APN Weekly Update - Trump and the Middle East, Study Tour, Instagram, and more

Americans for Peace Now
Americans for Peace Now: November 15, 2016

"If you stop pedaling, you fall immediately. A vacuum here does not exist.

Dr. Husam Zomlot, PLO Ambassador to the United States during a meeting with the APN Study Tour group in Ramallah, talking about the need for action on behalf of a two-state solution. 

Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher


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

November 14, 2016 - Trump and the Middle East

Q. Everything we can say at this point about a Trump administration and the Middle East is tentative and speculative. So where do we start?

A. Let’s begin by asking where, if at all, the Middle East contributed to Trump’s election victory...

Q. Aren’t there additional contradictions in Trump’s Middle East policy positions?

A. The most glaring one concerns Russia, Iran and Syria...

Q. Couldn’t Trump’s demand that countries like Japan and South Korea and NATO members pay their own way in defense matters also affect Israel?

A. Absolutely. This is my personal near-term worst case scenario regarding President Trump...

Q. One of Trump’s first public policy statements since being elected is that he welcomes the challenge of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Empty bluster or a serious commitment?

A. I’m skeptical...

Q. But isn’t Trump’s Republican, evangelical and militia-minded constituency committed to Israel’s security from a religious-ideological standpoint?

A. Yes, at the declarative level. But as we have seen, some potential policy directions appear to contradict this commitment...

Q. Some Middle East leaders, following the lead of Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi, openly celebrated Trump’s electoral victory on the assumption that this will reduce US pressures on their regimes regarding human rights issues.

A. Indeed...

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Settlement Watch

Ministerial Committee Approves Regulation Bill

Demonstrating outside of the home of Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party,  against the "Regulation Bill" (Peace Now Director Avi Buskila is in the dark shirt).

The "Regulation Bill" seeks to retroactively legalize illegal West Bank outposts built on private Palestinian lands.

Peace Now: "...the government made theft a part of its official policy and took another step on the way towards a one state reality. Such action is contrary to international law, Jewish values and basic common sense, and was even deemed unconstitutional by the Attorney General."

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APN Israel Study Tour

APN Study Tour now in Israel

Top left: Peace Now's Hagit Ofran with group on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives; Top right: The elder Tibbon, Maj. General (ret.) Noam Tibbone, spoke about security needs with Gaza directly behind him. Bottom: The only "bombproof playground" is in Sderet, Israel near Gaza. On the left is the outside of the play structure/shelter, and on the right is a view from the inside.

The group has been immersed in meetings and travel to areas of significance to the conflict and its resolution. So far, the experiences have included meetings with the US Consul General in Jerusalem, the PLO Ambassador to the US in Ramallah, and a powerful experience at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, right on the border with Gaza.

Go HERE to see pictures.

APN's Instagram highlights the Israel Study Tour

If you are not a follower of APN on Instagram, make sure to do so which has lately been highlighting the current Israel Study Tour.

Go HERE to see and follow APN.


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Peace Now Settlement Watch: Ministerial Committee Approves Regulation Bill

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

Yesterday, November 13, the Ministerial Committee for legislation approved the regulation bill, which seeks to retroactively legalize illegal outposts built on private Palestinian lands. According to the bill, private lands taken for the purpose of settlement with the government's involvement will be "leased" to settlers, while Palestinian landowners will receive financial compensation and an alternative land but no right to appeal.
The timing of the approval of the regulation bill relates to the pending evacuation of the illegal outpost of Amona, which based on the High Court's verdict must happen by December 25. Earlier today (November 14) the High Court dismissed the state's request to delay the evacuation any further.
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Remembering September 11th

zikaron-candle320x265On the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, we remember the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who perished. Let us resolve to continue working to advance peace and security.

Take on the Occupation

Join with us!

Tisha B'Av: Silence threatens peace

Tisha_B'Av_Graphic200Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av), which is observed beginning the evening of August 13th this year, is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. The fast day of Tisha B’Av is sometimes compared to that of Yom Kippur: whereas the fast of Yom Kippur is one which is intended to restore and elevate us through the process of repentance, the fast of Tisha B’Av is considered the saddest day on the Jewish calendar because it commemorates hatred and apathy causing the destruction of that which is most precious. The Talmud explains that the second Temple was destroyed because, while people were behaving abominably, the leaders of the community stood by and said nothing.

This year, don't stand by while right-wing Israeli leaders pass laws that silence peace activists. It is those who speak out who will bring peace and security to Israel, and it is those who wish to silence them who threaten Israel’s future.

This year, help APN and Peace Now fight back against the silence and help us secure that which is most precious for Israel: peace.

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A thoughtful essay, a disgusting video: Lag B'Omer

Lag BaOmer 2016


There aren’t many holidays that take note of an absence, of when something ceases, of an end. But there is such a holiday: Lag B'Omer - the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot. It is a little-known Jewish holiday that celebrates (among other things) the cessation of a divinely-sent plague that resulted from people not showing one another adequate respect.

Donate TodayWe could all use a day of true respite, a day that reminds us how desperately we need to end the plague of violence and hatred. Imagine one day without violence and counter-violence, without the fear of being stabbed or brutalized, a day without the occupation, a day without victims – on both sides. Given all the tumult in the world and our own rough-and-tumble elections, we yearn for THAT Lag B’Omer NOW.

The plague we suffer from is not divinely sent, but one of human choices and actions. It takes work and time to end it, but humans are clever, and when motivated, we are able to work true wonders. Political conflicts are not decreed by fate. They are ours to resolve.

It starts with one day.

Did you know?

Click on the image to watch the video



Lag B'Omer is celebrated with joy and huge bonfires throughout Israel. But every year, Hebron settlers use this holiday as an opportunity to steal Palestinian furniture to burn in their bonfires. This year, an activist caught settlers in Hebron doing just this and shared it with Peace Now.

Stand with us and with our Peace Now colleagues in Israel.

Help us stand up to the extremist settlers.

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The holiday of second chances - Not too late for peace

shmura-matza-transparent320x265This Sunday, thirty days after Passover begins, there is another holiday – one almost no one has heard of. This holiday is called “Pesach Sheni” – second Passover- and has no celebrations, no special services, no seder.  Yet, perhaps we should consider reviving it.

Originally, it appears in the Bible because there were a number of people who were, for reasons out of  their control, unable to celebrate the Passover a year after leaving Egypt. Upset that they would be unable to celebrate, they complained to Moses, and were instructed to observe it a month later, just for one day.

Second Passover is the holiday of second chances.

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APN's Rabbi Alana Suskin in the Jerusalem Post: Don’t give up on Israel!

Last week, I received an email from Tikkun Magazine crowing, “Major American Jewish Leader Changes his Mind About Israel.” Rabbi David Gordis, who has served in an astonishing number of major American Jewish institutions, reflected on his years of love and advocacy for Israel, and on the rightward trend in Israeli policies. He wrote, “sadly, after a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way: Israel has failed to realize its promise for me. A noble experiment, but a failure.”

My heart sank. Many of us engaged in advocacy for Israel no doubt share Rabbi Gordis’ discontent with the trajectory of public affairs in Israel. Clearly there is reason to be troubled. Extremism has become embedded throughout every level of Israeli society. The occupation, and the racism that has grown from it, are alarming.

But, while I am sympathetic to your feelings of near-despair, Rabbi Gordis, I beseech you: don’t give up; Israel can’t afford to lose you.

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APN's Rabbi Alana Suskin and her co-panelist Dov Waxman speak at Open Hillel's teach-in about the Jewish tradition of dissent and the changing views of Israel as regards the occupation among American Jews


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