Americans for Peace Now (APN) stands with the people of Israel as it mourns the death of the three Israeli Yeshiva students, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, who were kidnapped earlier this month in the West Bank. APN strongly condemns the kidnapping and the killing of the three, and sends its condolences to their families. APN calls on the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian factions, to prevent further escalation and further loss of innocent lives.
Following the decision by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to divest from three U.S. companies whose products, they argue, are used to support Israeli occupation, Americans for Peace Now today issued the following statement:
“Last Friday’s decision of the Presbyterian Church of the United States to divest from three major U.S. companies should serve as a resounding warning for the Israeli government. Increasingly large segments of American society - including ones that care deeply about Israel’s future and invest in it – are losing patience with the nearly five decades-long occupation and with the Israeli government’s refusal to act seriously to bring it to an end. Pressure for decisions like the one taken by PC (USA) is growing, supported by Americans who are neither anti-Israel nor anti-Semitic. It is gaining traction as a direct consequence of Israeli policies that are deepening the occupation to the point of potential irreversibility in the near term, in tandem with the apparent inability or unwillingness of governments around the world to in any meaningful way challenge these policies.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) today expressed deep concern for the safety of the three Israeli Yeshiva students who were kidnapped last Friday in the West Bank. Our hearts and prayers are with the three and with their families. We stand in solidarity with their families and the people of Israel.
APN is also concerned about the possible repercussions of the crisis and calls on all parties involved to do their utmost to ensure that the three return home unharmed and that their abduction does not further exacerbate an already volatile situation.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the swearing in of a new Palestinian Authority government, headed by current Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and comprised of apolitical technocrats.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) is appalled and deeply disappointed at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization's failure to accept J Street, an important player in the pro-Israel arena, into its ranks.
Washington, DC - Commenting on the status of ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, Americans for Peace Now's President and CEO Debra DeLee issued the following statement:
"APN's position is clear: Negotiations are the only route to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the only resolution to this conflict will be a mutually agreed-on two-state solution. However, the past nine months of peace efforts, led with admirable commitment and energy by Secretary of State John Kerry and his team, have failed to bring the parties closer to a two-state outcome. The current state of this peace effort exposes three structural weaknesses in the current process: the manifest bad faith of the Netanyahu government; the profound weakness of the Palestinian leadership; and the absence of adequate rules-of-the-game - and consequences for breaking these rules - put in place by the Obama Administration as the steward of these efforts.
Washington, DC – The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas today ended a seven-year rift by reaching a historic reconciliation agreement.
Americans for Peace Now welcomes the agreement. APN holds that unity between the Palestinian political factions and between the West Bank and Gaza is vital for empowering the Palestinian leadership to more credibly conduct negotiations with Israel and to more efficiently implement a future peace agreement.
APN’s President and CEO Debra DeLee said: “The new Palestinian agreement is good news, and should be regarded as such by the Obama administration and by the government of Israel. A Palestinian interlocutor who credibly represents all the Palestinians is much better positioned to make hard decisions around the negotiating table and is much better positioned to deliver when the time comes to implement a peace agreement. This reconciliation agreement can and should empower and legitimize Mahmoud Abbas as a leader of the Palestinian polity.”
“We urge President Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue interacting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and to determine the future relations of the U.S. administration and the Israeli government with any Palestinian government based on that government's positions and actions alone.”
The Minister of Defense has approved the creation of a new settlement inside the Palestinian city of Hebron, making
it the first settlement in the city since the 1980s.
The impact of the settlement is remarkable: a large building, 4000 square meters, that can hold more than 20 settler families (more than 120 people) and on a strategic and pivotal location: relatively distant from the other settlements inside Hebron, and on the route that connects Hebron to Kiryat Arba settlement.
As the Obama administration prepares to kick its efforts to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations into higher gear, the government of Israel is advancing plans to build 2,372 new housing units in West Bank settlements.
News of this new round of settlement construction plans was publicized yesterday by Americans for Peace Now's Israeli sister-organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now).
Americans for Peace Now joins Shalom Achshav in condemning the new plans for construction in settlements, many of which are east of the "Separation Barrier," in areas that are almost certain to come under Palestinian sovereignty when a two-state peace agreement is achieved.
In response to today's rocket barrage into Israel from Gaza, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:
"We unequivocally condemn the heinous attacks carried out today against Israel, apparently by Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. This firing of rockets into Israel, threatening Israeli civilians, is terrorism, pure and simple. We support Israel's right to defend itself and its duty to defend its citizens in the face of such attacks. In exercising this sovereign right of self defense, we urge Israel to pay attention to past experience, seeking both to avoid harming Palestinian civilians and to avert a potentially disastrous cycle of escalation. Our thoughts are with Israel's citizens living in the shadow of these rockets, as well as with Gaza's civilians, whose welfare, too, is being treated with callous disregard by violent Palestinian extremists."