Hard Questions, Tough Answers (11.13.17) - Israel on high alert on three fronts


Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses whether, with developments in Lebanon and Syria, the Middle East is about to boil over; the Syria agreement and the gap between what it offers Israel and what Israel wants; whether the Saudis are inciting Israel to attack Hezbollah; whether the Saudi-Iranian confrontation is spilling over into the Palestinian arena; IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories Major General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai's warning to Islamic Jihad that it not attack Israel; and the bottom line.

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News Nosh 11.13.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, November 13, 2017
You Must Be Kidding: 
'Service projects' that Birthright participants can do if they want to get a free week-long extension to their trip to Israel: Picking grapes at the illegal outposts of Pnei Kedem and Kida, planting olive groves in the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh, digging drainage trenches and building foundations for homes in a new neighborhood of Kfar Tapuah – one of the most radical West Bank settlements – and helping Jewish families move into properties in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.**
Quote of the day:
“We feel it is our responsibility to assume leadership and preserve the possibility of a two-state solution.” 
--Zoe Goldblum, a Stanford University senior and the president of J Street U’s national student board, said about the campaign J Street U kicked off aimed at fighting the Israeli government plans to demolition Palestinian homes in the West Bank.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Expose - The private investigation of the state witness in Case 3000
  • “The whole house shook” - Earthquake felt in Israel
  • Wonder Woman’s ultimatum
  • The gender revolution // Yoav Frumer
  • How do we feel  - Report that reveals the health situation in the country in comparison to other OECD countries
  • Whereto the youth - Within the (settler) hilltop youth: What do they really think about the state?
  • Kim Kardashian’s ultra-Orthodox start-up
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • IDF will increase forces: Exchange of threats between Israel and (Palestinian Islamic) Jihad
  • 20:20 - Israel shook; Earthquake on Iran-Iraq border felt in Israel
  • Gal battles sexual harassment - Israeli star refuses to participate in ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel of producer Brett Ratner, who was accused of sexual harassment
  • For discussion in government: Long-term care insurance for everyone
  • High school students go back to school: After one day strike, an arrangement appears likely - teachers’ salary to increase
Israel Hayom
  • Infuriating: Cash reward for prescribing cheap medicines
  • Grandpa Lieutenant General - Four grandchildren of three former IDF Chief of Staffs talk about their legacy
  • Coddle, coddle - When ‘Yedioth’ ingratiates itself to the Police Commissioner // Akiva Bigman
  • Al-Hariri in Saudi Arabia: “I left voluntarily, soon I’ll return to Lebanon”

