A Message from President & CEO, Hadar Susskind (May 13, 2021)

Hello my friends,

I’ve been staring at this page, blank, for a long time. How to write about this week? What to write about?

I should tell you about the briefing that APN held, bringing Israeli and Palestinian voices directly to Congressional staff. About the many one-on-one conversations and consultations with members of Congress, as they struggled to figure out what to say. About our efforts pushing the State Department and the Administration to do more and better. And about the fact that while others circulated petitions and sent thoughts and prayers, we supported a Congressional action that demands specific steps from our government in clear and unequivocal language.

This is what APN does. This is what we are here for. 

But when I sit to write about that, I get a WhatsApp messages from my son, in Israel for his post high school gap year. And texts from my nieces and nephews, both in Israel and the US, trying to sift through the whirlwind of news and social media in order to understand what is really happening. I try my best to reassure them that it will be ok.

And then there are the messages and posts from friends and colleagues whose families are not in Israel, but in Gaza. How do they tell their children, their families, that it will be ok?

The calls with the State Department, webinars with our partners, Congressional briefings and actions, all of them are crucial, and we will continue to push for an immediate ceasefire and to address the underlying issues that led to the this most recent round of violence. But beyond that, we will continue to speak up for the humanity and inherent value of both Israelis and Palestinians.

We will not be silent as so many elected officials, commentators and “Jewish community leaders” fall back on the old tribalist approach and demand that people “take a side”. This is not a sporting event, and we are not interested in scoring points for our team or cheering on others as they do so. I will not celebrate the death of others and I will not cheer the destruction of their homes.

We have so much work to do. I am deeply grateful to be doing it with you.