Statement: International Community Must be a Stronger Partner for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Following the speeches delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today and by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, APN today released this statement:

Speaking before the UN General Assembly, flinging accusations and mutual recriminations, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas revealed, with striking clarity, the vast gulf that separates them with respect to their views on the way forward to resolve the conflict that continues to consume both of their peoples.

The speeches of these two leaders also revealed a simple truth: Today, the question is not whether Israelis or Palestinians have a "partner" for peace on the other side, or whether now is the time to launch yet another empty peace process, or whether energies should be invested in making the indefensible status quo more stable. Rather, after more than two decades of peace efforts, after more than 47 years of occupation and conflict, the question today is whether the international community is ready to be a real partner to Israelis and Palestinians in aiding them – and, indeed, pressing them, with meaningful benefits and consequences – to end this conflict.

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September 29, 2014 - Has Abbas slammed the door? Has Netanyahu? What will happen now?

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This week, Alpher discusses whether Abbas has slammed the door on a peace process, what to make of Netanyahu's remarks in response to Abbas' speech at the UN, how much progress Abbas will register on his new initiatives, what could happen now in the Israeli-Palestinian sphere, why the issue of African migrants is so significant for Israelis.

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Report on APN Israel study tour 2014

Americans for Peace Now Israel Study Tour

September 6 – September 11, 2014

erekatSeveral themes dominated our meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, journalists, and activists. This report explores themes that came up in our meetings, and provides highlights from meetings that were not off the record. It also provides some information about things that the tour participants saw.

INSS-Benedetta-Berti-and-Pnina-Baruch-Thurs_zpsf91a755fWe came to Israel right after a very difficult summer. The summer began with the tragic kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage yeshiva students and then the murder of a Palestinian teen, immediately followed by the war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas. We arrived shortly after the declaration of a ceasefire.

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Click to read the full Israel Study Tour 2014 report

On this Rosh Hashanah, we wish you a year of light, hope, and peace

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Tonight, as we hear the ram's horn, we are called to review our individual and communal experience in the year that passed.

As we look back, this past year has been a particularly dark one.

Secretary Kerry’s peace initiative crumbled. Against the background of a diplomatic lull violence erupted after the kidnapping and murder of four teens, three Israelis and a Palestinian, and the violence triggered a war, from which both Israel and Gaza emerged devastated and desperate.

So it is with relief that we can turn our faces forward, and place our hope in a fresh beginning. In this spirit we remind ourselves that while darkness encompasses and blinds you, it takes only a tiny candle to banish the dark and see.  

We hope, at this time of new beginnings, you will choose to light a candle, and to recommit yourself to the cause of peace and to the work of APN and Shalom Achshav.

On this Rosh Hashanah, we wish you a year of light, hope, and peace.

 


We hope you have seen this timely letter from Michael Walzer, America’s leading expert on ethics in wartime, and one of America’s foremost political philosophers. A longtime member of APN’s Board of Directors, Walzer, the author of the iconic Just and Unjust Wars, a practical analysis of the Just War doctrine, co-editor of Dissent, and contributing editor to the New Republic, wrote a compelling reminder of our need for cheshbon nefesh, accounting for one’s soul, on Rosh Hashanah, the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. He reminds us that Rosh Hashana is, “a time for facing facts and telling the truth about ourselves as individuals and as a community. The process is called cheshbon nefesh in Hebrew, an accounting of the soul. It is time for Israel and her supporters in this country to do just such an accounting.” Read Michael Walzer's letter here.

 

 

 

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This week, Alpher discusses the prospects of nuclear negotiations with Iran and Gaza negotiations in Cairo; whether a new intifada has erupted in East Jerusalem; is the resignation of a senior Likud minister who was conflicted with Netanyahu, leaving the party second in size to Yesh Atid in the Knesset, the beginning of the end for the current government;

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Book Review: Seeking Palestine by Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadeh

This is another in a series of reviews of new books on Middle Eastern affairs. We asked Dr. Gail Weigl, an APN volunteer and a professor of art history, to review the book Seeking Palestine, edited by Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadeh.

Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadeh, Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian
Writing on Exile and Home (Northampton, Massachusetts: Olive Branch seeking-palestine
Press, 2013), 202 pages. $16.00.

What does it mean to be an exile from Palestine? Is it defined merely by physical dislocation, or is it less tied to a place than to an idea, to a Palestine that once or perhaps never existed, to a pervasive sense of being displaced, even from a land that was not the land of one’s birth? The essays that compose Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home examine notions of exile, of Palestine, of Palestinian identity in diaspora from the perspectives of poets, academics, novelists, artists and independent writers living as outcasts from a country that never existed as a nation-state, the idea of which calls forth irrepressible longing for a way of life known only through memories, many of those not memories of their own. These writers ask themselves what it means to cling to an identity, a way of life, a set of grievances across generations, and whether the persistence of an idea and an identity can persuade the world at large to seriously address the Palestinian longing to return to their homeland.

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Peace Now: So How Many Settlers Are There?

As published today by AP, Settlers claim that the number of Israelis living in the West Bank is 382,031 (excluding those who live in East Jerusalem). This number shows a rapid growth in setters' population, of 2% in six months, double the growth rate in Israel itself.

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16/9/14

Earlier this year the Jerusalem Municipality approved two construction permits requested by the right wing Elad association in Jerusalem's Hashalom Forest located on the seam zone between East and West Jerusalem. One permit was for legalizing structures built by Elad as part of an ideological tourist center they established on lands given to them by the JNF (KKL), and the other was for the construction of a new camping site meant to accommodate large groups.

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This week, Alpher discusses whether Egypt's reported proposal to help solve the Palestinian issue by allowing the Gaza Strip to expand into Egyptian territory in northeast Sinai in realistic; is it a breakthrough that for the very first time a senior Hamas official stated that there is no religious prohibition on negotiating directly with Israel; is it a watershed event that Friday 43 reservists from the IDF's elite listening unit 8200 published a declaration refusing to serve, in protest at the abuse of intelligence data to perpetuate the occupation; why the Sunni Arab world is seemingly so reluctant to sign up for President Obama's military campaign against ISIL.

 

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Michael Walzer - A Call for Truth and Peace - Rosh Hashanah 2014/5775

Michael Walzer: Time for Israel and her supporters to do cheshbon nefesh -- an accounting of the soul

 

August 2014

 

Dear Friend,

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I write this letter as a blessed cease fire is just going into effect, — not the first cease fire, and I don’t know if this one will hold. But it may be, so we all hope, that the Gaza war is over. If not now, then very soon negotiations for a lasting cease fire or even for something that might look like peace will begin. I have no sense of how these negotiations will go, but all of us at Americans for Peace Now believe that this is an opportunity for Israel to act boldly to strengthen the Palestine Authority (PA) and its new unity government and, with its help, to prevent or strongly curtail the rearmament of Hamas and to open the way for reconstruction and economic development in Gaza. But Gaza is not alone. There can’t be a legitimate PA in Gaza unless Israel is ready to work with the PA in Ramallah for the two-state solution that we have been defending for so long. When you read this, you will know whether Israel and Palestine have moved closer, or farther away, from this necessary goal.

Meanwhile, we have to think about what is happening inside Israel itself. Before the war began, we followed with horror the news of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli boys and then of the murder of a Palestinian boy. Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir: in our hearts, these are all “our boys,” who died deaths that no child should.

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