News Summary:
A 7.3 earthquake struck in Iraq shaking buildings in Israel, Israeli superstar Gal Gadot refused to act in the Wonder Woman sequel if producer Brett Ratner, accused of sexually harassing six women, were involved and a war of threats between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that broke out after Israel blew up a tunnel killing seven PIJ men, escalated when PIJ accused Israel of 'making a declaration of war' - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also, Israel was not thrilled by the international agreement that laid out principles for post-war Syria, because it would allow Iranian forces closer than Israel would like to the Golan border, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shared with Likud ministers a letter from US President Donald Trump thanking him for supporting Trump's UN speech on Iran, and the New York Times reported that the Trump Administration was preparing to announce its Israel-Palestinian peace plan, expected early next year.
Quick Hits:
  • World Zionist Organization Gave Private Palestinian Land to West Bank Settlers - The 12.5 acres were given to the outpost of Ma'aleh Rehavam in 2002 by the WZO settlement division even though the division had no rights the land, newly discovered documents show. (Haaretz+)
  • **Birthright Operator Promotes Free Extended Israel Stay for Volunteering With Extremist Rabbi in the Settlements - Hundreds, if not thousands, of Birthright participants have extended their trips to stay at a Jerusalem hostel where projects include building homes and planting trees at illegal outposts. (Haaretz+)
  • *Anti-occupation U.S. Jewish Students Fight Israeli Plans to Demolish Palestinian Villages - Activists from J Street U launched their campaign Sunday with a focus on home demolitions in six villages in West Bank and near Jerusalem. “We feel it is our responsibility to assume leadership and preserve the possibility of a two-state solution,” Zoe Goldblum, a Stanford University senior and the president of J Street U’s national student board. (Haaretz+)
  • 1986 Prince Charles letter urges US to confront the 'Jewish lobby' - In letter dated 1986 to a close friend, Prince Charles attributes Middle East unrest to the 'influx of foreign, European Jews,' expresses hopes 'some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby,' and hints Jewish emigration to Israel is the root cause of terrorism. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • OECD Chief Meets Israeli Arab Leaders, Warns of Inequality Between Jews and Arabs - OECD's Angel Gurria told Arab lawmakers that he was worried by the slow progress of attempts to integrate Arab women and young Arab men into Israel's job market. (Haaretz)
  • Justice Ministry nixes plans to exempt security prisoners from improved conditions - High court ordered prisoner cell space to be enlarged by March, and Public Security Ministry Gilad Erdan is considering moving some prisoners to tents to address the overcrowding. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli minister promoting bill to hold bodies of terrorists despite attorney general's opposition - The attorney general has come out against Public Security Ministry Gilad Erdan’s bill, which states that reasonable suspicion of acts of terror or incitement at a funeral is enough to refuse to hand over remains. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Sentences Palestinian Brothers to Life in Prison for Hebron Shooting Attacks - The defendants, Nasser and Akram Badawi, who wounded four Israelis, two civilians and two soldiers, in a string of attacks between November 2015 and January 2016, fired from an apartment overlooking the Tomb of the Patriarchs. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • (State witness in Case 3000) Ganor compiled evidence against sub. probe suspects - Preparing for the day the scandal broke, state witness in submarine affair Miki Ganor employed private investigations firm to assemble incriminating dossier on other suspects involved; evidence details how Ganor was allegedly paid €10 million for his part in affair, stalled on paying associates such as fmr. Navy chief, Netanyahu's attorney, and suffered 'threats, pressures, extortion' for cash handouts. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • (State witness in Cases 1000 and 2000) Ari Harow, Netanyahu's Trusted Former Aide, Allegedly Arranged Fictitious Sale of His Own Company - Any indictment to Harrow or his lawyer will have to wait, however, until the investigations of the prime minister are completed. (Haaretz+)
  • Cabinet approves Meir Ben Shabbat as national security adviser - Former Shin Bet southern district commander praised by Netanyahu for 'not rounding things up, not covering up, saying his opinion in the clearest possible way.' (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian demolishes own home in E. Jerusalem to avoid Israeli fines - Abd al-Ghani Dweik, a resident of the al-Bustan area of Silwan, said the Israeli municipality issued a demolition order against his house, along with a demolition fee of 80,000 shekels ($22,741). all 100 residential structures in the al-Bustan neighborhood are slated for demolition, and the 1,570 residents of the area have exhausted all legal options, said Wadi Hilweh Information Center spokesman. (Maan)
