If supporting a non-violent boycott of the settlements makes me an enemy of the Israeli state, so be it. But
Israel's border officers will have to hear my story before they turn me away for good.
Okay, yes, I’ve written critical articles and signed Open Letters protesting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and decrying the settlement enterprise; and yes, I’ve been a member of Americans for Peace Now for more than 30 years and a supporter of B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, ACRI, and the New Israel Fund, among other “suspect” organizations. So it’s a safe bet that, under the new Israeli entry ban, I’m going to end up on the government’s blacklist.
Since the mid-1990s, the settlers established nearly 100 illegal outposts and built dozens of neighborhoods and illegal projects in many settlements. In 2015 alone 15% of the units constructed in the settlements was illegal.
During the past year, Settlement Watch conducted extensive research on illegal construction in settlements and outposts. The data collected exposes a process parallel to the official planning process in the settlements – that of illegal construction. This parallel process is what allows for thousands of housing units to remain on the ground, and be connected to roads and infrastructure.
I’ve been devoting much of my life to activism in support of Israel’s future wellbeing, advocating for peace and security, working to bolster Israel as a democracy and a Jewish state, living side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestinian state.
I was raised with the infant state of Israel in the late 1940s as the sixth child in the household of my parents Philip and Ethel Klutznick, activists and strong supporters of Israel’s right to exist and thrive as the homeland of the Jewish people. Dad, an international Jewish leader, advocated for the survival and the growth of Israel throughout his lifetime, but warned in the early 1980s that Israel must negotiate peace with its enemies, a common sense position of strength through peace.
Monday, Israel’s Knesset kicked me in the behind. It made me into a persona-non-grata.
"A person is obligated to get drunk on Purim until he cannot tell the difference between ‘blessed is Mordecai’ and ‘cursed is Haman’.” Purim is upon us. The wicked Haman convinces the clownish King Ahasuerus to kill all the Jews by executive order, but Queen Esther prevails upon the King to rescind this dictate and Haman is hanged.
Day after day, our current reality reads like a story concocted for Purim. We see a carnival of populist buffoonery in which reality is indistinguishable from satire. Professional comedians, who straddle the line between reality and fiction, feel like the politicians are trespassing, usurping their turf.
Americans for Peace Now strongly condemns new Israeli legislation adopted today by the Knesset, which would ban entry to Israel of foreign nationals who support or publicly engage in boycotts of either Israel or West Bank settlements.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "This new draconian law is a severe blow to Israeli democracy. It is aimed at a basic civil liberty, the freedom of expression, and will severely harm Israel by keeping out some of its greatest supporters.
Israel’s Peace Now movement submitted on March 5th 2017 a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice against the newly adopted Expropriation Law (also known as the Legalization Law or the Regulation Law), a law that allows the expropriation of privately-owned West Banks Palestinian land for settlement construction.
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 possible agenda items for Thursday's meeting in Moscow between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian President Putin; the Trump angle; the Syrian civil war; whether all Israel wants from the Russians in Syria is to keep Iran far away; what Russia could want from Israel; and the possible effects of a Trump administration move to ban the Muslim Brotherhood on Muslim movements among Arab citizens of Israel.
Americans for Peace Now
Stories of Hope Amidst Conflict
The Dove is an evening of live, personal stories – told by Israelis, Palestinians, and others who have experienced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict first-hand – based on the popular storytelling show The Moth. Their stories describe real-life experiences in Israel and the occupied territories that inspire hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and that show how light can overcome darkness.
Thursday, April 6th| 8:30pm - 10pm | $5
Washington, DC | Busboys and Poets (5th and K location; 1025 5th Street NW)
The latest in a series of ads from APN, featured in the Washington Jewish Week and Baltimore Jewish Times. This month's edition features former Major General and Labor Party Leader Amram Mitzna.
You can support additional ads by donating here.