We Welcome The New Year And The Change We Hope It Brings

I'm happy to see Hadar Susskind leading Americans for Peace Now not only because of his experience, management, skills and expertise but because he embodies the best of our movement's next generation.

Please read Hadar's letter, which follows. I was so moved by it, I increased my donation over last year's.

As we welcome a New Year and all the change we hope it brings, join me in contributing with your tax-deductible donation today​.

Shana Tovah U'metukah,

Letty Cottin Pogrebin
APN Board Member and past Chair of the Board

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Peace Now's Shaqued Morag: We are not distracted!

Do you know the Chassidic story about the rabbi and the goat?

A congregant comes to the rabbi for advice, complaining about the unbearable conditions at his tiny, cramped home. The rambunctious children are fighting. His wife is a hoarder. Everything is stuffy and grim. The Rabbi tells the man to buy a goat and keep it in the house. A week later the poor man comes back incensed. The goat is unbearable. It’s noisy and smelly. It eats everything. Rabbi, help! The rabbi cups his chin and says: well, go ahead and sell the goat. A week later, the man returns happy. Thank you, rabbi, he says, I got rid of the goat and life is wonderful! The house is spacious, the children are quiet, and it even smells good.

I don’t know if Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump intended to use the idea of West Bank de-jure annexation to distract from the ongoing de-facto annexation through settlement construction. What I know is that many were distracted by the annexation goat, both in Israel and in the United States.

Not us. Not Shalom Achshav.

While we are obviously concerned about the possibility of formal annexation, our mission for the past four decades has been to fight the informal, creeping, de-facto annexation of the West Bank. Day in and day out, we witness what it does to the Palestinians, to our democracy, and to the prospects of us reaching a peace agreement with our neighbors. We know how badly it stinks.

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Michael Walzer on Tisha B'Av - Mourning is not the only message

On Tisha B'Av, the "saddest day of the Jewish calendar," our tradition dictates that we mourn the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem and consider the cause of their destruction. Although we haven't known a Judaism that revolves around a Temple for centuries, we take this day every year to remember a time when the center of gravity of the Jewish people was brutally destroyed. This act of painful remembrance also serves as a difficult exercise in empathy: putting ourselves in the shoes of our ancestors to understand our lost past.

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CLICK to jump down to the Hadar Susskind letter

Intro to Hadar Susskind's letter (with matching donation offer!) from Chair of the APN Board, Jim Klutznick, and Board Member and Former Chair Luis Lainer:

Americans for Peace Now is an organization with a long and storied history. At our best, we're not just an organization, we're a leading voice in the movement to bring peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

Who We Are - Peace NowWe've been through changes over the years, and today we want to tell you about the important step that we just took to reinvigorate APN and our work.

Last month we hired Hadar Susskind as our President and CEO. Hadar got right to work. He is deepening our collaborative efforts with other organizations, revitalizing government affairs, rejuvenating fundraising efforts and putting APN at the forefront of the Jewish communal conversation.

You need to get to know him better. The best way to do this is to read his letter below.

We are so committed to APN and to Hadar's new leadership path that we pledge to match your contributions, dollar for dollar, up to $30,000. Your donations will effectively be doubled.

You know APN - now please get to know Hadar. Read his introduction and make a gift to support APN today. Let's give Hadar the ability to get the job done.

We both wish you health and strength during these difficult times, and appreciate your continued support.

Jim Klutznick
Chair of the Board, APN
              Luis Lainer
Board Member and former Chair

Dear Friend,

Where were you when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn and signed the Oslo accord?

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Reflections from a Jerusalemite on the 53-Year Anniversary of the 1967 War

This photo of me at age seven was taken in June of 1967, just outside my home in Jerusalem, a couple of days after the Six Day War ended. I am sitting here on a Jeep that Israeli soldiers seized during the war in the West Bank, and somehow ended up in our neighborhood.

I remember how euphoric everyone was. Even the kids. During the weeks and months that followed, my family, like many Israelis, rushed to explore the liberated land of the Bible.

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For Giving Tuesday: Give (donations), Don't Take (annexation)

Under the cover of a global epidemic, when the world is focused on saving lives and preventing another great depression, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, with the active support of Donald Trump, is advancing a plan that would threaten the chances of Israel ever achieving peace with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu– together with his new coalition partner Benny Gantz -- has announced that come July 1st he will push legislation to annex to Israel large parts of the West Bank. The Trump administration is not only giving Netanyahu a green light but actually egging him on to take this destructive step.

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My Match and Letty's Letter

While you, our loyal supporters, never cease to amaze me, I am overwhelmed by your continuing support during this difficult time imposed upon us all by the Coronavirus.