  • Israel withdraws indictment against rabbi charged with raping 14-year-old student - 'Evidentiary problems' with the woman's testimony led to a cancellation of the indictment almost a year after it was filed. (Haaretz)
  • U.K. Woman Living in Israel to Get Residency Status, but Not Her Kids - Israel's Interior Ministry says Georgina's children cannot be party to her visa because she and her Israeli partner aren’t married. “It’s not fair. It feels like they’re trying to push me out because I’m not Jewish.” (Haaretz+)
  • World Zionist Organization Negligent, Repeatedly Ransomed by Hackers, (and has improper procurement process), Report Says - Computers at the Jewish National Fund were not protected with an anti-virus, and the organization has fallen prey to five online ransom attacks in 2015, comptroller found. Comptroller also found irregularities in the procurement process. "The basic principle of separation of duties between the ordering party, the factor choosing the supplier and the price, and the authorizing the charges, does not exist,” wrote WZO Comptroller, Steven Stav. Stav also wrote that the WZO has no systematic documentation of orders made, so there is a possibility of charges that do not match the agreement with the supplier.(Calcalist and full Hebrew version)
  • Orthodox Leaders Demand Knesset Probe Into Israeli Arms Sales to Myanmar - The UN accuses Myanmar of conducting 'ethnic cleansing' against the Rohingya, the country's Muslim minority. (Haaretz+)
  • New UNESCO chief says door must stay open for Israel, U -  "I obviously regret their departure ... but this 'empty chair politics' is not sustainable because the U.S. is also affected by everything that UNESCO does," says Audrey Azoulay, the U.N. world heritage and cultural body's first Jewish chief. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Scientists Make Paralyzed Rats Walk Again - Using stem cell-based biomedical engineering to rehabilitate a severed spinal cord, scientists restore control of their legs – but it will be a long time before it can be used on humans. (Haaretz+)
  • Medieval Jewish Cemetery of Bologna Uncovered by Archaeologists - The Jewish burial ground had been desecrated and destroyed by nuns at the behest of Pope Pius V, who banished the Jews. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • New Egyptian book alleges Mossad tried assassinating singer Umm Kulthum - A new book reveals how the Mossad allegedly tried to assassinate prominent Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum over her support of the Egyptian government, and after failing to do so, tried to recruit her; former Mossad field agent refutes claims, calling them 'unbelievable nonsense.' (Ynet)
  • Bannon Urges U.S. Jews to Join His 'Insurgency' Against anti-Trump Republicans - Addressing the Zionist Organization of America, Bannon explains: 'We're a nation at war, Trump needs our back.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Protesters in 60,000-person Polish rally call to 'remove Jews from power' - About 60,000 nationalists and far-right extremists assemble in Warsaw on Saturday for Independence Day march that has become one of the largest gatherings in Europe and perhaps beyond for increasingly emboldened white supremacists; A smaller counter-protest by an anti-fascist movement also took place, drawing about 2,000 participants. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Saudi Arabia Backs Abbas on Dispute With Hamas Over Reconciliation Deal - Embroiled in a dispute with Hamas over control in Gaza, the Palestinian president is trying to drum up support and economic aid from the Saudis, official tells Haaretz. (Haaretz+)
  • Hariri supporters amass at Beirut marathon: 'We want our prime minister back' - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation a week ago and remains under possible house arrest in Saudi Arabia. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Hariri says will return to Lebanon 'in days', denies being detained - Holding back tears, Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon’s prime minister about a week ago while in Saudi Arabia, says he would return to his country within days; adds he will return to his post only if Hezbollah agrees to remain neutral on regional conflicts. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Yemen's Houthis threaten to attack enemy oil tankers over Saudi blockade - UN says blockade could cause famine, killing millions. Yemen lies beside one of the world's most important trade routes for oil tankers. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Explained What is the evidence Iran is behind the missile fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia's capital - Iran long has denied offering any arms to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It has yet to specifically respond to the U.S. and Saudi accusations to the contrary. (Haaretz)

