Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today told the United Nations General Assembly that due to Israel’s violations of its agreements with the PLO, the Palestinian leadership does not see itself as beholden to those agreements.
APN today called on the Obama Administration to lead or co-lead action in the United Nations Security Council to resuscitate and re-accredit the two-state solution. APN President and CEO Debra DeLee issued the following statement:
“As a pro-Israel, pro-peace organization, we are committed first and foremost to Israel’s security and its survival as a democracy and a state with a proud Jewish character – things that only a two-state peace agreement can deliver. Regrettably, for his entire career – including his three previous terms in office as Prime Minister of Israel – Benjamin Netanyahu has demonstrated by his own actions that rather than seeking Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab peace, he is wholly supportive of settlements and an expansionist ‘Greater Israel’ agenda. And, in the last Israeli election campaign, Netanyahu proudly touted his pro-settlement credentials and unabashedly vowed that no Palestinian state would be established while he is in office.
Washington - Following the last failed effort in the Senate today to kill the JCPOA before the end of the 60-day review period (which expires at midnight), APN President and CEO Debra DeLee issued the following statement:
"APN welcomes the success of Obama Administration-led diplomacy in achieving a diplomatic agreement that, when implemented, will dramatically roll back and limit Iran’s nuclear program and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear program in the future. This agreement is tangible evidence that determined diplomacy, backed by resolute leadership and concrete, sustained engagement, has the potential to overcome and resolve even the toughest challenges in the international arena. APN commends the Obama Administration and its international partners on this historic achievement. APN likewise urges opponents of the JCPOA – in Congress, the Israeli government, and U.S. organizations like AIPAC – to stand down from their efforts to undermine and kill the deal. All who are truly concerned about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran should now focus on ensuring rigorous implementation of the agreement by all sides.
APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented on today's vote in the Senate on the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA):
"This afternoon, the Senate voted with the American people and the world to give the JCPOA a chance. It did so after weeks of careful deliberation, far-reaching consultations with experts, and deep soul-searching. Senators conducted all of this to the backdrop of a campaign of extraordinary pressure from various quarters, including some American Jewish groups and the Israeli government, urging them to ignore the facts, reject experts' analyses, and oppose the agreement.
APN president and CEO Debra DeLee commented today on the state of play of the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Congress:
"It is time for opponents of the deal – in the U.S. Congress, among some U.S. advocacy groups, and in Israel – to recognize that their dream of using a legislative vote of disapproval to block the Iran deal has come to naught, and to cease efforts to further drag out the battle over the deal with petty game-playing that serves only the purposes of political point scoring, at the expense of the vital national security interests of both the U.S. and Israel."
This morning, the 34th member of the Senate came out in support of the Iran deal – meaning that opponents of the deal will not be able to override a presidential veto of a resolution of disapproval of the deal that GOP leaders in Congress intend to pass in the coming days.
APN President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:
“We applaud the 34 U.S. senators who have come out in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the landmark diplomatic agreement to roll back Iran’s nuclear program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We likewise applaud the more than 80 House members who have come out in support of the Iran agreement. By doing so, these lawmakers are showing leadership, clear-eyed vision, and courage. They are doing what is right for America and for Israel – supporting a historic diplomatic achievement that has the potential to prevent war, reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation, and, we hope, lead to greater security and stability in the future.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in strongly condemning the expanded Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, and warns against the repercussions of this provocative act.
As Peace Now reported, dozens of Jewish settlers overnight took over a large, five-story building in Silwan, and tried to pressure a Palestinian family who resides in it and holds a legal rental contract, to leave. The house is located in a part of Silwan that settlers have not yet tried to penetrate, deep inside this densely-populated Palestinian neighborhood.
Last night approximately 70 settlers, with police escort, entered the Sarhan House in Silwan. The Sarhan House is a
5-floor building located at the Batan Al-Hawa neighborhood which includes 12 housing units. The house is close to
the Abu Nab House as well as to additional houses under threat of eviction based on
settlers' claims of ownership prior to 1948. (To learn more about the mechanism of settlement in East Jerusalem
neighborhoods click here.) One Palestinian family, whose lease is not up for another few months, is still
residing in one housing unit at the Sarhan house. Today, settlers, escorted by police, came to this family's
house and tried to intimidate it to leave.
The settlers' entry must be understood as a strategic takeover; this is yet another step in a larger attempt to alter the character of the neighborhood and change the status quo in Jerusalem. Even prior to last night's entry, in the past year the settlers managed to double their presence at the Batan Al-Hawa neighborhood. After last night's entry, the settlement has expanded from approximately 10 families residing in two houses to approximately 35 families residing in six houses.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) is outraged by the murderous arson attack in the West Bank, perpetrated by Jewish terrorists, who today killed a Palestinian baby and critically injured his 4-year-old brother and his parents.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "Outrage in the face of this monstrous attack should be translated into action: Action by Israel's law-enforcement authorities to find and punish the killers, action by Israeli political leaders and opinion leaders – particularly among the nationalistic right – to stop inciting actions and hate-speech, and action by the Israeli government to fight the environment of lawlessness that Jewish settlers have spawned in the West Bank. This environment, unfortunately, is nourished by Israeli government settlement policies, which reward settler lawlessness, as we have seen this week in the settlement of Beit-El. When building settlements on privately owned Palestinian land and violently clashing with Israeli security officers is immediately rewarded by Prime Minster Netanyahu, who vowed to build 300 new homes there, the message to the settlers is clear: In the wild West Bank, lawlessness pays!"
Americans for Peace Now joins its Israeli sister-organization, Peace Now, in strongly condemning the Israeli government's approval of constructing hundreds of new housing units in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. APN welcomes the Obama administration's statement, issued last night, which states that settlement expansion threatens the two-state solution and calls into question Israel's commitment to a negotiated resolution to the conflict.