Last week, J Street U, the campus arm of J Street, wrapped up its inaugural free trip to Israel for Jewish college students. The “Let My People Know” trip was conceived as a response to protests against Birthright, which does not include meetings with Palestinians on its trips, or discussions about the occupation.

While the debate around Birthright has received significant national attention, there are some Israel tours for college students that are going unnoticed. These trips are led by organizations with explicit right-wing political agendas that have a dangerous potential to affect young US Jews’ understanding of Israel and the occupation in the years to come.

Groups like Hasbara Fellowships (HF) and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) recruit to their tours Jewish and pro-Israel leaders on campuses. They attempt to inculcate in these leaders support for the occupation and illiberal Israeli policies, such as displacement of Bedouin Israelis from their villages in the Negev.

How do I know? I participated in ZOA and Hasbara tours for campus leaders. I witnessed firsthand their efforts to generate support for extremist policies and their attempts to brand dissent as anti-Israel.

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Trump's extremist, maverick pro-settler envoys, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, aren't resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They're fueling it - and Congress should investigate

With ten-pound hammers in their hands and ecstatic religious-nationalist zeal in their hearts, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and White House Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt stood underneath the most religiously volatile place on earth, and smashed a wall – and with it, any last semblance of reasonable U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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VIDEO - APN's Debra Shushan on TRT's "The Newsmakers" re: Kushner's "Peace Plan"

Debra Shushan, APN Director of Policy and Government Relations, appeared on a panel for TRT's "The Newsmakers".  See a clip of Debra speaking on the Trump Administration's "Peace Plan" and its statements and actions contrary to a two-state solution.

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APN/Peace Now in the News - June 7-14, 2019

Forward: "David Friedman Is A Joke. He Should Be Fired." by APN's Ori Nir (June 12, 2019)

Last week, an Israeli armed with nothing but an avocado robbed two banks in the southern city of Beer Sheva. He told the terrified tellers he was holding a hand grenade...

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JTA: "David Friedman gave Netanyahu half a nod for West Bank annexation. What happens next?" (June 11, 2019)

APN's Debra Shushan: "U.S. Ambassador Friedman's green-lighting of annexation, which Prime Minister Netanyahu will find difficult to resist, will be the ruin of the Zionist dream of Israel as a democratic national home for the Jewish people."

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The Jerusalem Post (JTA): "AIPAC, J Street Support Restoring Israel-Palestine Peace Dialogue Funding (June 7, 2019)

The bill announced Wednesday has drawn support from groups that are often at odds over peace policy, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which generally aligns with the Israeli government on security issues, and J Street and Americans for Peace Now, which have frequently criticized the Netanyahu government's and Trump administration's approaches to the conflict.

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Forward Op-Ed by APN's Ori Nir: "David Friedman Is A Joke. He Should Be Fired."

Last week, an Israeli armed with nothing but an avocado robbed two banks in the southern city of Beer Sheva. He told the terrified tellers he was holding a hand grenade. And although the average Israeli eats more avocados than anyone elsewhere in the world besides Mexico, Chile, and Peru, the tellers failed to realize that they were being held up by a piece of fruit.

In a couple of weeks, politicians and business people will gather in Manama, Bahrain for an economic “workshop” to raise money for the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian “peace plan” — the so-called “Ultimate Deal” or “Deal of the Century” — which is still under wraps.

Why all the quotation marks? Because Team Trump, the three people the President has appointed to lead this effort, knows that what they have in their hand is an avocado: inedible and hard today, putrid tomorrow.

(This piece originally appeared in the Forward HERE)

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APN/Peace Now In the News - May 24-June 7

Ha'aretz: "Democrats With Eye on White House Increasingly Willing to Bash Bibi While Supporting Israel" (June 7, 2019)

Debra Shushan, director of policy at American for Peace Now, told Haaretz that "Democratic presidential candidates are getting the memo: While likely voters in the Democratic presidential primaries continue to support Israel, they disapprove of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his anti-peace, pro-occupation policies..."

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Canadian Jewish News: "Shaqued Morag: You can love Israel and criticize it" (June 3, 2019)

Shaqued Morag is the executive director of Peace Now...The CJN spoke with her on May 17 in Toronto.

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Al Monitor: "Contradictory moves to rescue Palestinian economy" (May 24, 2019)

Ori Nir, spokesman of Americans for Peace Now, told Al-Monitor that the Trump administration's approach brings the conflict back to the 1970s and 1980s...

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APN / Peace Now In The News - May 3, 2019

Ha'aretz Opinion: "Kushner rejects calls to delay release of Mideast peace plan" (May 3, 2019)

Ori Nir, a former Israeli journalist with Americans for Peace Now, which supports a two-state solution, said he also has urged the Trump administration to hold off on presenting its peace plan. The concern, he explained, is that when it is likely rejected by the Palestinian Authority, it could lead the right-wing Israeli government to declare they have no peace partner and to possibly annex territory in the West Bank.

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APN / Peace Now In The News - April 22, 2019

Ha'aretz Opinion: "American Jews, Resist Netanyahu Like He's Trump" by APN's Ori Nir (April 22, 2019)

Netanyahu's new government - even more predatory and defiant than before - must usher in a fundamental shift in American Jews' activism against Israel's extremists and their alliance with Trump

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APN's Ori Nir - Ha'aretz Opinion: "American Jews, Resist Netanyahu Like He's Trump"

Go HERE for "American Jews, Don't Walk Away From Israel" by Debra Shushan, APN Director of Policy and Government Relations

In the coming months - and probably years - Americans will witness Israel sliding faster and deeper than ever before toward becoming an anti-democratic, intolerant, annexationist, jingoistic, fanatical, xenophobic state.

The trajectory is not new. But following Israel's general elections, the slope’s incline is steeper than ever before. Benjamin Netanyahu’s next coalition may be (much) more of the same in terms of its makeup, but its policies may well mark a paradigm shift. 

With the Trump administration’s almost unrestricted backing, Netanyahu’s new government will be much more predatory and defiant in its establishing facts on the ground that preclude a peace settlement with the Palestinians and undermine democracy. 

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APN/Peace Now In the News - April 6-12, 2019

Ha'aretz Opinion: "American Jews, Don't Walk Away From Israel" by APN's Debra Shushan (April 11, 2019)

Netanyahu's re-election is a black day for solidly liberal American Jews, whose relations with a pro-Trump Israel were already in crisis. But we can't give up...

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JTA: "Israel approves thousands of new West Bank housing units" (April 8, 2019)

"The construction of the settlements only makes it harder to end the occupation and to get to a two states peace agreement and is bad for the Israeli interest to remain a democratic and secured state," Peace Now said in a statement...

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NPR: "After A Decade Of Netanyahu, Hopes Fade For A Palestinian State" (April 8, 2019)

About three-quarters of the construction has taken place in settlements deep in the West Bank "that Israel will probably need to evict in the framework of a two-state agreement," said Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, a settlement watchdog group.

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