APN Weekly Update - APN Fighting Back, Israel Study Tour Concludes, Alarming Settlement Bill, and more

Americans for Peace Now
Americans for Peace Now: November 22, 2016

"Even allowing for the usual exaggeration on the part of taxi drivers--the US is not the only increasingly polarized society."

Yossi Alpher, Israeli security expert referring to Israel in this week's APN Hard Questions, Tough Answers (Yossi is pictured speaking to the 2016 APN Israel Study Tour last week).

Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher


Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

November 21, 2016 - Early Levant and Israeli fallout from Trump election; the messy meaning of eastern Mediterranean strategic depth

Q. As President-elect Trump announces key appointments, how is the Levant reacting?

A. The most obvious and immediate response among the Syria antagonists appears to be an informal but increasingly widespread recognition that the Assad regime has survived the Syrian revolution...

Q. And the reaction in Israel to Trump’s indication of the far-right direction he plans to follow?

A. The Trump appointees for national security director, CIA director, attorney general and strategic adviser signal that he remains far to the political right where Americans condone the West Bank settlements and are not strongly committed, if at all, to a two-state solution...

Q. What’s the striking exception you mentioned above to the pro-settler sentiments and atmosphere encouraged by the Trump victory?

A. Last week, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman surprisingly called for a freeze on settlement construction beyond the West Bank settlement blocs...

Q. There remains the question whether the Trump victory atmosphere will affect the upcoming Elor Azaria verdict. This concerns the court martial of the soldier who, eight months ago, executed a wounded and subdued Palestinian terrorist in Hebron--an act caught on camera by a B’tzelem activist.

A. The military judges will begin deliberating their verdict this week...

Q. Turning from Trump to the Mediterranean depths, last week witnessed the renewal after a five year hiatus of licensing for natural gas exploration off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, along with a major controversy over an Israeli order for three more submarines from Germany. Can we learn something from this seeming fixation with the Mediterranean?

A. Definitely. In the course of the past two decades the eastern Mediterranean basin has begun to provide Israel with a dimension of strategic depth it never had before, in both security and economic terms. And the two are intertwined...

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Government Relations

APN Legislative Round-Up: November 18, 2016 (Lame Duck)

Note to Round-Up readers: In these difficult times, a couple of things to highlight this week, from elected officials who do, indeed, care about rational policies in the Middle East and do, indeed, understand the U.S. national security interests at stake:

  1. Bills and Resolutions
  2. Letters
  3. Hearings
  4. On the Record

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APN Statement on Congressman Keith Ellison's Record on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

APN has worked closely with Congressman Ellison for nearly a decade. He is a close friend and a trusted ally in the effort to achieve security and peace for Israel and the Palestinians in the context of a two-state solution.

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Consider Donations of Stock Sales to APN

Contributions to APN via sale of stocks is an option worth considering as the year-end approaches.

Information needed: APN's Brokerage is TD Ameritrade, Account #881348597, DTC #0188.

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APN Response

APN is fighting back

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States has set off reverberations around the world...But the response cannot be one of despair and resignation. Our collective response must be fueled by hope, commitment, and tenacious perseverance. As one of the last bulwarks against the growing extremism that threatens a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians, APN is here to lead that response.

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Open Letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump from Jewish American Organizations

APN joined proudly with other Jewish American organizations in sending a letter to President-elect Donald Trump laying out many of our concerns and hopes for the coming Administration, and sending an unambiguous message about being powerful opponents, if necessary.

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APN Condemns Appointment of Bannon, Calls Out Jewish Groups for Failure to Stand Against Anti-Semitism and Hate-Mongering

We urge President-elect Trump to cancel his appointment of Bannon. We urge him, too, to finally denounce and reject the abhorrent actions and views of the hate-mongers who are acting, publicly and proudly, in his name.

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Times of Israel: "Illiberal Support for Israel: Antithetical to Jewish Values and Israel's Interests" by APN's Lara Friedman

We must fight for our Jewish and American values and apply them consistently, both with the respect to what is happening in the United States and what is happening in Israel. The silence of too many in the right-wing Jewish establishment today underscores how, for American Jews, the two are inextricably linked.

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Settlement Watch

NY Times Editorial: "Israel’s Alarming Settlement Bill"

Peace Now Director Avi Buskila (on right) in dialogue with Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett during a protest of the "Regulation Bill" at Bennett's home.

Right-wing Israeli politicians see Donald Trump’s election as helpful toward their goal of burying the prospect of a Palestinian state. On Wednesday, Israeli lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a bill that would retroactively legalize settlements built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank.

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APN Israel Study Tour

APN Israel Study Tour Concludes Successfully

A whirlwind of meetings, travel, and experiential activities in Israel and the West Bank has concluded. In addition to Jerusalem (east and west), a West Bank Settlement tour, and a day in Tel Aviv that concluded by hearing from the young Peace Now activists and leaders, the group went to Israel's border with Gaza, the northern cities of Nazareth and Haifa, and the Palestinian cities of Rawabi and Ramallah.

Email IsraelTour@peacenow.org to receive information on next year's Study Tour.

Study Tour visits a Hand in Hand school

The Israel Study Tour group paid a special visit to Bridge Over the Wadi school in Kfar Kana.. Part of Hand in Hand - Center for Jewish-Arab Edcuation, the school has an integrated Jewish and Arab student body and faculty, a fully bilingual curriculum, and provides a community for the Jewish and Arab parents.