In 2014, opponents of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel began promoting legislation in various U.S. states denouncing the BDS movement. In 2015, these efforts shifted/expanded to mirror efforts in the U.S. Congress to hijack concerns about BDS against Israel in order to pass legislation mandating that Israeli settlements be treated, in effect, as part of sovereign Israel.
APN maintains strong relationships with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and Executive Branch officials. A non-partisan organization . with a non-partisan mission, APN supplies timely information, analysis, expertise and education, providing a pro-Israel, pro-peace, American Jewish perspective on issues and legislation related to Israel and the quest for Middle East peace and, security. APN also engages in advocacy, directly and through its nationwide Action Network, to promote pro-Israel/pro-peace legislation and policy
APN publishes the Legislative Round-Up -- the most comprehensive resource available anywhere on Middle East-related developments on Capitol Hill -- every Friday when Congress is in session. APN also hosts policy briefings on Capitol Hill and brings experts to meet with policy makers to maintain a steady flow of balanced information from the region.
And of note from APN this week:
- Press Release: APN Opposes David Friedman's Nomination as US
Ambassador to Israel
- APN explainer: Israel’s settlement “Legalization Bill”: What it is and what it means
- APN Letter to the Conference of Presidents Protesting Hanukkah Party Co-Sponsored by Azerbaijan at Trump Hotel
[With apologies for the erratic Round-Up publication schedule.]
On May 29, 2015, Abraham Foxman, then the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, authored an op-ed published by the JTA, entitled, "Comprehensive approach to fighting BDS is needed." With respect to the question of legislation seeking to quash BDS and other activism critical of Israel - both at the state and federal levels - Foxman notes (among other things):
Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down. A decision by a private body to boycott Israel, as despicable as it may be, is protected by our Constitution. Perhaps in Europe, where hate speech laws exist and are acceptable within their own legal frameworks, such bills could be sustained. But not here in America.
Full text of that op-ed is included below, or can be viewed on the JTA website.
Americans for Peace Now today released the following statement regarding Congressman Keith Ellison's (D-MN) record of working for Israeli-Palestinian peace:
"APN has worked closely with Congressman Ellison for nearly a decade. He is a close friend and a trusted ally in the effort to achieve security and peace for Israel and the Palestinians in the context of a two-state solution. Where other members of Congress may talk the talk about supporting Middle East peace, Congressman Ellison walks the walk. Time and again he has led constructive efforts in Congress for the benefit of both Israelis and Palestinians. In doing so, he has acted as a true friend of Israel and of American Jews who recognize that 'pro-Israel' credentials are measured not in the degree of support for hardline, pro-settlement Israeli policies, but rather in concrete efforts to achieve peace and a two-state solution."
In 2015, a campaign began in Congress (as well as at the state level) to hijack concerns about BDS against Israel in order to pass legislation giving unprecedented legitimacy and recognition to Israeli settlements by, in effect, making it U.S. policy to treat them as part of Israel. These efforts continue through the present day.
This table -- which
will be updated regularly -- is intended to help people understand and follow what is happening in
APN rejects this cynical effort to exploit concerns about BDS in order to erase the distinction between Israel and the occupied territories.
[Originally published August 12, 2011, in the context of the Supreme Court's consideration of a case challenging longstanding U.S. policy in Jerusalem (the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Obama Administration and - by extension - every U.S. administration that preceded it. -Archived version is here]
The United States does not recognize the sovereignty of any party in any part of Jerusalem (East or West). This is not a new policy imposed by the Obama Administration, as some seem to believe or want others to believe. It is a policy that dates back to pre-1948, and has been followed by every U.S. Administration since, regardless of the President or party in the White House. Across this entire period, the policy has applied equally to Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian claims in the city. What follows are representative examples across this entire period illustrating the consistency of this policy.
Back in April 2016, the New York Times published an oped I authored regarding President Obama and the United Nations Security Council. The genesis of that oped was the assertion - made repeatedly by policy experts and pundits, by journalists, by Jewish leaders, by members of Congress, etc - that no U.S. president has ever gone against Israel in the UN Security Council.