Statement- Israeli Government's Move Towards West Bank Annexation

June 24, 2024- As the New York Times reports, Israeli Finance Minister and settler leader Bezalel Smotrich is well on his way to achieving his goal: annexation of the West Bank. On May 29, the IDF’s website noted that enforcement of several key laws governing the West Bank had been transferred from military to civilian authority, under Smotrich’s direction in his other role as a senior official in the Defense Ministry. He has proposed four new West Bank settlements and attempted to impose sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, all in retaliation for other nations’ formal recognition of Palestine. APN’s sister organization in Israel, Peace Now, was responsible for making a recording of Smotrich’s private meeting available to the media.

Americans for Peace Now warns that annexation of the West Bank is no longer a settler pipe dream, but a reality occurring while the world’s attention is focused on the war in Gaza.  Transferring powers from the military to civilian control amounts to legal annexation under international law, and makes a mockery of American policy supporting a two-state solution. Smotrich makes no secret of his intentions to “change the system’s DNA” and smash any possibility of Palestinian autonomy or statehood in the West Bank for once and for all.

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Statement on the Proposed Ceasefire Deal

June 3- Americans for Peace Now strongly supports the three-phase proposal announced by President Biden for the release of the hostages, a ceasefire, and humanitarian aid to Gaza as steps towards ending the ongoing and horrific war in Gaza. We urge Israeli elected officials across the political spectrum to provide the Prime Minister with the political support he needs to put this plan into practice. Additionally, we urge President Biden and world leaders to exert every ounce of leverage they have with the Israeli government and with Hamas, and bring this war to an end.

There is no “total victory” for Israel and certainly none for Hamas. There can only be respite for long-suffering innocent Palestinians and Israelis, who deserve the chance to begin to rebuild their shattered societies before it is too late.

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Statement- End the War

May 24, 2024- Americans for Peace Now has long called for an end to t​his war and for Israel to prioritize negotiations to secure the release of hostages. The extensive and prolonged nature of Israel’s military response, coupled with the absence of a coherent “day after” strategy that aligns military actions with clear political objectives, has resulted in terrible losses for Israel and caused devastation and suffering for Gazan civilians, most of whom have been displaced from their demolished communities.

Today's announcement from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is yet another emphatic call from the global community for an end to the war. The ICJ’s order for Israel to immediately halt its military assault on Rafah underscores the dire nature of the current situation and the prolonged conflict that has necessitated international intervention.

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Statement- A Two-State Solution Requires a Palestinian State

May 22, 2024- Americans for Peace Now has always supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And while many others also say that they support two-states, they often seem to forget that doing so means supporting the establishment of a sovereign Palestine. While the best course of action, and one that is ultimately necessary, would be joint Israeli-Palestinian recognition of each other’s sovereignty, that is not imminent.

However, every nation that declares itself in support of a two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state furthers that eventual outcome. Thus, we welcome the recognition by Spain, Ireland and Norway of Palestine, and believe that these nations are working together for the good of both Israelis and Palestinians. The acknowledgement of the existence of a Palestinian people in need of and deserving of a sovereign state is a step in the right direction.

“Right now the two loudest voices opposing a two-state solution are Hamas and the Netanyahu government," said APN President and CEO Hadar Susskind. "Everyone who supports two-states, be they Israeli, Palestinian or others, should support the recognition of a sovereign Palestine. It is no 'reward for Hamas' as Prime Minister Netanyahu has claimed, but rather the only way to break the cycle of violence that has entrapped Israelis and Palestinians alike for generations."

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Statement on ICC Warrant Request for Israeli and Hamas Leaders

May 20, 2024- This is a sad day for Israel and those who care about it. Sad, because while it is true that Hamas and the government of Israel are not equivalent, and it is true that Netanyahu and Sinwar are not equivalent, it is also true that the ICC warrant request for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant are a direct result of the calamitous policies of this Israeli government.

For the first time in Israel’s history, its leaders may be subject to arrest in the 124 nations which are ICC signatories. This shameful situation is the result of the Israeli government’s willful disregard of international law, including the denial of aid to a starving population.