We wish you and your loved ones good health and safe keeping. Our Staff and Board appreciate your response to the efforts we have made to deal with our new reality. From participating in briefing calls, reading News Nosh, listening to our podcasts, and more, it is all recognition of how much you care about the issues we deal with every day.

Our Passover appeal below was written, for the mail, before this calamity befell us. Letty’s message of not giving up in the face of all the realities we have to deal with still resonates.

Please read this letter. Do so in recognition that APN faces its battles head-on. As the letter says, APN had challenges even before the Coronavirus.

This is a tough time for all of us, and the demands placed upon you are considerable. However, APN’s financial obligations continue, including, among others, our support of our Shalom Achshav colleagues in Israel.

Therefore, I pledge to match your contributions up to an aggregate of $10,000. I’ve done this before and do so again to, hopefully, encourage each of you to give what you can.

I wish you health and strength during this Passover and Easter season, as we continue to battle the Coronavirus. And, I again appreciate the encouragement you continually give us.



James B. Klutznick, Chair of the APN Board

"Now more than ever!" "It’s five minutes to midnight!" "You must act now!"

That’s how many fundraising letters begin. I understand the good intentions behind those words but to me they sound like pandering, as if the only way to inspire support for an important, worthwhile cause is to play to panic, desperation, and crisis.

Where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is concerned, it’s obvious that things are bad, and, given the outrageous one-sided terms proposed by the so called “peace plan” proposed by Trump and endorsed by Netanyahu, things are unlikely to improve in the near future. Yet, if you’ve been following the situation in the Middle East as long as I have, you‘ve seen worse—wars and terror attacks, for instance—and you know that there are bound to be uncountable “Now more than ever” moments to come, until sanity and fairness return the parties to the negotiating table.

In the meantime, Americans for Peace Now is doing the hardest work of all, the work of staying the course, educating people on what’s at stake, monitoring the facts on the ground, and continuing the struggle for peace, no matter how desperate the circumstances or how hostile the political climate.

APN takes seriously what the Psalmist wrote: that one must not just seek peace but pursue it. Our organization is all about that pursuit. Our staff, board, and supporters do everything possible to keep alive the vision of justice, human rights, and an equitable peace for two peoples on the same land. And we’re asking you to count yourself among the pursuers of peace, who believe in continuing the struggle. Continuing is the name of what we’re about. Not losing heart or hope, not letting despair defeat us.

Our sister organization in Israel, Peace Now, was founded more than 40 years ago by reserve officers in the Israel Defense Forces who dreamed—and demanded—that leaders on both sides of the conflict MAKE—PEACE—NOW. In the intervening decades, we and the rest of the world have been forced to understand that “now” needs more time. Still, we carry the dream and the demand forward because that’s what it takes to not just seek but to pursue an objective as urgent as peace between two peoples who deeply love the same narrow strip of land.

Despite the last word in our name, we who support Americans for Peace Now are not naive about the hard reality of “now.” Rather than simply throw up our hands in disgust or inveigh against spending more time, energy, and dollars on a quest that right now seems futile, we believe that to abandon the quest for peace is to abandon the very idea of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state.

We believe that the Trump/Netanyahu plan is a recipe for disaster, that its proposed map entirely strips another people of its dignity, and imagines a future Palestinian state that’s as disconnected as the islands in the Caribbean, and that normalizes annexation of territory whose borders were intended to be negotiated.

Here’s what’s at stake now.

To paraphrase Edmund Burke (in nonsexist terms), “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” In our context, the only thing necessary for the triumph of injustice, inequality, and incessant conflict, is for us, the long-time pursuers of peace, to quit by the side of the road, and fall silent.

Clearly, it would be much easier to raise high the banner of Israeli-Palestinian peace in America if the advocates of peace in Israel were more numerous and more potent. But make no mistake: There is a vibrant peace camp in Israel, of which our partners in Shalom Achshav—Peace Now—are the most steadfast and most venerated members. And those who are continuing to pursue peace need to know we have their backs.

They need to know that they have allies here in the States, that they have real support and not just sympathy. If you think our morale is low, consider what our Israeli sisters and brothers confront, and then ask what you can do to help them carry on.

As for the politics here at home, we in APN are not oblivious to the strident voices on the right, or to the increasing power of the “pro-Israel” Christian Zionists. (How many of us realize that their “love of Israel” masks a radical fundamentalist belief that only when all Jews migrate to the Holy Land can the rapture begin—at which point “the Jews” must either convert or burn in hell?).

Yet the fact remains—and this is a FACT—that most American Jews support a two-state solution, not a policy of brutality, transfer or annexation, which is the antithesis of a two-state solution. We need to buttress these facts with a commitment to change the landscape and the conversation. And that’s where APN comes in because we’re the most effective educational resource on these issues, bar none.

