APN Board Members Meet with President Rivlin in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel – A delegation representing American for Peace Now (APN) met yesterday with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s residence in Jerusalem.

Rivlin_Klutznick_500The delegation, headed by APN’s Chair of the Board James Klutznick (pictured with the President), congratulated Rivlin for his recent election to be Israel’s tenth president.

Rivlin expressed appreciation for APN’s support of the state of Israel and for caring about its future as a Jewish state and a democracy.

Klutznick pointed out that unlike APN and its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), President Rivlin does not support the two-state solution. President Rivlin replied that if the Israeli Knesset adopts a two-state solution he will not oppose it. “We should live here with open borders, whether in one state or in two states,” he said.

Asked how he planned to use the office of the President to advance efforts for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Rivlin replied that in his opinion, peace ought to start with improving relations between Israel’s Jewish majority and its Arab minority. He said that he hopes to use the office of the President to turn conflicts into constructive debates. 

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APN to Obama: Reverse Israel's Confiscation of West Bank Land

Washington, Jerusalem -- Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), in strongly condemning the Israeli government’s decision to take over a large swath of West Bank land to expand Gva’ot, a settlement-in-the-making west of Bethlehem, as well as neighboring settlements.

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APN: Ceasefire is a start; now time to make peace

Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued the following statement:

APN welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that was implemented yesterday. We hope fervently that this ceasefire holds, sparing both Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip further terror and bloodshed. We know, however, that unless the underlying causes of this conflict are addressed, this ceasefire will be nothing more than a prelude to the next round of fighting and misery.

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APN Calls on Obama Administration to Engage UNSC to End Hamas-Israel Conflict

Americans for Peace Now (APN) today released the following statement:

The breakdown of yet another Hamas-Israel ceasefire discloses a stark truth: on their own, Hamas and the government of Israel are unable or unwilling to end this fighting.  With each side determined to reject any outcome that allows the other to claim even a modicum of victory, Hamas and the Israeli government are locked in a vicious cycle of violence, with civilians on both sides paying the price.  After numerous short-lived ceasefires, it now seems clear that this cycle will not be ended by direct or indirect “negotiations,” whether under the auspices of Egypt or some other third party.  

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Leonard "Leibel" Fein, z''l

Leonard_Fein320x265It is with the heaviest of hearts that APN today grieves the loss of our dear friend and longtime APN Board Member Leonard “Leibel” Fein.  We know that Leibel will be mourned by the countless people he touched through his writings and his personal contacts across a life that spanned eight decades of extraordinary professional accomplishments, including as a writer, a teacher, and a prolific columnist; as the founder of Moment Magazine; as the founder of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger; and as the founder of the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy.

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APN Urges Israel, US: Peace Talks Now with Legitimate Palestinian Interlocutors

With official representatives of Israel and Hamas indirectly negotiating a ceasefire agreement in Cairo today, Americans for Peace Now (APN) is strongly urging the government of Israel, the Obama administration, and all stakeholders in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts to bring the PLO and the Palestinian Authority – the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinians – back into a final-status peace negotiations process.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "It's time to pivot from war to real, credible peacemaking. Everyone knows what such peacemaking requires, including U.S. leadership that is prepared to hold both parties accountable for their actions. The only one viable way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution – Israel and Palestine, each living in recognized borders in peace and security. The only legitimate interlocutor for negotiating such a settlement on behalf of the Palestinians is the PLO, headed by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, having signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas earlier this year, the PLO is well-positioned to negotiate on behalf of all the Palestinians, to make hard decisions around the negotiating table, and to deliver when time comes to implement a peace agreement."

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APN: Ceasefire, Pivot to Diplomacy -- Now!

Americans for Peace Now (APN) today repeated its call for an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.  APN condemned the criticism coming from senior Israeli officials and Knesset members targeting Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama for their efforts to find a way to end the fighting.  Israelis and Palestinians alike urgently need an off-ramp from the destruction, fear, and anger that has taken over their lives. 
 
Secretary Kerry and President Obama deserve credit, not scorn, for acting as true friends of Israel by trying to find such an off-ramp. A mutually-agreed ceasefire will, by definition, have to deliver something to both sides.  Even if some concerns about a ceasefire proposal have merit, publicly suggesting that the Obama Administration has “betrayed” Israel by seeking to craft a ceasefire proposal that takes this fact into account are contemptible, dishonest, and do not serve Israel’s best interests. 
 

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Press Release: APN Welcomes US Ceasefire Efforts; Urges Peace Talks

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is horrified by the spiraling death-toll of the war between Israel and Hamas. Having urged a ceasefire for the past two weeks, APN welcomes the Obama administration’s efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire, and urges it to resume diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

APN strongly supports Israel’s right for self-defense and its government’s obligation to provide security for its citizens. As a Zionist, Jewish organization and as the sister-organization of the Israeli grassroots movement Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), we fully share the security concerns of the people of Israel and the yearning of Israelis for peace.
 
We mourn the death of Israeli civilians and of Israeli soldiers in the current hostilities. We also mourn the alarmingly spiraling deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip – over 500 so far.

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Americans for Peace Now – like millions of Israelis and Palestinians, and others worldwide – is anxiously hoping that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will follow Israel’s suit and accept the Egyptian-proposed ceasefire agreement. The agreement was proposed Monday night. Israel’s government welcomed it last night, and officially accepted it today at a Cabinet meeting, and held its fire by 9:00 AM local time (2:00 AM Eastern time), but a barrage of rockets from Gaza continued. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad intensified their rocket fire, arguing that Egypt announced the ceasefire without consulting with their leadership. In response, Israel too resumed fire and continued bombing the Gaza Strip.

We hope that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will accept the ceasefire, stop its rocket attacks on Israel and thus prevent further escalation.


Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes news of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt’s government.  APN urges both Israel and Hamas to adhere to the ceasefire and to find ways to prevent future security escalations such as the current one. APN further urges Israelis, Palestinians and the Obama administration to resume diplomatic efforts to return to the negotiating table in order to achieve a viable, lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement with security for both sides.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "Once again, following unnecessary bloodshed, destruction, terror and pain, Israel and Hamas chose diplomacy - the same kind of diplomacy that we at APN have been urging. This devastation, and the long-term impact it has on Israelis and Palestinians alike, can be obviated if both sides choose diplomacy now to pave the road for future Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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Washington, DC –Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, supports Israel's right of self-defense and calls on the government of Israel to avoid harming innocent civilians as it retaliates for the rocket attacks.

Commenting on the current escalation, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:

"The escalating violence on Israel's border with Gaza is deeply alarming. Once again innocent Israelis are being targeted by rockets, while innocent Palestinians are caught in the crossfire as Israel exercises its legitimate right to self-defense.

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