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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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Peace Now Settlement Construction Report for 2019

COVID-19 knows no borders - it does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians

from James B. Klutznick, Chair of the Board, and Aviva Meyer, Vice Chair of the Board and Acting CEO (March 15, 2020)

As global crises typically do, the Coronavirus – its spread, and the looming threat it poses to humankind – provides us with a sense of perspective.

COVID-19 does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians. When threatened by this deadly virus, the two peoples worry together and work together to save lives.

When the forces of nature remind us how vulnerable we are – how equally vulnerable we are – we are humbled. And humbled before these forces, we demonstrate our shared humanity.

Pictured Left: In Hebron, Palestinian women work in a factory amid precautions against the coronavirus (photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA); Right: In Jerusalem, an Israeli medic arrives to test a patient with symptoms of COVID-19 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher (March 16, 2020) - Israel in the Time of Corona

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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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Our shared humanity in a time of crisis

As global crises typically do, the Coronavirus – its spread, and the looming threat it poses to humankind – provides us with a sense of perspective.

COVID-19 does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians. When threatened by this deadly virus, the two peoples worry together and work together to save lives.

When the forces of nature remind us how vulnerable we are – how equally vulnerable we are – we are humbled. And humbled before these forces, we demonstrate our shared humanity.

When Israel was hit by a monstrous fire, Palestinian firefighters crossed the Green Line with their firetrucks and risked their lives to save Israelis. And when Palestinians are hit by COVID-19, Israel’s public health professionals work side by side with their Palestinian colleagues, supplying them with test kits, medicine and knowhow. “There are no borders here…There is no ‘them’ and ‘us,’” Brig. Gen. Ghassan Alian, the commander of Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank, told Israel Radio last week.

In such times, you cannot but wonder why Israelis and Palestinians do not harness their shared humanity, their common sense and their sense of common future to end the bloody conflict between them. Unlike pandemics, wildfires and earthquakes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is manmade. And this manmade calamity can be undone by humans – if they find it within themselves to relate to the other as humans, as equals, as equally human.

We at Americans for Peace Now know as well as anyone how complicated the conflict is. We’ve been documenting it and advocating ways to address and resolve its components for many years. We know how difficult it is to untangle the knots of problems like Jerusalem sovereignty, Palestinian refugees, security arrangements, and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. We know that this is not a “senseless” conflict, as some often depict it. It is a conflict between two national movements which claim the same piece of land. In some ways, this is a zero-sum conflict.

But we also know that in recent years, it was mainly attitudinal problems – attitudes among Israeli and Palestinian publics and leaders (and now the White House as well) – which obstructed progress toward conflict resolution. And we know that despite the zero-sum nature of the conflict, there is a win-win compromise solution for it, waiting to be adopted and implemented.

The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually abate and eventually disappear. We don’t know when and we don’t know how many of us, here in America and in the Middle East, it will impact.

We also know that once Coronavirus is contained and defeated, the Israelis and Palestinians that we so deeply care about will be left with a malignant conflict that has been plaguing their societies for almost a century.

There is a viable solution to this conflict, and we hope that the traumatic experience we are currently experiencing will make the solution easier to comprehend, grasp, and achieve.

We at APN, and our brothers and sisters at Israel’s Peace Now movement, will committedly continue to make our contribution to resolving the conflict.

In the coming days and weeks, APN’s staff members will be working offsite, away from our Washington DC office. Regardless, we will do our utmost to provide you with the high-quality educational materials on the conflict that you expect from us.

This is a difficult time for all of us, a truly tumultuous time for nonprofit organizations like ours. Knowing that we can rely on your support allows us to brave the challenges and continue working – both in Israel and the United States – to help pave the way toward conflict resolution.

Thank you for your support,

James B. Klutznick, Chair of the Board
and
Aviva Meyer, Vice Chair of the Board and Acting CEO

Letting a religious zealot like Ambassador Friedman decide the future of the West Bank is like allowing the NRA chief to distribute the U.S. army's rifles among the most fanatical gun enthusiasts 

by Ori Nir (Mar 09, 2020)

While we are following the roller coaster of American and Israeli politics, and as we seek shelter from the alarming spread of the Coronavirus, a committee representing the government of Israel and the Trump administration is carving out vast swaths of the occupied West Bank territory – some 30 percent – for Israel to annex. The mapping will apparently be completed in a matter of weeks, and an Israeli government could go ahead and annex the territory shortly after the committee completes its work.

Let it sink in: After decades of efforts by Republican and Democratic U.S. administrations to reign in Israeli governments’ West Bank settlement practices, the Trump administration is now leading the effort to determine the contours of the settlements, recognizing as them as part of sovereign Israel. 

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Trump's "Peace" Plan Resource Page - APN Items, Recommended Reading, and More

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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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PeaceCast: "From Bereavement to Peace" with Parents Circle's Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan

This episode is based on a live recording of a March 6th, 2020 talk with Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan of the Parents Circle. The two are the protagonists of Apeirogon, the new novel by Colum McCann.

Rami and Bassam lost their daughters to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and both made the decision to harness their bereavement to the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace.  

Listen to the full episode

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FRIEDMAN AT AIPAC - The Friedman File: APN Watch on US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman

President Trump's controversial US Ambassador to Israel has demonstrated that APN was right to oppose his confirmation and subsequently call for his firing.

Based on his actions, statements, and our off-the-record conversations with informed insiders, it is clear that David Friedman is the chief architect behind the Trump administration's thinly concealed push to kill the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Friedman File is APN's comprehensive record documenting the deeds of the settlements enthusiast-cum-ambassador since he assumed his post.

Friedman File [last updated March 9, 2020]

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