It is with the heaviest of hearts that APN today grieves the loss of our dear friend and longtime APN Board Member Leonard “Leibel” Fein. We know that Leibel will be mourned by the countless people he touched through his writings and his personal contacts across a life that spanned eight decades of extraordinary professional accomplishments, including as a writer, a teacher, and a prolific columnist; as the founder of Moment Magazine; as the founder of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger; and as the founder of the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy.
With official representatives of Israel and Hamas indirectly negotiating a ceasefire agreement in Cairo today, Americans for Peace Now (APN) is strongly urging the government of Israel, the Obama administration, and all stakeholders in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts to bring the PLO and the Palestinian Authority – the sole legitimate representatives of the Palestinians – back into a final-status peace negotiations process.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "It's time to pivot from war to real, credible peacemaking. Everyone knows what such peacemaking requires, including U.S. leadership that is prepared to hold both parties accountable for their actions. The only one viable way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution – Israel and Palestine, each living in recognized borders in peace and security. The only legitimate interlocutor for negotiating such a settlement on behalf of the Palestinians is the PLO, headed by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, having signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas earlier this year, the PLO is well-positioned to negotiate on behalf of all the Palestinians, to make hard decisions around the negotiating table, and to deliver when time comes to implement a peace agreement."
Americans for Peace Now (APN) today repeated its call for an immediate ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
APN condemned the criticism coming from senior Israeli officials and Knesset members targeting Secretary of State
Kerry and President Obama for their efforts to find a way to end the fighting. Israelis and Palestinians
alike urgently need an off-ramp from the destruction, fear, and anger that has taken over their lives.
Secretary Kerry and President Obama deserve credit, not scorn, for acting as true friends of Israel by trying to find such an off-ramp. A mutually-agreed ceasefire will, by definition, have to deliver something to both sides. Even if some concerns about a ceasefire proposal have merit, publicly suggesting that the Obama Administration has “betrayed” Israel by seeking to craft a ceasefire proposal that takes this fact into account are contemptible, dishonest, and do not serve Israel’s best interests.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) is horrified by the spiraling death-toll of the war between Israel and Hamas. Having urged a ceasefire for the past two weeks, APN welcomes the Obama administration’s efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire, and urges it to resume diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
APN strongly supports Israel’s right for self-defense and its government’s obligation to provide security for its
citizens. As a Zionist, Jewish organization and as the sister-organization of the Israeli grassroots movement
Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), we fully share the security concerns of the people of Israel and the yearning of
Israelis for peace.
We mourn the death of Israeli civilians and of Israeli soldiers in the current hostilities. We also mourn the alarmingly spiraling deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip – over 500 so far.
Americans for Peace Now – like millions of Israelis and Palestinians, and others worldwide – is anxiously hoping that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will follow Israel’s suit and accept the Egyptian-proposed ceasefire agreement. The agreement was proposed Monday night. Israel’s government welcomed it last night, and officially accepted it today at a Cabinet meeting, and held its fire by 9:00 AM local time (2:00 AM Eastern time), but a barrage of rockets from Gaza continued. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad intensified their rocket fire, arguing that Egypt announced the ceasefire without consulting with their leadership. In response, Israel too resumed fire and continued bombing the Gaza Strip.
We hope that Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will accept the ceasefire, stop its rocket attacks on Israel and thus prevent further escalation.
Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes news of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt’s government. APN urges both Israel and Hamas to adhere to the ceasefire and to find ways to prevent future security escalations such as the current one. APN further urges Israelis, Palestinians and the Obama administration to resume diplomatic efforts to return to the negotiating table in order to achieve a viable, lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement with security for both sides.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "Once again, following unnecessary bloodshed, destruction, terror and pain, Israel and Hamas chose diplomacy - the same kind of diplomacy that we at APN have been urging. This devastation, and the long-term impact it has on Israelis and Palestinians alike, can be obviated if both sides choose diplomacy now to pave the road for future Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Washington, DC –Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, supports Israel's right of self-defense and calls on the government of Israel to avoid harming innocent civilians as it retaliates for the rocket attacks.
Commenting on the current escalation, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:
"The escalating violence on Israel's border with Gaza is deeply alarming. Once again innocent Israelis are being targeted by rockets, while innocent Palestinians are caught in the crossfire as Israel exercises its legitimate right to self-defense.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) mourns with the Palestinian people the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Palestinian kidnapped and brutally murdered last week in Jerusalem. APN (once again) condemns the kidnapping and the killing, and sends its condolences to the Abu Khdeir family. APN calls on the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian factions, to prevent further escalation and further loss of innocent lives.
APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said:
APN condemns the killing of a Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem. The government of Israel must act swiftly to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice. It remains to be established whether Muhammad Abu-Khdeir (16) was murdered as revenge for the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli youths in the West Bank. What is absolutely clear is that in the wake of the murder of the three Israeli youths, the Israeli government has fomented a mood of revenge among Israelis, beginning with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s promise of “revenge” for the killings. That mood began taking concrete form in demonstrations and marches yesterday in Israel, which were marked with calls of “death to Arabs,” as well as attacks against Arabs inside Israel.
Americans for Peace Now (APN) stands with the people of Israel as it mourns the death of the three Israeli Yeshiva students, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, who were kidnapped earlier this month in the West Bank. APN strongly condemns the kidnapping and the killing of the three, and sends its condolences to their families. APN calls on the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian factions, to prevent further escalation and further loss of innocent lives.
Following the decision by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to divest from three U.S. companies whose products, they argue, are used to support Israeli occupation, Americans for Peace Now today issued the following statement:
“Last Friday’s decision of the Presbyterian Church of the United States to divest from three major U.S. companies should serve as a resounding warning for the Israeli government. Increasingly large segments of American society - including ones that care deeply about Israel’s future and invest in it – are losing patience with the nearly five decades-long occupation and with the Israeli government’s refusal to act seriously to bring it to an end. Pressure for decisions like the one taken by PC (USA) is growing, supported by Americans who are neither anti-Israel nor anti-Semitic. It is gaining traction as a direct consequence of Israeli policies that are deepening the occupation to the point of potential irreversibility in the near term, in tandem with the apparent inability or unwillingness of governments around the world to in any meaningful way challenge these policies.