Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: September 30, 2013

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This week, Alpher discusses whether the Syrian chemical weapons agreement and the Obama-Rowhani phone conversation evidence of an approaching "new Munich" and Netanyahu's "sounding the alarm," what the outcome depends upon, what Netanyahu's and Israel's most immediate legitimate concerns are regarding the upcoming round of talks with Iran, how would a possible administration linkage between Iran and Israel-Palestine, as implied in Obama's UN speech work, and how seriously does he take reports of growing tensions between Egypt and the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

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Press Release: APN Welcomes Obama's UN Speech


Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes President Barack Obama's commitment to continue pursuing Arab-Israeli peace and to continue focusing on peacefully preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

In particular, APN endorses President Obama's focus at the United Nation's General Assembly on engagement with Iran. APN also joins the President's call on friends of Israel in the US and worldwide to "recognize that Israel's security as a Jewish and democratic state depends on the realization of a Palestinian state." 

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Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah - 2013/5774


Shemini Atzeret -"the Eighth [day] of Assembly"- is celebrated beginning Wednesday night, September 25th, immediately followed by Simchat Torah - "Rejoicing of the Torah" - on Thursday night, September 26th. (In Israel, the holidays are combined into one and either name can be used).

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APN Leadership Meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York


Americans for Peace Now's President and CEO Debra DeLee and our Chairman of the Board Jim Klutznick represented APN last night at a meeting for Jewish community leaders with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York.

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Now is the Time for Peace

APN Condemns Killing of Israeli Soldiers; Settlements not the Answer


Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization, Israel's Peace Now movement, in strongly condemning the killing of two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank over the Sukkot holiday weekend.

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This week, Alpher discusses the strategic challenges Israel confronts in the United Nations General Assembly session opening this week, why the Israeli government, alone, is criticizing President Rowhani's moderate statements, how we get from the Iranian Syrian non-conventional weapons issues to attempts to restrain Israel's nuclear potential, and why Russia is so interested in a failed state like Syria, and what consequences we can expect in the wake of two IDF soldiers killed in recent days in the West Bank, and an incident over the demolishing of Arab dwellings in the Jordan Valley that got Israel into trouble with the European Union.

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A Sukkot of Peace


Beginning Wednesday night, September 18th, the Jewish holiday of Sukkot begins. During the week-long holiday, Jews build a special kind of home to dwell in for the week, called a sukkah. The sukkah is a deliberately temporary house, which can have no more than one permanent wall, and whose roof must be open to the sky, covered only partially by natural materials such as branches. The sukkah is a strange sort of dwelling, and yet, it is so important, that we use it every Friday night on Shabbat, as a metaphor for peace, asking that God, "spread over us a sukkah of Your peace." May this year's sukkah be a sukkat shalom, a sukkah of peace, and may we merit to build our house - Israel- from peace.

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Israel, Palestine, and the Dangers of Magical Thinking


It's easy to be dismissive of the idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be solved through a negotiated two-state solution. Libraries are filled with books about failed peace efforts. The daily news is replete with reports of developments that undermine a two-state outcome. Those who oppose two states are growing more powerful on both sides. And the impotence of the United States and international community when it comes to getting serious about this issue is so self-evident as to be cliché.

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This week, Alpher discusses the new Middle East reality Israel confronts as a consequence of the US-Russian deal regarding Syria's chemical weapons, what lessons and conclusions can be taken from the massive commemoration in Israel of the 40 years since the outbreak of the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, the significance of a ruling by an Israeli judge two weeks ago concerning Palestinian incitement against Israel, and the contribution of Osama al-Baz, who died Saturday in Egypt, to peace.

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