APN/Peace Now in the News: August 17-26, 2016

Times of Israel: August 26

Netanyahu’s Mixed Messages on Temple Mount Incitement
by Lara Friedman, Director of Policy and Government Relations for Americans for Peace Now

In 2009, Israel arrested the head of the northern branch of Israel’s Islamic Movement for incitement, for saying that Israel “seeks to build a synagogue on Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Since then – and especially over the past two years, as unrest has rocked Jerusalem – Netanyahu has regularly argued that Palestinian Authority incitement over the Temple Mount is a chief cause of violence, and has called Palestinian officials’ statements about Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount “gross lies.”

Earlier this month, on August 14-15, Jews observed the fast day of Tisha B’Av, commemorating various catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people, including the destruction of the first and second temples. Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister, Eli Ben-Dahan, marked this solemn occasion by telling a crowd gathered for a march around the Old City: “We aren’t embarrassed to say it: We want to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount.”

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Al-Monitor: August 25
Will 50 years of occupation unite Israel’s peace camp?” highlights the “Deciding at 50” campaign – “the only initiative by the peace camp on the horizon ahead of the 50th anniversary of the occupation is coalescing around Peace Now.”


Israel National News: August 24
Peace Now ‘slanders’ activists over Hevron construction,” discusses Peace Now’s campaign against Jewish construction in Hebron, which features “MK Orit Strok (Jewish Home) and right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Bentzy Gopstein in cartoon profiles accompanied by the tagline: "He who established 28 housing units in the heart of Hevron wants to perpetuate the conflict and fan the flames in the most sensitive and explosive area of the West Bank."


Maan News: August 23
Peace Now: New settlement will add 100 more Israeli settlers in Hebron,” details Peace Now’s response to the announcement of settlement expansion in Hebron. “While Peace Now reported on Monday that the renovations for the housing units were already underway, the statement on Tuesday said the planning process for the new settlement had not yet begun in the Israeli Civil Administration's High Planning Committee.”


Haaretz: August 22
For first time in decade, Israel plans to expand Jewish settlement in Hebron,” Settlement Watch’s Hagit Ofran says “there is an attempt here to overturn a High Court decision that forbade building settlements on land seized for military use.”


Times of Israel: August 22
Israel said planning to build several Jewish homes in Hebron,” Peace Now is quoted saying the expansion plan contravenes a High Court ruling, and their 2008 and 2010 petitions to the High Court are referenced.


Associated Press: August 22
Israel takes steps toward new settlement in volatile city,” Settlement Watch’s Hagit Ofran says the approval of settlement expansion in Hebron is “the first approval in the area in more than a decade,” and is an example of Israel “using legal acrobatics, allocating the land to settlers instead of turning it over to the Palestinian-run municipality.”


Washington Jewish Week: August 17
Closed doors for Israel aid package,” Yossi Alpher’s weekly Q&A column for APN is quoted in a story about the US aid package to Israel. Alpher says that Netanyahu cut Lieberman out of the process in reaction to the Defense Minister’s comparison of the Iran deal to the 1938 Munich Agreement as a way to coalition tensions and reaffirm the US-Israel security relationship.