For Argument's Sake

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In our jointly authored book, my father, a writer, and I, a historian, took a fresh look at the mystery of Jewish survival. "Ours", we wrote, "is not a bloodline but a textline."

Book pullJews are not a people forged by blood and swords, but we are nevertheless an ancient nation. This belonging can cross international borders today; it tackles the religious-secular divide and the Israel-diaspora divide. Ours is a uniquely textual nation, whose sense of belonging comes from the Bible and a myriad of subsequent books, interpretations, arguments and questions. For many centuries, ours was the only pre-modern culture with universal male literacy, alongside significant female literacy.

Tell your Child"Tell your child": this is our oldest and best survival technique and cultural instrument. But we do not only teach our children to read and remember. We also encourage them to think afresh, and to challenge their elders with questions and ideas. Also to laugh: at ourselves, at authorities, and even at the Almighty.

As you know, all good Jewish families argue. Humor, irreverence, debate, originality, and text-based inventiveness: these are the ancient codes of Jewish survival. They explain our global sense of cousinhood - or at least a shared sense of humor - in today's world. It is the key to our three-millennia survival.

Does 'textual nationhood' mean that the Land of Israel is unimportant? That Jews ought to have remained stateless? Not in my book. The State of Israel, which my four grandparents helped build in the fields of the kibbutz and in the libraries of Jerusalem, is a miracle even to secular Jews like us. It came into being when young Jews of the 20th century transformed longing into activism, memory into state-building, and Talmudic reasoning into modern invention.

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Fight the Darkness

Debra DeLeeToday is Giving Tuesday, and I am writing to ask you to consider donating to Americans for Peace Now and to Israel’s Peace Now movement, two organizations that work together to advance the liberal values championed by the founders of both the U.S. and Israel.

I just returned from Israel after an exciting week with APN’s annual Israel study tour.

During my stay there, I had dozens of conversations with progressive Israeli friends. All of them – in one way or another, sometimes basking in schadenfreude – welcomed me to their club.

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Hope Is Something You Make

Americans for Peace Now

These days you may be feeling shell-shocked, angry, and depressed. We certainly are: As we observe Washington’s new political landscape, we acknowledge that advancing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agenda, based on a two-state solution, will be difficult. We have long said that supporting Israel means supporting peace. This was never merely a slogan. Compromising core Jewish values in order to avoid criticizing Israel comes at a high price – both for Israel and for Jews in America. Jewish values are incompatible with occupation. We will not give up – and you must not give up, either.

DonateIsraeli superstar and peace activist David Broza has never given up. He has performed in anti-war demonstrations despite warnings that political activity would destroy his career. He has fought with all the tools he had - his music, his songs, his voice. And he is still fighting. His album, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem, is a collaborative project with Palestinian musicians focusing on hope and peace. Active in Peace Now for decades, he is proud to partner with Americans for Peace Now, to offer you the album and the film — a CD and DVD set — for a donation of $36 or more. All but $15 of your donation is tax-deductible. This #BlackFriday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, support our work in this critical moment - and get a little hope for a friend (or yourself). Hope is not just something you have, it’s something you make.

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APN is fighting back

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States has set off reverberations around the world. For many, the alarm bells could not be ringing any louder. A campaign that featured anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment, and was supported by a legion of online anti-Semites, is now transitioning to an administration that makes many Americans justifiably fearful.

Donate TodaySteve Bannon, the former editor of the right-wing Breitbart News who has trafficked in conspiracy theories, race-baiting, and anti-Semitism, has been appointed as President-elect Trump’s chief strategist and counselor. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an avowed Islamophobe, has been appointed as national security advisor. Senator Jeff Sessions, an anti-immigrant crusader who has made numerous racially insensitive and derogatory remarks, will become Trump’s attorney general. And Trump is considering the appointment of secretaries of defense and state who would seek to destroy the Iran deal, jeopardizing U.S. and Israeli security in the process.

Help APN fight back against right-wing extremists in the U.S. and Israel – and keep hope for peace alive

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You can't help but wonder.

