Mandy Patinkin Video – I support Peace Now, not peace later!

In a recent letter they sent on behalf of Americans for Peace Now, Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody included the story about Mandy’s experience following a concert he gave to benefit APN. The above video was of Mandy telling it, with his recognizable flair, at a 2012 Peace Now conference in Israel.

Join Mandy and Kathryn in supporting Americans for Peace Now with a tax-deductible donation.

Go HERE to read their letter. You will find reflections about past visits to Israel and the West Bank, and a compelling account of why they are so committed and passionate about supporting Americans for Peace Now.

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"Christmas in Bethlehem" - PeaceCast with former mayor Vera Baboun - Intro from Rabbi Shira Stutman

At this time of the year, we all look for light and cherish it.

This year, as we struggle with a deadly pandemic and with so much darkness around us, it is incumbent upon us, more than ever, to share the light and spread it.

As I was adding candles to my hanukiah last week, I listened to an interview on Americans for Peace Now’s podcast with Vera Baboun, the former mayor of Bethlehem.

She spoke about the sadness of celebrating Christmas in the midst of a socially distancing pandemic, under occupation, with no tourists at Manger Square and with hardly any freedom of movement for her fellow Palestinians.

Vera is a peace activist, a staunch supporter of peace with Israel. On her PeaceCast conversation, albeit somber, Vera did not forget to share the light of hope for peace from Bethlehem. We must extend our arms toward each other, not simply reach out our hands, she said, “in order to bring a peace that we both deserve, Israelis and Palestinians.”

I am joining Vera in wishing peace to her Palestinian compatriots and to her Israeli neighbors, and in wishing our Christian friends a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year.

In this coming year, may the Almighty lift up His face unto us, and give us peace.

Salam - Shalom - Peace,

Rabbi Shira

 


Shira Stutman is Senior Rabbi at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington DC.

Hope and Determination - Letter from Kathryn Grody and Mandy Patinkin

Dear Friend,

Thirty-eight years ago, when my wife Kathryn and I were expecting our first child, we went to Israel to research the movie Yentl. I stayed at an Orthodox Yeshiva, and Kathryn at The American Colony Hotel. The next day we spent a beautiful day in Hebron, surrounded by curious children happy to meet visiting Americans, and went on a tour of a vibrant neighborhood, guided spontaneously by a sweet stranger at the Cave Of The Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Our baby boy moved fiercely when visiting this tomb, and we decided that was a sign that he should be named Isaac. Fast forward almost 40 years, when I was filming an episode of Homeland, and I traveled to Israel and Palestine. Once again, I visited Hebron. But this time, traveling with Israeli peace activists from Shalom Achshav, those thriving streets Kathryn and I had seen were no longer.

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Ginna Green: "I am grateful to be on this road with you"

Earlier this fall, when my friend Hadar asked me to be a part of APN’s commemoration of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, marking 25 years since he was killed at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, I immediately said yes. For not only am I, like Hadar and all of you, a seeker of justice and peace and have dedicated my life to healing the world, but Prime Minister Rabin holds a particular place in my history and my heart. 

Those of you who heard me speak in October may remember that I described how Rabin’s assassination took place in my senior year of high school. Each graduating senior was asked to give a senior speech around the time of their birthday. After dithering and waiting to write my speech, unsure as to what I would say that might sound prophetic or at least a little bit interesting, as I watched the terrible news unfold on November 4, 1995, I knew at last what I would talk about.

 
Click HERE or the above photo to watch Ginna Green's remarks at APN's Yitzhak Rabin 25-Year Memorial Event 

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Message of Hope and Commitment, and Supporting APN, from Hagit Ofran, Peace Now Settlement Watch Director

Last week, over 150 APN supporters joined me and Hadar Susskind and Ori Nir to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing annexation of the West Bank, and to begin to predict the impact the incoming Biden administration may have on this seemingly intractable issue.

We at Settlement Watch, the Shalom Achshav program designed to monitor and evaluate the impact of Israel’s settlement enterprise on the chances for a two state solution and on Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are grateful for your keen interest and concern over the growing threat that the settlements pose to peace.

Knowing that our APN family is championing our work helps us renew our commitment each day to fighting the expansion of the settlements and the de facto annexation that has been taking place for years, and which has ramped up shamelessly during the four years of the Trump/Bibi alliance.

