[With apologies for the erratic Round-Up publication schedule.]
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.
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.
Congress returned this week from its summer recess – coming back for a very brief session before it goes back into recess for the final period before November elections. Surprising no one, GOP leaders returned to Washington eager to score points against the Obama Administration over its Iran policy – immediately introducing 6 pieces of Iran-focused legislation (all 100% partisan), on top of a whopping 14 GOP letters sent to the Obama Administration from GOP House and Senate members (over the recess and this week) demanding answers to long and leading lists of questions about Iran-related matters
In addition, this week opened with a faux-anti-BDS event on Capitol Hill – “faux” because, consistent with the trend in Congress for more than a year, the real goal of the event was to legitimize settlements. As noted in Israel Hayom (the paper owned by Sheldon Adelson and viewed as so close to Netanyahu that it is nicknamed, “Bibiton”), the event was instigated by the Shomron Regional Council – the municipal body of settlements in the northern part of the West Bank – and featured settler leader Yossi Dagan. The opening paragraph of the article makes crystal clear the intent of the event: “U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday hosted a unique conference to support the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise and denounce anti-Israel incitement and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement's activities on American university campuses.” Also see: A7: Samarian Council takes fight against BDS to Washington (with video); Ynet: Head of Samaria Regional Council speaks at congressional BDS conference; and JPost: Republican Congressmen: BDS akin to 1930s anti-Semitism.