A War of No Choice on Behalf of the Saudis (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) The pride that senior Israeli figures take in our relations with corrupt Saudi Arabia is nauseating; at a time when the Palestinians are being criticized, sometimes justifiably, for undemocratic actions, the Israelis are embracing the mother of all injustice.
Rabin's legacy: The two-state solution will come, with obstacles and sacrifices (Uri Savir, Maariv) What Yitzhak Rabin began, will continue on one day. There is no control over a people that has survived history. It is precisely the heads of the former and current defense establishment who understand this.
On the Margins of the Murder (Amira Hass, Haaretz) Mohammed Musa would not have been shot while giving his sister a ride if it weren’t for the soldiers sent to guard an illegal outpost.
Stop the Evictions (Haaretz Editorial) New eviction orders for Palestinians in Jordan Valley 'only' affect 'unauthorized buildings,' but what are the shepherds in the designated area supposed to do?
The affair of the employee and Sara Netanyahu: In a proper country, the prime minister would have resigned (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) The lawsuit against the prime minister's wife raises questions about the norms required of influential people, and in this case too, public pressure must do its thing.
Saudi Arabia Has No Lebanon Endgame in Sight - and It’s Bound to Backfire (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The dish that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is preparing in Lebanon with the Hariri brothers may wind up overcooked.
Why is Saudi Arabia so determined to destroy Hezbollah? (Dr. Yaron Friedman, Yedioth/Ynet) The strongest Arab country today is leading the Sunni battle against an Iranian takeover of the Middle East. Once the ‘black monster’ ISIS disappears from the region, the ‘yellow monster’ Hezbollah will become the largest and most dangerous Islamic terror organization in the world, receiving orders from Tehran—and this is something the Saudis are unwilling to accept.
Hariri the pawn (Oded Granot, Israel Hayom) Recently resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri may be a senior Sunni official in Lebanon, but he is just a minor figure in the bitter war between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. 
Saudi Arabia's Leader Playing a High-stakes and Are Going Almost All In (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Wave of arrests meant to show country is taking on corruption, but make investors wary
Why Saudi Arabia turned Hariri into its hostage (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) The unconvincing wording of the Lebanese prime minister’s resignation motives was intended for the American president’s ears. The Saudi crown prince, who believes Trump is his ally, is sending his mouthpieces to vilify Iran, smear Hezbollah and strengthen the dialogue with the US and with Israel.
Calculated or reckless? The Crown Prince is preparing the groundwork for his coronation as king (Yasir Ukbi, Maariv) Behind the wave of purges carried out by Muhammad bin Salman are his upcoming appointment and his desire to prevent a collective family revolt. But how is the chain of events likely to affect the kingdom?
The quiet between the storms (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran will continue to deepen because the Saudis view the Iranian threat as an existential matter. These tensions, however, will not necessarily translate into open war.
Despite Israeli Demands, Syria Cease-fire Deal Allows Iranian Forces Near Northern Border (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Israeli defense figures are troubled by the fact that Russia and the U.S. seem unwilling to take genuine measures to kick Iran out of southern Syria.
Shaping the northern front (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Israel's goal is to influence the struggles in Syria and Lebanon without being sucked in. As things stand, however, this seems to be an increasingly difficult task.
The Most Important Thing Is Replacing Netanyahu's Government (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Despite it all, Arabs should vote with the left or even center, and not just with the Joint Arab List.
An Israeli minister's call to boycott Princeton's Jewish students is totally wrong – and nonsensical (Daniel Kurtzer, Haaretz+) Princeton's Center for Jewish Life was wrong to cancel an Israeli minister's visit. They apologized. When Israel works so hard against BDS, Michael Oren's call for Israeli officials to boycott them in retaliation makes no sense. He hasn't apologized.
From Pre-state Israel to Myanmar: What Ethnic Cleansing? (Daniel Blatman, Haaretz+) Israel denies the tragedy in Myanmar because it is incapable of acknowledging ethnic cleansing that recalls its own actions from 1948.
Do American Jews and Israel Really Need Each Other? (Rabbi Leon A. Morris, Haaretz) The Federations' General Assembly will debate the growing gulf between U.S. and Israeli Jews. But each offers the other an important corrective: Israelis' growing parochialism needs restraining, and U.S. Jews need reminding America isn't their Zion.
Israeli-American plays an Egyptian musician in Broadway adaptation of hit Israeli film
Yemenite-Ashkenazi-Jewish-Californian-American actor Ari'el Stachel discusses how his identity plays into his starring role in 'The Band's Visit.’ (1nterviewed by Steve North in JTA/Haaretz)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.

