A Message from President & CEO, Hadar Susskind (May 13, 2021)

Hello my friends,

I’ve been staring at this page, blank, for a long time. How to write about this week? What to write about?

I should tell you about the briefing that APN held, bringing Israeli and Palestinian voices directly to Congressional staff. About the many one-on-one conversations and consultations with members of Congress, as they struggled to figure out what to say. About our efforts pushing the State Department and the Administration to do more and better. And about the fact that while others circulated petitions and sent thoughts and prayers, we supported a Congressional action that demands specific steps from our government in clear and unequivocal language.

This is what APN does. This is what we are here for. 

But when I sit to write about that, I get a WhatsApp messages from my son, in Israel for his post high school gap year. And texts from my nieces and nephews, both in Israel and the US, trying to sift through the whirlwind of news and social media in order to understand what is really happening. I try my best to reassure them that it will be ok.

And then there are the messages and posts from friends and colleagues whose families are not in Israel, but in Gaza. How do they tell their children, their families, that it will be ok?

The calls with the State Department, webinars with our partners, Congressional briefings and actions, all of them are crucial, and we will continue to push for an immediate ceasefire and to address the underlying issues that led to the this most recent round of violence. But beyond that, we will continue to speak up for the humanity and inherent value of both Israelis and Palestinians.

We will not be silent as so many elected officials, commentators and “Jewish community leaders” fall back on the old tribalist approach and demand that people “take a side”. This is not a sporting event, and we are not interested in scoring points for our team or cheering on others as they do so. I will not celebrate the death of others and I will not cheer the destruction of their homes.

We have so much work to do. I am deeply grateful to be doing it with you.

 

B’Shalom,

Hadar

 

May 12, 2021

APN supported a letter sent by 25 members of the House of Representatives to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to take urgent action to prevent the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.

READ THE LETTER

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News Nosh 5.12.21

APN's daily news review from Israel - Wednesday May 12, 2021


Dear News Nosh subscriber,
All good things come to an end, and that includes News Nosh.
After almost a decade in which we brought to you the news from Israel through this publication, we have decided to devise different, creative tools to communicate with you, which we intend to launch soon. Tomorrow’s edition of News Nosh will be the last.
We thank you for your interest in Americans for Peace Now and our mission, and for your loyalty to News Nosh.
We also want to extend out gratitude to News Nosh editor Orly Halpern, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty throughout the years, to craft for you a thorough, engaging review of the Israeli press, which we know served you well.
Sincerely,
Hadar Susskind
President and CEO
Americans for Peace Now

 

Quote of the day:

"How you rejoiced over peace with the Emirates, how you internalized Netanyahu's status quo doctrine vis-à-vis the Palestinians, and how you suppressed the word 'occupation.' You are the only ones who are surprised by this escalation."
--Dr. Omer Einav writes in Yedioth Hebrew that you can't ignore the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It must be resolved.*

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News Nosh 5.11.21

APN's daily news review from Israel - Tuesday May 11, 2021

Quote of the day:

"Jerusalem Day is a national day of mourning. It’s the day when Israeli society marks the conquest of East Jerusalem. Not its liberation. Not its unification with the western part of the city. Not its freedom. The Palestinians living in Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and Shoafat did not go from slavery to freedom at the end of the Six-Day War. They, along with all of East Jerusalem, were conquered and...have been living under a violent occupation that deprives, excludes and humiliates them."
--Rogel Alpher writes in Haaretz about the meaning of Jerusalem Day, which right-wing religious Jews attempted to celebrate yesterday, but for once, were thwarted.*

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APN Statement on Jerusalem and Gaza Escalation

As violence in Jerusalem triggers hostilities across Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, Americans for Peace Now (APN) urges all the parties and stakeholders to take action to prevent further bloodshed and to stop the escalation toward war.

The steep escalation of the past weeks requires responsible leadership in the short term, and underscores the need for renewed US-led Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic engagement to end the occupation and advance peace efforts. Recent developments again demonstrate that the current situation is not viable and requires immediate attention.
The Biden Administration may not have wanted to prioritize Israel/Palestine. They may have hoped to maintain the status quo. But the status quo is no more, and looking away does not make this crisis go away.

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Please listen to the recording of this webinar.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 2:00 pm (ET)

Jerusalem Crisis: What's Happening, What's Being Done, What's Needed

with Huda Abuarquob, Hagit Ofran, and Daniel Seidemann

Recent days have seen an escalation in violence in Jerusalem — even beyond what normally takes place around Jerusalem Day. With the violent events at Al Aqsa Mosque, police crackdowns on Palestinian protesters, the threat of home evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and today’s incendiary Flag March, the city is in a state of crisis. This is a highly volatile and dynamic situation—and we don’t know where it will lead. 

