We deeply regret and are disappointed by a comment made on Wednesday by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), who was quoted as saying: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to condemn Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his alliance with a racist ultra-nationalist Israeli party, and to disinvite him from its annual policy conference.
In response to the firestorm that has erupted over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s brokering a deal designed to bring Kahanists into the Knesset, AIPAC on Friday issued a tepid statement. It called the Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Power”) party “racist and reprehensible.” It failed, however, to say a word about the Prime Minister, who has aligned himself with this Kahanist party and is working to bring it into government.
On Saturday, the very next day, AIPAC announced it was “honored” that Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at its policy conference next month, just days before Israel’s general elections.
This week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, keen to shore up his electoral position, orchestrated the unification of the extreme right-wing party Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Power”) with the National Union so that it could enter the Knesset in a consolidated right-wing bloc. This is dangerous and deeply concerning. Otzma Yehudit is the latest iteration of a political party based on teachings of racist demagogue Meir Kahane.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls upon fellow American Jewish organizations to join it in condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's embrace of the extremist right-wing political party Otzma Yehudit ("Jewish Power").
Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the murder of a young Israeli woman, Ori Ansbacher (19), in Jerusalem last week by a Palestinian assailant, who has been arrested and who has reenacted the crime.
Washington, DC – Following the Senate’s passage today of Senate Bill 1 (S.1), including the so-called Combating BDS Act, the bill will be transmitted to the House of Representatives.
APN strongly urges the House not to follow in the footsteps of the Senate. By blocking this legislation, the House will reject attempts to turn Israel into a partisan wedge issue, protect free speech, and highlight the distinction between sovereign Israel and West Bank settlements.
APN rejects BDS against Israel. APN believes that as a tactic to challenge Israeli policies that are inconsistent with Israeli-Palestinian peace, BDS is the wrong approach. We view it as misguided, ineffective, and counterproductive. APN advocates boycotting settlement products and recognizes the legitimacy and potential value of other activism directly and narrowly targeted at settlements and the occupation. APN’s policy on BDS is here.
Despite our opposition to BDS, APN has opposed S.1 since it was introduced, and called on our activists to ask their senators to reject it.
As we have stated previously, this legislation was designed to be a political trap. By bundling security aid for Israel with controversial legislation that violates civil liberties, the bill sets up senators to be labeled as “insufficiently pro-Israel” if they refuse to endorse the latter. In order to score political points, this bill will further erode the historic bipartisan consensus around a strong US-Israel relationship.
APN’s opposition to the Combating BDS Act is two-fold. First, this legislation erases the distinction between sovereign Israel and its settlements in the occupied West Bank by treating boycotts of the two as if these entities were one and the same. Second, it tramples on First Amendment rights by encouraging states to punish Americans who engage in boycotts.
Federal district courts have issued injunctions in cases brought by the ACLU, ruling that laws in Kansas and Arizona violate the constitutionally protected right to boycott.
APN calls on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to advance legislation authorizing security assistance for Israel, without tethering it to legislation that is both anti-peace and anti-democratic.
(UPDATE: As of January 15, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has tried to advance S.1, the bill that includes the so-called "Combating BDS Act," three times. Each time, McConnell's motions have failed to clear the 60-vote hurdle to advance, thanks to the vast majority of the Democratic caucus voting against cloture. And each time, immediately after his cloture motions have failed, McConnell has filed for a subsequent vote, in the apparent belief that putting Democratic senators on record voting against advancing S.1 will enable Republicans to paint the Democratic party as insufficiently "pro-Israel."
The vote tallies are as follows. On January 8, S.1 failed to advance by a vote of 56-44. On January 10, the tally was 53-43. And on January 14, the vote was 50-43. During the first two votes, four Democrats joined with Republicans in voting to advance S.1: Senators Manchin, Menendez, Sinema, and Jones. In the third vote, Senator Menendez, dropped his support because “I don’t like the Majority Leader using the US-Israel relationship as a political pawn.” McConnell has entered a motion for a fourth vote to advance S.1, but as of this writing that vote has not yet been scheduled.)
Americans for Peace Now (APN) opposes any bill that encourages state and local governments to adopt legislation which penalizes citizens who boycott Israel and/or Israeli settlements.
The Senate’s first piece of legislation in the 116th session, dubbed S.1, does just that. Referred to as the “Middle East Security Bill” by its sponsor, Senator Marco Rubio, S.1 incorporates the Combating BDS Act of 2019 into a larger bill that would appropriate security funds for Israel and reauthorize defense cooperation between the US and Jordan.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) sends its condolences to the Oz family and to the people of Israel, who today lost Amos Oz, a literary giant, a beacon of morality and humanity, and a founder of Israel’s peace movement.
The government of Israel seems to be on the verge of legalizing scores of illegal settlement-outposts in the West
Bank and making it dramatically easier for Israeli settlers to construct more such outposts on privately-owned
APN is alarmed by these dangerous developments. We call on the Trump administration, as well as friends of Israel in the United States and worldwide, to tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that more West Bank settlements are not the answer to terrorism and that they further jeopardize Israeli-Palestinian peace.