In his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today, President Trump vowed to work with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians to broker peace. "We will get this done," Trump declared.
"Everybody knows,” goes the argument. “Everybody knows that under any future Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, West Bank settlement blocs will be annexed to Israel.” And because everyone knows that, the argument goes, Israel should be allowed, even encouraged, to continue unhindered with settlement construction in the “blocs.”
Proponents of construction in settlement blocs argue the following. There is an Israeli consensus around the future annexation of the blocs once a peace agreement is signed. Even the PLO gave a nod of approval for such a scenario. Both Israelis and Palestinians have accepted the principle of “land swaps” (Israel compensating the Palestinians for lands it will annex east of the Green Line with Israeli land West of the Green Line). The US has made it clear that it will not insist on an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines. Given all that, they say, why not build in areas that “everybody knows” Israel will end up keeping and annexing? How could that damage future negotiations?
This logic is becoming so rampant that a prominent Washington expert on the conflict recently said: “If settlements are the problem, then the blocs are the solution.”
Really? Is more settlement construction here the solution to the problem that settlement construction there creates?
Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) in condemning the Israeli government's decision to establish a new settlement in the West Bank, to publish tenders for some 2,000 new homes in West Bank settlements and to take measures that would allow for the retroactive legalization of three outposts built illegally, without initial government approval, in the West Bank.
APN also joins Peace Now's condemnation of the Israeli Cabinet's new policy of so-called "restraint," which in practice would allow it to continue with its unhindered expansion anywhere in the West Bank, including settlements adjacent to the Green Line ("settlement blocs"), more distant settlements, and East Jerusalem.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed, by a very narrow margin, the nomination of David Friedman to be America’s ambassador to Israel.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly opposed Friedman’s confirmation and worked hard to thwart it.
Pardo spoke today at the Netanya Academic College. Here are some quotes from is speech, translated from the Hebrew original:
"The Jewish State has one existential threat. It's a time bomb that is ticking all the time and has been ticking for some time. We have chosen to bury our heads in the sand. Deep in the sand. To feed ourselves with alternative facts and escape reality while creating various external threats.
Israel’s new Entry Law is actually much worse than we originally thought.
It turns out that its final language is even more draconian than the text published in the media when the law was adopted. The new language uses a much broader definition of who would be subject to denial of entry into Israel. It seems that right before it was brought to a final vote someone changed the language of the bill to include anyone who acts “for the sake of” an organization that calls for boycotts (rather than people who “represent” such organizations).
Americans for Peace Now strongly condemns new Israeli legislation adopted today by the Knesset, which would ban entry to Israel of foreign nationals who support or publicly engage in boycotts of either Israel or West Bank settlements.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "This new draconian law is a severe blow to Israeli democracy. It is aimed at a basic civil liberty, the freedom of expression, and will severely harm Israel by keeping out some of its greatest supporters.
Israel’s Peace Now movement submitted on March 5th 2017 a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice against the newly adopted Expropriation Law (also known as the Legalization Law or the Regulation Law), a law that allows the expropriation of privately-owned West Banks Palestinian land for settlement construction.
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.
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.'