Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed at recent statements and actions by President-elect Donald Trump's Israel affairs advisers, indicating support for West Bank settlements and dismissal of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. APN is calling on the President-elect to clarify that he will follow the policies of all recent US administrations – Republican and Democratic – with respect to the Israel-Palestine question.
News from Peace Now:
This morning (December 2) a plan for temporary housing on three plots of absentee property near the illegal outpost
of Amona was deposited. This was done through a special order - originally used for the Migron settlers - which
allows for the promotion of plans in an expedited process. It is now clear that the government is promoting
temporary housing for the Amona settlers in the nearby absentee property, despite Israel’s legal interpretation
since 1967 according to which absentee property cannot be used for the establishment of settlements.
It is important to note that while the plan is for eight months only, in the settlements what is temporary usually becomes permanent. For example the two year long temporary housing for the Migron settlers from in Givat HaYekev (or the New Migron) is still in place.
Peace Now views the regulation law as a grand land robbery, which will lead not only to the expropriation of 8,000 dunams of private Palestinian lands but might also rob Israelis and Palestinians of the possibility of arriving at a two state solution.
To read the full report click here.
Today, APN joined proudly with other Jewish American organizations in sending a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump. The letter lays out many of our concerns and hopes for the coming Administration and sends an unambiguous message about our work for the future:
“…you will find willing partners in the Jewish community to join with your administration if it follows a path that upholds and defends the principles of fairness, justice and freedom on which this country was built. But, we will not stand idly by if you choose to take actions that violate human rights, or that reverse the progress we have made at home and abroad. You will find us as powerful opponents of any effort to undermine these gains.”
The full text of the letter is copied below. A downloadable pdf version of the letter is available here.
News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:
The timing of the approval of the regulation bill relates to the pending evacuation of the illegal outpost of Amona, which based on the High Court's verdict must happen by December 25. Earlier today (November 14) the High Court dismissed the state's request to delay the evacuation any further.
As Israelis and Palestinians struggle to make sense of this week’s presidential election results, so are we, Americans who support Israeli-Palestinian peace, anxiously wondering about the fate of our mission under President-elect Donald Trump.
The American people have spoken. We at APN obviously acknowledge the results. We doubt, however, that by electing Trump, the people have spoken about their desired foreign policy priorities. Candidate Trump did not clearly indicate such priorities. His foreign policy agenda was sparse and ambiguous, often confused. What will President Trump’s foreign policy be? What will his Middle East Policy be?
News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:
Earlier this week Haaretz
reported that a new illegal outpost is being established on private Palestinian land near Givat Salit and near
the Palestinian community of Al-Khaimah. Yesterday (25.10) the settlers moved the outpost from the private lands
and re-established it on "state lands" in a nearby hill.
It is yet to be seen whether the government takes action to evacuate the illegal structures or allows for the substantiation of a new outpost.
All of the structures in Al-Khaimah were demolished completely by the Civil Administration approximately a month ago and Peace Now tends to think that the demolition of Al-Khaimah and the establishment of the new outpost are related, in the sense that the settlers exerted pressure on the government to demolish specifically in that area. Furthermore, It is possible that the new illegal outpost is meant to serve as a bargaining chip by the settlers, who will demand demolitions of more Palestinian homes if the government will seek to enforce the law and evacuate them. Peace Now is familiar with at least one case in which this method was utilized by the settlers, when two years ago settlers established an illegal outpost near the settlement of Maskiyot and the Palestinian community of Ain al Hilweh and agreed to evacuate only after several Palestinian homes were demolished.
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.
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.”
Statement by Lara Friedman, Americans for Peace Now
Delivered at the United Nations Security Council – October 14, 2016
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.