Calling Out Israeli Rejectionism at the UN

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the UN Security Council Resolution introduced late Wednesday by Jordan as a unilateral move that would result in “a Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria.”  Foreign Minister Leiberman blasted the resolution as an act of aggression against Israel.  Strategic Affairs and Intelligence Minister Steinitz branded it an “act of war.”

What can one conclude except that this resolution is manifestly anti-Israel?  It must, for example, reject Israel’s right to exist and endorse a full Palestinian “right of return.”  It must deny any Israeli or Jewish claims to Jerusalem and require Israel to leave its security in the hands of its erstwhile enemies.  And no doubt it includes text justifying violence and terror against Israel.  More broadly, this resolution must seek to impose on Israel a “solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along lines defined unilaterally by the Palestinians.  How could Israel respond to such a text with anything less than outrage?   

Netanyahu, Leiberman, Steinitz, and others critics of the effort must be hoping that people won’t bother to actually read the text of the resolution, because, in fact, it is nothing of the sort. 

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On Chanukah: Real People. Real Pictures. Partners for Peace.

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Last week, many were dismayed to discover (as reported in the Forward and +972) that the iconic photo of two young boys, seemingly an Israeli-Jewish child and a Palestinian-Muslim child, was a posed photo taken for the Canadian magazine Maclean’s.

Yes, that photo was staged, but there's no need to indulge in the despairing laments echoing around the internet: there are plenty of real pictures, of real people - Palestinian and Israeli (and two Jewish-Americans, in today's - day 5 - picture - APN's own Lara Friedman, and one more coming up), Jewish, Christian, and Muslim - working for a brighter future. In the spirit of Chanukah, we are going to share a picture a day for the next eight days of real, genuine partners for peace.

This is the work we do
These people are real, these pictures are real
Share them and join us in building a peaceful future.

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Chanukah message: Where do we find the light?

Chanukiah

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Dear Friend,

At the darkest time of winter, Jews celebrate Chanukah, adding one candle each night to increase the light. Many of us place our menorah in a window in fulfillment of the mitzvah to “publicize the miracle” of the small cruse of oil that contained only enough for one day but lasted for eight.

This particular winter is an especially dark time for those of us who have been working for decades to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There’s no denying that the peace process has stalled. The parties are not talking to one another. The Occupation continues unabated. We read of growing violence. Some people have even begun to question the possibility of a two-state solution.

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APN today called on the Obama Administration to support action in the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel-Palestine that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  APN president and CEO Debra DeLee commented:

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December 15, 2014 - Israeli Elections - small signs of hope; and security and violence

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This week, Alpher discusses how the momentum for recognition of a Palestinian state is building up in Europe and at the United Nations and how this affects Israel, particularly at election time; emerging political dynamics as regards Israel's elections; the role of violence in Israeli and American security tactics; whether Palestinian Authority threats to sever security coordination with Israel over the Abu Ein incident are credible.

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"Price Tag" Escalation Timeline: Jan 1, 2011 - present

The following is a timeline of major "Price Tag" attacks (as reported by Israeli sources).  It documents a clear escalation in attacks, and the increasing spread of attacks inside the Green Line.  Italics indicate so-called "triggers" - events or developments that appear to be linked to subsequent attacks - although as has been noted in the Israeli press, "According to the Shin Bet, the right-wing extremists no longer appear to need a 'trigger' to take action, while the targets of the violence are also widening..." We will update this regularly.

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APN's Ori Nir in Haaretz: U.S. Jews, vote for Israel's future

Netanyahu, in the Knesset, stands by an exit sign.

Ahead of the 2015 elections, American Jews should influence Israel's future character – not through their pocketbooks, but by asserting their vision of how a Jewish, democratic state should look.

For American Jews who care about Israel’s future as a democracy, as a Jewish nation-state that champions Jewish values, as a Jewish homeland they can be proud of, Israel’s early elections are a call for action.

