Last week, over 150 APN supporters joined me and Hadar Susskind and Ori Nir to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing annexation of the West Bank, and to begin to predict the impact the incoming Biden administration may have on this seemingly intractable issue.
We at Settlement Watch, the Shalom Achshav program designed to monitor and evaluate the impact of Israel’s settlement enterprise on the chances for a two state solution and on Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are grateful for your keen interest and concern over the growing threat that the settlements pose to peace.
Knowing that our APN family is championing our work helps us renew our commitment each day to fighting the expansion of the settlements and the de facto annexation that has been taking place for years, and which has ramped up shamelessly during the four years of the Trump/Bibi alliance.
Trump promised “the deal of the century” when he took office, but, needless to say, Palestinians were not included in that promise. His policies wound up instituting a total reversal of previous U.S. involvement, and included a complete defunding of all US aid programs to the Palestinians, including humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.
What’s more, with U.S. backing, the push to strengthen the settlements has intensified, including building roads and infrastructure that will encourage a projected million more settlers to move into the West Bank in the coming years. Everything that might support the development of a two-state solution has essentially withered on the vine over the past four years.
Given this disheartening overview, I was asked on the call if we have reached the point of no return. I still say no. If we succumb to the idea that there is no road to peace, then we’d be dooming Israel to operating as a segregationist, occupying force forever. That is not the future that I want for me, for my children, or for the Palestinians who share this land with us.
So we have no choice but to continue to advocate for peace, for justice, for the two-state solution. And we need you by our side as we continue this fight.
You have been committed to the cause of peace for a long time. So have I. And while we get tired on this long road, we can’t give up. Today, APN is the leading American Jewish voice for peace in Israel. They are our partner, raising both money and awareness to help us lead the charge. And you are an integral part of the APN movement, empowering them and us to fight for peace.
We have great hope for the Biden administration. We are certain that its foreign policy team will work with us to dismantle the chokehold on peace and help begin to build a stronger and better Israel. Together, APN and our supporters will lead the way to a brighter, peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Thank you for all that you do for APN, and my warmest wishes for a happy Hanukkah to you and your family.
Peace Now Settlement Watch Director
PS: Hadar here – we’re so glad so many of you could listen in on Hagit’s webinar last week. If you missed it, you can listen here at the APN PeaceCast. And when you do, consider making a gift to APN to help us bring you more extraordinary voices of peace building, like Hagit, in the coming year.