Statement: Trump-Netanyahu Presser Dims Hopes for Peace; Undermines Decades of Diplomacy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued this following statement following today's joint press conference by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump in the White House:

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu's press conference today presented an opportunity for the two leaders to signal to Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and the world a clear commitment to peace. It was an opportunity to signal that they can chart a constructive way forward for U.S.-Israel relations and for Israel's future, for its security and its well-being as a democracy and a Jewish state.

Netanyahu and Trump squandered this opportunity.

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Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued this following statement on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first meeting with Donald Trump since Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States:

This past weekend, before leaving for Washington, Prime Minister Netanyahu told his Cabinet: 'I have navigated Israeli-U.S. relations in a prudent manner, and I will continue to do so now.'

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) is deeply concerned about the detention and questioning of the New Israel Fund's vice president, Jennifer Gorovitz, at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday upon arrival in Israel. Gorovitz, who flew into Israel to participate in NIF's Board meeting, was detained for ninety minutes and questioned three times during that period about NIF's activities, including its funding of Israeli non-profit organizations.

Today, according to Israeli media reports, the interim director general of Israel's Population and Immigration Authority, Amnon Shmueli, said that the questioning was "routine," apologized if the questioning caused Ms. Gorovitz anguish, and said that there was no intention to insult her. 

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APN Condemns Law Legalizing Illegal Settler Construction

Americans for Peace Now today issues the following statement in the wake of the Israeli Knesset's passage of legislation legalizing illegal settler construction on private Palestinian land:

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APN's Response to the White House's Statement on West Bank Settlements

 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued the following response to the White House's statement on Israeli settlements in the West Bank:

While some may view it as positive that President Trump is paying attention to the Israeli government's aggressive settlement construction push, the statement issued yesterday by the White House should be understood for what it is: a dangerous and unprecedented retreat from and reframing of longstanding bipartisan U.S. policy on settlements, including under presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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Press Release: APN Outraged by New Israeli West Bank Settlement Construction

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is outraged by the Israeli government’s approval of more than 3,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements, a measure that comes days after the approval of another 2,500 new settlement homes. APN is equally outraged by the Trump administration’s acquiescence as the Netanyahu government opens the settlements floodgates. 

The new wave of settlement construction permits is particularly infuriating because it is apparently intended to appease the settlers and their advocates in the Knesset, after the Israeli government was forced by the courts - after years of delays and excuses - to obey the law and evict settlers from the West Bank illegal outpost of Amona. Settlers have been resisting the eviction throughout the day Wednesday. Twenty five of the police officers who the settlers attacked – some of them had acid thrown in their faces – were hospitalized.  

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News from Peace Now:

Yesterday, January 31, 2017 the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense issued an announcement on the promotion of 3,000 housing units in the settlements. The announcement was issued late last night, possibly under the assumption that all international attention will be directed towards the Amona evacuation.

The announcement is not an official step and is likely to be followed by concrete actions in the coming days in the shape of publications of tenders  and promotion of plans. 

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Press Release: APN to Netanyahu: Don't Embrace Trump's Immigration Policies

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is appalled at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expression of support for President Trump's immigration policies. APN calls on Netanyahu to stay out of America's heated debate on immigration, and to take into consideration the impact that statements on issues like this have on Israel's relations with broad, key segments of the American public and with the vast majority of American Jews.

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News from Peace Now:

Today, January 24 2017, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement announcing the promotion of approximately 2,500 housing units in the settlements. This is the largest announcement since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's negotiations efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.

Peace Now: "Netanyahu is taking advantage of the presidential transition in the United States in order to appease the settlers, a small minority of the Israeli public, and score political points with his right flank. Instead of jeopardizing the two-state solution, it is time for Netanyahu to take responsibility for the future of Israel by halting settlement construction and assuring the future of Israel as both Jewish and democratic."
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Press Release: APN to Trump: Don't be a "Freier"

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed by a series of West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements-related measures that the Government of Israel is taking, or has indicated it intends to take, in the wake of the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

APN warns President Trump that acquiescing to such measures would send a dangerous message of weakness to the region and the world, right at the outset of his tenure in the White House. It would signal to America's allies and adversaries alike that this new president lacks the ability or the interest to recognize and defend core U.S. national security interests in the Middle East. It would announce to the world that on a critical issues like this – on which U.S. policies reverberate across the globe – the Trump Administration cannot or will not stand up to pressure from a narrow constituency of zealots and ideologues who prioritize an ideological, messianic Middle East agenda over national security and best interests of both the American people and Israel.

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