Jewish students are being challenged to defend Israel, and some of them—products of one or another of our youth organizations, active members of Hillel, and so on—are tolerably well-prepared to enter the fray. Most, however, lack adequate information to really dive into the nitty-gritty of the arguments that have roiled campuses around the country.

Students and others are taught that Israel is always right, the Palestinians always wrong, and that whoever opposes Israel’s policies is ipso facto an anti-Zionist which is just a cover for anti-Semitism. Some people, knowing no better, swallow whole what they are taught and often find themselves over their heads in debates and confrontations. But too many walk away in disgust.

Increasingly, more young American Jews are apathetic about Israel these days. For Jewish parents and leaders to aspire to teach our kids the skills of critical thinking except on the subject of Israel is shortsighted and self-defeating. How can the best and brightest of our young people develop a deep and genuine connection to Israel if they’re required to offer a blind endorsement of the Israeli government’s behavior toward the Palestinian people, whose lives are lived at the sufferance of Israeli police, soldiers, and militant Jewish settlers?

APN and Shalom Achshav have the best educational materials and make appeals to young people. But we need your help NOW to do more. Students still lack adequate information to really dive into the essence of the arguments and this is where APN can help.

With your funding, both organizations, APN here in the U.S. and Shalom Achshav in Israel, can reach these young people by doing more social media, advertising more on these platforms, bringing speakers to campus, offering webinars, and much more.

Which leads me to my commitment to our Israeli partners—for the sake of avoiding clichés, I will not say now more than ever, but I will say that without our help—your help—Peace Now would not be able to do what it needs to do to oppose Trump and Netanyahu’s annexation drive. This is the organization that takes settlers to court and educates the Israeli public on destructive policies across the Green Line and the toll occupation is taking on both Israel and the Palestinians.

Jewish tradition teaches that our task is not to complete the work, but neither are we permitted to desist from it. Our Israeli colleagues in Peace Now need our support. I ask that you help APN stay the course. Please join me as a pursuer of peace and contribute as generously as you possibly can.

Many thanks!


Letty Cottin Pogrebin

P.S. The essence of Passover is a promise for a better future. Given this and in the wake of Israel’s recent elections, we must find a way to cope.  Giving up to me means being complicit. I refuse to be complicit and that’s why I remain on the board of APN and support this organization wholeheartedly.  

Our shared humanity in a time of crisis

As global crises typically do, the Coronavirus – its spread, and the looming threat it poses to humankind – provides us with a sense of perspective.

COVID-19 does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians. When threatened by this deadly virus, the two peoples worry together and work together to save lives.

When the forces of nature remind us how vulnerable we are – how equally vulnerable we are – we are humbled. And humbled before these forces, we demonstrate our shared humanity.

When Israel was hit by a monstrous fire, Palestinian firefighters crossed the Green Line with their firetrucks and risked their lives to save Israelis. And when Palestinians are hit by COVID-19, Israel’s public health professionals work side by side with their Palestinian colleagues, supplying them with test kits, medicine and knowhow. “There are no borders here…There is no ‘them’ and ‘us,’” Brig. Gen. Ghassan Alian, the commander of Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank, told Israel Radio last week.

In such times, you cannot but wonder why Israelis and Palestinians do not harness their shared humanity, their common sense and their sense of common future to end the bloody conflict between them. Unlike pandemics, wildfires and earthquakes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is manmade. And this manmade calamity can be undone by humans – if they find it within themselves to relate to the other as humans, as equals, as equally human.

We at Americans for Peace Now know as well as anyone how complicated the conflict is. We’ve been documenting it and advocating ways to address and resolve its components for many years. We know how difficult it is to untangle the knots of problems like Jerusalem sovereignty, Palestinian refugees, security arrangements, and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. We know that this is not a “senseless” conflict, as some often depict it. It is a conflict between two national movements which claim the same piece of land. In some ways, this is a zero-sum conflict.

But we also know that in recent years, it was mainly attitudinal problems – attitudes among Israeli and Palestinian publics and leaders (and now the White House as well) – which obstructed progress toward conflict resolution. And we know that despite the zero-sum nature of the conflict, there is a win-win compromise solution for it, waiting to be adopted and implemented.

The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually abate and eventually disappear. We don’t know when and we don’t know how many of us, here in America and in the Middle East, it will impact.

We also know that once Coronavirus is contained and defeated, the Israelis and Palestinians that we so deeply care about will be left with a malignant conflict that has been plaguing their societies for almost a century.

There is a viable solution to this conflict, and we hope that the traumatic experience we are currently experiencing will make the solution easier to comprehend, grasp, and achieve.

We at APN, and our brothers and sisters at Israel’s Peace Now movement, will committedly continue to make our contribution to resolving the conflict.

In the coming days and weeks, APN’s staff members will be working offsite, away from our Washington DC office. Regardless, we will do our utmost to provide you with the high-quality educational materials on the conflict that you expect from us.

