Peace Now News Flash: 1,200 Participants and 60 Speakers in Peace Now's Largest Annual Conference Ever

On Friday, 24 July 2015, Peace Now held it's annual conference in Tel Aviv under the title: Israel Now - Building an Alternative." With 1,200 participants, many of them youth, this was Peace Now's largest conference of all times. Some 60 speakers - including Members of Knesset, journalists, civil society leaders, experts and activists - participated in different panels focusing on the two state solution; international pressure; identity politics; the parliamentary opposition; and the struggle against silencing and de-lgetimation of peace organizations. Another issue highlighted at the conference was the struggle against the demolition of Palestinian village of Susya, which is taking place these very days.
  Speakers at the main panel included MK Shelly Yachimovich, head of Meretz MK Zehava Galon, head of the Joint List MK Ayman Odeh, and esteemed journalist Amnon Abramovich. MK Yachimovich pointed out the large number of young people in the audience and called them to write about issues discussed at the conference on their social media profiles. [See MK Yachimovich taking a video of the audience while on stage.] During the panel, MK Yahimovich expressed the need of the Zionist Camp to act as an opposition to Netanyahu on the Iran deal, MK Zehava Galon spoke about the importance of building alliances and working as a bloc in order to succeed in the next election and MK Ayman Odeh emphasized the need to include Israel's Arab citizens in the peace camp and said peace cannot be reached without them. Read more about the main panel in this Haaretz article.
  As many as 17 Memberes of Knesset spoke at the conference. Other speakers included Dr. Tomer Persico, journalist Raviv Druker, Attorney Talia Sasson, Attorney Michael Sfard, Journalist Ravit Hecht, former MK Ophir Pines and many others.

For more photos from the conference Click here.

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At the conference, Peace Now launched its response to the government policies and the wave of boycotts in the form of a new campaign titled: "Support Israel - Fight the Occupation." To those who delegitimize Israel we say: We love Israel. And to the government that sees criticism on the settlements as criticism on Israel we say we should and we must call of the end of the occupation. We believe supporting Israel means ending the occupation; supporting Israel as Jewish and democratic means stopping the settlement enterprise; supporting Israel's security means not controlling the lives of 4 million Palestinians; we support Israel's economy, but oppose investments in the settlements. Soon we will share further updates regarding this new campaign.

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So thank you!
Without your continued support none of this could have happened. As we move forward we intend to channel the energies created at the conference to foster cooperation with MKs and civil society organizations, to advance our campaign, and most importantly, to continue our struggles for two states, end of occupation, and a democratic Israel.
Please help us make sure that Peace Now continues to play its invaluable role as the convener of Israel’s progressive community, and as the leader of the peace camp. Your tax-deductible donation empowers those in Israel who are striving to build an alternative to the country’s reactionary leadership.

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News Nosh is a free, daily review and analysis of the news from Israel.  Orly Halpern, a seasoned Israeli journalist, combs through the Israeli Hebrew newspapers to select the most important articles of the day. She summarizes and translates selected portions of articles that do not appear in English, and includes links. With News Nosh, you can access a thorough survey of Israeli news quickly, without having to spend hours searching through dozens of sources. News Nosh features a quote of the day,  as well as occasional sections highlighting early-breaking news items and outrages.

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July 27, 2015 - Immediate regional repercussions of the Iran nuclear deal

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This week, Alpher discusses ramifications of the Iran nuclear deal for US-Israel relations, as well as regionally; Israel’s relations with Jordan and Saudi Arabia; how Turkey has exploited the momentum of the Iran nuclear deal; and at this time, two weeks past the conclusion in Vienna of the Iran nuclear agreement with the international community, who is gaining and who is losing in the Middle East.

 

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Peace Now - Settlement Watch News Flash: Advancement of 1065 Housing Units in the Settlements

The sub-committee for settlements of the higher planning committee of the military’s Civil Administration met yesterday to discuss 15 plans, at various planning stages and in different settlements. In total, the committee discussed plans that regard 1,065 housing units. Of these housing units, the plan approved 541 new housing units, retroactively legalized 228 existing housing units, and approved the development of infrastructure for a plan that consists of 296 housing units, while further approval will be needed before construction of the housing units can begin.
 

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APN Mourns the Passing of Theodore Bikel, z"l (1924-2015)

We mourn the passing of APN friend Theodore Bikel.

The world renowned stage and film actor and singer was also a leading peace activist for Israel, and was currently serving as Chairman of the Board of Partners for Progressive Israel. He publicly refused to perform in Israeli settlements, and in 2010 led a settlement boycott effort by 120 artists which he wrote about in the Huffington Post's "Legitimizing an Obstacle to Peace"

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"Existential Threat" - APN Editorial Cartoon

As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. This is our aim: to make people think and to act for peace.

This week, we bring you a new cartoon, asking what troubles the Prime Minister most: “Existential Threat”

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Peace Parsha: Tisha B'Av - Kindness, Justice and Righteousness

peace_parsha_logo186x140Rabbi Seth Goldstein has served as the rabbi of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, WA since 2003, after graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He is a member of the board of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, served as a co-chair of an RRA task force examining issues of Jewish status and identity, is a participant in the Clergy Leadership Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and a fellow of CLAL's Rabbis Without Borders.

 

Tisha B’Av (“the ninth of Av”) is a day of fasting and mourning for the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem, and is observed this year beginning the evening of July 25. Like Yom Kippur, it is a full day fast (The fast is being observed on the 10th of Av this year because the 9th falls on Shabbat, and thus the fast is postponed.)

The Temple holds an important place in the collective spiritual consciousness of the Jewish people. It is seen as the place where the community was in deep and close connection to God. The destruction of the Temple led to the separation from the land, the dispersion of the community and a need to rebuild the ritual infrastructure of Judaism, so its loss is remembered as a great tragedy. In addition to setting aside this one day to mourn, prayers for the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem punctuate our liturgy.

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Interview with Iran expert Meir Javedanfar

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Interview with Iran expert Meir Javedanfar. An Iranian-born Israeli who co-authored a book on Iran's leadership and teaches courses on contemporary Iranian politics at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Javedanfar is well-positioned to analyze attitudes toward the agreement both in Israel and in Iran. The interview is about 10 minutes long.

 

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Interview with Barbara Slavin, Iran policy expert

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Interview with Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, an Iran policy expert, on the impact of the new agreement on Iran and on prospects that the new agreement may serve to stimulate reform in Iran, going beyond Iran's nuclear ambitions. The interview is about 8 minutes long.

 

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Tell Congress: Support the Iran Deal

iran-nuclear-deal320x265Today, the Obama Administration, its P5+1 partners, and the government of Iran announced the achievement of an historic agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.

This is a good deal. It is grounded not on trust and goodwill but on far-reaching limitations on Iranian activities and intrusive verification mechanisms. Implementation of this agreement –key elements of which will continue in force for decades – will make Israel, the region and the world more secure. When implemented, this agreement will:

  • Roll back Iran’s nuclear program;
  • Limit Iran’s nuclear activities going forward;
  • Prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; and
  • Ensure that any effort by Iran to try to “sneak out” towards developing a nuclear weapon will be far more likely to be detected, and the U.S. and international community will be in a far stronger position to respond.
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