Bibi's Tried-and-True Settlement Weapon (Lara Friedman at the Daily Beast)

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Today's announcement that the Israeli government if moving full steam ahead with the construction of nearly 1300 new settlement units should surprise nobody.  The announcement paves the way for construction in Pisgat Zeev and Ramot (settlement neighborhoods of East Jerusalem), as well as in the huge and extremely controversial settlement of Ariel - a settlement located smack-dab in the middle of the northern West Bank, in a location that makes its inclusion as part of Israel under any realistic borders scenario pretty much impossible.

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Huffington Post: APN's Lara Friedman - No More Excuses for Bibi

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Headlines today are focused on the announcement yesterday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu of early Knesset elections. Rather than add to the feeding frenzy of speculation, today I want to weigh in, belatedly, on Bibi himself.
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Forward: "Occupation Corrupts Soul of Israel" by APN Board member Leonard Fein

Attacks Reflect Zig-Zag Line of Settlement Enterprise

It is tempting to impute retroactive intentionality to yesterday's events. As Gershom Gorenberg felicitously puts it, we mistakenly assume "that if things turned out a certain way, someone planned it that way." Looking back now, it may seem a foregone conclusion that Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank (and in Golan, too) was from the beginning an evil design, intended to encroach on Palestinian rights rather than to solve immediate problems. But the effort to draw a straight line of intentionality from then to now obscures more than it clarifies.

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Open Zion (Daily Beast): APN's Lara Friedman - Exploiting Jews from Arab Countries

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Last month saw an assault in Congress on Palestinian refugees--an effort to use legislation to re-define the Palestinian refugee issue out of existence. This week the other shoe dropped, when a bipartisan group of members of Congress introduced a new bill embracing the cause of "Jewish refugees from Arab countries" in a way that Congress has never replicated on the Palestinian side (for more info, see this list of all bills/resolutions dealing with Palestinian and/or Jewish refugees since 1989).

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Instead of tax hikes - stop indulging the settlements


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Must- Read: Major Report in Israeli Press on Government Spending on Settlements

On July 30th, the Calcalist published a major report [Hebrew] examining the issue of Israeli government spending on settlements.   Among other things, the articles note that government spending on settlements increased by 38% under the Netanyahu government (from 2010 to 2011).  The articles also note the fact that Israeli government spending on settlements from 1992-2011 totaled NIS 27 billion (in 2011 terms).  To get a sense of the magnitude of this spending, the article notes that in 2010 the Israeli government allocated a budget of NIS 27.5 bilion over ten years "for the first stage of project to introduce into [the entire country of] Israel a network of fast highways and railway lines."  All articles translated by Israel News Today (INT).

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Open Zion (Daily Beast): APN's Lara Friedman Responds to Dani Dayan

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Today’s New York Times features an op-ed by Dani Dayan, the head of the Yesha Council (the group that represents settlers and their interests). There isn’t really any news here: it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the settlers want the world to believe that settlements are good, peace efforts are pointless, and that the way forward should be premised on leaving all settlements in place, and leaving the West Bank under Israeli control, in perpetuity. Nonetheless, it is worth examining some representative snippets from this high profile op-ed.

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Open Zion (Daily Beast): "For Shame" by APN's Rabbi Alana Suskin

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Sahar Segal suggests that American Jews ought to feel no shame for Israel's actions. Her prooftext is the Talmud where it says “kol Yisrael arevim ze la-ze”—all Jews are responsible for one another.

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Back Room Analysis on the Levy Report

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The Levy Report has generated an astonishing number of responses.  Having trouble keeping abreast of all the important details? APN is your one-stop resource for information and analysis.

We will update as new items become available. Check back periodically and see what's fresh!






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The Times of Israel: Jewish, Palestinian American groups 'swap' summer interns

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A former IDF medical officer and a Palestinian from a refugee camp are seeing the conflict in a whole new way this summer.

WASHINGTON -- When Waleed Issa walked into the Americans for Peace Now (APN) Washington, DC office on the first day of his summer internship in June, the 25-year-old Palestinian from the Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem was startled by what he saw.



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