Statement by Americans for Peace Now on the Passage of the UNSC Ceasefire Resolution

March 25, 2024 - Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly supports President Biden’s decision to allow passage of the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan, that would lead to a lasting and sustainable ceasefire. It also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

The US vetoed three earlier ceasefire resolutions and continues to provide Israel with military aid. Now, in the wake of Netanyahu’s cancellation of an Israeli delegation’s visit to Washington to discuss the invasion of Rafah, President Biden should be clear that the US will oppose any Rafah operations that compromise the safety of the more than one million civilians there. Additionally, we call upon the administration to follow the existing US law that conditions continuing military aid on the free flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians.

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “Netanyahu can cancel his ministers' trips and throw tantrums, but refusing to engage with Israel’s only powerful ally will achieve nothing other than deepening its isolation. If Netanyahu moves forward with a Rafah operation without agreement with the US, he will demonstrate once again that he is prioritizing his own political survival over the future of the people of Israel. This war needs to come to an end. Until it does, President Biden should make sure that any US aid is used only in compliance with US law.”

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Conference of Presidents Members Rebut Statement on Majority Leader Schumer Meeting

March 20, 2024 - We are deeply disturbed by the condemnatory statement issued yesterday by the Conference of Presidents (COP) following a meeting with Majority Leader Schumer. Though the critical COP statement was made in the name of the CEO and President, it claims to speak for COP “membership” when in fact it clearly fails to reflect the diversity of views within the COP. 

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APN Applauds Biden Administration’s Sanctions on Extremist Settlement Outposts

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the news that the Biden administration has announced a second round of sanctions under the President's executive order to address extremist settler violence. This new tranche of sanctions targets outposts in addition to individuals. As such, it represents a significant step in the effort to address ongoing settler violence.

By targeting outposts rather than solely focusing on individuals, the United States is sending a powerful message that it will not tolerate logistical or financial support for settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians.

Americans for Peace Now’s President and CEO, Hadar Susskind said: “For too long, illegal outposts have served as launchpads for settler violence. These actions, including freezing assets and imposing visa bans, demonstrate the United States’ firm commitment to curbing settler violence.”

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Statement- Americans for Peace Now Welcomes Temporary Gaza Seaport

Americans for Peace Now welcomes President Biden’s State of the Union announcement that the US will build a temporary seaport outside the Gaza Strip to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid.

While welcoming the dramatic move, APN also urges the Biden administration to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to immediately allow vastly greater aid deliveries through the ground crossings between Israel and Gaza.

While humanitarian aid is essential to save lives now, ultimately, there is only one way to end this crisis. The war must come to an end.

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “As I sit in Jerusalem having met this week with Israeli political leaders, kibbutz members from the Gaza envelope, families of hostages, American diplomats and Palestinian leaders, it is overwhelmingly clear that there is only one way out of this crisis. Return the hostages. Send aid to Gaza. End the war, and begin once again traveling down the long road to peace.” 

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Americans for Peace Now Strongly Condemns Recent Demolitions in Al-Walaja

Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the recent demolitions in the Palestinian village of al Walaja, near Jerusalem, where three homes were destroyed today, following the demolition of two homes last week.

The demolitions follow repeated failure by Israeli authorities to fulfill their responsibility to prepare a master plan for al-Walaja, which would allow residents to legally live and build in their village. Additionally, the government has refused to accept a master plan that the residents of Walaja paid for and prepared with a professional planner. In fact, Israeli authorities seem committed to blocking growth at al-Walaja and demolishing existing structures because of a planned road that will serve adjacent settlements.

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes last night’s announcement of the memorandum titled "Safeguards and Accountability With Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services," issued by President Biden and modeled on Senator Chris Van Hollen’s recent amendment to the foreign assistance supplemental bill. APN commends President Biden and Senator Van Hollen for their commitment to oversight and transparency in the utilization of US security assistance.

This memorandum is an important step towards ensuring that US security assistance aligns with international law, including humanitarian principles. The memorandum requires recipient countries to provide credible and reliable assurances that they will adhere to international humanitarian law and facilitate US humanitarian assistance in areas of conflict in advance of receiving US assistance.

