These past few weeks have been full of sorrow over the deaths and injuries of innocent people in Israel and in Gaza. They have been full of fear for friends, family and colleagues who have huddled in bomb shelters and stairwells, as well as for those who lacked even that level of protection. But sorrow and fear does not mean inaction.
We have been at the center of the political debate over this latest round of violence, and have worked to ensure that, as we pushed for a ceasefire, we also made sure that elected officials understood why the missiles and bombs started flying. We hosted briefings, bringing Israeli and Palestinian voices directly to members of Congress and their key staff. We worked with members of Congress as they sought to navigate this difficult moment, helping to draft and gather support for many of the Congressional letters and resolutions that called for ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and for addressing the root causes of the conflict.
When the ceasefire was announced we were relieved to see the attacks end. However, we know that it is but a pause, at best a return to a status-quo that is neither sustainable nor acceptable.
In conversations with Administration officials and members of Congress I have repeated this message:
Without efforts to address the root causes of the conflict and the ills that perpetuate it, cross-border violence and inter-communal violence such as we witnessed in the past few weeks will become routine.
We cannot allow this to become routine. That is why we need you to help APN do the work we do best.
Our long-cultivated and valued relationships with American political leaders make us a trusted resource for elected officials, particularly those seeking to forge a new path on U.S. engagement with Israel and Palestine.
In short, we are part of the solution.
A status quo that is based on occupation, subjugation, and systemic inequality is doomed to fester and follow a pattern of ever-escalating violence. It is not a status quo. It is a status belli, a constant state of war punctuated by temporary pauses. And an American political status quo that forces people to “pick a side” rather than working to end the occupation and bring peace, is no more sustainable.
Like many Israelis and Palestinians, we are unwilling to accept this violence and extremism as a normal way of life. We refuse to succumb to this anomalous “normalcy.”
Thankfully, we have colleagues in Israel who share our values and are sending just that message to Israelis. Hours after the ceasefire agreement took effect, Peace Now activists went to the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the spark that lit the recent fire, to demonstrate side-by-side with Palestinian homeowners. One of the signs they carried read: “When there is no Green Line, there are no Red Lines.”
APN and our supporters in the US, along with our colleagues and friends in Israel, will continue to highlight the red lines that outline this conflict. We will continue to push to end the occupation and to fight for a future of peace and justice.
We need you to help us reach these goals. Over the past two weeks, so many of you have donated to APN, without our even asking. You have sent us a message of support and solidarity.
We are so grateful to you for being a part of this work with us, and for being dedicated to finding a solution. If you have already sent in a gift, thank you. And if you are moved today to support APN as we chart a new path to peace with the tools we use best – education, advocacy and our collective voice – we would be deeply grateful.
Together, we will forge the path to peace.
President & CEO