Americans for Peace Now strongly condemns new Israeli legislation adopted today by the Knesset, which would ban entry to Israel of foreign nationals who support or publicly engage in boycotts of either Israel or West Bank settlements. 

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "This new draconian law is a severe blow to Israeli democracy. It is aimed at a basic civil liberty, the freedom of expression, and will severely harm Israel by keeping out some of its greatest supporters.

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Peace Now Petitions High Court against Expropriation Law

Israel’s Peace Now movement submitted on March 5th 2017 a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice against the newly adopted Expropriation Law (also known as the Legalization Law or the Regulation Law), a law that allows the expropriation of privately-owned West Banks Palestinian land for settlement construction.

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Statement: Trump-Netanyahu Presser Dims Hopes for Peace; Undermines Decades of Diplomacy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) issued this following statement following today's joint press conference by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump in the White House:

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu's press conference today presented an opportunity for the two leaders to signal to Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and the world a clear commitment to peace. It was an opportunity to signal that they can chart a constructive way forward for U.S.-Israel relations and for Israel's future, for its security and its well-being as a democracy and a Jewish state.

Netanyahu and Trump squandered this opportunity.

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Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued this following statement on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first meeting with Donald Trump since Trump was inaugurated as president of the United States:

This past weekend, before leaving for Washington, Prime Minister Netanyahu told his Cabinet: 'I have navigated Israeli-U.S. relations in a prudent manner, and I will continue to do so now.'

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) is deeply concerned about the detention and questioning of the New Israel Fund's vice president, Jennifer Gorovitz, at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday upon arrival in Israel. Gorovitz, who flew into Israel to participate in NIF's Board meeting, was detained for ninety minutes and questioned three times during that period about NIF's activities, including its funding of Israeli non-profit organizations.

Today, according to Israeli media reports, the interim director general of Israel's Population and Immigration Authority, Amnon Shmueli, said that the questioning was "routine," apologized if the questioning caused Ms. Gorovitz anguish, and said that there was no intention to insult her. 

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The more Netanyahu hitches his wagon to the White House, the more he and Trump resemble each other, the more American Jews will actively resist both.

Israel’s newly adopted, patently unconstitutional “Regularization Law” further distances most American Jews from the government of Israel and the State of Israel. 

It does so by further underscoring the similarities between Israel’s leadership and U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign of constitutionally controversial executive orders. It thus further deepens the sense of dissonance in the minds of American Jews regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship. 

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APN's Response to the White House's Statement on West Bank Settlements

 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) today issued the following response to the White House's statement on Israeli settlements in the West Bank:

While some may view it as positive that President Trump is paying attention to the Israeli government's aggressive settlement construction push, the statement issued yesterday by the White House should be understood for what it is: a dangerous and unprecedented retreat from and reframing of longstanding bipartisan U.S. policy on settlements, including under presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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Press Release: APN Outraged by New Israeli West Bank Settlement Construction

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is outraged by the Israeli government’s approval of more than 3,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements, a measure that comes days after the approval of another 2,500 new settlement homes. APN is equally outraged by the Trump administration’s acquiescence as the Netanyahu government opens the settlements floodgates. 

The new wave of settlement construction permits is particularly infuriating because it is apparently intended to appease the settlers and their advocates in the Knesset, after the Israeli government was forced by the courts - after years of delays and excuses - to obey the law and evict settlers from the West Bank illegal outpost of Amona. Settlers have been resisting the eviction throughout the day Wednesday. Twenty five of the police officers who the settlers attacked – some of them had acid thrown in their faces – were hospitalized.  

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Israel’s “Entry Law”: What It Is and What It Means

***UPDATE: The final language of the bill has been significantly broadened, and now applies to “Any person who is not a citizen of Israel or holds a certification for permanent residency in the state of Israel shall not be given a residing certification or permit of any kind, if he, or the organization or agency for the sake of which he acts (she-hu po’el avuram), has knowingly published a public call to boycott the State of Israel, as defined in the Law to Prevent Harming the State of Israel through Boycott of 2011, or if he has committed to take part in such a boycott, as stated.”*** 

***UPDATE: The Knesset passed the "Entry Bill" into law on March 6, 2017***

APN's statement condemning passage of the law is here.

What is the “Entry Law”?

The so-called “Entry Law” currently under consideration is an amendment to Israel’s 1952 “Entry Law,” which determines who is allowed to enter into Israel and under what conditions.

The amendment stipulates that any person who is not an Israeli citizen will be denied entry into Israel if:

“if the person, or the organization or agency for the sake of which he acts, has knowingly publicized a call to boycott the state of Israel, as defined in the 2011 Law to Prevent Harming the State of Israel through Boycott, or (if that person) has pledged to participate in such a boycott.”[while granting Israel’s Interior Minister the prerogative to issue exceptional entry permits to boycotters “for special reasons.”]

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Press Release: APN to Netanyahu: Don't Embrace Trump's Immigration Policies

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is appalled at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expression of support for President Trump's immigration policies. APN calls on Netanyahu to stay out of America's heated debate on immigration, and to take into consideration the impact that statements on issues like this have on Israel's relations with broad, key segments of the American public and with the vast majority of American Jews.

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