One would think that after 2016 and 2020,  I would be used to the word “election” being synonymous with “potentially terrifying historical turning point.” 

I am no stranger to bracing myself for election outcomes. I stayed up past midnight in 2016, the bright blue of my phone blaring the damning results into my retinas at three in the morning. I stayed awake in November of 2020 at my parent’s kitchen table, my mother’s hand gripped in mine as the worst of our fears was, by the tiniest margin, abated. 

And now I am bracing myself again. Not for an American election this time, though in many ways, it feels the same; the way I grit my teeth before checking the news and the way I struggle not to feel nauseous at the reality of the barely-there line between fascist and politician. It’s almost a relief that I’m not panicking this November about the death of democracy in the country where I hold citizenship. But at the same time, it doesn’t soothe my rancor to know that as a diaspora Jew, a country where I have found a second home may be about to reject every social or political ideal that I hold dear and embrace a government that doesn’t see a problem with societal inequity, with homophobic and religiously intolerant practices written into law, or with the violent displacement of its citizens.

I am not alone in this seething anxiety that emerges every time I check the Israeli news. Most American Jews, myself included, are politically left of center. On November 1st, Israel will go to the polls. On November 2nd, an entire community of Americans who feel a deep sense of belonging in Israel may find themselves on the opposite side of a potentially irreparable divide between their own politics and Israel’s governing leaders. 

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Action Alert: Ensure that Israel Treats All American Citizens Equally

Today, Israel's Coordinating Office for Government Affairs in the Territories’ (COGAT) new West Bank regulations will come into effect. Among the regulations are draconian restrictions intended to micro-engineer the public and private lives of Palestinians (including American citizens) that would subject them to a restrictive screening process and arbitrarily limit entry to the West Bank. Unfortunately, Palestinian-Americans are already not afforded the same basic rights as other American passport holders when traveling to Israel and the Occupied Territories –these new procedures officially codify Israel’s informal pervasive discriminatory practices.

At the same time, Israel is requesting to join the United States Visa Waiver Program. If they were deemed eligible, this program would ease and expedite the entry process for Israeli travelers visiting the United States. Until now, Israel has been denied admission to the program due to its failure to give reciprocal treatment to US travelers. The formal implementation of COGAT’s discriminatory practices brings Israel further from eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program.

We support Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program. But if, and only if, they meet all of the requirements. And it is clear that currently, they do not.

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Progress and Pinkwashing


In 1988, Israel decriminalized homosexuality, and within five years, the country had begun allowing openly gay soldiers to serve in the military and instituted a ban on anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination. Since 2006, Israel has recognized same-sex marriages performed abroad; 2008 marked the year that Israel began allowing same-sex couples to adopt children together; and, in 2014, Israel lowered the minimum age requirement for gender-affirming surgery for the transgender community. Just this month, incoming Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced that he would remove all questions about sexual activity from questionnaires for prospective blood donors, thus allowing gay men to give blood.

Over the past twenty-three years, LGBTQ rights have progressed at warp speed in Israel. In Tel Aviv, a city where only twenty or thirty years ago gay men were harassed on the streets by bullies both civilian and police, there is now a Municipal LGBT Center. Funded by the city government, this center aims to support, educate, and empower the city’s LGBTQ residents. The idea that taxpayer funds could go toward such an effort – especially in a state so influenced by intolerant religious attitudes – is nothing short of revolutionary.

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President Trump's controversial US Ambassador to Israel has demonstrated that APN was right to oppose his confirmation and subsequently call for his firing.

Based on his actions, statements, and our off-the-record conversations with informed insiders, it is clear that David Friedman is the chief architect behind the Trump administration's thinly concealed push to kill the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Friedman File is APN's comprehensive record documenting the deeds of the settlements enthusiast-cum-ambassador since he assumed his post.

Friedman File

Update on January 10, 2021

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From Creeping to Leaping: Annexation in the Trump-Netanyahu Era (updated October 2019)

Ori Nir and Debra Shushan, April 2018 (updated October 2019)

download or view as a pdf here


Since President Donald Trump took office, the Israeli right has launched an unprecedented drive to alter the West Bank’s legal status, piecemeal or in its entirety. In this paper, updating analysis first released in April 2018, we lay out the developments that present a quantum leap in Israeli annexation efforts and analyze them against the backdrop of Israel’s 52-year occupation of the West Bank. Further, we examine the ramifications of the transition from “creeping” to “leaping” annexation and present explanations for why this transformation is happening now.

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APN's Debra Shushan: Ha'aretz Opinion - "American Jews, Don't Walk Away From Israel"

Go HERE for "American Jews, Resist Netanyahu Like He's Trump" by Ori Nir, APN Director of Communications and Public Engagement.

Netanyahu's re-election is a black day for solidly liberal American Jews, whose relations with a pro-Trump Israel were already in crisis. But we can't give up

Already in crisis, relations between Israel and American Jews are headed for a harsh reckoning in the wake of this week's victory by Israel’s right-wing bloc, helmed by the once and perpetual prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

While American Jews remain overwhelmingly liberal - one of the most solidly progressive constituencies in the U.S., despite President Donald Trump’s absurd attempts to promote a "Jexodus" – the majority of Israelis have jettisoned Israel’s founding values of socialist Zionism to move ever rightward.

What William Galston observed months ago is now indisputably true: Israel has become a Trump-enamored red state, while American Jews are the bluest of blue staters, who view Trump as an existential threat, both to our safety and to the liberal society in which we have flourished.

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Full article published in The Hill on January 28, 2019

In a perversely ironic turn, a law intended to aid American victims of international terrorist attacks will strike a serious blow to counterterrorism cooperation that keeps Israelis (and Americans visiting Israel) safe.

The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) will take effect on February 1. Unless it is adequately amended or repealed before then, the law will damage Israeli national security and U.S. foreign policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Time is short, and Congress must take action.

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Shaqued Morag in Netanyahu's Newspaper: Netanyahu Sustains Hamas to Avoid Peace with Abbas

Peace Now's director general Shaqued Morag today published an important article lambasting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his anti-peace policies. It should be noted that the article was published in the pro-Netanyahu daily Israel Hayom. 

To view the Hebrew article online click here

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Amid a barrage of anti-Palestinian actions, a tacit endorsement of Israel’s West Bank annexation, and an occupation-denying U.S. Ambassador, are the big guns of U.S. Jewry – AIPAC, ADL, AJC, JFNA – really too afraid to rock the boat with Trump?

While Donald Trump’s word salad du jour on Israeli-Palestinian peace vacillates between one state and two, it is by now clear that his administration has jettisoned the longtime bipartisan U.S. goal of a two-state solution. Nothing the administration has said indicates that it embraces this vision, and everything it does undermines it. 

Where does that leave American Jewish establishment organizations which have made the two-state solution a pillar of their policy on Israel? 

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In conversation with Jafar Farah and Nabila Espanioly of the Mossawa Center, APN Political Director Debra Shushan moderated "The Nation-State Law: Implications for Democracy and Peace in Israel/Palestine" on September 27. Watch the video to see how Palestinian citizens of Israel are responding to the new Israeli law that has relegated them to second-class status -- and why they are taking their case abroad. 


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