Hard Questions, Tough Answers (January 9, 2018) - Israeli Elections on April 9th

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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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A short, modest man ... a literary giant

Seven years ago, Amos Oz stopped by APN’s Washington DC office to record this video. It was a last-moment initiative. I scrambled to prepare our clunky recording equipment, and then rushed to meet him at the elevator. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was. I’ve read all his books – some of them twice – and have always admired him for his literary achievements and for his dedication to peace and security for Israel.

Out of the elevator emerged a short, modest man, warm and upbeat.

As I attached the microphone to his jacket, I told him that his book A Tale of Love and Darkness helped me better know my mother. She grew up in the same Jerusalem neighborhood as he did, not far from his parents’ home, and shared many of the childhood experiences Oz describes in the book. He saw how emotional I was. He placed his warm hand on my shoulder and said: “This makes me very happy, your relationship with your mother.”

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Video - Amos Oz speaks to American friends of Israel (2011)

Go HERE to support the work of Americans for Peace Now and its Israeli partner Peace Now

"Make peace," she said...

As part of a group of non-Israeli academics assembled by Tel Aviv University, I visited the Temple Mount in July 2017. On the next day, two Israeli border police officers were shot there in a terror attack. I had the opportunity to make a condolence visit to Hurfeish, the Druze village in the Galilee from which the two policemen (who were cousins) hailed. In the intimate setting of the room in which female relatives were mourning, I told an aunt of the slain men that I was coming to work for the American sister organization of Shalom Achshav and wanted to help in any way I could.

She looked at me, grief-stricken and weary, and said, "Make peace."

A month later, I joined Americans for Peace Now as Policy Director. My path to APN was not conventional. I am a political scientist and Middle East politics expert by training. I came to APN following ten years of teaching at America’s second-oldest university (the College of William and Mary), as a specialist in foreign policies of Arab states. I never aspired to work for a Jewish organization. But with a mother who was born in a refugee camp in Germany in 1946 and as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, my Jewish identity is a core part of who I am and Israel has always been a central piece of that identity. Related to that is the abiding commitment I’ve made throughout my life to public service.

I left the Ivory Tower and came to work for APN in August 2017, when the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace weren’t exactly heating up. Am I a little nuts? Possibly. But no more so than the right-wing settlers who picked up their game when it looked like the Oslo process would defeat them. It’s precisely when the odds are against us that we must redouble our commitment—and put our energy and money where our ideals are, as our opponents do. We must do more than look for hope; we must generate it ourselves.

Like the Druze of Hurfeish and our brave comrades at Peace Now in Israel who can’t and won’t walk away, I am committed. I am hopeful. I feel privileged to represent you and our shared two-state, pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda – whether I’m working with Congressional staff, debating spokesmen for the settlers on Israeli TV, writing for Haaretz, authoring a report on annexation, or equipping passionate college students with the knowledge they need to be effective advocates.

If you haven’t yet made your end-of-year gift to APN please do so now, and give generously. We know you don’t have the bottomless resources of Sheldon Adelson. But if all of our supporters step up their game, my talented colleagues and I can do so much more to fight for an Israel unburdened by occupation: democratic, at peace, closer to our values, and a national home for the Jewish people.

Happy New Year to all!

With best wishes,

Debra Shushan, PhD
APN Director of Policy and Government Relations

APN Mourns the Passing of Amos Oz, an Iconic Leader of Israel's Peace Movement

Americans for Peace Now (APN) sends its condolences to the Oz family and to the people of Israel, who today lost Amos Oz, a literary giant, a beacon of morality and humanity, and a founder of Israel’s peace movement.

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2018's Top Quotes and Outrages

When Jerusalem-based journalist Orly Halpern edits the daily edition of News Nosh, APN's daily roundup of news from Israel, she chooses the quote of the day and the outrage of the day, which she dubs "you must be kidding."

The Following is a small selection of the quotes and outrages featured in News Nosh in 2018.

If you have not yet subscribed to News Nosh, please subscribe here. It’s free! If you have, please make a donation to support this one-of-a-kind APN publication.

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Peace Now Settlement Watch: 2,191 Settlement Housing Units Advanced on Christmas

Summary
  • The Higher Planning Committee approved today and yesterday construction plans for 2,191 housing units in the settlements. Another plan for 68 new housing units in Givat Ze'ev was discussed but no decision has yet been made.
  • 87% of the units approved can be found in the isolated settlements that Israel will likely need to evacuate within the framework of a two-state agreement: 1,908 units east of the proposed route of the Geneva Initiative; 283 units west of it.
  • 1,159 housing units have been approved for validation (the final major hurdle before it is possible to issue building permits) and 1,032 housing units approved for deposit (the first stage of the planning process after which the deposit of the plan is published).
  • Two plans are designed to regulate illegal outposts, giving them legal status - Ibei Hanahal and Gvaot.
  • One plan establishes a new settlement adjacent to the Mitzpeh Danny outpost in the form of an educational institution with boarding schools and residential units.
  • Three plans for new settlements in the form of new industrial zones.
  • In 2018 in total, the amount of units in plans advanced came to 5,618 units, of which 83% (4,672) are in the isolated settlements east of the Geneva Initiative line.

The full list of settlement plans advanced can be found here.

Peace Now: In 2018, the government advanced thousands of housing units, including most which can be found in isolated settlements deep inside the West Bank that Israel will eventually have to evacuate. Those who build these places have no intention of achieving peace and a two-state solution. The latest announcement, which as an aside was cynically passed on Christmas while most Western governments are on holiday, shows that Netanyahu is willing to sacrifice Israeli interests in favor of an election gift to the settlers in an attempt to attract a few more votes from his right-wing flank.

Significant Plans

Regulating the outpost of Ibei Hanahal (Plan No. 413/4/1) for the construction of 98 housing units in the outpost of Ibei Hanahal was approved. The outpost was established in 1999 without permission or building permits in a remote area southeast of Bethlehem. The plan defines the settlement as a "neighborhood" of the Ma'ale Amos settlement, enabling the government to avoid having to formally declare the establishment of a new settlement.

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Why 2 States?

"I sometimes feel like I’m consulting with the management of Peace Now"
- Reportedly said to Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot by Avigdor Lieberman upon his resignation as Israel Defense Minister.


Americans for Peace Now is validated by Israel's top security officials, who consistently agree with solutions that we and our Israeli Peace Now partners offer -- namely resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution that secures Israel's future as a liberal democracy and as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Our Brochure "Why Two States" demonstrates why this solution is so crucial for Israel's future, and provides quotes from many of Israel's leading security chiefs in support of this position.

Please help us advance our mission
with a tax-deductible donation.

 

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"Make peace," she said

As part of a group of non-Israeli academics assembled by Tel Aviv University, I visited the Temple Mount in July 2017. On the next day, two Israeli border police officers were shot there in a terror attack. I had the opportunity to make a condolence visit to Hurfeish, the Druze village in the Galilee from which the two policemen (who were cousins) hailed. In the intimate setting of the room in which female relatives were mourning, I told an aunt of the slain men that I was coming to work for the American sister organization of Shalom Achshav and wanted to help in any way I could.

She looked at me, grief-stricken and weary, and said, "Make peace."

Continue reading

Statement of Pro-Diplomacy Groups Regarding U.S. Policy Toward Iran

Pro-diplomacy groups representing millions of American voters urge lawmakers to publicly articulate and support the following principles with respect to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and created a much-needed diplomatic relationship between Iran, the United States, and U.S. allies:
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