The New York Times today published the following letter by APN's Chair of the Board Jim Klutznick and its President and CEO Debra DeLee:
To the Editor:
“Israel Legalizes Outposts in the West Bank, Step by Quiet Step” (front page, Aug. 31) highlights a central truth about illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank: Extremist settlers are not rogue actors. Rather, they work hand in glove with the Israeli government in flouting Israel’s own laws in order to build more settlements.
Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), Israel’s preeminent peace movement, in cooperation with other Israeli civil society organizations, today launched a new initiative demanding a referendum on the future of Israel’s rule over the West Bank and on peace with the Palestinians.
Americans for Peace Now, the U.S. sister organization of Shalom Achshav, supports the initiative. APN calls on all Americans who care about Israel’s future to support the call for a referendum on the occupation, which is now entering its fiftieth year.
Israel’s Peace Now movement today issued the following press release, after scoring a major victory in its fight against Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.
High Court Orders Evacuation of 17 Structures in The Illegal Outpost of Derech Ha'Avot
Earlier today the High Court of Justice ruled on a petition submitted by Peace Now and by Palestinian landowners on the illegal outpost of Derech Ha'Avot. In its verdict, the High Court demanded that the State will evacuate 17 structures in the illegal outpost, located near Bethlehem. The court strongly criticized the State, which tried to retract its previous commitments, and over and over again postponed the enforcement of the law with regards to illegal construction in the outpost while raising a variety of contradicting excuses. The High Court ordered that the evacuation of the structures and fulfilment of the demolition order will be executed within 18 months (by March 2018), and ordered the State to pay high legal expenses.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) mourns the passing of Elaine Hoffman, a longtime senior member of its Board of Directors, a staunch advocate for peace for Israel, a devoted leader of Los Angeles' Jewish community, and a longtime political activist. (Picture: Elaine with Senator George Mitchell at the APN Yitzhak Rabin Peace Award Event).
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "The APN family lost an important member. We all admired Elaine and were inspired by her commitment to public life, to our community and to a peaceful, progressive Israel.
Greetings from Jerusalem! I’m here to prepare APN’s Israel Study Tour, which will be November
12-17, 2016. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve met with Israelis and Palestinians, and discussed plans for the tour
with my friends at Israel’s Peace Now movement.
I grew up in Jerusalem, spent most of my life in Israel, and usually travel here twice a year. Still, I’m always amazed at how much I learn each time I come here, particularly when I accompany an APN Study Tour group. Israel is incredibly dynamic. It’s full of contradictions. It’s ever-changing. It’s both exhausting and comforting. It’s troubling and inspiring. It's both emotionally and intellectually provoking. At APN, we try to pack this complexity into five overloaded days of tours and meetings with Israelis and Palestinians throughout Israel and the West Bank.
Our tours typically end with a meeting with Peace Now’s young activists. I had a chance to meet with seven student activists at Peace Now’s Tel Aviv office. They came in for a briefing and left with “activist kits” – t-shirts, flags, stickers and more -- to use on campus (I snapped a photo of a couple of them on their way out). Some will march today, Thursday, in Jerusalem to show solidarity with participants at Jerusalem’s Pride and Tolerance Parade, to protest the homophobic violence that led last year to the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki, a Jerusalemite high-schooler, who marched in solidarity with her gay friends and was stabbed to death by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish zealot.
I spent several hours with Peace Now’s young activists. There’s nothing better if you’re looking for a dose of inspiration and hope for Israel’s future.
I can’t wait for our November 12th-17th tour. I hope you’ll join us. We know that, as usual, it will be an engaging, fascinating tour. And as you'll see below, our home base, the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, offers the chance to unwind in the heart of this unique city.
Please feel free to write to me or to my colleague David Pine with any questions you may have about the tour. Below are links for more information and how to reserve your spot. We’d love to see you in Jerusalem in November.
APN Director of Communications and Public Engagements
To secure your place on this unique, small-group tour experience, print out and complete this FORM and return to APN by mail or email with the deposit (payable by check or credit card). Deposit deadline is August 31, 2016, after which we will be able to accept participants if space allows.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its sister organization, Israel's Peace Now movement, in strongly condemning the recent deadly terrorist attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and in pointing out that ultimately, the only way to end such violence is ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by achieving a two-state solution.
This imperative was further underscored in today's report by the international Middle East Quartet, the body that brings together the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was interviewed today by IDF Radio, following yesterday’s shooting attack in Tel Aviv. Huldai’s words, albeit not the most eloquent, were unusual in the environment of inflammatory rhetoric that typically characterizes Israeli politicians’ reactions to terrorism. Here are selected quotes, translated into English:
“This is the most central question that we face, the question that the state of Israel and the Israeli society has been facing throughout the years: Is this a matter of fate, are we destined (to live with terrorism)? Are there things that we can do to temper and minimize the motivations of enmity between the two peoples? The leader of Egypt, where there was immense enmity, understood, that it was imperative to arrive at a certain political settlement to reduce these motivations and to channel the energies for the benefit of other issues.”
Four people were shot dead and six badly injured when two young gunmen, Palestinian terrorists, opened fire at a Tel Aviv coffee shop. One of the suspects was shot dead and the other apprehended.