APN to Trump: Stop Impending Wholesale "Legalization" of West Bank Settlement Outposts

The government of Israel seems to be on the verge of legalizing scores of illegal settlement-outposts in the West Bank and making it dramatically easier for Israeli settlers to construct more such outposts on privately-owned Palestinian land.

APN is alarmed by these dangerous developments. We call on the Trump administration, as well as friends of Israel in the United States and worldwide, to tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that more West Bank settlements are not the answer to terrorism and that they further jeopardize Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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Two pieces of controversial legislation may be inserted into a must-pass omnibus spending bill, virtually guaranteeing that they would become law without debate. Please contact your members of Congress to let them know that you oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S.720 and H.R.1697), under the guise of preventing companies from joining boycotts of Israel promoted by international non-governmental organizations, intentionally blurs the distinction between Israel and the occupation. Under this bill, measures targeting West Bank settlements and the occupation would be regarded as targeting Israel. APN opposes the occupation and supports boycotting West Bank settlements. While opposing boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel (BDS), APN believes that boycotts are a legitimate nonviolent expression of protest, which should not be criminalized.

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (S.2940 and H.R.5924) would require the Department of Education to utilize a definition of anti-Semitism employed by the Department of State in assessing whether a school has violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by tolerating anti-Semitic harassment. That definition labels as anti-Semitism certain types of criticism of Israel and the occupation. The definition’s author opposes the ASAA, arguing that his definition was never intended for use on campuses as a means of censoring constitutionally protected free speech. Should it pass, the ASAA likely will have a chilling effect on speech related to Israel on college campuses.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (December 17, 2018) - Middle East persons of the year 2018

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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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APN Condemns Palestinian Terror Attacks; Urges Leaders to Prevent Escalation 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister-organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in condemning this week's Palestinian terrorist attacks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and in urging both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to prevent further escalation.

APN sends its condolences to the families of the victims of this week's attacks and wishes a full recovery to those injured.

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A poll just released by the University of Maryland under the direction of Professor Shibley Telhami should capture the attention of the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli public. The following is a summary of the key findings of the poll:

  • IF A TWO-STATE SOLUTION TO THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT IS NOT AN OPTION: A large majority of Americans favors a democratic Israel with citizenship and full rights for all (64%) over a Jewish Israel in which Palestinians are disenfranchised (26%). This preference was particularly strong among Democrats (78% to 12%). Even a plurality of Republicans (48% to 42%) shares this view.
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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (December 10, 2018) - Bibi, Lebanon, and IDF restraint

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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 new peace generation shall lead

A Message from Letty Cottin Pogrebin - Author, Activist, and APN Board Member:

I am happy to see Shaqued Morag at the helm of Shalom Achschav, Israel’s Peace Now movement, not only because of her proven management skills (and not only because I am always happy to see talented women in positions of leadership and power), but because she is the face and spirit of the peace movement’s new generation.

Shaqued is one of hundreds of thousands young Israelis who are determined to resist their right wing nationalist government and its erosions of democracy. 

Shaqued and her cohort are forcefully demanding that Israel maintain the rule of law, end its occupation of the West Bank, and allow both peoples — Israelis and Palestinians — to bequeath to their children two states living side by side in peace and security.

As Peace Now's partners in the U.S., Americans for Peace Now and its leaders are not naive about the frustrations and challenges of a stalled Israeli- Palestinian peace process. Nevertheless, however grim its prospects at the moment, we know that as long as people of conscience are willing to continue the struggle for peace, our cause is far from lost. Moreover, we believe we owe it to our activists here and in Peace Now in Israel to redouble our efforts to keep hope alive in these dark times. We owe it to Shaqued and her friends. We owe it to every reasonable, justice-minded Israeli. We owe it to every American who believes in human dignity and disavows hatred of The Other. And we owe it to the memory of the eleven Jews slaughtered this fall in Pittsburgh simply for being Jews, a people that continue to be seen as The Other in the eyes of those who trade in demonization and hate.

Rather than surrender to the toxicity and hopelessness permeating today's world, we at APN have recommitted to peace by stepping up our education and advocacy efforts, whether in person, in writing, on our remarkable website (check out its riches), or in concert with Shalom Achschav, our Israeli counterpart. But we need your help to do our work: to provide quality materials, settlement maps, and resources so that legislators, the media, thought leaders, and every American is well informed on all the issues — and fired up enough to effectively resist Netanyahu, Trump, and the extremists who would lead the region into an abyss of perennial conflict and shameful subjugation of another people.

I'm counting on you to stay with us, stand with us, and be inspired by Shaqued’s letter (below) to support us!

Thank you so much.

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APN and Fellow Jewish Organizations Send Letter to Minister Erdan on Airbnb

Americans for Peace Now and fellow progressive Jewish organizations delivered a message yesterday to Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan on his actions relating to Airbnb's decision to delist homes in West Bank Jewish settlements. The letter conveys dismay at Erdan's attempt to enlist US governors to apply pro-settlements laws which are likely unconstitutional.

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APN Mourns the Passing of George H. W. Bush

Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) mourns the passing of President George H. W. Bush and salutes his legacy of efforts to advance peace between Israel and its neighbors. 

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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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