This conversation featured leading Palestinian and Israeli experts from Jerusalem to update about what is happening on the ground, what Israelis and Palestinians are doing, and what we can do from afar.  

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING

Cosponsored by: Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), the New York Jewish Agenda (NYJA), and the Progressive Israel Network (PIN), a coalition which includes Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now (APN), Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair, Jewish Labor Council, JStreet, New Israel Fund (NIF), Partners for Progressive Israel (PPI), Reconstructing Judaism and T’ruah.

SPEAKERS:

Huda Abuarquob is Alliance for Middle East Peace's (ALLMEP) on-the-ground regional director in 2014. She has years of experience in conflict resolution, NGO leadership, and social change education and activism, as well as a life-long commitment to building strong people-to-people Israeli-Palestinian relations. She is a well-known speaker on issues related to Middle East politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Huda is the oldest of twelve children, the daughter of respected Palestinian educators, and an aunt to twenty-two nieces and nephews. Born in Jerusalem, she has traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East, lived for six years in the U.S., and now resides in Hebron.

Daniel Seidemann is an Israeli attorney specializing in Israeli-Palestinian relations, with an emphasis on Jerusalem. He is the founder and director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, an NGO that works towards a resolution to the question of Jerusalem that is consistent with the two-state solution.

Hagit Ofran is the Co-Director of Peace Now's Settlement Watch project and has two decades of expertise on issues related to the settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. She is widely recognized as Israel's foremost expert on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

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Legislative Round-up: May 7, 2021

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Hearings & Markups
3. On the Record

Shameless plugs:

  • This week: In the midst of the rapidly escalating situation in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah – where Palestinians are on the verge of being evicted from the homes and their protests are being met with ever-greater force by Israeli authorities and by settlers, on 5/6, FMEP held a webinar entitled, “Jerusalem on the Verge: Dispossession & Violence in Sheikh Jarrah.” Panelists were Aseel AlBajeh, a legal researcher and advocacy officer at Al Haq, and Budour Hassan,author and journalist, in conversation with FMEP’s Lara Friedman (me). Video and resources shared during the webinar are here.
  • Next week: On May 10th, FMEP is proud to cosponsor an online event – The Palestinian Nakba: What Happened in 1948 and Why It Still Matters, featuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Umar Al-Ghubari (Program director, Zochrot), Rashid Khalidi (Professor, Columbia University), Mohammed El-Kurd (Author and Poet), and Lubnah Shomali (Advocacy manager, BADIL). This event is organized/hosted by the Middle East Institute and Project48, and cosponsored by FMEP, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Institute for Palestine Studies. It will be moderated by MEI’s Nooran Alhamdan & Khaled Elgindy.
  • Also next week: FMEP is hosting a webinar entitled, “The PLO & the Palestinian Diaspora: Reviving a Source of Power,” featuring the co-authors of a recent landmark report on this topic — Zaha Hassan (Carnegie Endowment for Peace), Nadia Hijab (Al Shabaka), and Inès Abdel Razek (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy) – in conversations with Sarah Anne Minkin (FMEP)

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

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DEADLINE TO SIGN: 3pm ET on Monday, May 10th

Monday is Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. This city, sacred to billions of people across the globe, is not only the spiritual center of multiple religions. It is also the home of real people.  Families, men, women and children. Jewish and Muslim. Israeli and Palestinian. And this city is in crisis.

In Sheikh Jarrah, in Silwan, Palestinian families are being forcible evicted from their homes, only to be replaced by Israeli settlers. This crisis has been building for a long time. Our colleagues at Shalom Achshav have been on the ground fighting against this, and we here in the US have been pushing for our government to speak up and take action. 

Today members of Congress, led by Representatives Marie Newman and Mark Pocan, are urging Secretary of State Tony Blinken and the Biden Administration to do just that. 

See the full text of the letter here.

Members of Congress need to speak up and to push the Administration to act before it is too late. And they need to hear from you. 

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News Nosh 5.6.21

APN's daily news review from Israel - Thursday May 6, 2021
 

Quote of the day:

“Sadly, despite Israel’s image as a state that maintains a proper and professional legal system, the reality paints a different picture – harsh, discriminatory, and outrageous."
--180 Israeli intellectuals and scientists warn the International Criminal Court at The Hague not to rely on Israel to probe war crimes against the Palestinians, accusing the Israeli enforcement and security agencies of allowing ongoing acts of moral injustice and prima facie war crimes.*


Breaking News:
Two days after an Israeli attack in Syria, an Israeli helicopter hits Hezbollah outpost in Syrian Golan (Israel Hayom, Ynet, Maariv and Haaretz+)

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