Americans for Peace Now strongly supports an open conversation on Israel-related affairs. We categorically oppose efforts to stifle discussion related to Israel, particularly on university campuses. We have struggled since our establishment to create space for a broad variety of opinions on Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians, and pushed back against those who would limit or censor public debate on Israel in order to shut out views with which they may disagree - including the kind of pro-Israel, pro-peace views held by APN.
Consistent with this position, APN rejects efforts to shut down campus debate related to boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts, whether with respect to Israeli settlements and the occupied territories or against Israel itself. We are deeply troubled that New York politicians and Brooklyn College alumni are putting pressure on the College to cancel an event hosting two prominent BDS advocates.
While APN does not endorse these activists, their views or the course of action that they advocate, we believe they have the right to be heard. We believe that Brooklyn College does not have to apologize for inviting them to speak.
Let there be no confusion: APN opposes BDS efforts targeting Israel. We believe such efforts are misguided and counterproductive. Consistent with our mission and our convictions, APN has long argued that activism should be targeted across the Green Line separating Israel and the occupied territories. We believe that for their activism to be both effective and morally defensible, activists must make clear, emphatically and unambiguously, that their target is the occupation and its manifestations - like settlements and acts of collective punishment - and not Israel proper, innocent Israeli civilians, or legitimate Israeli security practices.