What do you want 2015 to look like?

Which vision is your Israel?

Dear Friend,

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What is your vision for 2015?

Those of us who care about Israel know that the coming year will be a critical one in determining Israel’s future character. Will Israel pursue the xenophobic vision of the nationalistic extreme-right? Or will it pursue a progressive vision, reflecting the values of its majority -- Jewish values of peace,  pluralism, and democracy?

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On Chanukah: Real People. Real Pictures. Partners for Peace.

Partners for Peace
Partners_for_Peace_Day_Eight

Recently, many were dismayed to discover (as reported in the Forward and +972) that the iconic photo of two young boys, seemingly an Israeli-Jewish child and a Palestinian-Muslim child, was a posed photo taken for the Canadian magazine Maclean’s.

Yes, that photo was staged, but there's no need to indulge in the despairing laments echoing around the internet: there are plenty of real pictures, of real people - Palestinian and Israeli (and two Jewish-Americans, in  day five's picture - APN's own Lara Friedman, and in day seven's picture, APN Founder Mark Rosenblum), Jewish, Christian, and Muslim - working for a brighter future. In the spirit of Chanukah, we shared a picture a day on Facebook and twitter for each of the eight days of  Chanukah - - of real, genuine partners for peace.

Well, the internet exploded: hundreds of shares, thousands of likes. It seems that there is a hunger for hope. And, with your help, we can provide that hope.

This is the work we do
These people are real, these pictures are real
Share them and join us in building a peaceful future.

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The Company We Keep

Gatekeepers

Dear Friend,
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It’s not too late to make your year-end tax deductible gift to support Americans for Peace Now. Your donation enables Peace Now and APN to do everything we do. It helps us in our efforts, in Israel and the U.S., to marshal support for positions and actions that advance the cause of peace and the two-state solution. It empowers us to work through education, activism and advocacy at all levels — from the grassroots to policymakers. It enables us to be beacons supporting what is right, without concern for what is politically easier or organizationally advantageous. It lets us speak truth to the powers that would hide it.

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Chanukah message: Where do we find the light?

Chanukiah

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Dear Friend,

At the darkest time of winter, Jews celebrate Chanukah, adding one candle each night to increase the light. Many of us place our menorah in a window in fulfillment of the mitzvah to “publicize the miracle” of the small cruse of oil that contained only enough for one day but lasted for eight.

This particular winter is an especially dark time for those of us who have been working for decades to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There’s no denying that the peace process has stalled. The parties are not talking to one another. The Occupation continues unabated. We read of growing violence. Some people have even begun to question the possibility of a two-state solution.

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Hopeless??

Debra DeLee

I know that the headlines are terrible, and that people are throwing up their hands and feeling defeated. "The two-state solution is hopeless," they say. "We will never have peace."

But... consider:

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We're the Antidote to the Extremists

James Klutznick
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There is a new West Bank development nearing completion that I think you should know about. I say that because it can advance the cause of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The development is the almost-completed Palestinian city of Rawabi, some five miles north of Ramallah and twelve miles north of Jerusalem. It is a Palestinian planned community, built to serve the tech-savvy, entrepreneurial middle class. What’s more, Rawabi is the largest private sector employer in the West Bank. It is an impressive exercise in Palestinian entrepreneurship, self-reliance, creativity and ingenuity.

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The best deal on Black Friday is hope

Handshake

I grew up in a hopeful state. World leaders were welcomed at Ben Gurion Airport by the IDF marching band playing Naomi Shemer’s 1967 optimistic song Machar, (Tomorrow), a military march describing a state living in peace with its neighbors, and rather naively promising, “all this will happen tomorrow, if not today – and if not tomorrow then the day after.”

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Let's open minds and shift culture

Dror-Moreh_mailbanner2014-750x249

Have you ever seen a film and thought, "If only everyone could see that! People would start to think differently..."

Recently, you may have received a letter from Dror Moreh, the award-winning Israeli filmmaker of such a film, called The Gatekeepers. Moreh wrote this letter for Americans for Peace Now, the U.S. sister organization of Israel's peace movement, Shalom Achshav. This documentary film features all six living former leaders of Israel's Shin Bet security service, each of whom advocates a position they share with Shalom Achshav: that Israel must reach a negotiated peace agreement with a Palestinian partner. The letter was very successful - we were flooded with messages from people who wanted to see this incredibly important film and support the work of APN and Shalom Achshav.

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A Lack of National Responsibility

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a rough meeting in the Oval Office yesterday.

President Obama chided him for Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Right after the meeting, administration officials provided a glance into what Netanyahu probably heard from Obama. New settlement activity “will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians, but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Netanyahu was fuming as he left the White House for New York, where he told Israeli reporters who he thinks is responsible for the rocky meeting with President Obama.

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Michael Walzer - A Call for Truth and Peace - Rosh Hashanah 2014/5775

Michael Walzer: Time for Israel and her supporters to do cheshbon nefesh -- an accounting of the soul

 

August 2014

 

Dear Friend,

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I write this letter as a blessed cease fire is just going into effect, — not the first cease fire, and I don’t know if this one will hold. But it may be, so we all hope, that the Gaza war is over. If not now, then very soon negotiations for a lasting cease fire or even for something that might look like peace will begin. I have no sense of how these negotiations will go, but all of us at Americans for Peace Now believe that this is an opportunity for Israel to act boldly to strengthen the Palestine Authority (PA) and its new unity government and, with its help, to prevent or strongly curtail the rearmament of Hamas and to open the way for reconstruction and economic development in Gaza. But Gaza is not alone. There can’t be a legitimate PA in Gaza unless Israel is ready to work with the PA in Ramallah for the two-state solution that we have been defending for so long. When you read this, you will know whether Israel and Palestine have moved closer, or farther away, from this necessary goal.

Meanwhile, we have to think about what is happening inside Israel itself. Before the war began, we followed with horror the news of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli boys and then of the murder of a Palestinian boy. Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir: in our hearts, these are all “our boys,” who died deaths that no child should.

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