Four Years at APN

Dear Friend of APN,

Today marks four years since I began in my role as President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now. It’s also 76 years since the declaration of the State of Israel and, consequently, Nakba Day.

You need not spend much time thinking about my anniversary, but if you celebrate Israel’s establishment, or if you commemorate Nakba Day, I urge you, today, to think about both.

Think about what it meant and means for the Jewish people, thousands of years persecuted and in exile, to finally have a nation of their own. A safe haven, after the world had proven just how badly we needed it. Try to feel the fierce urgency of maintaining and protecting that safe haven.

And think about what the creation of that safe haven for the Jewish people meant for the Palestinian people. The loss of their national home. The loss of their literal homes.

So many people still spend their time making righteous claims about who is responsible for what, who perpetrated what crime, and who declined what offer.

Enough. Enough of reenacting the battles of the past. Enough of dueling tweets designed to score points for “your side."

Israel and Palestine are not opposing teams to be cheered and booed. Israelis and Palestinians are real people, and peoples, all of whom deserve peace, dignity, justice, and a better future.

So please, take some time today and think about how important Israel is to its people and to the Jewish community across the globe.

And please, take some time today to think about the Palestinian people, about their hopes and dreams. About their rights and aspirations, national and individual, and their longing to be a free people in their own land.

At the best of times, it is hard for many people to really empathize with "the other". And sadly, now is not the best of times. But that only makes this more important.
We are not opposing teams. We, Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Americans, we are humans and we can do better and we can be better. Together.