Americans for Peace Now mobilized opposition to the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus as Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights in the Department of Education over concerns that he would use his position to suppress free speech and intervene in curricula on college campuses. To our dismay, following his narrow confirmation by the Senate, Marcus has done exactly that. In the latest instance, the Department of Education ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop a plan for remaking their joint Middle East studies program in order to continue receiving federal funding. Among the alleged problems raised was “a considerable emphasis placed on the understanding the positive aspects of Islam” in programming for elementary and secondary school teachers and a lack of “similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion of belief system in the Middle East.”

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APN Joins T'ruah Friend of the Court Letter to Israel's High Court of Justice

Americans for Peace Now signed on to a letter sent by T'ruah, The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, to Israel's High Court of Justice ahead of the Court's hearing of Human Rights Watch's Omar Shakir against the government of Israel's decision to deport him from Israel: 

24 September 2019
Israeli Supreme Court Chief Clerk, Idit Malul
Supreme Court Justices and Registrars
Sha’arei Mishpat St
Jerusalem 9195001 Israel

Dear Ms. Malul,

We write on behalf of five American Jewish organizations in support of Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine Director of Human Rights Watch. We call on the Israeli government to cease its efforts to deport Shakir and on the Israeli Supreme Court to reverse the lower court ruling that upheld the deportation.

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PeaceCast: From Zero-Sum to Peace - Dual Narratives

This episode of APN's podcast features a presentation that Nizar Farsakh and Ori Nir gave at Ithaca College on September 17th. The talk was an attempt to make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more accessible to young people by weaving personal narratives of an Israeli-American and a Palestinian-American into the collective national narratives of Israelis and Palestinians.

Listen to the full episode

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Dual Narratives at Ithaca

On September 17th, Ori Nir participated in two special events at Cornell University and Ithaca College together with Nizar Farsakh, the chair of the Board of the Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington DC.

Farsakh is the former General Director of the PLO Delegation in Washington DC, and a former adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

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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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VIDEO - Israel Election Analysis from APN's Debra Shushan on CGTN, September 19, 2019

Debra Shushan, APN Policy and Government Releations Director, appeared on CGTN on Thursday, September 19 to provide analysis on the results of the Israeli election.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher (September 18, 2019) - Israel's Elections

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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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"The Answer is Peace" - Shaqued Morag, Peace Now Executive Director

This piece by Shaqued Morag, Executive Director of Peace Now, first appeared as a Ha'aretz article and APN has turned into a brochure.

 

I grew up in an era when peace was not a fantasy but an option. When I was nine, the first Oslo agreement was signed with the Palestinians. That year, the song that won Israel’s Festigal, the children’s song festival, was titled “Peace is a Useful Word.” A year later, Yitzhak Rabin signed the peace agreement with Jordan. It was clear that this was what prime ministers were supposed to do. When I was 11, the Oslo II agreement was signed. Shortly thereafter, Rabin was assassinated. At my school in Kfar Malal, they continued to educate for peace. We came every year to Rabin Square for the memorial, welcomed the withdrawal from Lebanon and later from the Gaza Strip, and continued to believe in peace. Because there is no other way.

But what was known to every child in the 1990s, that occupation is temporary, and that peace should be sought, has become much less clear over the years. While “Candlelight Youth” of 1994 grew up to be a high-tech generation, the settlers’ Hilltop Youth settled in Israeli positions of power to make the temporary as permanent as possible. Illegal outposts began to pop up deep in the West Bank, in areas that were not supposed to be part of Israel after the peace agreement. Today, their number exceeds 100. What is being sold to us as a “political deadlock” is actually a very dynamic situation, where facts are set on the ground by a minority that does not wait for Israeli citizens’ approval.

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"Appearances can be deceiving" - A letter for Rosh HaShana from Jim Klutznick, APN Chair

Appearances can be deceiving.  The cafes of Tel Aviv bustle and are full.  Families gather in the gardens of Haifa and float on the Dead Sea.  Even in Jerusalem all appears calm, and the slight whiff of imminent apprehension is barely detectable.  The conflict does not impinge upon the good life.   

And yet, tensions simmer.  Another Israel exists.  Check the budget and see how a constant state of alert devastates funding for Israeli education, for social services, and for investment in infrastructure.  Stroll the cemeteries, and see dates of death following dates of birth in quick succession.  Too quick.  Examine the passerby and count the war injuries, visible in the wheelchairs and the prostheses.  Read the public opinion polls giving voice to the low esteem in which the “Occupier,” is held.  Visit the mosques in Nablus or in Gaza and hear the hatred dripping venomously from the imams’ tongues.  And then ask yourself, soberly, is doing nothing but accepting the status quo the best possible program?

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