Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns efforts by the Trump administration to end the refugee status of millions of Palestinians prior to the achievement of a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

A recent report in Foreign Policy reveals that the Trump administration – and Special Advisor to the President Jared Kushner in particular – have sought to end U.S. support for the United Nation Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon with education, health care, food, and other services. Kushner is quoted as writing in an email to White House colleagues: “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA.” Furthermore, the report reveals that Kushner and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley advocated ending all funding for UNRWA in January of this year. The report also cites an unsuccessful attempt by Kushner to push Jordan into stripping the country’s Palestinian refugees of their status.

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Peace Now's Settlement Watch: Land Allocation in the West Bank – For Israelis Only

Land Allocation in the West Bank – For Israelis Only

A New Settlement Watch Report

Following a request under the Freedom of Information Act submitted by Peace Now and the Movement for Freedom of Information (and after refusing to give the information and a two-and-a-half year delay), the Civil Administration's response was received:

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Today, 13 leading American Jewish organizations submitted a letter to Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog expressing opposition to the discriminatory “Nation-State Bill,” which is currently advancing in the Knesset. The bill would alter Israel’s constitution-level Basic Law in ways that pose severe risks to minority rights and Israel’s democratic foundation. The letter is signed by the New Israel Fund, J Street, T’ruah, Americans for Peace Now, Ameiny, Avtzim’s Green Zionist Alliance, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair North America, Keshet, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Right Now: Advocates for Asylum Seekers in Israel, and Tivnu: Building Justice.

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Americans for Peace Now (APN) condemns Israeli actions toward Bedouin communities in the West Bank, including Khan al-Ahmar. Israeli authorities have demolished structures in Abu Nuwar and moved in bulldozers to Khan al-Ahmar in preparation for demolishing that community. The Israeli government plans to forcibly transfer the Bedouin members of the Jahalin tribe to Al Jabel, a village near the garbage dump in Abu Dis.

These moves are not only violation of Palestinian human rights; they are also a deliberate move by Israel’s right-wing government to harm prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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APN Welcomes Shaqued Morag, Newly Appointed Director of Israel's Shalom Achshav (Peace Now)

Shaqued Morag is the newly appointed executive director of Israel’s peace movement Shalom Achshav (Peace Now). We at Shalom Acshav’s American sister organization are thrilled to welcome Shaqued into Peace Now’s extended family, and are wishing her b’hatzlakha, good luck and success in this important leadership role.

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President Trump’s Middle East team is preparing to release its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Reports regarding the content of the plan are unsettling. While we believe the United States has a vital role to play in bringing together Israelis and Palestinians to make peace, we view the Trump administration’s effort with grave concern. This paper offers guidelines to assess the prospects for success of a Trump peace plan by examining: 1) the current political context, 2) the essential requirements for a plan, and 3) the measures that should be taken to pave the way for negotiations.

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APN: Trump Administration Erred in Withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council

The Trump administration yesterday dealt another blow to America’s leadership on the global stage and to the US commitment to multilateralism by withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).  

One of the chief reasons given for the US decision to withdraw is the UNHRC’s treatment of Israel. This is the second time the Trump Administration has announced it will pull the US out of a UN body over alleged anti-Israel bias. The first was the US withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), announced last year. The pullout fits a broader Trump administration pattern of abandoning multilateralism for an America First approach, evident also in its exit from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord.

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APN Opposes Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

Washington, DC - Touted as a means to stem the resurgence of anti-Semitism on college campuses, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (ASAA) would imperil free speech on American college campuses in order to quash constitutionally protected criticism of Israel. 

With white supremacists emboldened on campus and off, rising anti-Semitism in the United States is indeed a concern. The chief focus of the ASAA, however, is Israel-related criticism and activism on campuses – including but not limited to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The bill would cynically exploit claims of anti-Semitism to delegitimize and silence such Israel-related free speech.

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APN to Trump: Tell Israel's Government to Stop Settlement Construction!

Americans for Peace Now urges the Trump administration to demand that the government of Israel reverse its plan for a massive new wave of settlement construction in the West Bank.

Yesterday, Israel's Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman announced a new plan for massively expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including in areas that past Israeli governments and past US administrations agreed would become the future Palestinian state. Liberman announced plans to grant final construction approval for 2,500 new homes in settlements and preliminary approval for an additional 1,400 homes. Most of these housing units would be added to settlements that lie deep in the West Bank, in areas that according to any past peace plans would be a part of the future Palestinian state.

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Americans for Peace Now calls on both Israelis and Palestinians to exercise responsibility and restraint tomorrow to avoid further bloodshed and deterioration toward another Israel-Hamas war.

Today's death toll on the Gaza border, 58 Palestinians killed and some 2,000 injured, of them eighty severely injured – seems to be the preamble for even heavier bloodshed tomorrow as Palestinians commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, which Palestinians observe as their national catastrophe.

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