Briefing Call (3pm EST): Lara Alqasem and Israel's Entry Law

Join us and our fellow organizations TODAY for a briefing call in advance of the Israeli Supreme Court’s consideration of the case of Lara Alqasem. We are calling on the Israeli government to admit Alqasem into Israel to pursue her studies at Hebrew University.

Alqasem has become the latest symbol of the fight for an open Israeli society. She is fighting the government’s decision to expel her for her past political affiliation with a student organization that supports boycotts against Israel.

For more background on Lara’s case, click here to read APN’s press release calling on the Israeli government to let her stay.

Click here to join the briefing call on Facebook Live TODAY at 3pm. Speakers will be Leora Bechor, Alqasem's attorney, and MK Tamar Zandberg, leader of the Meretz party.

Thanks for your support,
Americans for Peace Now

This briefing call is co-sponsored by Americans for Peace Now, J Street, Ameinu, National Council of Jewish Women, New Israel Fund, Partners for a Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T’ruah.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (October 15, 2018) - Who’s afraid of criticism?

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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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APN to Israel's Government: Let Lara Alqasem In!  

Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls on the government of Israel to permit entry into Israel to Lara Alqasem, an American of Palestinian descent who received a student visa from an Israeli consulate in the US to undertake a master’s program at Hebrew University.

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ACTION ALERT: Act to Prevent Trump from Launching a War of Choice Against Iran

A new bill introduced in the Senate would block President Trump from launching an unnecessary war against Iran. Introduced by Senator Tom Udall and enjoying bipartisan support, the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 draws on Congressional power of the purse and power to declare war in to constrain the Trump administration. The legislation mandates that no funds may be used for military operations against Iran absent Congressional authorization for such operations or an imminent threat to the United States.

Thank your Senators for signing the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act, and encourage them to do so if they have not.

The possibility that the Trump administration may launch an ill-advised American strike against Iran, reminiscent of the 2003 Iraq war, is real and dangerous. Trump has surrounded himself with Iran war hawks like National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At their counsel, the United States is now violating the Iran nuclear deal, which increases the likelihood of an unnecessary war. And Trump’s Twitter threats against Iran — for example, warning that Iran will “suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” — increase the risk of miscalculation by both sides.

Take action to thank you Senators if they have co-sponsored this bill. If they haven’t yet signed on, ask them to do so now.

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"I'm hanging up now" -- Remembering Sara Ehrman

If you knew the remarkable Sara Ehrman, who died in 2017 at the age of 98, you know that there never was and will never be anyone like her.

Sara was an influential, lifelong advocate for Israel, Jewish, and progressive causes. She was a Capitol Hill legislative staffer, Democratic Party political operative, activist for Middle East peace, and much, much more.

A founder and long-time board member of Americans for Peace Now, Sara was fiercely devoted to bringing about a peaceful conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. APN benefited mightily from her steadfast support, and has established The Sara Fund in her memory. This fund will support programs in the US and Israel that foster intergenerational engagement to advance peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, particularly focusing on women.

Go HERE to donate to The Sara Fund

Sara's life reads like an historic novel, full of twists and turns, adventure, tragedy, suspense, and mystery. She could delight with stories—about meetings with kings, travels with presidents, trips with her sons or "girlfriends," all of them fascinating, all of them funny.

Many of us know the story of a young tenant of Sara's named Hillary Rodham, and how Sara drove her to Arkansas to be with her boyfriend Bill. Sara loved to tell how she spent the full two-day drive passionately trying to convince her not to go -- “Hillary, for God’s sake, he’ll just be a country lawyer down there!”

One of Sara's very early mentors told her that there would never be peace for Israel until there was peace with the Palestinians. She embraced that idea and committed much of her life to working toward a two-state solution that would secure Israel’s future as a Jewish state and a democracy. She helped to establish Americans for Peace Now, and was the driving force behind developing its Washington-based government relations program. She remained an active APN board member and leader until her death.

Sara had elegance, eloquence, and the mouth of a sailor, and her efforts and charm touched all her who knew her. Most importantly, she made a difference in the world.

Thank you for joining us in supporting Sara’s legacy with a donation to The Sara Fund


P.S. Sara Ehrman was a close friend and inspiration to Debra DeLee, who recently stepped down as APN President and CEO after 21 years. Below is Debra's very personal note and encouragement to support The Sara Fund.

P.P.S. Please join us for an event honoring Debra on October 24th in Washington, D.C., and/or help honor her with a donation for a tribute ad (we know Sara would!)

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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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Thirty-four Senators and 112 House members recently released letters to the Trump administration calling on it to restore humanitarian funding to Palestinians, which President Trump has slashed in order to pressure the Palestinian leadership to acquiesce to his unannounced “peace plan.” As Israeli security officials have indicated, this funding is not only essential for Palestinians, it is also critically important for Israeli security.

Did your elected officials sign? Tell them where you stand.

The funding in question was passed by Congress, with bipartisan support, and included aid for:

  • UNRWA, the UN agency which provides critical assistance to Palestinian refugees;
  • Humanitarian programs administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in the West Bank and Gaza;
  • The East Jerusalem Hospital Network which provides essential care for many Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza; and
  • People-to-people conflict mitigation programming which promotes coexistence, particularly among the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians.

Congress allocated this funding because it serves the US national interest in a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the face of Trump’s outrageous decision to cancel all non-security-related funding that benefits Palestinians, Congress must speak out.

Take action to thank your elected representatives if they signed these letters, or take them to task if they did not.

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APN's Dr. Debra Shushan delivered address at Haverford College

Dr. Debra Shushan, APN Policy and Government Relations Director, was recently in the Philadelphia area where she was the featured speaker at a J Street Philadelphia / J Street U event at Haverford College and guest at parlor parties. In her September 30 talk at Haverford entitled "Off the Table: Israeli-Palestinian Peace in the Trump-Netanyahu Era," she surveyed recent developments that threaten prospects for peace - from the rise of illiberal democracy in the US and Israel, to President Trump's efforts to take key issues off the negotiating table - as well as the work that APN and Shalom Achshav in Israel are doing to push back against this tide.

A J Street U leader called the talk "phenomenal" and welcomed further collaboration with APN. 

Educational advocacy is an important part of APN's work. If you are interested in inviting someone from APN's Speakers Bureau to your university, synagogue, church, parlor event, or other gathering, please contact apndc@peacenow.org

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In conversation with Jafar Farah and Nabila Espanioly of the Mossawa Center, APN Political Director Debra Shushan moderated "The Nation-State Law: Implications for Democracy and Peace in Israel/Palestine" on September 27. Watch the video to see how Palestinian citizens of Israel are responding to the new Israeli law that has relegated them to second-class status -- and why they are taking their case abroad. 

 

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APN Refutes Trump’s “Principled Realism” at UN General Assembly

The world laughed at Donald Trump yesterday. In response to his ludicrous assertion that in less than two years his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country” on the world arena, the assembled diplomatic representatives to the UN General Assembly did not conceal their amusement.

Trump earned the ridicule of the United Nations, in particular regarding his administration’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather than advancing peace, the Trump administration has caused more damage than any government in US history.

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