Hadar Susskind, APN’s President and CEO said: "We have long called for transparency and accountability measures to ensure Israel’s use of US military assistance aligns with existing US and international laws. This memorandum signifies an important step towards oversight and responsible use of US assistance.”

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Statement- Americans for Peace Now Calls for Accountability and Oversight in Foreign Aid

As the Senate considers legislation that would send supplemental assistance to Israel, Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls on legislators to ensure that all recipients of US foreign assistance adhere to established US and international human rights laws by adopting the amendment put forth by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Dick Durbin, (D-IL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

We call on the Senate to adopt this important amendment to implement key guardrails on US security assistance to Israel, ensuring that military operations supported by US tax dollars comply with American and international humanitarian law, with measures to minimize civilian casualties.

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “US foreign aid must not be used in ways that violate human rights laws. This amendment reflects a commitment to accountability, transparency, and the responsible use of American resources. I urge Congress to ensure that taxpayer dollars allocated for security assistance are used responsibly and in accordance with established legal frameworks.”

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Statement- APN Calls on Congress to Ensure US Assistance Reflects US Values and Laws

As both chambers of Congress consider legislation that would send supplemental assistance to Israel, Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls on legislators to ensure that these bills reflect US values and existing laws by providing vital humanitarian assistance to address the growing crisis in Gaza. Congress must also ensure that all recipients of US foreign assistance adhere to established US and international human rights laws.

Israel faces a war on two fronts, and the foreign military assistance outlined in the President’s supplemental funding request would continue to provide resources during this volatile time.

However, there is a pressing need for accountability regarding Israel's use of US-provided equipment. Adherence to both US and international laws, as well as the protection of civilians, must be a guiding principle of US assistance to all aid recipients. We call on Congress to implement key guardrails on US security assistance to Israel, ensuring that military operations supported by US tax dollars comply with American and international humanitarian law, with measures to minimize civilian casualties.

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Statement- APN Welcomes News that Biden Administration is Considering Recognition of Palestine

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes news that the Biden administration is considering recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state and we urge it to move from deliberating to doing so.

The State of Palestine was accepted as an observer state of the United Nations General Assembly more than a decade ago. By recognizing the State of Palestine, the U.S. will join 139 out of 193 UN member states, and turn its long stated policy of support for a two-state solution into meaningful action. Recognition of the State of Palestine is not an alternative to a negotiated, mutually acceptable two-state peace agreement, but it is a meaningful step in that direction and would help pave the way toward it.

Since the Biden administration took office, APN has been calling on it to recognize the State of Palestine as a way to actualize America’s stated support of a two-state solution.

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “President Biden, going back to his days in the Senate, has long supported a two-state solution. Hopefully, his administration will remind all those who claim to support two states that those two states are Israel and Palestine.  Recognition of a Palestinian state is precisely what it means to support a two-state solution, in deeds as well as in words.”

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) urges the government of Israel to comply with the provisional measures ordered today by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and calls upon the Biden administration to commit to working with Israel to ensure compliance.

The measures ordered by the ICJ are reasonable and justified. Adherence would provide vital relief for the Gaza Strip’s civilian population, and allow for Israel and the international community to fairly scrutinize Israel’s conduct in its military campaign in Gaza.

We welcome Israel’s representative to the Court, Former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak’s joining the Court’s majority’s order that Israeli officials who incite genocide be investigated and punished.

We further reiterate our call, made earlier this month, for the Biden administration to push Israel to adopt and implement an immediate exit strategy from the war in the Gaza Strip. As we formerly stated, a first step must be engaging with relevant world powers to devise a formula for the release of all hostages held in Gaza. A second step must be devising a reliable mechanism to provide adequate shipments of essentials - food, water, medicine, and fuel – to Gaza’s population.

We reiterate our position that ending the fighting and sending aid are essential, but not sufficient. The United States should also push for a series of steps to keep the door open for a future two-state peace agreement, such as halting settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and reversing Israeli policies aimed at de facto and de-jure annexation of parts of the West Bank.

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