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Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 2:00 pm (ET)

Jerusalem Crisis: What's Happening, What's Being Done, What's Needed

with Huda Abuarquob, Hagit Ofran, and Daniel Seidemann

Recent days have seen an escalation in violence in Jerusalem — even beyond what normally takes place around Jerusalem Day. With the violent events at Al Aqsa Mosque, police crackdowns on Palestinian protesters, the threat of home evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and today’s incendiary Flag March, the city is in a state of crisis. This is a highly volatile and dynamic situation—and we don’t know where it will lead. 

This conversation featured leading Palestinian and Israeli experts from Jerusalem to update about what is happening on the ground, what Israelis and Palestinians are doing, and what we can do from afar.  

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Cosponsored by: Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), the New York Jewish Agenda (NYJA), and the Progressive Israel Network (PIN), a coalition which includes Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now (APN), Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair, Jewish Labor Council, JStreet, New Israel Fund (NIF), Partners for Progressive Israel (PPI), Reconstructing Judaism and T’ruah.

SPEAKERS:

Huda Abuarquob is Alliance for Middle East Peace's (ALLMEP) on-the-ground regional director in 2014. She has years of experience in conflict resolution, NGO leadership, and social change education and activism, as well as a life-long commitment to building strong people-to-people Israeli-Palestinian relations. She is a well-known speaker on issues related to Middle East politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Huda is the oldest of twelve children, the daughter of respected Palestinian educators, and an aunt to twenty-two nieces and nephews. Born in Jerusalem, she has traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East, lived for six years in the U.S., and now resides in Hebron.

Daniel Seidemann is an Israeli attorney specializing in Israeli-Palestinian relations, with an emphasis on Jerusalem. He is the founder and director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, an NGO that works towards a resolution to the question of Jerusalem that is consistent with the two-state solution.

Hagit Ofran is the Co-Director of Peace Now's Settlement Watch project and has two decades of expertise on issues related to the settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. She is widely recognized as Israel's foremost expert on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 2:00 pm (ET)

A Briefing on New Human Rights Watch Report on Israeli Violations of Palestinian Rights

with Omar Shakir and Eric Goldstein

A new report by Human Rights Watch on Israeli violations of Palestinian rights is ruffling feathers in Israel and beyond. The comprehensive report, “A Threshold Crossed,” is based on years of documenting violations of Palestinian human rights, to state, controversially, that “Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians” in order to maintain “Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land.” The report contends that these violations “are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

To better understand how the world’s leading human rights organization has reached such harsh conclusions, APN hosted a webinar with Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director, Omar Shakir, and Eric Goldstein, Director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division.

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Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, investigates human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Prior to his current role, he was a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on US counterterrorism policies, including legal representation of Guantanamo detainees. As the 2013-14 Arthur R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellow at Human Rights Watch, he investigated human rights violations in Egypt, including the Rab’a massacre, one of the largest killings of protesters in a single day. A former Fulbright Scholar in Syria, Omar holds a JD from Stanford Law School, where he co-authored a report on the civilian consequences of US drone strikes in Pakistan as a part of the International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Affairs, and a BA in International Relations from Stanford. He speaks English and Arabic.

Eric Goldstein, acting Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division, is an expert on Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Western Sahara. He has conducted research missions to these and other regions of the Middle East since the 1980s, writing numerous reports for Human Rights Watch and publishing articles in news media and academic journals. He has taught courses on human rights at Princeton and Georgetown universities. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Goldstein worked at the Committee to Protect Journalists. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University.

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APN Webinar (Thursday, April 29, 2021) - Evangelical Support of Israel's Settlement Enterprise

Please join us for this timely webinar.

Thursday, April 29, 2021, 3:00 pm (ET)

Evangelical Support of Israel's Settlement Enterprise

with Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon

What are the theological concerns at the core of evangelical support of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem? What material support for settlements in the occupied territories have American Christians provided? And what do U.S. churches who support Israel think about settlements?

These are some of the questions to be addressed in our April 29th, 3:00 pm (ET) webinar with Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). CMEP is a coalition of 30 national Church communions and organizations that works to encourage pro-peace U.S. policies, and which opposes the occupation and the settlements.

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Ordained in an evangelical denomination, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon has first-hand experience in evangelical engagement with Israel. Dr. Cannon’s doctorate, Mischief Making in Palestine, focused on the historic engagement of American Christians in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. She is the editor of A Land Full of God, a book that discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Christian perspective, which is pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian and pro-peace.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 1:00 pm (ET)

Israel-Palestine on Capitol Hill

with Congressman Mark Pocan

The dynamics and politics of working on Israeli-Palestinian affairs on Capitol Hill have changed over time, as have the dynamics of advancing progressive sensibilities in Congress.

APN hosted a webinar to discuss these topics with Rep. Mark Pocan, one of the House leading progressives. APN President Hadar Susskind will engage Rep. Pocan in a conversation on April 21st.

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Congressman Mark Pocan has represented Wisconsin's 2nd district in Congress for 8 years. Over that time he has become a leader and a progressive champion on many issues, including Israel/Palestine. Rep. Pocan is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee. He is also the Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

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Friday, April 16, 2021, 1:00 pm (ET)

Palestinian Elections: A Guide for the Perplexed 

with Daoud Kuttab

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are gearing up for three rounds of elections over the summer, beginning with parliamentary elections on May 22nd.

The election campaign is revitalizing Palestinian public life, creating new alliances, and producing many questions.

To help decipher the latest developments on the way to Palestinian elections, with an emphasis on the upcoming May 22 Palestinian legislative elections, we hosted veteran Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab for a webinar on Friday, April 16th.