This is a difficult time for all of us, a truly tumultuous time for nonprofit organizations like ours. Knowing that we can rely on your support allows us to brave the challenges and continue working – both in Israel and the United States – to help pave the way toward conflict resolution.

Thank you for your support,

James B. Klutznick, Chair of the Board
Aviva Meyer, Vice Chair of the Board and Acting CEO

Hummus is no joke. Neither is peacemaking.

I heard that America’s largest hummus producer is introducing a new product: a dessert chocolate “hummus.”

And on the web, you will find recipes for brownie batter “hummus,” sweet potato “hummus,” as well as “hummus” cake and “hummus” milkshake.

Now listen, I know from hummus. Real hummus. My physique reflects it. I make my own, and I’m happy to share my tested recipe. So, let me tell you something: you don’t make hummus by calling your crazy concoction “hummus.” It doesn’t work that way.

And you don’t make peace by slapping a “peace plan” title on a cynical set of one-sided diktats, an exercise that is bound to escalate and deepen a complicated conflict. That’s not how you broker Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Unless you are Donald Trump.

Trump is the king of mendacity, the master of duplicity, the maestro of deceit. Trump’s world is a tapestry of lies masquerading as truth, falsehoods masquerading as facts, conspiracy theories dressed as realities, conflict-escalation posing as conflict-resolution, endless occupation spun as liberation, and national subjugation masked as sovereignty and statehood.

Trump is the essence of Purim’s topsy-turvy tradition.

Look at his appointees. He appointed an enemy of public education as his Secretary of Education, a climate change skeptic and a former coal industry lobbyist as EPA Administrators. And who did he appoint as his ambassador to Israel? Trump tapped his former bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, a national-religious zealot who called President Obama an anti-Semite, referred to pro-peace American Jews as "far worse than kapos," and vehemently opposed the two-state solution.

Friedman, the chief architect of Trump’s recently unveiled “vision” for future Israeli-Palestinian relations, is now the Trump administration’s front man in a joint US-Israeli committee that will carve out chunks of occupied territory – over 30 percent of the West Bank – for Israel to unilaterally annex, irrespective of any negotiations with the Palestinians.

Peace, Trump style. That’s his idea of brokering peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

On Purim, according to the Talmud, we are supposed to get drunk to the point in which we cannot tell the difference between “Blessed is Mordechai” and “Cursed is Haman.”

Trump and his aides need neither Purim nor alcohol to dress up war as peace and occupation as liberation. Their deception is not in jest. Trump, Friedman and Kushner’s tactics of chaos and confusion are deliberate. They serve a purpose, an agenda, the settlers’ agenda of perpetuating the occupation and denying Palestinians sovereignty and statehood.

Peacemaking is serious business. It’s neither Purim nor hummus. Trump’s White House turned it into a travesty. We must not normalize it.

We at APN and our colleagues at Israel’s Peace Now movement, are pulling the mask off Trump’s sham. We will continue to advocate and educate for real peace, for a serious approach to resolving the conflict that plagues the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Enjoy the holiday, and please support us.

Ori Nir
APN Director of Communications and Public Engagement

P.S. Receive Peace Now's unique deck of playing cards, which serves as both a standard deck and an opportunity to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Donate $25 or more and write "CARDS" in the comments box (all but $5 is tax-deductible).

You can play Canasta or GET QUESTIONED at Ben Gurion Airport

Peace Now has produced a unique deck of cards that serves as both a standard deck and an opportunity to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Each card provides a brief description of a significant moment in history, a core issue, or a law.

The deck has been extremely well-received. It also caused an incident that attracted media attention and went viral on Twitter, when a European Peace activist, John Lyndon of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, was thoroughly questioned by Israeli security at Ben Gurion Airport when a deck of these cards was found in his luggage.

We are certain you will enjoy the cards and learn from them, and are pleased to send you a deck as a gift with a donation to Americans for Peace Now of $25 or more (be sure to write "Cards" in the comments box; all but $5 is tax-deductible).

John Lyndon’s story is featured in the current episode of PeaceCast, APN’s podcast.

PeaceCast Episode #108: "Reading the Cards from Europe"

This episode features John Lyndon, Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), who was detained at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport and faced "prolonged hostile questioning" because he possessed Peace Now's deck of cards.

His tweet about this (pictured) spread on social media, and then reached a larger audience when Israeli news outlet YNET wrote an article about it.

In the episode, John talked about issues directly related to ALLMEP and its activity, and explored the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out in Europe, particularly in the wake of President Trump's vision for Israeli-Palestinian relations.

The Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) is an umbrella that brings together over 100 organizations in Israel and the West Bank to assist them with funding, capacity building, visibility, and impact.


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