America must seize the chance to advance the peace process


If I were the freshly re-elected prime minister of the State of Israel or the re-elected president of the United States, I would pay attention to a lovely piece of public art in downtown Ramallah. It features the ethos of a reformed Palestinian society.

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Forward: "Who Did the Jewish Settlers Vote For?" by APN's Ori Nir


Benjamin Netanyahu Failed With His Most Pandered-To Crowd

How did Benjamin Netanyahu do in West Bank settlements?

Considering his party's pro-settlement policies and the staunch pro-settlement positions of its leading Knesset members, you'd expect Netanyahu's Likud-Beiteinu list to perform better among West Bank settlers than it did in Israel proper. It didn't.

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Press Release: APN to Netanyahu: Repudiate Levy Commission Report

Levy_Netanyahu_Collage2.jpgWashington, DC - Americans for Peace Now (APN) today joined its Israeli sister organization, Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) in calling on the government of Israel to repudiate the findings of the commission it appointed to address the problem of illegal outposts in the West Bank. APN calls on other US Jewish groups that support the two-state solution to raise their voices in opposition to this report.

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Peace Now's Lawyer on Israel's Illegal Outpost Policy

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The Israeli Supreme Court handed another ruling, on May 7th, blasting the Israeli government's position on illegal West Bank "outposts, built on land privately owned by Palestinians. Peace Now's lawyer, Michael Sfard.

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When She's Sixty-four?


As the Master of Ceremonies at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl announced the end of Yom HaZikaron, Israel's solemn Memorial Day, and ushered in Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, Independence Day, millions of Israelis, having just ended a day of remembrance and mourning for the fallen, are sweeping the streets to celebrate their country's 64th birthday.

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"Price Tag" Terrorism Crosses the Green Line

The extremist settlers call it "Price Tag." We have always called it by its proper name: Terrorism.

Now, Israel's Shin Bet, the IDF's top brass and Israeli Cabinet members agree with us. On Monday, shortly after a mosque was torched in an Israeli-Arab village in the Galilee and "Price Tag" graffiti was found nearby, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, a member of the extreme right wing Yisrael Beitenu Party, told an Israel Radio reporter that he prefers not to use the perpetrators self-serving jargon. "This is an act of terrorism," he said.

The problem is that largely because of law enforcement negligence, a terror campaign that has been raging in the West Bank for at least three years, has now mushroomed into a widespread phenomenon - both in the West Bank and in Israel proper - that targets not only West Bank Palestinians but also Israeli Arab citizens, Israeli peace activists and Israeli law enforcement officers.

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What Obama should tell Netanyahu

The following article was published today by the (link has expired) Los Angeles Jewish Journal

May 18, 2011

What Obama should tell Israeli Netanyahu when they meet in the White House Friday

by Ori Nir, Spokesperson, Americans for Peace Now

(...) Anyway, Bibi, in the past several weeks I've been working with my staff on Mideast policy speeches. So, the Middle East has been on my mind. And I've actually reached conclusions and made decisions. Now, please, hear me out. You know that this is coming from a friend and ally.
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Celebrating interdependence on Israel's Independence Day

The following article was published in Foreign Policy's Middle East Channel:
By Ori Nir, APN Spokesman

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Israel's Independence Day is a good time to revel in what such a small country has achieved in such a short time and under such trying circumstances. But it is also a time to resolve to do more.

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APN Extends Condolences to President Peres


On behalf of Americans for Peace Now, President & CEO Debra DeLee sent a letter of condolences to Israel's President Shimon Peres, who lost his wife of 65 years, Sonia.

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A Short History of Israeli Right Wing Terrorism

By Ori Nir on November 13, 2009
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Yaakov (Jack) Teitel (pictured in Israeli custody) is not the first and probably not the last Israeli terrorist to target Palestinians or Israeli supporters of peace. Furthermore, many of these Jewish terrorists came from the ranks of the West Bank settlers. Read on for a partial list of Israeli groups and individuals who took violent action to sabotage peace.

