Statement- APN Commends the Biden Administration for its Plan to Fight Antisemitism

Americans for Peace Now (APN) commends the Biden administration for the plan it published today to confront the urgent problem of antisemitism in the United States. Sadly, over the past few years, antisemitism, like so many forms of hatred, has become increasingly prevalent and increasingly public. 

And we thank the administration for focusing on the very real threats of antisemitism and not endorsing or otherwise codifying into law the problematic International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

APN joined other Progressive Israel Network member organizations in a statement welcoming the administration’s plan. Read that statement here.

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Statement- APN Welcomes Congressional Letter Supporting Israel’s Pro-Democracy Protest

Americans for Peace Now warmly commends the 48 members of the House of Representatives who signed an open letter to the Israeli protesters who have been demonstrating for the past four months against the Netanyahu government’s anti-democratic policies.

The letter, initiated by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), demonstrates strong congressional support for the Israelis who are fighting to defend Israeli democracy. Having led several protest events in the United States in solidarity with the Israeli protest movement, APN urged members of the House of Representatives to sign the Eshoo-Raskin letter. We strongly appreciate this unique, important congressional gesture.

Unlike so many statements from elected officials and Jewish communal organizations, the signers of this letter directly address the importance of Israel’s judiciary to the state’s Palestinian citizens and to the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, an effort we applaud. 

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “This laudable letter underscores America’s ethical imperative to defend the values-based foundation of its alliance with Israel. The US – government and public – must do its utmost to support Israel’s civil society in its fight for democracy and for a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Israel's democracy needs and deserves to be defended, but there is no true democracy with occupation.

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Statement- APN Concerned about Possible Jerusalem Day Violence

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is extremely concerned about the possibility of a violent flare up Thursday, as thousands of Jewish ultra-nationalist zealots provocatively march in East Jerusalem to assert Israel’s sovereignty and intentionally offend Palestinian Muslims. The Israeli government could have and should have banned the march to prevent a violent flare up, which could lead to a regional outbreak of hostilities.  

The so-called “Flag March” has in recent years become the centerpiece of Israel’s Jerusalem Day. The march brings thousands of Jewish national-religious zealots to Arab East Jerusalem and the Old City. The marchers taunt Palestinians using physical and verbal violence, compelling Palestinian merchants to close their shops and stay home. In past years, the march triggered violence. This year, on the heels of Israel’s six-day mini-war with Gaza’s Islamic Jihad, tensions are high and Palestinian factions have threatened a violent retaliation in case Israeli extremists “cross red lines.”

Another unusual feature this year would be the presence of several government ministers and coalition Knesset members at the march’s main rally at the Damascus Gate Plaza.

APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “We strongly believe that the Israeli government should ban this annual ritual of bigotry and hatred. The Flag March horror show is a disgrace and should not be embraced by the state or local authorities and should be shunned by Israeli leaders. We will be following Thursday’s events in Jerusalem with deep concern and a heavy heart, while urging all parties involved – Israelis, Palestinians and others – to avoid violence.” 

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Washington, DC  - Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilian areas, mourns the deaths of at least 10 civilians in Gaza after ongoing Israeli airstrikes and urges all the parties and stakeholders to take action to prevent further bloodshed.

We are heartbroken for the families in Gaza who have lost loved ones and for the countless more families in Israel and in Gaza who are living in fear of the next air raid or rocket strike. The psychological devastation of this perpetual cycle of violence can not be overstated.

APN urges all parties to the conflict – Israel, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank – to do their utmost to prevent further deterioration and to avoid another disastrous war. The solution to the Israel-Gaza crisis, and, indeed, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, should be pursued and reached through diplomacy rather than through violence.

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Yesterday, the House passed a resolution celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. In a major break from longstanding bipartisan policy and past Congressional resolutions celebrating Israel's founding, the House Republican Leadership chose to strip any reference to the Two-State Solution from the text.

