Statement: APN Welcomes House Letter Demanding Equal Israeli Treatment of US Travelers

Americans for Peace Now welcomes a letter sent today by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), together with 19 members of the House of Representatives, urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to address the discriminatory treatment of US citizens attempting to travel to Israel and the West Bank and to assure that Israel meets the reciprocity requirement before allowing Israel to join America’s Visa Waiver Program.

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Recording- Post Israeli Election Analysis Webinar

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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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Legislative Round-Up- October 21, 2022

1. Bills & Resolutions
2. Hearings
3. Media (general)
4. Media & Members (Middle East in US Elex)
5. Members on the Record (Palestine)
6. Members on the Record (Israel)
7. Members on the Record (Iran)
8. Members on the Record (Saudi Arabia)
9. Members on the Record (All other Mideast countries)

New from FMEP:

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

SUSPEND ARMS SALES TO KSA) HR 9181/S. XXX (PDF): As reported in last week’s Round-Up, on 10/9/22, Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Khanna (D-CA) co-authored an op-ed (along with Jeffrey Sonnenfeld) making the case that “The Best Way to Respond to Saudi Arabia’s Embrace of Putin” is to “halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia and rebalance the U.S.’s relationship with Riyadh.” On 10/14, Khanna introduced the bill in the House, cosponsored by Welch (D-VT) and Garamendi (D-CA), entitled, “To provide for a temporary 1-year halt to all proposed direct commercial sales and foreign military sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of weaponry and munitions.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers- Confronting the Russia-Iran Alliance (October 24, 2022)

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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.

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Statement- APN Welcomes Supreme Court Petition on the Right to Boycott

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the petition filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) with the US Supreme Court to overturn an Arkansas law requiring state contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel as a condition to doing business with the state.

APN thanks the ACLU and urges the Supreme Court to take up the case.

APN supports the right of American citizens, organizations and companies to use boycotts as a legitimate First Amendment-protected right.

The case in point pertains to the Arkansas Times newspaper and its editor, Alan Leveritt, who refused to sign a commitment to not boycott Israel as a condition for an advertising contract with the state-run University of Arkansas. Leveritt initially lost in a federal district court, but when he appealed to the 8th Circuit court of appeals, a three-judge panel overturned the federal district court's ruling, ruling in his favor. The state of Arkansas petitioned to have the case reviewed again by the full 8th district court (as opposed to the 3-judge panel), and the court agreed to. The full court's ruling upheld the initial ruling of the federal district court, ruling against Leveritt to uphold the 2017 Arkansas law, which the state of Arkansas dubbed “boycotting the boycotters.”

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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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Breaking News! Guess Who We Aren’t Honoring at our Gala

Dear Friend of APN,

The day after the former President of the United States was subpoenaed by the January 6th committee, his name appeared in bold on an email from the Zionist Organization of America. Were they finally condemning him for his incitement of violence and efforts to end American democracy?

Nope.

They’re grabbing the moment by the horns (what did you think I was going to write?) and honoring the twice impeached and many times disgraced former President. And it’s not just any honor. They are bestowing upon him a prize they save for those who they claim to be the truest lovers of Israel – their Theodor Herzl Medallion. 

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers- Israel Election Update (October 14, 2022)

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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.

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