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.
Only a negotiated agreement can end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but with Netanyahu leading Israel, there is currently no prospect for any such agreement. The Obama Administration needs to shift its focus from negotiations to action, including action to restore the credibility of its own policies and bolster the credibility of the two-state outcome.
APN today called on the Obama Administration to lead or co-lead action in the United Nations Security Council to resuscitate and re-accredit the two-state solution. APN President and CEO Debra DeLee issued the following statement:
“As a pro-Israel, pro-peace organization, we are committed first and foremost to Israel’s security and its survival as a democracy and a state with a proud Jewish character – things that only a two-state peace agreement can deliver. Regrettably, for his entire career – including his three previous terms in office as Prime Minister of Israel – Benjamin Netanyahu has demonstrated by his own actions that rather than seeking Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab peace, he is wholly supportive of settlements and an expansionist ‘Greater Israel’ agenda. And, in the last Israeli election campaign, Netanyahu proudly touted his pro-settlement credentials and unabashedly vowed that no Palestinian state would be established while he is in office.
Barbara Green has been a volunteer for Americans for Peace Now for many years. She
lives in Washington, DC.
"Kol ha-hatchalot kashot," as every Israeli school child learns, means "All beginnings are hard." We know this to be true in our everyday lives but the Torah gives new meaning to the concept.
God gave us the ultimate new beginning when he created the world, but within 3 short chapters the inhabitants of Paradise were expelled and in the next chapter we have the world's first fratricide. Before long God realizes He made a major mistake when His creation scheme included human beings. He vows to end the entire enterprise.
Sunday night, September 27th, the Jewish holiday of Sukkot began. During the week-long holiday, Jews build a special kind of home to dwell in for the week, called a sukkah. The sukkah is a deliberately temporary house, which can have no more than one permanent wall, and whose roof must be open to the sky, covered only partially by natural materials such as branches. Over the course of the week, the Sukkah is supposed to be one’s home: to eat meals in, to celebrate, and even to sleep in.
This week, Alpher discusses whether there is even the possibility of progress regarding Syria at the UN; how to characterize Putin’s “take” on the region; how this approach contrasts with Obama’s; assuming Russia and the US do not join forces in Syria, what Russia’s military options are; where Israel is in this picture
Although the High Holidays have concluded, we have an obligation to continue reflecting on our thoughts, words and actions - not just as individuals, but as a Jewish community. I hope that during this time of continued contemplation, we can take an honest accounting of the current state of the land of Israel - not only its many accomplishments and gifts, but its frightening move towards intolerance and violence. Former APN chair, Martin Bresler, has eloquently made the case for this self-examination in his essay below; APN makes the case every day for the imperative to act against this danger. We ask that during this holiday season you support our critical work. It's not about right and left, it's about right and wrong.
Debra DeLee, President and CEO, APN
On Wednesday (Sept. 23) as Jews end their Yom Kippur fast, Muslims will begin the Eid al-Adha holiday. Imam Haytham Younis and Rabbi Alana Suskin met for coffee and then exchanged the following email dialogue about the two holidays’ convergence and the meaning of a shared story that lies at the intersection of both faiths.
Suskin: It is a rare occurrence for Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice) to fall back-to-back, but seems appropriate somehow. Just a week ago, on Rosh Hashanah, we read the Torah portion relating the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son — the Jewish perspective of the same story that underlies Eid al-Adha. For Jews, this is the story of the sacrifice of Isaac at God’s command (stopped, of course, at the last moment, by an angel sent by God).
Younis: Yes. Eid al-Adha similarly commemorates the obedience of Abraham and his son to the command of God in fulfilling the sacrifice, as well as the observance of the pilgrimage to the House of God (the Kaaba) in Mecca, which, we believe, was established by Abraham. According to the Quran, the son involved in the sacrifice however, was Ishmael, not Isaac.
Beginning tonight and continuing through Wednesday night, the holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will be observed by Jews throughout the world. Throughout the season leading up to Yom Kippur, Jews engage in the accounting of one's soul -cheshbon hanefesh: we examine our behavior, taking an honest measure of ourselves and our community in the year that has passed. This self-reflection reaches its pinnacle on Yom Kippur.