Debra DeLee: Thoughts on Sid Topol

Following are reflections by APN's former President and CEO Debra DeLee, on her close friend, APN Board Member Sidney (Sid) Topol, who passed away last week:

"I just want to live long enough to stand on the White House lawn as the peace agreement is being signed."

For days now I've been hearing Sid Topol’s voice in my ear, repeating his oft'- stated desire to have a front seat as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the occupation are officially ended.    

It's always hard to lose a friend, but Sid was so much more. I loved Sid, and I admired him.  I learned much from him, and begrudgingly, he learned some things from me as well.  He could make me laugh, and he could get me more frustrated and angrier than almost anyone I've known, and vice versa. A true Jewish friendship!  

Being asked to write some personal thoughts about Sid gave me a way to structure the plethora of memories that have been swirling through my mind these past few days. 

Much has been written over the past week about Sid's many accomplishments. They are significant and enduring. I'd like to share instead some of those things that I found to be so special, endearing and unique about Sid beyond those achievements.  

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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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Recording - The Changing Nature of Pro-Israel Politics on Capitol Hill

As a more nuanced, pro-diplomacy stance toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become the center of the Democratic Party, we have seen a counter-reaction amongst Republicans as the right-wing of the pro-Israel community embrace elected officials who support the type of nationalist rhetoric that has historically been an early indicator of danger for the Jewish community. For what was once an issue of near consensus, the fissures between the parties are now more clear than ever, with increasing numbers of Republicans openly opposing a Two-State Solution and a polarizing debate over what it means to support the American Jewish Community and even on what it looks like to combat antisemitism.

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APN Mourns the Passing of Longtime Board Member Sidney Topol

Washington, DC -- Americans for Peace Now mourns the death of Sidney (Sid) Topol, our beloved longtime Board member, an avid advocate for peace, an inspiring leader of the pro-Israel pro-peace movement in the United States, a progressive philanthropist whose sharp mind and kind heart helped energize our movement for more than four decades.  

APN's Chair of the Board James Klutznick said: "Whether at the gala honoring him, breakfasts at the Ritz-Carlton, or in his kitchen in the Back Bay, where Debra DeLee and I joined him for an APN Board meeting call, Sid was both a hawk for peace and conflict resolution, and a down to earth good guy with a generous heart, a grin on his face, and a twinkle in his eye. He will be missed, but not missing from our hearts and minds."

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Action Alert - Urge your Member of Congress to Oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act

The anti-boycott laws pushed by right wing Jewish and evangelical organizations have resulted in a multi-state patchwork of anti-free speech laws that intentionally erase the (green) line between Israel and the occupied territories. While we continue to fight back in the states against these laws, it is vital that we work to prevent similar laws from being enacted at a federal level.

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Statement: APN Welcomes Lipstadt Approval by Senate Committee

 

Washington, DC -- Americans for Peace Now welcomes the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's approval of Deborah E. Lipstadt's nomination to be the State Department's Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Antisemitism.

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the historic Negev summit, which brought together the foreign ministers of the United States, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, but we are disappointed and concerned to not see more of an effort by the summit participants to leverage their enhanced collaboration toward advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Iran poses a threat to the region. Regional efforts to confront it, bolstered by the United States, are very important. So is cooperation between Israel and its regional partners on other matters. But Israel's government, the Biden administration, and their regional allies, must prioritize the need for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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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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Recording - The Demolition Threat Against Al-Walaja

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This week, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), David Price (D-NC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) led 50 House Democrats in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to call on Israel to immediately freeze all demolitions in the Palestinian village Al-Walaja.

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