Help our ad campaign go national!
Help us keep Rabin's vision alive.

During the past several months, we at APN placed a series of ads quoting senior security officials in two east coast Jewish newspapers – with great success. We now want to make it into a national ad campaign and place ads in Jewish newspapers across the country. With a $25 contribution from you, we can go national with ads like this.

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The three bullets that ended the life of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 21 years ago were intended to kill the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

DonateYigal Amir, the Jewish terrorist who assassinated Rabin, did succeed in setting back Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but must not be rewarded with his ultimate goal: the death of Rabin’s vision of an Israel that is both Jewish and a democracy, living in peace with its neighbors.You can’t help but wonder what Israel’s relations with the Palestinians, and indeed the world, would have looked like today if Rabin had been able to fulfill his vision. It is incumbent upon us to not only wonder and imagine, but to act to make Rabin’s vision a reality.

Help us keep Rabin’s vision alive, help us keep the hope for peace alive. Your contribution will help us show our fellow American Jews that Israel’s top security community rejects the belligerent, hardline policies of Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. Help us show that capable, responsible security chiefs walk in Rabin’s path, fighting for peace.

 

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"Deluded" - Because we dared.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loves to use social media as a tool to settle accounts with those who dare to challenge his policies, often in demagoguery that panders to the online mob both in content and style.

Donate TodayOn Sukkot Eve, it was us, Americans for Peace Now, who were the target of Netanyahu’s bluster. Why? Because we dared to highlight his West Bank settlement policy at a special United Nations Security Council session.

At the gathering, APN’s Lara Friedman delivered a measured, fact-based analysis of the damage that West Bank settlements inflict on Israel’s national security. We are proud of Lara’s performance at the security Council and gratified to have been given the opportunity to share with the world our deep concerns about the direction in which Netanyahu’s policies are leading our Jewish homeland.

Netanyahu, in a misleading Facebook post, falsely accused us of alleging that the settlements are the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We never make this argument.

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Would've. Could've. Should've.

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Taming the Settlements

Hagit Ofran

Early this week, the Washington Post ran a piece titled, “In the settlement of Kiryat Arba, the demand is to expand.” If you just read the title, you might think it was about the continuing growth of Israel’s settlements. If you only read the first few paragraphs, you might think that it was about the shocking murder of Hallel Ariel and the cynical use of her death to promote settlement growth.

But read to the end and you find that Kiryat Arba – one of the most iconic and radical of the ideological settlements, the settlement home to Baruch Goldstein (y”sh), who murdered Muslim worshipers at the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs in 1994 – is shrinking. Settlers there are given to lament that “political considerations and outside pressure means nothing changes.”

Donate TodayWho is helping lead the charge to bring this “outside pressure”? Peace Now.

So it is no surprise that in the same article, when the Washington Post wanted to learn the facts about Israeli settlements from an authoritative source, they turned to Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran.

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Don't Let Them Silence Peace Now

censored!Last night, Netanyahu’s right wing government pushed a law through the Knesset to silence dissent. Although it was touted to the public as a matter of transparency, the reality is that this law is aimed at Peace Now and other progressive groups.

Never mind that all non-profit organizations receiving funding from foreign governments must already disclose all such funding. Never mind that NGOs on the left, which are already transparent about their donors, are publicly branded, in effect, as agents of foreign governments. Never mind that right-wing groups – whose agendas align comfortably with that of the current Israeli government and who receive millions of dollars in donations from foreign individuals and entities – are able to keep their donors secret.

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Tough Questions, Expert Answers: The Temple Mount heats up again

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I am proud to introduce Tough Questions, Expert Answers, a new APN publication series which tackles seminal issues pertaining to the conflict. In a world where soundbites dominate, it is critical to take the time to understand the issues that can change the world- for better or for worse.

The first edition in the series is a Q&A on the Temple Mount. With tensions growing by the day over the world’s most contested religious site, this timely explainer by Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann is a must read. As Danny correctly states, "the battle over the Status Quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif has increasingly become a proxy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict writ large."

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