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Award winning Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab is director of the Community Media Network in Amman, Jordan. He is the former editor of Al-Fajr English weekly newspaper, a columnist for the Arabic language al-Quds daily and a regular contributor to leading American newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

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APN Webinar (Friday, April 9 , 2021) - Antisemitism: Competing Definitions

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Friday, April 9, 2021, 1:00 pm (ET)

Antisemitism: Competing Definitions

A conversation with Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Lara Friedman, moderated by Hadar Susskind

The definition of antisemitism, which many consider to be intuitive, has recently become controversial. Now, there are three definitions trending. In addition to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) “working definition of antisemitism,” there is the new Nexus definition, and the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA), which offer different perspectives and help generate a deeper, more complex discussion on the nature of antisemitism and proper ways of confronting it.     

This discussion was jointly sponsored by Americans for Peace Now and T’ruah, The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. It featured Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the Executive Director of T’ruah, and Lara Friedman, the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), and was moderated by Hadar Susskind, the president and CEO of Americans for Peace Now.

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Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Truah’s Executive Director, holds rabbinic ordination and an MA in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she was a Wexner Fellow, an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, and a BA from Columbia University. She is the author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community and There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice through Jewish Law and Tradition.

Lara Friedman, FMEP’s President, is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents and a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). Prior to joining FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. She holds Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign and a B.A. from the University of Arizona.

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Thursday, March 25, 2021, 11:00 am (ET)

Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin

Political Analyst, Pollster, Fellow at the Century Foundation

Following an election campaign that pundits depict as the sleepiest in Israel’s history, Israelis went to the polls for the fourth time in two years. Election fatigue notwithstanding, the results of this round could be more consequential than the past three. Will Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc win the coveted 61 MK majority for him to form a coalition? Will the opposition gain enough votes to foil such a government? Will the Kahanist extremists cross the threshold to make it into the Knesset? Will Meretz? And how are the Arab parties going to fair?


Dr. Scheindlin is a public opinion expert and an international political and strategic consultant, as well as a scholar and a writer. She has advised and conducted research on seven national campaigns in Israel over the past twenty years, and has provided research and advising for elections, referendums, and civil society campaigns in fifteen different countries.

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APN Webinar (Thursday, March 4, 2021) - with Bernard Avishai and Sam Bahour

Below you may access a recording of this webinar.

Thursday, March 4, 2021, 12:00 pm (ET)

The Israeli-Palestinian Confederation Model - with Bernard Avishai and Sam Bahour

Co-authors of the recent New York Times article, "Want Israeli-Palestinian Peace? Try Confederation"

As physical separation between Israel and a future Palestinian state seems increasingly difficult to accomplish, the confederation model is gaining momentum among scholars. Co-authors of a recent New York Times article on the topic, Bernard Avishai and Sam Bahour, discussed the confederation idea on an APN webinar on March 4th, in a conversation with APN Board member Geoffrey Lewis.

Sam Bahour is an American-Palestinian writer and management consultant living in Ramallah. Bernard Avishai is an American-Israeli university professor, author and business consultant living in Jerusalem.

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APN Webinar (Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021) - with MK Meirav Michaeli

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Thursday, February 25, 2021, 12:00 pm (ET)

MK Merav Michaeli

Knesset Member

Israeli citizens will go to the polls in a month to elect a new Knesset. It’s the fourth round in two years, but it’s not déjà vu. There are several new developments. One of them is Merav Michaeli’s fresh leadership at the Labor Party. As the newly elected chair of a party, Michaeli is working to revive it and remake it as a relevant, powerful force in Israeli politics.

What do these elections mean for Israel’s left? What alliances is Israel’s Zionist left willing to create to deny Benjamin Netanyahu another term in office? Can Israeli-Palestinian peace be on the electoral agenda when the elections are first and foremost a referendum on Netanyahu? What are the prospects of a stronger alliance between Israel’s Zionist left and the Arab minority?

Knesset Member Michaeli addressed these and other questions on our briefing call, in conversation with APN Board member Jo Ann Mort and APN President and CEO Hadar Susskind. The webinar, another in a series on the coming elections took place on Thursday, February 25th, at 12:00 noon (EST)

In her nine years in Israeli politics, following a successful career in television and print journalism, MK Michaeli has established herself as a clear, courageous progressive voice, focusing on peace, social justice, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. One of Israel’s leading feminists, Michaeli has been socially active since the late 1990s, when she established a lobbying organization to assist and promote sexual violence victim centers across Israel. As a Knesset member, she consistently speaks out against the occupation and against the Israeli government’s inaction in pursuit of an end to the occupation.

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Recording of APN Feb. 23, 2021 Webinar Michael Sfard on Israel and the ICC

Listen to a recording of this Americans for Peace Now webinar.

Michael Sfard

International Human Rights Activist, Lawyer

The international Criminal Court (ICC) recently ruled that it has jurisdiction over the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — territories under Israeli occupation since 1967. This opens the path for the ICC to launch formal investigations against war crimes suspects, whether Israelis or Palestinians.

What does the ICC’s decision mean for Israel? How is it going to conduct investigations? Are charges against the Israeli individual Israelis imminent? What is the nature of the judicial procedure? Is the threat of ICC proceedings likely to influencing the conduct of the IDF in the occupied territories, or the Israeli government’s West Bank settlement policy? Is it likely to encourage Israel to engage diplomatically with the Palestinians?

Israeli human rights lawyer Michael Sfard addressed these and other questions in this webinar on Tuesday, February 23rd.

Sfard is an Israeli attorney who represents various Israeli and Palestinian human rights and peace organizations, movements, and activists, including Israel’s Peace Now movement. He is an expert in international humanitarian law and international human rights law. He was educated at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at University College in London.

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