Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) denounces a resolution adopted last week by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and ratified this week by the body’s Executive Board.

APN agrees with critics of the language used by UNESCO’s resolution, which refers to the Holy Basin in Jerusalem’s Old City only by its Muslim title, the Haram al-Sharif (the Nobel Sanctuary), does not mention the Temple Mount, the way Jews refer to the site, mentions the Western Wall Plaza in quotation marks while using its Muslim name, Al-Buraq Plaza, without quotation marks, and uses other inflammatory language.

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APN’s Lara Friedman to Address the United Nations Security Council on Settlements

Americans for Peace Now (APN) today announced that its director of policy and government relations, Lara Friedman, will be speaking October 14, 2016 before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at a special session organized to examine the issue of “Illegal Israeli Settlements: An Obstacle to Peace and a Threat to the Two-State Solution.”

 APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:

 “We are extremely proud that Americans for Peace Now has been invited to address the Security Council on the issue of Israeli settlement policies. This is an issue on which APN and our Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav, are justifiably recognized as the leading experts, both in terms of knowing and in terms of explaining the facts about settlements and their implications for peace and the two-state solution. And the facts point to a clear conclusion: the Israeli government’s policy of prioritizing settlements threatens the vital interests of Israel – its people and its national future. This Security Council meeting is a welcome opportunity to highlight the damage settlements are doing to Israel and the quest for peace.” 

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APN at the UNSC October 14 - full statement

Statement by Lara Friedman, Americans for Peace Now
Delivered at the United Nations Security Council – October 14, 2016

The full statement can be viewed as a pdf here
Watch the full testimony here
View the post-meeting press conference here.


Distinguished members of the Security Council,

As a representative of Americans for Peace Now – an organization that is committed to Israel’s existence and its future – it is not easy for me to speak before this body today.

It is not easy because while this forum will focus in large part on human rights violations by Israel, there are states represented here whose own human rights records are abysmal. There are even states in this forum that still do not recognize the existence of Israel, 70 years after that nation’s birth and despite its membership in the UN’s General Assembly.

It is also not easy for me to speak here today because of the deteriorating political climate in Israel as far as democracy is concerned. For some time now we have been witnessing an ugly campaign against courageous Israeli human rights and civil society NGOs – carried out by reactionary groups in Israel and by the Israeli government itself. Campaigns that target the legitimacy of NGOs like our Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav – Peace Now.

These groups are being targeted because their work reveals facts that some prefer to hide – facts that challenge the official Israeli government narrative.

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Peace Now: The 98 Housing Units Promoted Near Shiloh: A New Settlement Indeed

News from Peace Now:

Last Saturday, Our Settlement Watch team exposed that the Civil Administration's Higher Planning Committee promoted a plan for a new settlement east of Shiloh. Today, following the statement issued by the U.S. State Department condemning this development, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued its own statement, arguing that the 98 units that were promoted do not consist of a new settlement and do not expand the Shiloh's municipal boundaries.

These are the facts behind our analysis, which illustrate that this is indeed a new settlement:

1. The driving distance between the new settlement and Shilo is 2km (1km from Shvut Rachel).

2. The Municipal boundary of Shiloh was changed in May 2013 to including this new hill.

3. The fact that an area is included in the municipal boundary of a settlement means nothing about the location of it in or out of the existing settlement. According to our study of the municipal areas of settlements, the built-up area of the settlements takes only 9% of their jurisdiction. In other words, 91% of the municipal boundaries of the settlements is out of the built area of the settlement.

4. According to the protocol of the planning committee which took place last week, the architect who presented the plan said that "in terms of its functioning, the neighborhood could be independent, illustrating that this is a de-facto a new settlement, but the government needs politically to call it a neighborhood for political reasons.

For all of the reasons above, it is clear that the housing units promoted are not an integral part of Shiloh, but rather, a new settlement.

Peace Now's response to the U.S State Department's statement: "two weeks after President Obama approved a $38 billion security assistance package to Israel, Netanyahu chooses to thank him with a slap in face, and to illustrate that his commitment to settlers who stole private lands is more important to him than the true interests of the State of Israel."


APN Condemns New Israeli Settlement Plan

Today Americans for Peace Now joined its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), in condemning the Israeli government’s announced plan to establish a new West Bank settlement in the Shiloh Valley (full details on the announcement are here).

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Peace Now Settlement Watch: Plan Promoted for a New Settlement Near Shiloh

News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

On Wednesday, September 28th, two plans were promoted by the Civil Administration's Higher Planning Committee (HPC): one plan for a new settlement east of Shilo (approved for depositing), most likely meant for the settlers of the illegal outpost o Amona, and another for a new industrial zone west of Ramallah (approved for validation). see details below.

Peace Now: "While world leaders are gathering to commemorate Shimon Peres and his path to peace, the Israeli government is creating another obstacle for the two state solution by establishing a new settlement in the heart of the West Bank. The government's decision to reward settlers who stole private Palestinian lands will make the rest of Israel's law-abiding citizens pay a heavy political price."

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APN Mourns the Death of Shimon Peres

Shimon_Peres_AP_Photo_400Americans for Peace Now (APN) mourns the death of Shimon Peres, the former president and prime minister of the State of Israel, an icon of Israel's founding generation, a visionary of peace and security for Israel, a dedicated leader who led Israel through wars and in the quest for peace.

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News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) published its data on construction starts earlier today. The Data shows that in the first six months of 2016, 1,195 housing units started to be constructed in the settlements. This is an increase of 40% in comparison to the previous six month (July-December 2015), during which 850 housing units began to be constructed. In contrast, a 3% decrease in construction starts was noted in Israel proper (23,691 housing units in the first half of 2016 as opposed to 22,898 housing units in the second half of 2015).

Peace Now: "Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of one sector only - the settler sector, which comprises of less than 5% of the Israeli population. His investments in the settlements do not only come on the expense of the Negev, the Galilee and the rest of Israel but also lead towards a one state reality.

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Referendum_slider-doubleOn Monday, September 5th, Decision at 50,  a new organization composed of Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), Israel’s preeminent peace movement, in cooperation with other Israeli civil society organizations, issued the following press release:

Today (Monday, September 5th) "Decision at 50" launched a campaign demanding a referendum on the future of the Territories and the future of Israel during the 50th year of Israel's control over the West Bank and Gaza. Under the slogan "It's time to decide," the movement will promote a large scale media campaign, accompanied by public events and direct action throughout the country meant to collect signatures of Israeli citizens in support of a Knesset referendum bill.

"Decision at 50" was initiated by a group of organizations and individuals, including "Peace Now," "Blue White Future," as well as former security officials, former politicians, artists and social activists.

The founders of "Decision at 50" believe that after 50 years of Israeli control over the Palestinian Territories, and after 50 years of indecision by Israeli governments, it is time to bring the decision to the Israeli public and let the people decide on their own fate: a bi-national state or two states, 50 more years of military rule or a diplomatic resolution. "This is the most sensitive and explosive issue in Israeli society today, and we demand that after 50 years we will get the right to decide on our own future. We cannot allow ourselves another 50 years of governments' indecision, during which decisions are made every day on the ground," the founders of the initiatives say.

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Press Release: APN to Support New Israeli Initiative for Referendum on the Occupation


Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), Israel’s preeminent peace movement, in cooperation with other Israeli civil society organizations, today launched a new initiative demanding a referendum on the future of Israel’s rule over the West Bank and on peace with the Palestinians.

Americans for Peace Now, the U.S. sister organization of Shalom Achshav, supports the initiative. APN calls on all Americans who care about Israel’s future to support the call for a referendum on the occupation, which is now entering its fiftieth year.

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