A new peace generation shall lead

A Message from Letty Cottin Pogrebin - Author, Activist, and APN Board Member:

I am happy to see Shaqued Morag at the helm of Shalom Achschav, Israel’s Peace Now movement, not only because of her proven management skills (and not only because I am always happy to see talented women in positions of leadership and power), but because she is the face and spirit of the peace movement’s new generation.

Shaqued is one of hundreds of thousands young Israelis who are determined to resist their right wing nationalist government and its erosions of democracy. 

Shaqued and her cohort are forcefully demanding that Israel maintain the rule of law, end its occupation of the West Bank, and allow both peoples — Israelis and Palestinians — to bequeath to their children two states living side by side in peace and security.

As Peace Now's partners in the U.S., Americans for Peace Now and its leaders are not naive about the frustrations and challenges of a stalled Israeli- Palestinian peace process. Nevertheless, however grim its prospects at the moment, we know that as long as people of conscience are willing to continue the struggle for peace, our cause is far from lost. Moreover, we believe we owe it to our activists here and in Peace Now in Israel to redouble our efforts to keep hope alive in these dark times. We owe it to Shaqued and her friends. We owe it to every reasonable, justice-minded Israeli. We owe it to every American who believes in human dignity and disavows hatred of The Other. And we owe it to the memory of the eleven Jews slaughtered this fall in Pittsburgh simply for being Jews, a people that continue to be seen as The Other in the eyes of those who trade in demonization and hate.

Rather than surrender to the toxicity and hopelessness permeating today's world, we at APN have recommitted to peace by stepping up our education and advocacy efforts, whether in person, in writing, on our remarkable website (check out its riches), or in concert with Shalom Achschav, our Israeli counterpart. But we need your help to do our work: to provide quality materials, settlement maps, and resources so that legislators, the media, thought leaders, and every American is well informed on all the issues — and fired up enough to effectively resist Netanyahu, Trump, and the extremists who would lead the region into an abyss of perennial conflict and shameful subjugation of another people.

I'm counting on you to stay with us, stand with us, and be inspired by Shaqued’s letter (below) to support us!

Thank you so much.

There are times when my sheer frustration borders on the overwhelming, but the people of Shalom Achshav (Peace Now in Israel) and Americans for Peace Now (APN) are compelling sources of inspiration. I cannot abandon them. My name is Shaqued Morag and I am the new Executive Director of Peace Now.

Much has happened here in the short months since I became Executive Director, and I would like to tell you a bit about it. I’d like to share with you how I view my role at the helm of Israel’s preeminent peace movement, how I view Peace Now’s role in Israeli society, and how appreciative I am of the role that you play.

I took this position with humility. I have been a social justice and peace advocate for the better part of my life. I was fully aware of the thought, effort, sweat, tears, and blood – literally – that my predecessors have invested in making Peace Now into the leader of Israel’s peace movement.

I’m 34 years old and a ninth-generation descendant in Israel. I love Israel and I care about it deeply. And I know that Peace Now – as a movement and as a philosophy – is an integral part of the Israeli mosaic.

I came into Peace Now determined to
re-enthuse our base,
the hundreds of thousands
of Israelis who, like me and like you,
believe in an Israel that is peace-seeking,
just, moral, democratic and secure.

We face many roadblocks ahead. Peace negotiations are currently dormant, the unrest in Gaza keeps us on the brink of war, and for the past two years since the election of President Trump, an emboldened pro-settlement lobby has made unprecedented strides toward a one-state reality.

This is precisely the time for us to redouble our efforts, to assert our vision and our hope, and to challenge both Trump and Netanyahu as they collude to destroy prospects for future Israeli-Palestinian peace. We won’t let them destroy our future. The vision and quest for peace, security and normality of my fellow Israelis — Jews and Arabs — are stronger than self-indulgent politicians.

Now, we could not do what we do without the help of Americans for Peace Now, its staff, its activists and its donors. APN’s generous support enables us to continue our historical legacy of demonstrations, our West Bank tours for the Israeli public and diplomats, and our outreach efforts in the media and in the Knesset to remind our fellow Israelis every day of the costs of our government’s support for the settlements and its annexationist agenda.


The debate over our conflict with the Palestinians will again be front and center. This will be our time to equip the pro-two-state majority with the information and arguments to counter the onslaught of anti-peace voices seeking to excuse Israel’s lack of diplomatic initiative, the shrinking democratic space and government policies aimed at entrenching the occupation. We stand poised to take on the annexationist forces promoting an apartheid vision. With APN’s backing, we will be creating a more permanent presence on university campuses and in the Knesset.

Thanks to Americans for Peace Now, this past year we were able to expose the right’s shady dealings in the West Bank, funded by Israeli taxpayer money; to lead campaigns in the public square against the injustices of the government’s Gaza policy and the Nation-State Law; and to return to Palestinians their lands from the settlers of the Nativ Ha’Avot outpost near Bethlehem, while establishing a critical precedent against settlement construction on private Palestinian land.

In 2019, we will capitalize on our position as Israel’s preeminent peace movement, serve as the convener of progressive groups, and reach out to Palestinian citizens of Israel as natural allies in pursuit of peace and democracy. Americans for Peace Now stands with us in our efforts.

 

 

 

Please make your tax-deductible contribution to APN. Americans for Peace Now’s support is vital to us. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting them.

Faithfully yours,

Shaqued Morag
Executive Director
Peace Now

P.S. Quit now? Leave the field of battle to Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump? Not a chance. A two-state solution is not a concession; it is a matter of survival.

Shaqued Morag is the Executive Director of Peace Now since July 2018. A seasoned activist in Jerusalem, she came to Peace Now after having served in senior positions in the Meretz party, including as the party’s acting secretary-general, and as a longtime parliamentary adviser to MK Michal Rozin. She served as the community coordinator in Jerusalem for Mahapach-Taghir, a grassroots Israeli Jewish-Palestinian organization for social change, where she is now a member of the Executive Committee. Shaqued holds a B.A. in philosophy and cognitive sciences at the Hebrew University and is currently completing her master’s thesis there in public policy.

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