On Monday, November 13th in Washington, DC, please join Americans for Peace Now, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, the Arab American Institute for "Trump, Netanyahu, & the Declining Prospects for Peace in Jerusalem." 

While the world awaits the grand unveiling of the the Trump administration's plan to broker the ultimate deal, Netanyahu has alarmingly ramped up Israeli settlement activity and the displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Join us for a discussion on the Netanyahu-Trump era's impact on the future of Jerusalem and its residents, featuring Jerusalem expert Daniel Seidemann and discussants Ori Nir (Americans for Peace Now) and Dr. James Zogby (Arab American Institute), moderated by Lara Friedman (Foundation for Middle East Peace).

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APN Board member Letty Cottin Pogrebin in Moment: Seeing Israel in Its Contradictory Glory

American missions to Israel need to expand their scope beyond hasbara.

I’ve decided to travel to Israel this winter despite the Knesset’s recent law banning foreigners who have advocated for boycott of the settlements—which I’ve often done to protest the Occupation. I’ve been there at least 24 times, and it’ll be sad if I’m turned away—not to mention a travesty of the state’s democratic principles—but I think it’s urgent for American Jews who care deeply about Israel’s future to do some serious fact-finding on the ground.

And that means doing more than just traveling on the kind of Israel mission offered too often by synagogues and Jewish communal institutions. To my mind, most of these reveal a narrow geographic, political and ideological viewpoint and a propagandistic objective. They want to make people fall in love with Israel (which I did more than 40 years ago) but also to forestall any doubts or questions.

Jewish visitors’ overall impression of Israel depends largely on the places they’re taken to and the people sponsors have chosen to give them “briefings.” Most Jewish institutional sponsors want our impression to be 100 percent positive, with no disturbing images or contradictory narratives to muddy the picture. The Israel they show us is a miracle of bustling nightlife, rich cultural ferment, medical and technical wonders and happy, harmonious citizens. We could spend ten days there and never notice the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or have a meaningful encounter with an Arab. (Many such tours also offer little access to female leaders, but that’s another problem.)

One synagogue itinerary I saw recently was a case in point. It featured a discussion of the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations—with an Israeli speaker but no Palestinian. One day’s activity was to “explore Christian East Jerusalem through visits with Christian personalities and institutions,” but there was no comparable exploration of Muslim Arab perspectives.

As a result, the people on that trip probably missed a major contentious development in East Jerusalem. They wouldn’t have seen what Elad, the religious nationalist group funded by the late U.S. bingo millionaire Irving Moskowitz (among others), has been doing to “Judaize” Arab Jerusalem—forcing out or buying out Palestinian owners in order to move Jews into those homes, and excavating the ground under Palestinian properties, ostensibly for archeological research but actually to establish Jewish claims to “biblical, historical” sites so that those properties can never be subject to negotiation.

By contrast, when I traveled last year with Americans for Peace Now (APN)—on whose board I serve—we spent time touring East Jerusalem with Hagit Ofran of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch, who pointed out several places where there was evidence of such excavations carried out illicitly.

On one recent APN trip, we met a Likud official at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, three Israeli security experts and the U.S. consul general in Jerusalem. But we also met with the PLO ambassador to the United States, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee and a prominent Palestinian entrepreneur.

There are many ways to get a nuanced view. A group called Encounter designs trips intended both to examine the Israeli-Palestinian issue and to heal conflicts over it within the Jewish community. To that end, Encounter arranges meetings with Palestinian officials, nonviolent activists, teachers, sheikhs and teenagers. It provides kosher food, Jewish prayer services and Torah study—as well as panel discussions by Palestinian women and home hospitality with Palestinian families. Intensive programs in Bethlehem and Hebron give Jews face-to-face experiences with the Other.

Few tours sponsored by mainstream Jewish organizations include visits to Palestinian villages inside the Green Line. Fewer still cross into the West Bank, except to admire sprawling, spanking-clean Jewish settlements. So what is it that traditional Jewish institutions don’t want American Jews to see?

On ordinary sightseeing trips, the stated rationale is usually safety, not politics. One Israeli travel agent told me he would never take American Jews into Ramallah because he “can’t take responsibility for their security.” Yet in recent years, Peace Now has shepherded numerous travelers through Ramallah, and when visiting this vibrant city I’ve never once felt unsafe.

