Tell Your Senators: Reject Trump's Dangerous Choice for Ambassador to Israel

David Friedman is a friend of the settlement movement who backs unlimited settlement expansion, has accused President Obama of being an anti-Semite and says that liberal Zionists are "worse than kapos." Tell your Senators to reject his nomination to be the next US ambassador to Israel.

Time is short and your Senators need to hear from you TODAY. If you don’t know who your Senators are, you can look them up here. Then call the US Capitol switchboard – (202) 224-3121 – and ask to be connected to each of your Senator’s offices. Tell the person who answers the phone in each office:

David Friedman

  • I am a constituent and I care about Israel and Israeli-Palestinian peace
  • That is why I strongly oppose Donald Trump's choice to be the next US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and urge Senator XXX to reject him.
  • Mr. Friedman poses a threat to longstanding US policies in the Middle East that have been supported by Democratic and Republican presidents alike.
  • He is hostile to the two-state solution - the only way to ensure Israel’s future as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.
  • He is a friend of the settlement movement and an avid supporter of further settlement expansion.
  • The contempt Mr. Friedman has shown toward liberal American Jews - labeling them worse than Nazi collaborators - makes him a horrible choice to be our representative in Israel.
  • I urge Senator XXX to reject Mr. Friedman's nomination to be the next US ambassador to Israel.

P.S. Please forward this to your friends and urge them to call.

 


 

APN previously issued the following petition:

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News from Peace Now:

Yesterday, January 31, 2017 the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense issued an announcement on the promotion of 3,000 housing units in the settlements. The announcement was issued late last night, possibly under the assumption that all international attention will be directed towards the Amona evacuation.

The announcement is not an official step and is likely to be followed by concrete actions in the coming days in the shape of publications of tenders  and promotion of plans. 

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News Nosh 2.01.16

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday February 1, 2017
 
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Former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit on the Israeli government's "blindness"

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The latest in a series of ads from APN, featured in the Washington Jewish Week and Baltimore Jewish Times. This month's edition features former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit.

You can support additional ads by donating here.

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Press Release: APN Outraged by New Israeli West Bank Settlement Construction

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is outraged by the Israeli government’s approval of more than 3,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements, a measure that comes days after the approval of another 2,500 new settlement homes. APN is equally outraged by the Trump administration’s acquiescence as the Netanyahu government opens the settlements floodgates. 

The new wave of settlement construction permits is particularly infuriating because it is apparently intended to appease the settlers and their advocates in the Knesset, after the Israeli government was forced by the courts - after years of delays and excuses - to obey the law and evict settlers from the West Bank illegal outpost of Amona. Settlers have been resisting the eviction throughout the day Wednesday. Twenty five of the police officers who the settlers attacked – some of them had acid thrown in their faces – were hospitalized.  

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News Nosh 2.02.16

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday February 2, 2017

You Must Be Kidding: 
"We will use every way to restrain the dictatorship of the High Court, the High Court of injustice, and to restore democracy to the State of Israel."
--Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev said after the High Court ruled that the State could not relocate Amona settlers from one privately-owned Palestinian property to another.**
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News Nosh 2.03.16

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday February 3, 2017
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
One drawing in the Amona synagogue, where settler youth barricaded themselves, parodied the Israel Police logo, but featured a swastika and changed the name to “Ishmael Police,” a reference to the biblical character, the son of the patriarch Abraham, traditionally believed to be the ancestor of Arabs.
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They Say/We Say: "Why shouldn't settlement construction be able to continue within the existing borders of settlements? Construction inside settlements is not expansion."

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

Go HERE for all installments of APN's "They Say, We Say"

They Say, We Say: Are settlements really a problem?

They Say: "Why shouldn't settlement construction be able to continue within the existing borders of settlements? Construction inside settlements is not expansion."
We Say: Experience has taught past Middle East peace negotiators and past U.S. presidents that trying to limit settlement construction to areas within the settlements’ “current borders” (in the past referred to as “building up but not out”) is a trap. When it comes to defining “the current borders” of settlements, the devil is in the details – or more precisely, it is in the ambiguity around the word “borders,” a term that has proven exceptionally flexible in the eyes of the settlers and the Israeli government. To think about this more concretely:
  • Place your hand on a hard surface, splay your fingers wide apart, and take a pen and trace your handprint. Your handprint represents the built-up area or built-up borders of a settlement.
  • Draw another line connecting your fingers and your thumb. This line represents the land the settlers will argue is within the built-up borders of the settlement, even if it has no buildings on it yet.
  • Draw a circle around the handprint, leaving a space between this new line and the handprint inside. This line represents the security fence surrounding the settlement, which the settlers will argue is another border of the settlement, representing the actual “footprint" of the settlement on the ground, since this area is wholly under the settlement's control.
  • Draw another much larger circle around the previous circle. This line represents the municipal borders of the settlement, which the settlers might argue is legally and officially part of the settlement, even if they have not built on it yet.

 With settlers and their supporters in the Israeli government looking for any opening to expand settlements, which line is the “border” within which settlers may build? It is this ambiguity that has led past US administrations into the trap of endless and irresolvable negotiations/debates over what it even means to build “within the borders” of settlements. And to be clear, this is not a debate over semantics.

  • Many settlements have far-flung “neighborhoods” that, if used as the basis for defining the “borders” of the settlement would permit massive expansion.
  • Most settlements have security fences surrounding them, meaning that this larger area of land is already off-limits to Palestinians.
  • Nearly all settlements have a municipal area many times the size of the built-up area of the settlement – indeed, while the built-up area of settlements takes up less than 2% of the West Bank, nearly 10% of the West Bank is included within the officially declared municipal boundaries of these settlements. Permitting expansion inside these areas would allow settlements to grow many times over.

They Say/We Say: "Settlers, like people everywhere, have the right to have babies. The children of settlers, like children everywhere, grow up and have the right to have families and homes of their own. Demanding that all construction in settlements stop violates these universal rights."

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

Go HERE for all installments of APN's "They Say, We Say"

They Say, We Say: Are settlements really a problem?

They Say:"Settlers, like people everywhere, have the right to have babies. The children of settlers, like children everywhere, grow up and have the right to have families and homes of their own. Demanding that all construction in settlements stop violates these universal rights."
We Say: Nowhere in the world – not in New York, or Paris, or Tel Aviv – do people have an inalienable right to live exactly where they want – in the size home they want, in the neighborhood they want – irrespective of real estate market factors, or any political, economic, zoning, or other considerations that may come into play (including in this case, considerations about actual land ownership). Inside Israel, just like in other countries, people regularly face difficult decisions about where to live, given that major cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are crowded and affordable housing is scarce.

Settlers have the right to have babies. When these babies grow up, they have the right to start families and have homes of their own. But in all these cases, in the settlements as everywhere else in the world, the settlers and their families must do what people everywhere must do: reconcile their needs as best as possible to the housing market, which is affected not only by demand but by a myriad of other variables - including, in this case, the fact that settlers have knowingly and voluntarily chosen to make their lives on land that is the subject of a political dispute of global proportions.

APN Legislative Round-Up: February 3, 2017

1. Bills & Resolutions – Israel/Palestine
2. Bills, Resolutions & Letters – Iran
3. Bills & Resolutions – the UN
4. Bills & Resolutions – Other Matters
5. Hearings
6. On the Record

NOTE: On 2/1, the House Homeland Security Committee GOP members released a new report entitled, “Securing Israel: Lessons Learned From A Nation Under Constant Threat Of Attack.” Press release is here. It notes that, “There is much the United States can learn from Israel as Secretary Kelly and the Trump Administration take important steps forward in securing our homeland.”

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