chris-gunness-320x265Christopher Gunness, the Jerusalem-based spokesperson of UNRWA, the United Nations agency that serves Palestinian refugees, joined us on July 18 20014, less than 24 hours after Israel's ground campaign in the Gaza Strip started, to review the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the reconstruction challenge that faces the residents of the Gaza Strip and UNRWA.

 

 

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ATFP and APN - Peace Partners: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on Campus

yehonatan_toker-and-Hamze320x265On Wednesday, July 16, Americans for Peace Now along with the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) hosted an event that focused on the way in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out on US college campuses.

Among the more than 50 attendees at the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars were Israeli and Palestinian participants of New Story Leadership (NSL). NSL brings young Israeli and Palestinian leaders to Washington, DC  for a summer of dialogue and leadership workshops during which they also learn about Washington through internships.

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Israel-Gaza Crisis Update: APN Disappointed at Ceasefire Collapse

APN Urges Immediate Ceasefire, Harnessed to a Diplomatic Process that Leads to Peace:

Having urged a ceasefire for the past week, APN, like millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others worldwide was excited at the news of a ceasefire agreement Monday night. We immediately welcomed this news after senior Israeli officials were quoted on the Israeli media as welcoming the Egyptian-proposed ceasefire agreement. Hours later, the Israeli cabinet officially endorsed the ceasefire.

We were deeply disappointed when Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip rejected the ceasefire and intensified their rocket fire throughout the day Tuesday, arguing that Egypt announced the ceasefire without consulting with their leadership.

In response, after halting fire for several long hours, Israel resumed air raids on the Gaza Strip.

We hope that that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will accept the ceasefire, stop their rocket attacks on Israel and thus prevent further escalation.

While we yearn for a ceasefire, we remind all parties involved that that a ceasefire cannot be an end in itself. For a ceasefire to not turn into just another intermission between rounds of violence, it must be harnessed to a diplomatic process that addresses the underlying causes of conflict. 

Go to APN's Israel-Gaza Crisis Resource Page for all updates and related information.

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APN Interviews Palestinian Intern Hamze Awawdeh

On July 10, 2014, APN's Executive Assistant Katherine Cunningham and intern Hannah Ehlers interviewed our Palestinian intern Hamze Awawdeh, a Palestinian from the West Bank who works in Tel Aviv for an Israeli-Palestinian peace organization. Hamze, who participates this year in APN's joint internship program with the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), explores in this interview the sometimes tense dialectic between the national narratives of Israelis and Palestinians and the efforts that young Israelis and Palestinians are making to write a new chapter, a chapter of peace, in their peoples' national history.

 

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Americans for Peace Now – like millions of Israelis and Palestinians, and others worldwide – is anxiously hoping that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will follow Israel’s suit and accept the Egyptian-proposed ceasefire agreement. The agreement was proposed Monday night. Israel’s government welcomed it last night, and officially accepted it today at a Cabinet meeting, and held its fire by 9:00 AM local time (2:00 AM Eastern time), but a barrage of rockets from Gaza continued. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad intensified their rocket fire, arguing that Egypt announced the ceasefire without consulting with their leadership. In response, Israel too resumed fire and continued bombing the Gaza Strip.

We hope that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will accept the ceasefire, stop its rocket attacks on Israel and thus prevent further escalation.


Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes news of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt’s government.  APN urges both Israel and Hamas to adhere to the ceasefire and to find ways to prevent future security escalations such as the current one. APN further urges Israelis, Palestinians and the Obama administration to resume diplomatic efforts to return to the negotiating table in order to achieve a viable, lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement with security for both sides.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "Once again, following unnecessary bloodshed, destruction, terror and pain, Israel and Hamas chose diplomacy - the same kind of diplomacy that we at APN have been urging. This devastation, and the long-term impact it has on Israelis and Palestinians alike, can be obviated if both sides choose diplomacy now to pave the road for future Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: July 14, 2014

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This week, Alpher discusses whether Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza is winding down; what the two sides' conditions for a ceasefire are; why Israel doesn't want to remove Hamas from power; what are the alternative strategies that Israel could invoke; whether Hamas' strategic aim is to kill Israelis; and some perspective, looking back and looking forward on Operations Cast Lead in 2009-10, Pillar of Defense in 2012, and now Protective Edge.

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His Words are Our Words

Hamze

I would like to bring your attention to an article featuring APN’s summer intern Hamze Awawdeh, a young Palestinian from Dura, just outside of Hebron which ran in The Forward and was picked up by Ha’aretz.

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Hamze is spending the summer with us as a part of our Joint Internship program with the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) . While we host a Palestinian intern, ATFP hosts an Israeli intern. For the past five years, through this program, Israeli and Palestinian students have worked jointly and forged close personal relationships.

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Professor Matti Steinberg, an expert on Palestinian politics and political ideology briefed APN on July 11, 2014, focusing on Hamas. Steinberg analyzed Hamas’ strategy, its ideology, and how they relate to its launching of rockets and missiles into Israel.

 

 

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Peace Parsha: In Search of an Unbroken Peace

peace_parsha_logo186x140by APN's summer intern Hannah Ehlers

Israel is no stranger to blaring sirens and rockets soaring overhead, crashing violently or intercepted in repeated close calls. Israel also is no stranger to fear—a genuine, existential fear that does not subside even when the rocket fire goes away. Every reasonable person wants peace and knows that violence is not the way to achieve it. But do enough people, Israelis and Palestinians, believe in the possibility of peace to make it happen?  

 

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PAST ACTION - Tell the Obama Administration: Work for a Ceasefire NOW

Update:

Having urged a ceasefire for the past week, APN was excited at the news of an agreement Monday night, and then deeply disappointed when Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip rejected it and intensified their rocket fire. Now that the Egyptian ceasefire initiative has collapsed, We must redouble our efforts to urge for a credible ceasefire agreement to prevent further bloodshed and devastation and to clear the path for leaders to pivot from war to peace talks.

We therefore ask once again for our supporters to write to President Obama and ask him to use his influence with other world leaders to continue to work for a ceasefire – one which will lay the groundwork for resumed negotiations leading to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.


rocketsfromgaza320x265These are difficult and painful times. Fear and violence have overtaken both Israelis and Palestinians. Rockets from Gaza are threatening Israelis in every corner of the country, sowing terror and anger; intentional attacks on Israeli civilians by Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists should rightfully be condemned. Israeli military retaliation, irrespective of its intended targets, is causing destruction, death, and injury across Gaza, including the deaths (so far) of scores of innocent civilians, among them many children.

In the face of this crisis, all of us who care about Israel feel terribly powerless. Powerless to stop the violence and suffering. Powerless in the face of the simplistic, false narrative that military force - combined with a metaphorical Iron Dome - can provide Israel real security. Powerless, when we know that the only thing that can provide Israel security is a negotiated agreement that ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But we are only powerless if we choose to be. I urge you: Do not be powerless – Take action. We can and must tell the Obama Administration: Work for a Ceasefire NOW.

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