APN's Ori Nir in The Forward: No, AIPAC Isn't Anti-Israel

 

Jay Michaelson has it wrong. AIPAC is not, as he argues, anti-Israel.

Most of what the lobby does is focused on strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel — various aspects of this relationship, including the U.S.-Israel security cooperation — which is undisputedly pro-Israel.

But not only AIPAC. All American Jewish organizations that focus on Israel, including the ones on the extreme right, are pro-Israel. They support Israel, and they do so wholeheartedly. They care deeply about Israel, and they are deeply concerned about its future.

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns today’s deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

A young Palestinian, a former security prisoner who is reportedly a member of Hamas, intentionally rammed a private car into a crowd in East Jerusalem, near Mount Scopus. He killed a three-month-old baby and injured eight other people. The suspected terrorist was shot, injured, and arrested.

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A Lack of National Responsibility

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a rough meeting in the Oval Office on October 1st.

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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"Un-American" ?

Approving new settlement construction on the eve of his meeting with Obama wasn’t enough. Blaming Peace Now for the White House’s criticism of settlement expansion wasn’t enough either. Prime Minister Netanyahu just had to stick a finger in President Obama’s eye by accusing him of being un-American.

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization, Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in sharply condemning Israel's final approval of a plan for the construction of a new settlement in East Jerusalem, which would severely complicate a future two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

APN calls on President Obama to take advantage of his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House today to demand that the plan be cancelled.

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Statement: International Community Must be a Stronger Partner for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Following the speeches delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today and by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, APN today released this statement:

Speaking before the UN General Assembly, flinging accusations and mutual recriminations, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas revealed, with striking clarity, the vast gulf that separates them with respect to their views on the way forward to resolve the conflict that continues to consume both of their peoples.

The speeches of these two leaders also revealed a simple truth: Today, the question is not whether Israelis or Palestinians have a "partner" for peace on the other side, or whether now is the time to launch yet another empty peace process, or whether energies should be invested in making the indefensible status quo more stable. Rather, after more than two decades of peace efforts, after more than 47 years of occupation and conflict, the question today is whether the international community is ready to be a real partner to Israelis and Palestinians in aiding them – and, indeed, pressing them, with meaningful benefits and consequences – to end this conflict.

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Danny Seidemann: Jerusalem more divided than ever

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Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann spoke with APN on August 11, 2014, to describe the impact of the Gaza war on Jewish-Arab relations in Jerusalem. "Hatred has been personalized and intensified to an unprecedented level," he said. "Today, Jerusalem is more divided than ever. The virtual borders are impenetrable." 

 

 

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APN Urges Israel, US: Peace Talks Now with Legitimate Palestinian Interlocutors

With official representatives of Israel and Hamas indirectly negotiating a ceasefire agreement in Cairo today, Americans for Peace Now (APN) is strongly urging the government of Israel, the Obama administration, and all stakeholders in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts to bring the PLO and the Palestinian Authority – the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinians – back into a final-status peace negotiations process.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "It's time to pivot from war to real, credible peacemaking. Everyone knows what such peacemaking requires, including U.S. leadership that is prepared to hold both parties accountable for their actions. The only one viable way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution – Israel and Palestine, each living in recognized borders in peace and security. The only legitimate interlocutor for negotiating such a settlement on behalf of the Palestinians is the PLO, headed by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, having signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas earlier this year, the PLO is well-positioned to negotiate on behalf of all the Palestinians, to make hard decisions around the negotiating table, and to deliver when time comes to implement a peace agreement."

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Amos Oz: Gaza war is Lose-lose Situation for Israel

The following interview with Amos Oz, a co-founder of Israel's Peace Now movement and an icon of Israel's peace movement, was published in the English edition of the German Deutsche Welle

Oz: 'Lose-lose situation for Israel'

30 July, 2014

Israel's ground offensive against Gaza is excessive, Israeli writer Amos Oz tells DW. But he also criticizes Hamas' strategy, in which both Israeli and Palestinian victims boost the organization's standing in Gaza.

Amoz Oz: I would like to begin the interview in a very unusual way: by presenting one or two questions to your readers and listeners. May I do that?

Deutsche Welle: Go ahead!

Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?

Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

With these two questions I pass the interview to you.

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Washington, DC –Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, supports Israel's right of self-defense and calls on the government of Israel to avoid harming innocent civilians as it retaliates for the rocket attacks.

Commenting on the current escalation, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:

"The escalating violence on Israel's border with Gaza is deeply alarming. Once again innocent Israelis are being targeted by rockets, while innocent Palestinians are caught in the crossfire as Israel exercises its legitimate right to self-defense.

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