We could've told you about Roseanne

After Roseanne Barr's vile, racist tweet yesterday, ABC has cancelled her show. But we at APN know well - and personally - about Roseanne's vitriol on Twitter.

Chuck Schumer

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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 whether there is a chance to avert conflict in Syria and Gaza; the recent mortar fire on Israel's Gaza perimeter settlements; de-escalation on the Israel-Iran front in Syria; and Israel registering success or at least limited progress on both the Iran/Syria and Hamas/Gaza fronts.

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APN to Trump: Tell Israel's Government to Stop Settlement Construction!

Americans for Peace Now urges the Trump administration to demand that the government of Israel reverse its plan for a massive new wave of settlement construction in the West Bank.

Yesterday, Israel's Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman announced a new plan for massively expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including in areas that past Israeli governments and past US administrations agreed would become the future Palestinian state. Liberman announced plans to grant final construction approval for 2,500 new homes in settlements and preliminary approval for an additional 1,400 homes. Most of these housing units would be added to settlements that lie deep in the West Bank, in areas that according to any past peace plans would be a part of the future Palestinian state.

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COMING SOON: A game-changer on West Bank settlements

Americans for Peace Now has exciting news: our new Facts on the Ground map app is almost here!

Facts on the Ground is a game-changing tool for educating the world about Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Anyone with an iPhone or Android phone can instantly access comprehensive, up-to-date information, statistics, and analysis on this topic. This one-of-a-kind tool is fueled directly by data collected on the ground by Peace Now (Shalom Achshav), the world's most reputable source on West Bank settlements.

Facts on the Ground can play a vital role in helping anyone understand how settlements prevent peace, and what must be done to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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APN's Peter Weiss and Debra Shushan in The New York Jewish Week

The Israeli government is on a reckless mission to extend permanently its control over the West Bank by annexing by force all or parts of the occupied territory. Developments over the past year, facilitated by the permissive attitude of the Trump Administration, are particularly alarming.

While proposals for annexation of all or part of the West Bank had previously been confined to the extreme right-wing fringe of the Israeli political spectrum, members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party are now submitting such bills to the Knesset. In December 2017, Likud incorporated into its party platform a resolution that would effectively extend Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements. And at the direction of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party, the government is moving to apply Israeli laws in the West Bank – to Israeli settlers only.

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APN's Debra Shushan in Ha'aretz: "The Day Donald Trump Was Crowned King in Jerusalem"

Along with many other U.S. Jews, I wanted to feel pride at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. But amid the carnage in Gaza, I felt nausea

Debra Shushan | May 16, 2018 | 

For Jews around the world, the opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem should have been an occasion for jubilation and pride. And while for some it was, many of the rest of us watched the ceremony feeling a combination of nausea and cognitive dissonance.

There were at least three reasons to feel ill.

The first and most obvious is that the ceremony took place yesterday against the backdrop of carnage in Gaza.

While American and Israeli officials congratulated themselves in Jerusalem, denizens of the open-air prison which Israel continues to occupy (through its control of air, sea, and land routes out of Gaza and even of its population registry) were being shot to death by the dozens.

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Shavuot: Let’s be mindful of the need to live in a just and humane society

D'var Torah from Barbara Green. long-time activist with Americans for Peace Now.

Shavuot is a joyous holiday representing the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The event itself is thought of as the moment when the ragtag group of Hebrews who had been wandering in the desert truly became a people -- the Jewish people.

A reading of the law, or the mitzvot as they are known in Hebrew, gives one the impression of a moral and ethical society. We are directed to remember the widow and orphan and stranger among us. One law is to serve both citizen and non-citizen alike. Wages must be paid before the sun goes down. And my favorite: If you see your enemy's ass lying in the road, you are to help it get up. Imagine: not only concern for an animal but for the enemy's animal.

And yet, selective reading of each of the major religions' holy books can be deceptive. Some of the laws are in conflict with others. Emphasizing some at the expense of others has created grave injustices.

And subverting the law by using it for crass political purposes, as the settler movement and its allies have done, tears at the basic precepts found in the Torah.

In Israel today, there is tension between those who believe strongly that man is made in the image of God (b'tselem Adonai) and those who privilege the land of Israel (the "Greater Israel" movement) above all else. Rabbi Michael Melchior has written: "I believe that those who censor the Torah of such concepts as the natural morality of man, as the belief that God has created every human being in His image, and as the basic human right to respect and dignity which stems from this belief, are desecrating the holy name of God." He continues: "Torah, Judaism, Zionism, and at times even God himself have been hijacked."

Those of us who have worked for decades for the establishment of Palestine next to Israel watch in horror now as that idea seems to be disappearing over the horizon. The Greater Israel folks are in the ascendancy with Benjamin Netanyahu as their leader and the U.S. as their enabler. But the struggle now is for more than the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own, or for the relief of the Gazans who suffer a humanitarian crisis of indescribable proportions. It is increasingly about the soul of the Israeli people. Are we still the people of justice and compassion set forth in the law? Have we foregone the ability -- or even the desire -- to help uplift our enemy's ass if it is lying in the road?

As we prepare for the holiday of Shavuot with its festive air, let’s be mindful of the need to live in a just and humane society -- and to extend those concepts to the citizen and stranger alike. The Torah the Jews received at Sinai still holds precepts we can all embrace.  

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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's Hectic Week

Friedman Watch is bursting at the seams this week, with David Melech Friedman busy as a beaver. Here is the rundown of what the US Ambassador to Israel has been up to.

  • Master of Ceremonies: Friedman’s centrality in orchestrating the US embassy move to Jerusalem was underscored by the Ambassador’s headlining role at the opening ceremony. Opening the fête, Friedman said, “Make no mistake: Today's historic event is attributed to the vision, the courage, and the moral clarity of one person to whom we owe an enormous and eternal debt of gratitude: President Donald J. Trump.” On the heels of the celebration, Friedman received the Friends of Zion Award from the evangelical Christian group that festooned Jerusalem with “Trump Make Israel Great Again” signs. For more on why the ceremony might have turned your stomach and/or made your head explode, don’t miss the latest op-ed from APN’s Debra Shushan in Haaretz.
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Americans for Peace Now calls on both Israelis and Palestinians to exercise responsibility and restraint tomorrow to avoid further bloodshed and deterioration toward another Israel-Hamas war.

Today's death toll on the Gaza border, 58 Palestinians killed and some 2,000 injured, of them eighty severely injured – seems to be the preamble for even heavier bloodshed tomorrow as Palestinians commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, which Palestinians observe as their national catastrophe.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (May 14, 2018) - A violent week


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 Jerusalem, Gaza, Nakba Day, Ramadan, Iran, and the Lebanese elections; US National Security Adviser John Bolton's statement that a US embassy in Jerusalem “enhances the chances for peace”; international opinion concerning Israel’s position vis-à-vis Iran in Syria and the Jerusalem issue; Netanyahu's influence Trump's decision to withdraw from the JCPOA; and the unanwered questions that remain.

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