It is with the heaviest of hearts that APN today grieves the loss of our dear friend and longtime APN Board Member Leonard “Leibel” Fein. We know that Leibel will be mourned by the countless people he touched through his writings and his personal contacts across a life that spanned eight decades of extraordinary professional accomplishments, including as a writer, a teacher, and a prolific columnist; as the founder of Moment Magazine; as the founder of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger; and as the founder of the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy.
Q. Last week, Israelis appeared to think the Gaza war was over. Now we seem to have entered a cycle of
ceasefires and negotiations. Has a new dynamic emerged?
A. Yes. Roughly speaking, it breaks down as follows. Both sides are now completely dependent on Egyptian mediation: Israel willingly, because Egypt is more hostile than ever to Hamas and is strategically friendly to Israel; and Hamas unwillingly, having lost any capacity to recruit its supporters Turkey and Qatar to mediate and having accepted that the West Bank-based PLO and Palestinian Authority represent it.
Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann spoke with APN on August 11, 2014, to describe the impact of the Gaza war on Jewish-Arab relations in Jerusalem. "Hatred has been personalized and intensified to an unprecedented level," he said. "Today, Jerusalem is more divided than ever. The virtual borders are impenetrable."
With official representatives of Israel and Hamas indirectly negotiating a ceasefire agreement in Cairo today, Americans for Peace Now (APN) is strongly urging the government of Israel, the Obama administration, and all stakeholders in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts to bring the PLO and the Palestinian Authority – the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinians – back into a final-status peace negotiations process.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "It's time to pivot from war to real, credible peacemaking. Everyone knows what such peacemaking requires, including U.S. leadership that is prepared to hold both parties accountable for their actions. The only one viable way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution – Israel and Palestine, each living in recognized borders in peace and security. The only legitimate interlocutor for negotiating such a settlement on behalf of the Palestinians is the PLO, headed by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, having signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas earlier this year, the PLO is well-positioned to negotiate on behalf of all the Palestinians, to make hard decisions around the negotiating table, and to deliver when time comes to implement a peace agreement."
Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av), which is observed beginning the evening of August 4th this year, is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. It is considered the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.
August 2, 2014
RAMALLAH, West Bank — I HAD held off coming to Israel, hoping the situation in Gaza would clarify — not in terms of what’s happening, but how it might end in a stable way.
The following interview with Amos Oz, a co-founder of Israel's Peace Now movement and an icon of Israel's peace movement, was published in the English edition of the German Deutsche Welle
Oz: 'Lose-lose situation for Israel'
30 July, 2014
Israel's ground offensive against Gaza is excessive, Israeli writer Amos Oz tells DW. But he also criticizes Hamas' strategy, in which both Israeli and Palestinian victims boost the organization's standing in Gaza.
Amoz Oz: I would like to begin the interview in a very unusual way: by presenting one or two questions to your readers and listeners. May I do that?
Deutsche Welle: Go ahead!
Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?
Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?
With these two questions I pass the interview to you.
Walzer, a longtime member of APN's Board of Directors, is America's leading expert on ethics in wartime, and one of America's foremost political philosophers. He is the author of the iconic Just and Unjust Wars, a practical analysis of the Just War doctrine, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, the co-editor of Dissent, and contributing editor to the New Republic, where he published a new analysis of the ethical dilemmas of the Israel-Hamas war.
Last semester, Ori Nir, APN’s Director of Communications and Public Engagement, came to American University to speak, and it was a jam-packed event. Some students came for the free pizza, but everyone stayed for Ori’s intelligent, open, and engaging conversation on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. That was when I knew I had to intern for APN.
Interning this summer with APN has given me invaluable tools to continue being a leader on campus and in general, and has taught me how to effectively do my part to work for peace. It is imperative that APN is able to continue their powerful campus outreach and internship programs. Please support APN’s efforts to empower the next leaders of the Jewish community and the country. I hope to raise $5,000 to help APN do this. At this time of chaos and violence, it is especially important that APN has the resources it needs to continue reaching out to young students and leaders who envision a brighter future. With APN’s help, we will work to make that future a reality.
Summer Intern, 2014
Americans for Peace Now