Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes news that the Biden administration is considering recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state and we urge it to move from deliberating to doing so.
The State of Palestine was accepted as an observer state of the United Nations General Assembly more than a decade ago. By recognizing the State of Palestine, the U.S. will join 139 out of 193 UN member states, and turn its long stated policy of support for a two-state solution into meaningful action. Recognition of the State of Palestine is not an alternative to a negotiated, mutually acceptable two-state peace agreement, but it is a meaningful step in that direction and would help pave the way toward it.
Since the Biden administration took office, APN has been calling on it to recognize the State of Palestine as a way to actualize America’s stated support of a two-state solution.
APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “President Biden, going back to his days in the Senate, has long supported a two-state solution. Hopefully, his administration will remind all those who claim to support two states that those two states are Israel and Palestine. Recognition of a Palestinian state is precisely what it means to support a two-state solution, in deeds as well as in words.”
Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls upon the Biden Administration to end the suspension of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
APN is very troubled by reports that 12 UNRWA employees may have been involved in Hamas’ horrific October 7 attacks and we welcome the news that UNRWA immediately terminated their employment contracts. The Commissioner-General of UNRWA has urged that the examination of these staff members be supervised by the top investigative body within the United Nations. Simultaneously, the UN Secretary-General emphasized the Secretariat's commitment to collaborating with a competent authority for the prosecution of the individuals involved.
At the start of the war, UNRWA employed nearly 13,000 people in Gaza. We must not let the small fraction of employees accused of taking part in Hamas attacks distract from the vital work that UNRWA does as the chief distributor of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
During this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, UNRWA has been at the forefront of providing aid to those in need. UNRWA provides critical, life-saving services to more than 2 million people. As more and more Palestinians in Gaza are facing the risk of starvation or serious illness, UNRWA must be allowed to continue its operations unimpeded with full access to US assistance. We call upon the Biden Administration to resume funding as swiftly as possible.
Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, a scholar and writer, is an international political and strategic consultant. She has advised and conducted research on nine national campaigns in Israel over the past twenty years, and has provided research and advising for elections, referendums, and civil society campaigns in fifteen different countries.
As time passes and October 7 begins to recede from the immediate frontal cortex, don’t expect Israel’s trauma to go away – it will only get worse. If you’ve ever broken an arm, you may know that the first moments are not so painful – scientists call it stress-induced analgesia – but the agony sets in over time.
Thus, when I interviewed Dr. Cigal Knei-Paz (for Haaretz), a social worker responsible for both local mental health programs and the absorption of displaced people in Netanya, she observed that as time passes, mental health problems related to trauma or post-trauma are increasing. On one hand, the direct witnesses, victims and bereaved or displaced from October 7 are confronting the full extent of their losses. Additionally, she said, Israelis with older traumas are seeing resurgence of post-trauma symptoms and crises over time as the war goes on.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) urges the government of Israel to comply with the provisional measures ordered today by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and calls upon the Biden administration to commit to working with Israel to ensure compliance.
The measures ordered by the ICJ are reasonable and justified. Adherence would provide vital relief for the Gaza Strip’s civilian population, and allow for Israel and the international community to fairly scrutinize Israel’s conduct in its military campaign in Gaza.
We welcome Israel’s representative to the Court, Former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak’s joining the Court’s majority’s order that Israeli officials who incite genocide be investigated and punished.
We further reiterate our call, made earlier this month, for the Biden administration to push Israel to adopt and implement an immediate exit strategy from the war in the Gaza Strip. As we formerly stated, a first step must be engaging with relevant world powers to devise a formula for the release of all hostages held in Gaza. A second step must be devising a reliable mechanism to provide adequate shipments of essentials - food, water, medicine, and fuel – to Gaza’s population.
We reiterate our position that ending the fighting and sending aid are essential, but not sufficient. The United States should also push for a series of steps to keep the door open for a future two-state peace agreement, such as halting settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and reversing Israeli policies aimed at de facto and de-jure annexation of parts of the West Bank.
Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes tonight’s scheduled vote on Senator Bernie Sanders’ resolution under section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act requesting information on Israel’s human rights practices, and urges the Senate to adopt it.