billion security assistance package to Israel, Netanyahu chooses to thank him with a slap in face, and to illustrate that his commitment to settlers who stole private lands is more important to him than the true interests of the State of Israel."


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