The next 96 days leading up to the March 17 elections offer American Jews a rare opportunity to influence Israel's future character – not through their pocketbooks, but by asserting their vision of what a Jewish, democratic state should look like.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's third government fell apart because four of its key coalition members – Netanyahu, Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennet and Tzipi Livni – represent very different, even opposing, visions of Israel’s future character. When confronted with the Jewish nation-state bill, the leaders were compelled to form and articulate clearer visions of this; of what it means to be both Jewish and democratic. With the government's dissolution immediately following a breakdown over this issue, the question of Israel's future character is in the air, forming a backdrop to this election season.

What matters most is what happens immediately after the elections, when the decision is made as to which parties make up the next coalition. Will the next coalition be governed by the nationalistic extreme-right, advancing an exclusionary vision, based on a messianic, xenophobic worldview? Or will it be a progressive coalition, reflecting a modern, globalized, pragmatic Israel, anchored in humanistic values, Jewish values, advancing peace, equality, pluralism, tolerance and democracy?

American Jews who are not Israeli citizens don’t have the right to vote in Israeli elections, but that should not preclude them from influencing the state's future. Stuart Eisenstat, one of Washington’s key insiders and most respected Jewish activists, says Jewish Americans believe just that. He was recently recruited to help poll more than 40 Jewish communities worldwide for a study commissioned by the Israeli government on world Jewry’s attitude to the future of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state.

Describing the study's findings at a talk he recently gave in Washington, Eisenstat was unequivocal. First, he said, Diaspora Jews believe that Israel should not compromise its democratic values – like granting equality to minorities – to accommodate security threats or other constraints. Second, Diaspora Jews increasingly believe that the threats Israel is facing do not grant it immunity from criticism. Third, American Jews are becoming more assertive in addressing criticism about Israeli policies. They do it not only because they believe that Israel should consult with them on issues close to their hearts, whether relating to religious pluralism or to Jewish values such as tolerance, equality and peace, but also because they believe that “Israel’s character has significant influence on how Judaism is regarded around the world by Jews and non-Jews,” Eisenstat said.

Israel’s image is crucial for Jewish continuity in the Diaspora, he said, as well as for the security and wellbeing of Jews living outside Israel, “as we see in France and other countries.” Therefore, “we have a right to a say on these issues,” Eisenstat said, quoting Diaspora Jewish leaders he interviewed for the study.

The coming 96 days offer an opportunity for American Jews to not only exercise that right, but to do so at a time when what they say could make a profound difference.

During this election season, Jewish Americans have a chance to speak up publicly to support those in Israel who share their values and who share their vision of Israel. They have a vast range of tools to do so – traditional and new media, synagogue chains, and numerous Jewish organizations that resonate both in the United States and in Israel. By voicing their visions, Jewish Americans could contribute, indirectly and modestly as it may be, to a future Israel that is for them more a source of inspiration and pride, rather than discord and dissonance.

This article appeared first on December 11, 2014 in Haaretz.

Shalom Achshav Press Release: Israeli High Court Verdict on Peace Now's Six Outposts Petition

illegal outposts320x265On December 7, 2014 the High Court ruled on Peace Now’s petition number 7891/07 which demanded to carry out Central Command’s delimitation orders and evacuate six West Bank outposts. High Court President, Asher Grunis, ruled that the state must evacuate structures in the outposts located on private Palestinian land, but that there is no place for the court to intervene in the state's prioritization of delimitation orders enforcement and did not oblige the state to evacuate structures located on state lands or survey lands, in light of the state's intention to legalize them.

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Hopeless??

Debra DeLee

I know that the headlines are terrible, and that people are throwing up their hands and feeling defeated. "The two-state solution is hopeless," they say. "We will never have peace."

But... consider:

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Briefing call: Akiva Eldar on Israeli early elections

akiva_eldar186x139On December 8, 2014, APN hosted Akiva Eldar of al-Monitor.com, the former chief political writer of Israel's Haaretz, for a briefing call on the Israeli political scene following the decision taken by Israel's political leaders to hold early elections in March 2015.

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