Statement: Trump-Netanyahu Presser Dims Hopes for Peace; Undermines Decades of Diplomacy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued this following statement following today's joint press conference by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump in the White House:

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu's press conference today presented an opportunity for the two leaders to signal to Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and the world a clear commitment to peace. It was an opportunity to signal that they can chart a constructive way forward for U.S.-Israel relations and for Israel's future, for its security and its well-being as a democracy and a Jewish state.

Netanyahu and Trump squandered this opportunity.

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Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued this following statement on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first meeting with Donald Trump since Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States:

This past weekend, before leaving for Washington, Prime Minister Netanyahu told his Cabinet: 'I have navigated Israeli-U.S. relations in a prudent manner, and I will continue to do so now.'

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) is deeply concerned about the detention and questioning of the New Israel Fund's vice president, Jennifer Gorovitz, at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday upon arrival in Israel. Gorovitz, who flew into Israel to participate in NIF's Board meeting, was detained for ninety minutes and questioned three times during that period about NIF's activities, including its funding of Israeli non-profit organizations.

Today, according to Israeli media reports, the interim director general of Israel's Population and Immigration Authority, Amnon Shmueli, said that the questioning was "routine," apologized if the questioning caused Ms. Gorovitz anguish, and said that there was no intention to insult her. 

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The more Netanyahu hitches his wagon to the White House, the more he and Trump resemble each other, the more American Jews will actively resist both.

Israel’s newly adopted, patently unconstitutional “Regularization Law” further distances most American Jews from the government of Israel and the State of Israel. 

It does so by further underscoring the similarities between Israel’s leadership and U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign of constitutionally controversial executive orders. It thus further deepens the sense of dissonance in the minds of American Jews regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship. 

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APN's Response to the White House's Statement on West Bank Settlements

 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued the following response to the White House's statement on Israeli settlements in the West Bank:

While some may view it as positive that President Trump is paying attention to the Israeli government's aggressive settlement construction push, the statement issued yesterday by the White House should be understood for what it is: a dangerous and unprecedented retreat from and reframing of longstanding bipartisan U.S. policy on settlements, including under presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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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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Israel’s “Entry Bill”: What It Is and What It Means

What is the “Entry Bill”?

The so-called “Entry Bill” currently under consideration is an amendment to Israel’s 1952 “Entry Law,” which determines who is allowed to enter into Israel and under what conditions.

The amendment stipulates that any person who is not an Israeli citizen will be denied entry into Israel if:

“if the person, or the organization or body that the person represents, has knowingly publicized a call to boycott the state of Israel, as defined in the 2011 Law to Prevent Harming the State of Israel through Boycott, or (if that person) has pledged to participate in such a boycott.”[while granting Israel’s Interior Minister the prerogative to issue exceptional entry permits to boycotters “for special reasons.”]

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Press Release: APN to Netanyahu: Don't Embrace Trump's Immigration Policies

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is appalled at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expression of support for President Trump's immigration policies. APN calls on Netanyahu to stay out of America's heated debate on immigration, and to take into consideration the impact that statements on issues like this have on Israel's relations with broad, key segments of the American public and with the vast majority of American Jews.

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Press Release: APN to Trump: Don't be a "Freier"

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed by a series of West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements-related measures that the Government of Israel is taking, or has indicated it intends to take, in the wake of the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

APN warns President Trump that acquiescing to such measures would send a dangerous message of weakness to the region and the world, right at the outset of his tenure in the White House. It would signal to America's allies and adversaries alike that this new president lacks the ability or the interest to recognize and defend core U.S. national security interests in the Middle East. It would announce to the world that on a critical issues like this – on which U.S. policies reverberate across the globe – the Trump Administration cannot or will not stand up to pressure from a narrow constituency of zealots and ideologues who prioritize an ideological, messianic Middle East agenda over national security and best interests of both the American people and Israel.

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Full text of remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry on Israeli-Palestinian peace

Following is the full text of remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry, delivered at the State Department in Washington, DC on December 28, as posted on the Department of State’s web site

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very, very much. Thank you. (Coughs.) Excuse me. Thank you for your patience, all of you. For those of you who celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy Chanukah. And to everybody here, I know it’s the middle of a holiday week. I understand. (Laughter.) But I wish you all a very, very productive and Happy New Year.

Today, I want to share candid thoughts about an issue which for decades has animated the foreign policy dialogue here and around the world – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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