Americans for Peace Now mourns the passing of Samuel (Sandy) Berger Z”L, a former member of our Board of Advisors and a friend of APN. As President Clinton’s national security advisor and in other capacities, Sandy served America’s national security interests. He also played a pivotal role in advancing Israel’s security and wellbeing, and was an avid advocate of the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Dr. Gail Weigl, APN volunteer and a professor of art history, reviewed Dan Ephron's new book on Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, published on the 20th anniversary of the murder that changed Israel.
Dan Ephron, Killing A King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel (New York and London, 2015), 257 pages. $27.95
A heartbreaking chronicle of the circumstances leading to and following from the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Killing A King is a brilliant and comprehensive analysis of the quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and of the ultra-Orthodox opposition to that quest. While the subtitle, The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel, might sound grandiose to some, Ephron in fact convincingly proves the case that Rabin’s assassination catalyzed the remaking of an Israel increasingly dominated today by right-wing political and religious extremists. In his telling, even-handed though he may be, they are the primary if not the only villains of the piece.
Like all Israelis of my generation, I remember the night of Nov. 4, 1995.
Having just heard from the news desk editor at Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been shot, I called Palestinian officials for reaction. I was Haaretz’s Palestinian affairs correspondent at the time and was on the phone with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat when I heard on Israel Radio that Rabin’s spokesman was about to make a statement. As Eitan Haber hushed the crowed, I started translating for Erekat: “The government of Israel announces in dismay, in great sadness, and in deep sorrow, the death of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered by an assassin, tonight in Tel Aviv.”
Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the brutal murder of two Israelis, husband and wife, in a drive-by shooting attack in the West Bank today. The two were shot dead before their four children, who were in the car with them, and were lightly injured.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today told the United Nations General Assembly that due to Israel’s violations of its agreements with the PLO, the Palestinian leadership does not see itself as beholden to those agreements.
APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented on today's vote in the Senate on the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA):
"This afternoon, the Senate voted with the American people and the world to give the JCPOA a chance. It did so after weeks of careful deliberation, far-reaching consultations with experts, and deep soul-searching. Senators conducted all of this to the backdrop of a campaign of extraordinary pressure from various quarters, including some American Jewish groups and the Israeli government, urging them to ignore the facts, reject experts' analyses, and oppose the agreement.
APN president and CEO Debra DeLee commented today on the state of play of the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Congress:
"It is time for opponents of the deal – in the U.S. Congress, among some U.S. advocacy groups, and in Israel – to recognize that their dream of using a legislative vote of disapproval to block the Iran deal has come to naught, and to cease efforts to further drag out the battle over the deal with petty game-playing that serves only the purposes of political point scoring, at the expense of the vital national security interests of both the U.S. and Israel."
You have probably watched the viral video of the Palestinian women snatching a Palestinian child from the hands of an Israeli soldier, as he was trying to arrest the boy for rock-throwing.
If you missed it, no worries: as long as Israel’s occupation of the West Bank continues, you will have many more opportunities to watch similarly disturbing images. Because as long as the occupation continues, and combat soldiers are sent to police an occupied hostile civilian population, this ugliness is unavoidable.
This morning, the 34th member of the Senate came out in support of the Iran deal – meaning that opponents of the deal will not be able to override a presidential veto of a resolution of disapproval of the deal that GOP leaders in Congress intend to pass in the coming days.
APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:
“We applaud the 34 U.S. senators who have come out in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the landmark diplomatic agreement to roll back Iran’s nuclear program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We likewise applaud the more than 80 House members who have come out in support of the Iran agreement. By doing so, these lawmakers are showing leadership, clear-eyed vision, and courage. They are doing what is right for America and for Israel – supporting a historic diplomatic achievement that has the potential to prevent war, reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation, and, we hope, lead to greater security and stability in the future.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in strongly condemning the expanded Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, and warns against the repercussions of this provocative act.
As Peace Now reported, dozens of Jewish settlers overnight took over a large, five-story building in Silwan, and tried to pressure a Palestinian family who resides in it and holds a legal rental contract, to leave. The house is located in a part of Silwan that settlers have not yet tried to penetrate, deep inside this densely-populated Palestinian neighborhood.