CONTINUE READING

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RECORDING - "An Israel-Palestine Policy for the Biden Administration" - 12/28 Webinar with Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes

Monday, December 28, 12 Noon (Eastern)
"An Israel-Palestine Policy for the Biden Administration" -  Webinar with Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes

Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes, co-author of a new report that offers a policy blueprint for the incoming Biden administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy, where she focuses on U.S. policy in the Middle East. She served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from November of 2009 to January 2012, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East during the Arab uprisings. Among other publications, she is the author of How Israelis and Palestinians Negotiate: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Oslo Peace Process.


This webinar was part of our series on the impact of the US presidential transition on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ginna Green: "I am grateful to be on this road with you"

Earlier this fall, when my friend Hadar asked me to be a part of APN’s commemoration of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, marking 25 years since he was killed at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, I immediately said yes. For not only am I, like Hadar and all of you, a seeker of justice and peace and have dedicated my life to healing the world, but Prime Minister Rabin holds a particular place in my history and my heart. 

Those of you who heard me speak in October may remember that I described how Rabin’s assassination took place in my senior year of high school. Each graduating senior was asked to give a senior speech around the time of their birthday. After dithering and waiting to write my speech, unsure as to what I would say that might sound prophetic or at least a little bit interesting, as I watched the terrible news unfold on November 4, 1995, I knew at last what I would talk about.


 
Click HERE or the above photo to watch Ginna Green's remarks at APN's Yitzhak Rabin 25-Year Memorial Event 


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From Forward: 15 American-Jewish Leaders on how to bridge the divide between Israel and the Diaspora:

Hadar Susskind, President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now: American Jews overwhelmingly support Israel, believing deeply in the idea of a Jewish and democratic state. They also overwhelmingly oppose endless occupation, annexation, and the apartheid-like reality that annexation would bring. Unfortunately, recent Israeli governments have doubled down on occupation and raised the specter of annexation, while at the same time weakening Israeli democracy through the passage of the Nation State Law. To bridge the divide between Israel and American Jews, Israeli leaders must recommit to the long neglected “democratic” nature of Israel, showing that it is as important as the “Jewish” character.

The article also has comments from friends of APN such as Rabbi Jill Jacobs of T'ruah, Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street, and Libby Lenkinski.

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Last week, over 150 APN supporters joined me and Hadar Susskind and Ori Nir to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing annexation of the West Bank, and to begin to predict the impact the incoming Biden administration may have on this seemingly intractable issue.

We at Settlement Watch, the Shalom Achshav program designed to monitor and evaluate the impact of Israel’s settlement enterprise on the chances for a two state solution and on Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are grateful for your keen interest and concern over the growing threat that the settlements pose to peace.

Knowing that our APN family is championing our work helps us renew our commitment each day to fighting the expansion of the settlements and the de facto annexation that has been taking place for years, and which has ramped up shamelessly during the four years of the Trump/Bibi alliance.

Trump promised “the deal of the century” when he took office, but, needless to say, Palestinians were not included in that promise. His policies wound up instituting a total reversal of previous U.S. involvement, and included a complete defunding of all US aid programs to the Palestinians, including humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees.

What’s more, with U.S. backing, the push to strengthen the settlements has intensified, including building roads and infrastructure that will encourage a projected million more settlers to move into the West Bank in the coming years. Everything that might support the development of a two-state solution has essentially withered on the vine over the past four years.

Given this disheartening overview, I was asked on the call if we have reached the point of no return. I still say no. If we succumb to the idea that there is no road to peace, then we’d be dooming Israel to operating as a segregationist, occupying force forever. That is not the future that I want for me, for my children, or for the Palestinians who share this land with us.

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Audio recording of the APN Webinar from December 9, 2020 - LISTEN

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

Palestinian leader, legislator, activist, and scholar

Dr. Ashrawi discussed the Palestinian perspective on the Trump to Biden transition, and examined the state of US-Palestinian relations after Donald Trump’s four years in the White House, the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to push the reset button on the relationship as President-elect Biden prepares to enter the Oval Office next month, and the Palestinian expectations from the Biden administration. 

Dr. Ashrawi has recently resigned after long serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. She has held official positions with the Palestinian Authority, was a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and founded the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (MIFTAH). She is considered one of the most compelling spokespeople for the Palestinian national cause.

LISTEN

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Support Americans for Peace Now by Shopping at Amazon Smile

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate to APN (at no extra cost to you!).

Shop now

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PeaceCast Episode #158: West Bank Settlements Between Trump and Biden, with Hagit Ofran

This webinar is part of APN's series on the Israel-Palestine implications of the transition from the Trump administration to president-elect Biden’s administration.

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