June 4, 2020

Dear Vice President Biden,

As a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, we do not engage in electoral work and we do not support or oppose candidates. What we do is work for a peaceful two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security.

Unfortunately, that vision of two sovereign states living side by side is under threat. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government are finalizing their plans for unilateral annexation of West Bank territory. They have recently indicated that they are rushing toward annexation to take advantage of the Trump administration’s support for such a move. They refer to the next six months as a “historic opportunity” to establish facts on the ground. They hope that Trump’s view, an aberration inconsistent with decades of bipartisan US policy, would not be revoked by future US administrations.

That is why we are writing to urge you to declare now that if you are elected as the next president of the United States, you will not recognize any unilateral Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank. Such a statement, now, could convince Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to cancel its annexation plan. At the very least, if Netanyahu does annex before you take office, it would make it easier for you to confront Netanyahu over this unhelpful policy in the future.

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Reflections from a Jerusalemite on the 53-Year Anniversary of the 1967 War

This photo of me at age seven was taken in June of 1967, just outside my home in Jerusalem, a couple of days after the Six Day War ended. I am sitting here on a Jeep that Israeli soldiers seized during the war in the West Bank, and somehow ended up in our neighborhood.

I remember how euphoric everyone was. Even the kids. During the weeks and months that followed, my family, like many Israelis, rushed to explore the liberated land of the Bible.

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Ha'aretz Link

Israel's leaders are sacrificing democracy and human rights on the altar of ethno-nationalism. And all those U.S. Jewish groups claiming to back a two state solution have suddenly lost their voice?

by Hadar Susskind, APN President and CEO

There was a time in our history when standing up in support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a bold stance for a Jewish community leader or organization to take. Those who did so were often criticized and even ostracized.

Following that there was a period of time in which our community’s center and center/right organizations came around, and they too declared their support for two states as the only effective way to end the conflict. Today "mainstream" Jewish organizations all tout their support of a two-state solution.

But whether or not you support two-states is the 1990’s question. Today it comes down to this: what are you going to do about it? When actions are taken that threaten the viability of two states living side by side in peace and security, what do you say? What do you do?

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Seven Reasons for Opposing West Bank Annexation

It is illegal

By unilaterally annexing the West Bank, Israel would be violating international law, and might suffer punitive consequences.

International law experts, including prominent Israeli experts, are all but unanimous in considering the West Bank to be occupied territory, and in endorsing the view that international law prohibits the acquisition of territory by force, and extending the sovereignty of the occupying state onto that territory (which is the definition of annexation). This principle has been adopted and reiterated in the United Nations charter and in numerous UN resolutions, and affirmed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Other countries have violated this principle and suffered severe international consequences, whether military action, diplomatic pressure, or economic sanctions. Indonesia, Morocco, Iraq and Russia are examples. Israel is already facing legal proceedings in the ICJ for violating these laws by establishing settlements in the West Bank. If Israel officially annexes these settlements, it will make the case against it at the ICJ much stronger.

In addition to violating international law, Israel would be violating a binding U.S.-brokered agreement that it has signed with the PLO in 1995, the “Oslo II” agreement, which states (Article 31-7) that “neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”

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APN COVID Report #11 - Palestinian Children Prisoners in Israel

United Nations (UN) officials have recently called for the release of all children in detention in Israel, including all Palestinian children. The UN estimates that there were 194 Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities at the end of March. Most of these children are yet to be charged and are being held while waiting for trial, which may be delayed greatly due to the effects of COVID-19.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which both Israel and Palestine are members, states in Article 37 that detention should only be used as a ‘last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time’. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has recently released guidelines for states during the COVID-19 pandemic. Article 8 of this document recommends that children be released from all forms of detention, and if that is not possible, then allowed to maintain regular contact with family. Palestinian children in Israel cannot maintain regular contact with their parents as crossing the Green Line into Israel has become even more difficult due to Coronavirus restrictions.

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ACTION ALERT - Tell JNF: "Don't uproot the Sumarin family!"

Sumarins have lived in their family-built home in Jerusalem for 50 years. The Israeli court, as a result of a case brought by the Jewish National Fund's subsidiary organization, Himanuta, is soon likely to evict this Palestinian family from their East Jerusalem home.

The case rests on the application of Israel's unjust "Absentee Property Law" - and even an abuse of that law itself. It is part of a larger effort by Israeli settler organizations and their backers in the government to "Judaize" East Jerusalem at the expense of its inhabitants, like the Sumarin Family.

The eviction can be stopped, and the next few weeks will determine this family's fate. 

Send an email or call Jewish National Fund to help stop the eviction.  A previous eviction was prevented as a result of a campaign similar to this one. With your help, eviction can be prevented again.

Go HERE for more information, including a video with interviews from Sumarin family members, and to send an email to JNF.


APN and Peace Now are part of an international coalition of groups that have united to defend the Sumarin family from this unjust eviction.
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West Bank Annexation - Resource Page

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APN joins in J-Link's international effort against Israeli annexation

APN is proud to join with 50 organizations from 17 countries in the initiative against Israeli annexation in the West Bank from the J-Link International Progressive Jewish Network, and in committing to take action to prevent this damaging, if not fatal, blow against the two-state solution and peace and security.

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APN Joins Progressive Israel Network's Statement on Annexation

In response to the formation of Israel’s new government, which is officially committed to annexing parts of the West Bank, eight members of the Progressive Israel Network, including Americans for Peace Now, together released the following statement:

We are frustrated and alarmed by the intention of the new government, formed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank. We join with all Americans who refuse to sit idly by as Israel’s new government, with the encouragement of the Trump administration, contemplates action blatantly at odds with any commitment to democracy and the pursuit of peace.

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Jerusalem Post: "Hadar Susskind to lead Americans for Peace Now"

The announcement comes as liberal pro-Israel groups mount a pressure campaign to influence Washington politicians to speak out against plans in Israel to annex parts of the West Bank. 

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA MAY 14, 2020

Americans for Peace Now, an influential group on the Jewish Left that was among the first to advocate for the two-state solution, is naming as its president Hadar Susskind, a veteran senior official of an array of Jewish groups. 

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