We at Americans for Peace Now have been celebrating Israel’s independence and working for peace for over 40 years. As we mark the 75th anniversary of the State of Israel and we look toward the future of the state, we must recognize that a stable, secure and prosperous future for the state of Israel is contingent on the same for the Palestinian people. Supporting the State of Israel means acknowledging this important truth and advocating for a just end to the conflict. The removal of the Two State Solution language is a concerning reflection of the Republican party's departure from a longstanding bipartisan position.

Americans for Peace Now's President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: "The language of this resolution describes the United States and Israel as 'partners who share common values and a commitment to democracy'. It is clear that House Republicans share values and 'a commitment to democracy' with the Netanyahu government, but the decision to strip support for the Two-State Solution from the text requires that we ask exactly what “shared values” is Kevin McCarthy referring to? And more importantly, it begs the question, what future solution to the conflict do House Republicans support?"

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Don’t Stop Resisting Netanyahu’s Annexationist Attack on Israeli Democracy

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is deeply concerned by the current developments in Israel, including Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement today that he intends to continue pushing his government’s anti-democratic initiative to weaken the state’s judiciary, his support for the establishment of a “national guard” that will report directly to Itamar Ben Gvir, and his continued scorched earth practices both domestically and internationally.

Netanyahu and his government have brought Israel to the brink of dictatorship. And the Prime Minister’s speech today failed to pull the country back from the brink. By stating in his speech today that “one way or another, we will bring about a reform” of the judiciary, Netanyahu made clear that he is not backing down from the government’s push to eviscerate Israel’s Supreme Court, he’s simply buying time.

This government’s so-called “judicial reform” is not an effort to streamline Israel’s judiciary but rather an aggressive, anti-democratic coup, intended to change the very nature of Israel’s government, away from a liberal democracy and toward a dictatorship of the corrupt.

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Statement: APN Condemns Outrageous Smotrich Comments

Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns comments by Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who in a speech in France absurdly asserted that “there’s no such thing as Palestinians because there’s no such thing as a Palestinian people.” APN calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn Smotrich’s outrageous statement and urges the Biden administration to do the same.

Smotrich said that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people, Palestinian culture or Palestinian history, and added that this “truth” should be heard “at the Elysee Palace and the White House." To make things worse, Smotrich’s lectern carried a schematic map of so-called “Greater Israel,” which included the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Smotrich’s speech triggered justifiable fury among both Palestinians and Jordanians, including a statement by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, noting that the map constitutes a violation of Jordan’s US-brokered peace agreement with Israel.

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Statement- Smotrich's Hatred Is Not Welcome Here

In the past week, over 2300 Americans signed Americans for Peace Now’s petition to President Biden urging him to deny entrance to Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. Despite vocal opposition, it appears that Smotrich will be allowed to proceed with his upcoming travel plans. It is disappointing that Minister Smotrich’s remarks calling for the Israeli government to “wipe out” the West Bank village of Huwara in the wake of the settler-led pogrom on the village on February 26th have not precluded him from entrance into the United States.

In the aftermath of violence like this, it is incumbent on political leaders to call for calm and to do everything in their power to ease the tensions. Instead, Minister Bezalel Smotrich, the civilian governor of the West Bank whose openly pro-annexation agenda has emboldened the most extreme sectors of the Israeli settler movement, called for the Israeli government to commit a war crime. This type of rhetoric doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Tragically, we have seen far too many times where incitement like this leads to violence. Just days ago, a group of young settlers raided Huwara again, attacking Palestinians and their property.

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APN Condemns West Bank Violence; Urges Biden Administrations to Act

Americans for Peace Now (APN) condemns the pogrom which took place yesterday in and around Hawara and calls on the Biden administration to move past its statements of concern and to respond with action rather than words.

We hold the Israeli government responsible for its failure to prevent the settlers’ large-scale attack on Palestinians on Sunday, for its dismissive reaction to the pogrom, and for its ongoing settlement activity.

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APN Statement on the Aqaba Summit

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the Aqaba Summit that the White House convened today in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, attended by representatives of the governments of Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt, and the United States.

APN is encouraged by the language of the communique that the participants issued following their meeting.

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