Peace Now - Settlement Watch News Flash: A new settlement to Be Established in Silwan (Batan Al-Hawa)

Last night approximately 70 settlers, with police escort, entered the Sarhan House in Silwan. The Sarhan House is a 5-floor building located at the Batan Al-Hawa neighborhood which includes 12 housing units. The house is close to the Abu Nab House as well as to additional houses under threat of eviction based on settlers' claims of ownership prior to 1948. (To learn more about the mechanism of settlement in East Jerusalem neighborhoods click here.) One Palestinian family, whose lease is not up for another few months, is still residing in one housing unit at the Sarhan house. Today, settlers, escorted by police, came to this family's house and tried to intimidate it to leave.
 
The settlers' entry must be understood as a strategic takeover; this is yet another step in a larger attempt to alter the character of the neighborhood and change the status quo in Jerusalem. Even prior to last night's entry, in the past year the settlers managed to double their presence at the Batan Al-Hawa neighborhood. After last night's entry, the settlement has expanded from approximately 10 families residing in two houses to approximately 35 families residing in six houses.
 
Last night's entry is not merely a private act as it was aided by law enforcing authorities. The government has decided in the past not to allow the settlement inside Palestinian neighborhoods and it can do so again. In the meantime, its actions are supporting the dangerous expansion of the settlement in Silwan.
 
To watch a video of the entry click here.

Sarhan_house_silwanThe Sarhan House in Batan Al-Hawa, Silwan.

 

Take Action Today: Thank Members who Support Iran Deal, Urge Other Members to Do the Same

Iran Nuclear Negotiations

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Many Members of Congress have come out in support of the Iran deal already. Many of them are facing a fierce backlash generated by opponents of the deal. These members need to hear from you TODAY. Click here to thank them for supporting the Iran deal.

Many others Members of Congress still have not come out with a position on the deal or have come out in opposition.  They need to hear from you TODAY. Click here to tell them you want them to support the Iran deal.

 

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Jerry Bubis, z"l

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) grieves the passing of Professor Gerald "Jerry" Bubis (z”l), who died Friday, August 21, at the age of 91. Our condolences go out to Jerry’s wife Ruby, son David Bubis, daughter Deena Libman, and grandchildren Rabbi Jonathan Bubis, Hannah Bubis and Molly Libman.

Jerry’s tremendous contributions for the benefit of the Jewish community, Israel, and thousands upon thousands of people, span a lifetime of leadership, service, and activism.   He was a progressive icon who leaves behind an extraordinary legacy.    

A founder, long-time board member and past national co-chair of APN, Jerry was an unwavering and seminal leader for the cause of peace for Israel.  In the 1980s, Jerry was one of the earliest voices in the Jewish community advocating for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fact that Jerry stood firm in his view, despite it being deeply unpopular at the time, attests to his courage; the fact that his position was eventually adopted by the wider Jewish community and the world attests to his wisdom.   While Jerry did not live to see his dream of Israeli-Palestinian peace and a two-state solution achieved, he never gave up, and inspires us all to never give up.

Jerry’s memory will be a blessing for us. We will always remember what you have accomplished for APN and for the cause of peace, security and democracy for Israel. 

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August 24, 2015 - Ehud Barak, Iran, PIJ and Israel’s response

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This week, Alpher discusses why Ehud Barak made his dramatic remarks about attacking Iran and why he made them now; if there are potential strategic ramifications, or if this is merely one more case of a frustrated ex-politician sounding off; whether last week’s rocket attacks on Israel from the Syrian Golan and Israel’s response suggest the possibility of imminent escalation of hostilities between Iranian proxies and Israel, and if the timing bespeaks a link to the Iran nuclear deal; actions that are perceived by Palestinians as Israeli provocations, which have resulted recently in increased instances of stone-throwing and fire-bombing against Israeli vehicles and knife attacks on IDF soldiers.

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APN Interview on "Price Tag" with Molad's Liat Schlesinger

Listen to the APN interview with Liat Schlesinger, who heads the Investigative Research Department at Molad, a progressive Israeli think tank, on a report she recently authored on the phenomenon known as Price Tag.

The report shows how the Israeli tax payer funds the organizations that originally came up with the Price Tag strategy. Schlesinger is an award-winning investigative reporter and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University.

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Peace Parsha: How the world is, and how we must be

Rabbi Joshua Gutoff is Director of the MA in Jewish Education program at Gratz College. He has rabbinic ordination and an EdD from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

peace_parsha_logo186x140We turn to the Torah, many of us, for wisdom.   And this week when we turn to the parsha, this is what we find:  a command to the Israelites that, when encountering an enemy town, to enslave all the inhabitants.  Unless they put up a fight, in which case all the adult males are to be slaughtered, and the women and children enslaved.  And that’s outside the Promised Land.  When conquering the Land, none of the indigenous population is to be spared.  (Deut. 20:10-18)

 

Where we might have been hoping for something that would demonstrate a respect for all human life, even anticipate the Geneva Conventions, we find instead an invitation (or command!) to participate in forced enslavement or genocidal slaughter. 

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August 17, 2015 - Israel, the Iran deal and Diaspora Jewry

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This week, Alpher discusses the mixed messages we seem to be getting from Israel regarding the Iran deal with Netanyahu and even Herzog and Livni vociferously opposing it, and many in the security and academic establishments either equivocating or supporting it; the views of the Israeli majority on the Iran deal; why Israeli political opposition leaders Herzog and Livni seemingly support Netanyahu’s campaign in Congress; and how to explain Netanyahu’s appointment last week of a prominent right-wing Italian Jewess as Israel’s ambassador to that country.

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There is an old truism that holds that the best defense is a good offense. Or, more colloquially, when you find yourself in hot water, flip the script and go on the attack. Allies of and apologists for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are today doing just that. They are peddling a new narrative that President Obama and others, by speaking openly and critically about the extraordinary efforts of the Israeli government and some U.S. Jewish groups to kill the Iran deal, are guilty of feeding anti-Semitism or smearing American Jews, or are unmasking themselves as anti-Semites.

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Take Action to Support the Iran Deal – 6 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference

Iran Nuclear Negotiations

The fight for the Iran deal is not cooling off. Opponents of the deal are doubling down, mobilizing their supporters to inundate members of Congress with anti-deal messages. Now more than ever, all of us who support this deal must redouble our own efforts to make our voices heard. Please take action today!

Action 1: Call Your Representative and Senators

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Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren declared her support for the Iran nuclear deal last week — and that should come as no surprise. A thoughtful, dispassionate consideration of the agreement leads to the clear conclusion that it’s good for both the United States and for Israel.

Regrettably, however, there is tremendous pressure on the American public and on Congress to reject the deal. Some of that pressure is simply partisan: Many Republicans came out in opposition before the details were even announced.

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