APN to Trump: Fire Ambassador Friedman!

Washington, DC -- Americans for Peace Now (APN) is calling on President Trump to recall US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for making statements that blatantly contradict long-held United States policy, as well as objective facts and international law. Ambassador Friedman continues to damage US efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, a chief US national security interest and avowed goal of President Trump.

In a video interview with Israeli news service Walla News, referring to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, Friedman said: “I think that the settlements are a part of Israel.”

Friedman added that since the United Nations adopted Resolution 242 in 1967, “the expectation” was “that Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn’t need for peace and security.” According to Friedman, “There was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank, and I think that’s exactly what Israel has done.” Friedman further asserted that Israel is “only occupying two percent of the West Bank.”

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Press Release: Don't Penalize Palestinians for Interpol Recognition

Americans for Peace Now (APN) rejects calls by senior members of the Israeli cabinet to penalize the Palestinian Authority for its move to gain membership in Interpol, the international police organization.

The move passed today at the Interpol General Assembly in Beijing by a majority of 75 member-states, with 24 opposing and 34 abstaining. Subsequently, senior members of the Israeli government called for various punitive measured to be taken against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on a broad range of issues.

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Press Release: APN Outraged by Trump Administration's Backtracking on Two-State Solution

By refusing to publicly endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and suggesting that doing so would "bias one side over the other" regarding possible outcomes, the Trump Administration yesterday dropped a dangerous and unacceptable bombshell. The Administration turned its back on a core bipartisan foreign policy principle, thumbed its nose at an international consensus regarding the way to resolve the conflict, and handed a gift to extremists on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

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APN Statement on Trump's Reaction to Charlottesville Events

Americans for Peace Now is appalled and alarmed by President Trump’s shocking statements yesterday, equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists to progressive demonstrators and equating Robert E. Lee to George Washington. He is completely blurring the lines between right and wrong as he dabbles in the politics of moral equivalence and coddles his racist supporters whose cause is anathema to American values and civil rights.

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Debra Shushan is APN’s New Director of Policy and Government Relations

Americans for Peace Now is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Debra Shushan as its Director of Policy and Government Relations, effective August 1, 2017.

Dr. Shushan will be responsible for developing and formulating APN’s policy positions. She will also direct and run APN’s relations with the US government’s executive branch, as well as with Congress.

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Press Release: APN to Trump Administration: Help Prevent Further Escalation in Jerusalem

Alarmed at the flare-up of violence on and around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif, and extremely concerned about a further deterioration, Americans for Peace Now (APN) is calling on the Trump administration to offer its services to help establish security arrangements in this sensitive spot, which would be accepted and respected by all.

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Press Release: APN Condemns Temple Mount Attack; Urges Calm

Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the shooting attack this morning at Jerusalem's Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif. APN sends its condolences to the families of the two Israeli policemen who were killed in the attack, both Arab Druze citizens of Israel, and wishes full recovery to a third police officer who was injured in the attack.

APN implores the Israeli authorities, the Palestinian Muslim clerics in Jerusalem, the government of Jordan, the Israeli and Palestinian publics, and all other stakeholders in Jerusalem, to do all they can to prevent further escalation in Jerusalem, particularly at this highly sensitive and holy spot, and to respect the sanctity of Jerusalem's holy sites.

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News from Peace Now:

In the coming weeks the Jerusalem regional planning committee will discuss new plans for East Jerusalem, in both Israeli neighbourhood settlements beyond the Green Line and within Palestinian neighbourhoods. (See a full list of plans at the bottom of the report.)

Peace Now: “ The government is brutally attempting to destroy the possibility of the two-state solution, and this time it is by establishing a new settlement at the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem and promoting nearly 1,800 housing units beyond the Green Line. The eviction of 5 Palestinian families, which are protected tenants, in order to establish a new settlement in Sheikh Jarrah shows that nothing will get in the way of settler groups and a pro-settler government from preventing a future compromise in Jerusalem."

A. A new settlement in Sheikh Jarrah

On July 16, the Jerusalem regional planning committee is intended to discuss several plans for settlements within Palestinian neighbourhoods. Of those, 4 plans will be discussed for the Um Haroun neighbourhood (located within Sheikh Jarrah). This is the first time in recent years that new housing units are being planned for settlers within a Palestinian neighbourhood. Furthermore, two of the plans include the demolition of homes of 5 Palestinian families.

Plan 14151: A three story building for 3 housing units. Construction entails the demolition of a home of a Palestinian family.
Plan 14029: A five story building for 10 housing units. Construction entails the demolition of homes of 4 Palestinian families.
Plan 68858: A nine story (seven above ground) Yeshiva campus named, “Or Shameach” that includes student accommodation.
Plan 499699: A six story office building.

The two plans for 13 housing units in Sheikh Jarrah will be established on properties in which 5 Palestinian families currently reside. These properties are under a legal battle through which settlers seek the evacuation of these Palestinian families. Although the Palestinian families are legally regarded as protected tenants they reside in properties that prior to 1948 were Jewish owned, and the Israeli law enables Israeli citizens to return to properties that were owned by Jews prior to 1948. Hence, settlers and settler groups actively attempt to get hold of rights to Jewish owned properties from before 1948. In the cases of the five Palestinian families, the legal actions taken by settlers for their eviction have yet to be materialize. Nevertheless, the law enables landowners to destroy and restructure a new building whilst protected tenants do not lose their legal rights, hence the advancement of these plans.

Click to download the official July 16 agenda (Hebrew).

Click to read background on settlements at Sheikh Jarrah.

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APN Statement Marking 50 Years of Israeli Occupation

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Six-Day War, Israel's greatest military victory, a victory that ironically inflicted a political disaster upon the state of Israel.

After fifty years, the disastrous Pyrrhic repercussions of this military victory are intensifying as the occupation of the West Bank solidifies both on the ground and in the minds of many Israelis, Palestinians, and their leaders.

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APN welcomes Trump’s signing of the Jerusalem Embassy Act’s presidential waiver

A semi-annual presidential act, signing a waiver that maintains America’s Israel embassy in Tel Aviv, has become a subject of heated speculation and debate, following Donald Trump’s statements of intent – as presidential candidate and as President-elect -- to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

The statements and the speculations ended with President Trump doing exactly what all his predecessors, Democrats and Republicans, did since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995. He signed a presidential waiver, stipulating that the embassy will remain in Tel Aviv for six more months.

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