Following the arrest and indictment of Yaakov (Jack) Teitel who reportedly admitted to a series of murderous terrorist attacks against Israelis and Palestinians over the past twelve years, the settlers and their supporters cried foul. Teitel is an exception, they said, a single case, a "lone wolf," a lunatic. Teitel may have acted alone (although that seems unlikely) and may be disturbed (although he clearly is ideologically motivated), but he's a part of a pattern.

He is not the first and probably not the last Israeli terrorist to target Palestinians or Israeli supporters of peace. Furthermore, many of these Jewish terrorists came from the ranks of the West Bank settlers. Here is a partial list of Israeli groups and individuals who took violent action to sabotage peace:

1978     Yisrael Lederman, an IDF reservist, shot and killed a Palestinian civilian to avenge the murder of his friend, a day earlier, in East Jerusalem. He was released after serving only two years of his twenty-year prison sentence. In 1988 kidnapped a Palestinian baby and attacked an Israeli soldier. In 1996, he threw hot tea at Knesset Member Yael Dayan (Labor) in Hebron.

1982     Alan Goodman, a U.S. citizen, attacked Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, killed a Palestinian Waqf guard and injured several Israeli policemen. He served 15 years of his life sentence and was deported to the United States.

1980-1984     A large group of young settlers, who called themselves TNT (a Hebrew acronym for Counter-Terror Terror) and were referred to in the media as "The Jewish Underground," set out to attack Palestinian leaders in the West Bank. They placed explosives on the cars of Palestinian mayors, shot and killed Palestinian students at a college in Hebron and plotted to blow up the mosques at Jerusalem's Temple Mount and to explode busses carrying Palestinian civilians. Several of the 29 members of the group went on to become leaders of the West Bank settler movement.

1983      Yonah Avrushmi, a Jerusalemite Jew, threw a hand grenade at a Peace Now demonstration near the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem. The blast killed Emil Grunzweig, one of Peace Now's leaders, and injured nine others. Avrushmi was sentenced to life in prison, but his sentence was reduced and he is scheduled to be released in 2011. 

1984    Yehuda Richter, a Kach activist, opened fire on a Palestinian bus in the West Bank and injured several of the passengers. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Others, who conspired with him to commit the crime, were sentenced to shorter prison terms. When he committed the attack, Richter was second on Meir Kahane's Kach ticket for the 1984 Knesset election. After serving five years in prison, he became one of the leading teachers in yeshivas associated with the settlement movement.

1984    David Ben-Shimol, an IDF soldier, shot a rocket he stole from the IDF at a Palestinian bus in East Jerusalem, killing one Palestinian and injuring ten others.

1985    Danni Eisenman, a settler from Maale Adumim, and Michal Hillel, a student from Jerusalem, together with Gil Fuchs, a soldier, killed a Palestinian taxi driver on the road to Maale Adumim. Hillel served 5 years in prison, Fuchs 9 years, and Eisenman 11 years.

1989     Raphael Solomon, a student from the yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb near Hebron, shot and killed two Palestinians at the Geha junction near Tel Aviv.  He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, and served 4.

1990    Ami Popper, a 21 year old Israeli, shot and killed seven Gazan Palestinian day laborers in the Israeli town of Rishon le-Tzion, south of Tel Aviv. His attack prompted widespread riots in the West Bank and Gaza, in which several Palestinians were shot dead by the IDF.

1990    Arie Shlush, whose brother was killed by Palestinian terrorists earlier that year, shot in revenge at three Palestinian vehicles south of Bethlehem and injured three passengers.

1990    Nachshon Walls, an American-born settler and supporter of the Kach movement, shot at a Palestinian vehicle near Hebron, killing a 25 year old Palestinian woman. He was convicted of murder, but served only 13 years of his life sentence.

