We are at an inflection point in the U.S.-Israel relationship.
With our elections over and Israel’s once again looming in the near future, there is an opportunity for a shift. Not just because elections always offer a chance for change, but because we have an incoming U.S. President who understands the nuances and challenges of the relationship we have with Israel. Moreover, he sees the American role not as an advocate for the settler’s movement and a Greater Israel, but as an honest broker helping Israelis and Palestinians walk the path toward peace.
On and off for nearly 25 years, we have been faced with an Israeli leader who has shown himself to be neither a friend to democracy nor a partner for peace. We have struggled to keep our hope alive, to believe that there is a road to negotiations and a better future despite the fact that Israel has maintained its 50+ year occupation, vastly expanded settlements, passed laws to codify discrimination against non-Jewish citizens, and done its best to marginalize and even criminalize the peace movement.
Americans for Peace Now – comprised of tens of thousands of Americans who, like you and me, believe in a peaceful future, has been envisioning that better future for nearly 40 years. Forty years of standing up for the very essence of what makes a successful democracy and a thriving society. Forty years of struggling through botched negotiations, hopes rising and dashed, over and over again. Forty years of dreaming of a life of dignity and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.
We may be the dreamers, but, as John Lennon once reminded us, we’re not the only ones. Our friends and family in Israel and Palestine dream of peace, as well. And, while it has been a long 40 years, we cannot step away. Peace may be another decade down the road. Or, it may be around the corner. It is up to us to keep the flame burning, should the moment arrive.
I have been on the board of APN since its inception. Which means I have spent 40 years of my life dedicated to and working for peace. Many of you have been by our side for those four decades, deeply committed to the prospect of a peaceful Israel at last. You are the reason we continue to do our work, year in and year out. Your support and belief sustain us even in the darkest moments.
As we light the first lights of Chanukah this week, let’s light a candle together for peace. There is change on the horizon, new actors on the stage, and soon we may see progress. We need to be vigilant with our support and ready to act, willing to believe that peace may well be possible, soon and in our day.
Please make a gift to APN this week, as we celebrate together. Your gift will help light the way to a new day for peace.
Thank you for your support of APN, and warmest wishes for a happy Chanukah to you and your family.
Americans for Peace Now Chair
PS: Every new or increased gift you make to APN this week will be matched, up to $30,000, so please give as generously as you can today.