They Say, We Say: "Why doesn't APN support boycotts and divestment efforts targeting Israel?"
We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.
You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.
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Is Peace Possible?
Why doesn't APN support boycotts and divestment efforts targeting Israel? Until Israelis understand that there is a real cost to their government's anti-peace, pro-settlement policies, nothing will change.
We weigh all activism in light of our primary mission and concern: preserving Israel's future and its security and viability as a democracy and a Jewish state. From this mission, we, as a Jewish, Zionist organization, derive our conviction that settlement expansion must stop, the settlement enterprise must be rolled back, and the occupation must end - for the sake of Israel's own security and its own future. Consistent with this mission, we have always opposed boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts targeting Israel itself. We believe such campaigns are misguided and counterproductive. They target the average, innocent Israeli citizen -- who may well support an end to the occupation and a two-state solution -- rather than the Israeli government policies that are ostensibly the target of the campaigns. They have caused many Israelis and supporters of Israel -- people whose voices are vitally needed to oppose the policies that such campaigns target -- to feel compelled to defend Israel, regardless of the policies in question.
We also categorically oppose the efforts of organizations and activists whose goal, explicit or implicit, is to undermine Israel's existence. Historically, much of the pressure for BDS campaigns originated with anti-Israel sources not interested in Israeli security concerns or Palestinian behavior, giving rise to concerns about global anti-Semitism and the perception that the campaigns are not truly (or only) about Israeli policies but rather reflect a deep-seated hatred for and rejection of Israel.
Consistent with our mission and our convictions, APN has long argued that activism should be targeted across the Green Line separating Israel and the occupied territories. We believe that for activism to be both effective and morally defensible, activists must make clear, emphatically and unambiguously, that their target is the occupation and its manifestations - like settlements and acts of collective punishment - and not Israel proper, innocent Israeli civilians, or legitimate Israeli security practices. Doing so underscores the fact that such activism is not anti-Israel, but rather is opposed to specific policies and practices related to Israeli behavior in the occupied territories.