When synagogue missions take Jews to the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and Gaza, their primary goal is to demonstrate the vulnerability of southern Israel to rocket attacks—which no one can deny.

When our APN group visited that border, we met with an Israeli diplomatic correspondent and a major general of the Israel Defense Forces. We sat in a playground whose bomb shelters were disguised as huge circus animals, a sight as chilling to us as it would be to a traveler with AIPAC or United Jewish Appeal. But we also met with leaders of a local peace organization—the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev. Our itinerary exposed us to the vulnerability and the fear, but also to the activism and the hope.

I’m not sure if Jewish communal tour planners are just blind to what’s missing from their itineraries or willfully overprotective. Are they afraid that exposure to a layered reality might make us “anti-Israel?” If so, they should be worried about the superficiality of our commitment.

I confess to giving small credence to people who bad-mouth “the Palestinians” without ever having broken bread with one, visited a Palestinian home or school, strolled through a Palestinian village or observed the stark contrast between their dusty roads and the sleek highways built for Jewish settlers. Jews who’ve seen only Jewish or even Christian Israel tend to be less equipped to engage in substantive discourse about the country’s politics. Without facts, arguments too often deteriorate into slogans and denunciations.

For years, I’ve been badgering my friends to vet any Israel itinerary presented to them and, if it’s skewed, to demand a broader scope. Jewish tour organizers should not give us a Potemkin village or a party line. They should trust us to process Israel’s contradictions, complexity and ambiguities along with its many wonders.

This article appeared first on November 1, 2017<\a> in Moment Magazine.


News Nosh 11.10.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday, November 10, 2017
Quote of the day:
"The basic foundations of our shared humanity are being challenged...We cannot allow the bombing of civilians or attacks on hospitals to become acceptable, to become the new normal."
--President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, said following results of an ICRC online war game that teaches youth across the world the rules of warfare. Results showed that Israelis knew the least about the prohibitions against targeting civilians and their homes. [NOTE: This comes as no surprise in light of the Israeli military methods, such as the bombing of residential buildings in the Gaza War to target a single person and the demolition of houses of relatives of attackers with the hope it will dissuade potential future attackers. - OH]

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News Nosh 11.9.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Quote of the day:
"As soon as it is determined that equality is not a value, discrimination won’t remain in one area only. It will infiltrate everywhere—against those who the majority doesn’t wish to honor. The hostile and discriminating attitude towards Arabs is just the beginning."
--Yedioth columnist Aviad Kleinberg comments on a recent poll by the Israel Democracy Institute that showed racist feelings among Jewish Israelis toward Arab citizens.*

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News Nosh 11.8.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
You Must Be Kidding: 
Some 58% of Jewish Israelis support stripping voting rights from Arab citizens who are not Zionists - which is most of them.*

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APN Calls on the Jewish Federations of North America to Cease all Settlement Funding

In response to the October 30th Haaretz report that millions of tax-deductible donations to the Jewish Federations of North America go to fund West Bank settlements, Americans for Peace Now sent a letter to JFNA leadership urging them to cease all funding for Israeli settlements. Read the full letter below. 

*APN's letter to the JFNA was featured in a follow-up article in Haaretz on November 6. Read the article here

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News Nosh 11.7.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Quote of the day:
"...members of the Jewish Federations of North America have been playing fast and loose with this loophole.”
--Americans for Peace Now called on the Jewish Federations of North America to stop allowing donations to settlements in the West Bank, after Haaretz revealed that a humanitarian amendment to its no-settlement funding policy has allowed funds to go to such things as evicting Palestinians from their homes and running schools built on privately-owned Palestinian land.*
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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses the officially cultiated legacy of Yitzhak Rabin and whether it corresponds with the man himself; his take on the Balfour Declaration; the legacy of Rafiq and Saad Hariri for Lebanon and the Levant; and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's arrest of tens of princes, ministers and former ministers for “corruption.”

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