Statement: Trump-Netanyahu Presser Dims Hopes for Peace; Undermines Decades of Diplomacy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued this following statement following today's joint press conference by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump in the White House:

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu's press conference today presented an opportunity for the two leaders to signal to Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and the world a clear commitment to peace. It was an opportunity to signal that they can chart a constructive way forward for U.S.-Israel relations and for Israel's future, for its security and its well-being as a democracy and a Jewish state.

Netanyahu and Trump squandered this opportunity.

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Top 5 Questionable Claims to Expect from David Friedman

Top 5 Questionable Claims Senators Are Likely to Hear

From U.S. Ambassador to Israel-nominee David Friedman

At His Confirmation Hearing

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Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued this following statement on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first meeting with Donald Trump since Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States:

This past weekend, before leaving for Washington, Prime Minister Netanyahu told his Cabinet: 'I have navigated Israeli-U.S. relations in a prudent manner, and I will continue to do so now.'

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Tell Your Senators: Reject Trump's Dangerous Choice for Ambassador to Israel

David Friedman is a friend of the settlement movement who backs unlimited settlement expansion, has accused President Obama of being an anti-Semite and says that liberal Zionists are "worse than kapos." Tell your Senators to reject his nomination to be the next US ambassador to Israel.

Time is short and your Senators need to hear from you TODAY. If you don’t know who your Senators are, you can look them up here. Then call the US Capitol switchboard – (202) 224-3121 – and ask to be connected to each of your Senator’s offices. Tell the person who answers the phone in each office:

David Friedman

  • I am a constituent and I care about Israel and Israeli-Palestinian peace
  • That is why I strongly oppose Donald Trump's choice to be the next US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and urge Senator XXX to reject him.
  • Mr. Friedman poses a threat to longstanding US policies in the Middle East that have been supported by Democratic and Republican presidents alike.
  • He is hostile to the two-state solution - the only way to ensure Israel’s future as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.
  • He is a friend of the settlement movement and an avid supporter of further settlement expansion.
  • The contempt Mr. Friedman has shown toward liberal American Jews - labeling them worse than Nazi collaborators - makes him a horrible choice to be our representative in Israel.
  • I urge Senator XXX to reject Mr. Friedman's nomination to be the next US ambassador to Israel.

P.S. Please forward this to your friends and urge them to call.



APN previously issued the following petition:

Sign the Petition

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February 13, 2017 - Potential Disrupters in US Relationships with Israel and the Arab World


Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses updates on the agenda for the Trump-Netanyahu summit scheduled for later this week; new developments that could conceivably disrupt US-Israel relations in the near term beyond issues regarding the settlements, Iran, and Syria; potential Israeli responses to future Hamas attacks; Not labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group; and the report that Trump also wants to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.

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Haaretz - Explained: How Big an Obstacle Are Israeli Settlements to Peace?

Trump recently said that advancing settlement construction is unhelpful for peace, but which settlements exactly he was referring to is open for interpretation.

Judy Maltz

If his latest statements are any indication, U.S. President Donald Trump may be having second thoughts about how unharmful Israel’s West Bank settlement project is to the peace process.

In an interview published on Friday with the Israeli daily Israel Hayom, Trump described himself as “not someone who believes that advancing settlements is good for peace,” and urged the government to “act reasonably.”

“There is limited remaining territory,” Trump said. “Every time you take land for a settlement, less territory remains.”

In a statement issued through the White House a week earlier, he said that although settlements per se were not an impediment to peace, “the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

America’s unpredictable new president may be a bit more forthcoming about where he draws the line when he meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. Meanwhile, his statements have been interpreted as a green light for Israel to continue building within the settlement blocs, though not beyond them.

Settlement blocs refer to the larger Jewish population centers located in the West Bank, many of which are close to the Green Line, or the borders of the 1949 armistice agreement. Many of them fall on the Israeli side of the incomplete separation barrier Israel began building nearly 15 years ago during the second Palestinian uprising.

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34th year of remembrance for Emil Grunzweig

Today marks 34 years to the murder of Emil Grunzweig, one of the movement's leaders, at an anti-war rally in Jerusalem.

Grunzweig, a scholar, a teacher and a leading peace activist, was at the front row (fourth from the left) of young Israelis who marched toward the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on February 10, 1983, demanding that the findings of a state commission of inquiry regarding the government's conduct during the 1982 Lebanon War be implemented.

The murdered was Yona Avrushmi, a young Jerusalemite who later confessed to being brainwashed by extremist right-wing propaganda. He threw a hand grenade into the crowd of pro-peace demonstrators, killing Grunzweig and injuring nine others.

Avrushmi was released from prison in 2011 after serving 27 years of a life sentence.



Yossi Alpher DC talkOn February 9. 2017, APN held a briefing call with strategic affairs expert Yossi Alpher in preparation for the upcoming Netanyahu-Trump meeting on February 14.

Yossi Alpher, an independent security analyst, is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with Israel’s Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. He is the author of Hard Questions Tough Answers, APN’s weekly analysis of Israeli and Middle Eastern strategic affairs.

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) is deeply concerned about the detention and questioning of the New Israel Fund's vice president, Jennifer Gorovitz, at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday upon arrival in Israel. Gorovitz, who flew into Israel to participate in NIF's Board meeting, was detained for ninety minutes and questioned three times during that period about NIF's activities, including its funding of Israeli non-profit organizations.

Today, according to Israeli media reports, the interim director general of Israel's Population and Immigration Authority, Amnon Shmueli, said that the questioning was "routine," apologized if the questioning caused Ms. Gorovitz anguish, and said that there was no intention to insult her. 

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At the end of 2016 new legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate entitled, the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016” (S.10 & HR 6421).  Given the title of this legislation, the public could be forgiven for assuming this must be a response to rising anti-Semitism in the U.S. linked to emboldened Nazis, white supremacists, and supporters of the “alt-Right.” Sadly, the public would be wrong. This Orwellian-entitled legislation in fact has zero to do with raising awareness about or combating actual anti-Semitism. Rather, it is an effort to trying to police criticism of Israel on U.S. campuses by exploiting claims of “anti-Semitism” – all in order to delegitimize and quash criticism of and activism related to Israel (with the main but not sole focus being the BDS movement on campuses).

Looking ahead to 2017, it is clear that this legislation is set to be re-introduced in the new Congress and in state legislatures, starting with Virginia. In order to shine a bright light on this stealth legislative trend, as well as to inform and empower activists to challenge it, we created this table, which will be updated regularly to include any new developments.

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