APN Award Luncheon - Gunther Tribute Slide Show Presentation - September 8, 2109

Slide show presentation of tributes and more shown at the APN Award Luncheon in Los Angeles on September 8, 2019.

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Click HERE or the graphic below for more information, to get tickets or donate for a tribute message.

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The much-touted shared values between the U.S. and Israel no longer seem to include liberal protections for free speech.

By Debra Shushan, director of policy and government relations at Americans for Peace Now

The U.S.-Israel relationship suffered a profound setback Thursday. Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri confirmed that Israel would bar two members of Congress, Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, from entering Israel because of their support for the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel.

Thursday’s decision to deny Tlaib and Omar entrance to Israel reversed the earlier position expressed by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who in July said that “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel.”

With Netanyahu surpassing the country’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, as Israel’s longest-serving leader, Israel’s democracy is in a state of perilous decline.

The policy Dermer articulated should be expected of a U.S. ally that is also the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid ($38 billion in security assistance over 10 years). Overturning that policy can only be interpreted as a sign of disrespect for the U.S. representatives democratically elected by American voters. Worse yet, with President Donald Trump pushing the change, it also demonstrates the disrespect for democratic institutions both country’s leaders are increasingly embracing — and their willingness to turn the U.S.-Israel relationship into a political football to advance their own interests.

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News Nosh 6.19.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday June 19, 2019
Quote of the day:
"If we do not safeguard the fabric that binds us, we’ll fall into the abyss of hate that has destroyed our national home more than once.”
--Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that the internal rift in Israeli society is its biggest threat.*
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News Nosh 6.17.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday June 17, 2019

Quote of the day:
"Most people in Gaza are thirsty for water - but no less - they are thirsty for a normal life and a better future for their children. They are our neighbors, despite everything, and you cannot ignore what is happening there."
--One of the Israeli workers at the site near the Gaza Strip where Yedioth revealed Israel is laying down a new upgraded water pipe to connect to the Palestinian water system.*
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Legislative Round-up: May 10, 2019

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived

  1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters
  2. Hearings
  3. On the Record
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News Nosh 4.29.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday April 29, 2019
Quote of the day:
"But even when we have a state we have to remember that we are first of all human beings. At first you do this [racist acts - OH] to certain people, then towards people you just don’t like or you think you're better than they are."
--Israel's President Reuven Rivlin sent a subtle message to Israelis at a Holocaust remembrance event he hosted.*
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News Nosh 2.21.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday February 21, 2019

Quote of the day:
"The feeling is excellent. We established a ruling party today."
Yair Lapid told journalists as he left his house, hours after it was announced that he and Benny Gantz joined forces to form a new party to replace long-ruling Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.*
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News Nosh 1.17.19

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday January 17, 2019
Quote of the Day #1:
"In Kafr Qassem, they respect me and make sure that we finish every game before Shabbat begins and that we finish every training or game at an hour so that I'll get home without being under pressure."
--Religious Jewish Israeli soccer player Ohad Edelstein talks about why he's playing with Kafr Qassem, a Muslim Arab Israeli soccer team, for the third season straight.*
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"Make peace," she said...

As part of a group of non-Israeli academics assembled by Tel Aviv University, I visited the Temple Mount in July 2017. On the next day, two Israeli border police officers were shot there in a terror attack. I had the opportunity to make a condolence visit to Hurfeish, the Druze village in the Galilee from which the two policemen (who were cousins) hailed. In the intimate setting of the room in which female relatives were mourning, I told an aunt of the slain men that I was coming to work for the American sister organization of Shalom Achshav and wanted to help in any way I could.

She looked at me, grief-stricken and weary, and said, "Make peace."

A month later, I joined Americans for Peace Now as Policy Director. My path to APN was not conventional. I am a political scientist and Middle East politics expert by training. I came to APN following ten years of teaching at America’s second-oldest university (the College of William and Mary), as a specialist in foreign policies of Arab states. I never aspired to work for a Jewish organization. But with a mother who was born in a refugee camp in Germany in 1946 and as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, my Jewish identity is a core part of who I am and Israel has always been a central piece of that identity. Related to that is the abiding commitment I’ve made throughout my life to public service.

I left the Ivory Tower and came to work for APN in August 2017, when the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace weren’t exactly heating up. Am I a little nuts? Possibly. But no more so than the right-wing settlers who picked up their game when it looked like the Oslo process would defeat them. It’s precisely when the odds are against us that we must redouble our commitment—and put our energy and money where our ideals are, as our opponents do. We must do more than look for hope; we must generate it ourselves.

Like the Druze of Hurfeish and our brave comrades at Peace Now in Israel who can’t and won’t walk away, I am committed. I am hopeful. I feel privileged to represent you and our shared two-state, pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda – whether I’m working with Congressional staff, debating spokesmen for the settlers on Israeli TV, writing for Haaretz, authoring a report on annexation, or equipping passionate college students with the knowledge they need to be effective advocates.

If you haven’t yet made your end-of-year gift to APN please do so now, and give generously. We know you don’t have the bottomless resources of Sheldon Adelson. But if all of our supporters step up their game, my talented colleagues and I can do so much more to fight for an Israel unburdened by occupation: democratic, at peace, closer to our values, and a national home for the Jewish people.

Happy New Year to all!

With best wishes,

Debra Shushan, PhD
APN Director of Policy and Government Relations

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