APN's Peter Weiss and Debra Shushan in The New York Jewish Week

The Israeli government is on a reckless mission to extend permanently its control over the West Bank by annexing by force all or parts of the occupied territory. Developments over the past year, facilitated by the permissive attitude of the Trump Administration, are particularly alarming.

While proposals for annexation of all or part of the West Bank had previously been confined to the extreme right-wing fringe of the Israeli political spectrum, members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party are now submitting such bills to the Knesset. In December 2017, Likud incorporated into its party platform a resolution that would effectively extend Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements. And at the direction of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party, the government is moving to apply Israeli laws in the West Bank – to Israeli settlers only.

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News Nosh: May 17, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday May 17, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The amount of people hit did us an immense wrong. It was a difficult story to tell."
—Senior IDF Spokesperson's Unit officer Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus admitted Israel's failings in it's PR campaign over the Gaza border protests.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"The amount of people hit did us an immense wrong. It was a difficult story to tell."
—Senior IDF Spokesperson's Unit officer Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus said that the number of people Israeli soldiers injured and killed did Israel a 'wrong.'*
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Shavuot: Let’s be mindful of the need to live in a just and humane society

D'var Torah from Barbara Green. long-time activist with Americans for Peace Now.

Shavuot is a joyous holiday representing the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The event itself is thought of as the moment when the ragtag group of Hebrews who had been wandering in the desert truly became a people -- the Jewish people.

A reading of the law, or the mitzvot as they are known in Hebrew, gives one the impression of a moral and ethical society. We are directed to remember the widow and orphan and stranger among us. One law is to serve both citizen and non-citizen alike. Wages must be paid before the sun goes down. And my favorite: If you see your enemy's ass lying in the road, you are to help it get up. Imagine: not only concern for an animal but for the enemy's animal.

And yet, selective reading of each of the major religions' holy books can be deceptive. Some of the laws are in conflict with others. Emphasizing some at the expense of others has created grave injustices.

And subverting the law by using it for crass political purposes, as the settler movement and its allies have done, tears at the basic precepts found in the Torah.

In Israel today, there is tension between those who believe strongly that man is made in the image of God (b'tselem Adonai) and those who privilege the land of Israel (the "Greater Israel" movement) above all else. Rabbi Michael Melchior has written: "I believe that those who censor the Torah of such concepts as the natural morality of man, as the belief that God has created every human being in His image, and as the basic human right to respect and dignity which stems from this belief, are desecrating the holy name of God." He continues: "Torah, Judaism, Zionism, and at times even God himself have been hijacked."

Those of us who have worked for decades for the establishment of Palestine next to Israel watch in horror now as that idea seems to be disappearing over the horizon. The Greater Israel folks are in the ascendancy with Benjamin Netanyahu as their leader and the U.S. as their enabler. But the struggle now is for more than the right of the Palestinians to a state of their own, or for the relief of the Gazans who suffer a humanitarian crisis of indescribable proportions. It is increasingly about the soul of the Israeli people. Are we still the people of justice and compassion set forth in the law? Have we foregone the ability -- or even the desire -- to help uplift our enemy's ass if it is lying in the road?

As we prepare for the holiday of Shavuot with its festive air, let’s be mindful of the need to live in a just and humane society -- and to extend those concepts to the citizen and stranger alike. The Torah the Jews received at Sinai still holds precepts we can all embrace.  

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PeaceCast #41: The Two-State Index

A conversation with Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha, the Israeli and Palestinian directors of the Geneva Initiative talk about their Two-State Index, a new tool to measure the feasibility of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the division of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean into two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace and security alongside each other.

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News Nosh: May 16, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday May 16, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The day before yesterday there were 60 Gazans who stormed the fence knowing that they were committing suicide. It appears that we want the next time to be 600."
--Senior Maariv political commentator, Ben Caspit, slams the government for not solving the problems of desperate and destitute Gazans.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
The person who invited the Evangelical pastor, who said all Jews will go to hell, to speak at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, was the religious Jewish US Ambassador David Friedman, who hosted the ceremony**
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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's Hectic Week

Friedman Watch is bursting at the seams this week, with David Melech Friedman busy as a beaver. Here is the rundown of what the US Ambassador to Israel has been up to.

  • Master of Ceremonies: Friedman’s centrality in orchestrating the US embassy move to Jerusalem was underscored by the Ambassador’s headlining role at the opening ceremony. Opening the fête, Friedman said, “Make no mistake: Today's historic event is attributed to the vision, the courage, and the moral clarity of one person to whom we owe an enormous and eternal debt of gratitude: President Donald J. Trump.” On the heels of the celebration, Friedman received the Friends of Zion Award from the evangelical Christian group that festooned Jerusalem with “Trump Make Israel Great Again” signs. For more on why the ceremony might have turned your stomach and/or made your head explode, don’t miss the latest op-ed from APN’s Debra Shushan in Haaretz.
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News Nosh: May 15, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday May 15, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"We pretended that we are a normal country. We got carried away with the delight of our leaders, that everything is fine. Hey, we defeated Iran in Syria, we were hosted like kings in Russia, we received recognition like we never had before from the US and even we conquered Europe with our Netta."
--In an insightful commentary, senior Yedioth commentator, Sima Kadmon, looks at the 'split screen' in which Israel celebrated the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the winning of the Eurovision contest, while its soldiers killed 60 Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border demonstration.*
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Legislative Round-Up: May 14, 2018

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived

  1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
  2. Hearings
  3. On the Record
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APN's News Nosh: Daily News, Direct from Israel

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APN is excited to introduce its new service, News Nosh, a daily news summary brought to you directly from Israel. Produced by Jerusalem-based journalist Orly Halpern, News Nosh will be emailed to you every morning, so you can enjoy your a.m. coffee while perusing the major headlines and a summary of Israel's daily news.

Subscribe to News Nosh

News Nosh: May 14, 2018

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday May 14, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The (Israeli) political echelon's fear of reaching a decision that will give some sort of a horizon to the population in Gaza makes Israel a partner in what is happening. It is impossible to let Gaza die and to come with complaints that it is doing so on our doorstep."
--Top Yedioth political commentator, Nahum Barnea, today.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Infamous Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, known for its racist fan club and for never hiring an Arab player, added 'Trump' to its official name.**


Breaking News:
37 Palestinians Reported Killed by Israeli Gunfire at Gaza Border Fence (Updated at 15:53 GMT+2)***
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