Hamas leaders must be held accountable for the horrific events of October 7 and their other war crimes. But as we have been saying for months and months, one set of war crimes does not justify or excuse another. 

APN President and CEO Hadar Susskind said, “The issuing of these warrants isn’t about antisemitism or moral equivalencies, it’s about a failure of leadership. That is what the Israeli government needs to address. That is what the people of Israel need to address. This war needs to be brought to an end. The lives of the hostages must be prioritized, not marginalized, and aid must be allowed into Gaza in levels sufficient to address the ongoing famine. I am saddened by these warrants, but not as much as I am saddened by the brutal reality that led to them being issued.”

 

Statement on Compliance Certification Report for Israel

May 14, 2024- Americans for Peace Now disagrees with the Biden administration’s May 10 report to Congress on Israel’s compliance with international and American law in its conduct of the Gaza war. Although the Administration admits that Israel’s use of U.S.-provided weapons in Gaza likely violated international humanitarian law, it hedged its recommendations with the less-than-credible observation that wartime conditions prevented U.S. officials from determining specific instances.

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Statement- Arms and Rafah

May 9, 2024- Americans for Peace Now supports President Biden’s decision to cease sending offensive weapons to Israel following its invasion of Rafah. This principled step reflects the gravity of the crisis and the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities.

We know this decision is difficult. President Biden has always been a staunch supporter of Israel’s right to defend itself. Now, however, with Israel’s government proceeding with its invasion of Rafah, and with humanitarian aid again halted by the closure of the only access points into Gaza, this is a necessary step that demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to preventing further loss of life. Over 1 million civilians are sheltering in Rafah and, as the President pointed out, the weapons being withheld are powerful bombs and artillery shells that indiscriminately kill and maim innocent civilians.

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Statement on Deadline for Compliance Certification for Israel

May 7, 2024- Before tomorrow’s deadline for the State Department to report to Congress regarding Israel’s compliance with US and international humanitarian law, we at Americans for Peace Now remind the Biden Administration and Congress that continuing to send offensive weapons to Israel very likely violates both existing law and President Biden’s National Security Memorandum (NSM-20). That memorandum requires that all countries receiving US security assistance comply with US and international humanitarian law before receiving US assistance. For months now, elected representatives, intergovernmental bodies, international courts, Israeli and global human rights observers, and members of the Biden Administration themselves have persistently expressed grave concerns regarding the actions of the Netanyahu government.

World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain said this week that she believes there is currently a “full-blown famine” in northern Gaza, a situation that is a direct result of Israel’s policy of restricting aid. Although the Netanyahu government has promised more access to aid, conditions on the ground are worsening, and will grow even more dire as Israel proceeds with its invasion of Rafah. The assurances provided by the Netanyahu government have never been less credible.

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Statement by Americans for Peace Now on The Antisemitism Awareness Act

Americans for Peace Now strongly condemns the passage of H.R. 6090, the Antisemitism Awareness Act, and urges the Senate to decline to consider this measure. This misguided bill would codify the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which conflates antisemitism with legitimate criticism of the policies and actions of the Israeli government. The lead drafter of IHRA, Kenneth Stern, has warned against using it as a cudgel against the millions of Americans, including many Jewish Americans, who object to the Netanyahu government’s decisions and actions.

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April 19, 2024- Americans for Peace Now (APN) applauds the Biden administration’s announcement of a third round of sanctions addressing extremist settler violence. This latest round of sanctions, which predominantly targets crowdfunding campaigns for violent extremist settlers, marks a significant advancement in efforts to confront and deter settler violence in the West Bank.

The decision to impose sanctions on entities facilitating fundraising campaigns for individuals like Yinon Levi and David Chai Chasdai, known for their involvement in violent acts against Palestinian civilians, sends a clear message that the United States is committed to disrupting the financial networks that sustain and enable extremist activities.

Hadar Susskind, President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, remarked, “These sanctions demonstrate President Biden’s commitment to action against the epidemic of ongoing violence by extremist settlers. By targeting not only individual perpetrators but also those who provide financial support to fuel their violence, the United States is taking meaningful steps to undermine the systems that support settler violence.”

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