1992    Following the 1990 assassination in New York of the racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, a group of his supporters organized to avenge his killing forming a group called "The Revenge Patrol." On the second anniversary of the killing, the four youngsters threw a hand grenade in Jerusalem's Old City, killing one Palestinian and wounding many others.

1993     Yoram Shkolnick, a settler, drove by the settlement of Susia near Hebron, as a Palestinian terrorist was caught while allegedly trying to attack a kindergarten there. Shkolnick shot and killed the Palestinian, who was already handcuffed.

1994    Baruch Goldstein, a settler from Kiryat Arba near Hebron, shot and killed 29 Palestinian Muslims as they were praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron. 125 others were injured. The worshipers overpowered and killed him after he ran out of ammunition. His attack triggered a long and bloody series of Palestinian suicide bombings inside Israel.

1994     Daniel Morali, an Israeli whose brother was killed a year earlier, shot and killed a Palestinian truck driver inside Israel. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was released in 2007.

1995    Yigal Amir, an Israeli student, assassinated Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with the intention of derailing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He was sentenced to life in prison.

1996    Ehud Bart, an Israeli settler, attempted to push the vehicle of then-Minister Yossi Sarid into an abyss. He was sentenced but did not serve a prison term.

1997     Noam Friedman, an Israeli soldier who was later found to be mentally disturbed and unfit to stand trial, came to Hebron to shoot Palestinians. He opened fire in the center of town and injured seven Palestinians before being overpowered by IDF soldiers.

1998     Gur Hammel, an Israeli settler from Itamar, used a rock to shatter the head of an elderly Palestinian man while on a hike near the village of Beit Fourik, near Nablus. The attack was apparently unprovoked. He is serving a life sentence.

2000     Danny Tikman, an IDF soldier on leave, shot at the fronts of stores owned by Arab citizens of Israel. He injured four people and damaged property. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

2001    A Jewish terrorist organization called "Shalhevet Gilad," apparently operating out of settlements near Hebron, set out to avenge the murder of a Jewish baby, Shlhevet Pass, by a Palestinian sharpshooter in Hebron. Three shooting attacks against Palestinians, in which one Palestinian was killed and seven injured, were attributed to this organization.

2001-2002    A group of Israelis, three of them settlers from the settlement of Bat-Ayin in the southern West Bank, was arrested and charged with a series of attacks against Palestinians. The suspects, who were arrested after attempting to plant a bomb at a girls' school in East Jerusalem, initially admitted to several attacks against Palestinians, in which eight Palestinian civilians - including a baby - were murdered. They later withdrew their confessions. Three were convicted of attempting to kill schoolgirls in East Jerusalem and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Others received lighter sentences.  2002     Several settlers were arrested and tried for planning terrorist attacks against Palestinians and possessing weapons to carry out attacks. Their plans were foiled by Israeli law enforcement authorities.

2002-2004     Eliran Golan, an Israeli Jew from the city of Haifa, planted several homemade bombs in Haifa, targeting local Arab citizens. One of the bombs, planted in a mosque in the predominantly Arab Halisa neighborhood in Haifa, killed an Arab worshipper. Another bomb targeted Israeli Knesset Member Issam Makhoul but failed to harm Makhoul. Golan's arrest led to the arrest of his friend, Alexander Rabinowitz, an IDF soldier, who supplied Golan with military explosives. Golan committed suicide in prison.

2005    Eden Natan-Zadah, a settler from Tapuah, south of Nablus, who was AWOL from the IDF, shot at passengers of an Israeli Egged bus in the Israeli Arab town Shafa-'Amr (Shfaram) killing four Arab citizens of Israel and injuring nine others. Passengers overpowered him and killed him.

2006     Asher Vizgan, a driver of a workers' van from the settlement of Shvut Rachel, shot Palestinian laborers who he transported, as well as others at the adjacent industrial zone of Shilo. He killed four and injured one Palestinian. He was sentenced to life in prison and committed suicide in his prison cell.       

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