"Appearances can be deceiving" - A letter for Rosh HaShana from Jim Klutznick, APN Chair

Appearances can be deceiving.  The cafes of Tel Aviv bustle and are full.  Families gather in the gardens of Haifa and float on the Dead Sea.  Even in Jerusalem all appears calm, and the slight whiff of imminent apprehension is barely detectable.  The conflict does not impinge upon the good life.   

And yet, tensions simmer.  Another Israel exists.  Check the budget and see how a constant state of alert devastates funding for Israeli education, for social services, and for investment in infrastructure.  Stroll the cemeteries, and see dates of death following dates of birth in quick succession.  Too quick.  Examine the passerby and count the war injuries, visible in the wheelchairs and the prostheses.  Read the public opinion polls giving voice to the low esteem in which the “Occupier,” is held.  Visit the mosques in Nablus or in Gaza and hear the hatred dripping venomously from the imams’ tongues.  And then ask yourself, soberly, is doing nothing but accepting the status quo the best possible program?

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Shavuot - "Choosing Hope" from Jim Klutznick, APN Chair

As we approach the holiday of Shavuot we are faced with a choice: Do we choose hope, or do we choose fear?

Choosing fear removes "us" from the equation and makes us live in a way where there is no choice but endless war and occupation, and continual settlement building where this all becomes a fait accompli. Hope, on the other hand, puts "us" back into the equation, believing that Israelis can build a secure home for themselves, living in peace with their neighbors.

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A CALL TO ACTION - Post-Israeli Election Message from APN Chair Jim Klutznick

Dear Friend,

Israeli elections are over. Any hopes that we may have had for electoral change that would garner pro-peace leadership are dashed.

Temporarily.

Facing three indictments, Benjamin Netanyahu may soon leave the political scene.

Meanwhile, we have a reinvigorated Netanyahu, backed by his political twin Donald Trump, pushed hard by his extreme right-wing coalition partners to deliver his campaign promise of West Bank annexation.

Let’s not mince words, my friends: With Trump’s blessing, Netanyahu is on his way to officially, legally, establish an apartheid regime in the West Bank, and make it even harder for future Israeli leaders to make peace. Let’s be clear: Yesterday’s elections have put Netanyahu and his allies on a faster, surer track to destroy Israel’s democracy and to further crush its ethos of equality, justice, and tolerance.

For us, progressive Americans who care about Israel, today is a call to action. Today, we are redoubling our commitment to the cause of a democratic Israel that lives in peace and security with its neighbors and embodies the values we so strongly believe in.

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Seventeen years later, one thought stands out...

As we approach this year’s Passover Seder, I’m writing to wish you all a happy holiday and to explain why your support — ongoing or first-time — is so important for Americans for Peace Now and Shalom Achshav. As a veteran of Israel’s strategic security establishment who currently, in semi-retirement, writes (compulsively! almost daily! weekly in my Q & A for APN!) about Israel-related security issues, I hope you will permit me in this connection a brief Pesach reminiscence.

Lately, my own research and writing efforts have taken me back to the events of Passover 2002. On March 27, Erev Pesach, a Hamas suicide bomber attacked several hundred people gathered for a Seder at the Park Hotel, near the beach in Netanya in central Israel. He killed 30 Israelis and maimed some 160 others.

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Put Peace on the Agenda - Help One Million Israelis See Peace Now's Film

Let’s help our brothers and sisters of Shalom Achshav put peace on the agenda. Let’s help them make sure that one million Israelis see this film, and that these elections are about the issues that really matter for Israel’s future. 

Go HERE for more and to support Peace Now's efforts.

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A short, modest man ... a literary giant

Seven years ago, Amos Oz stopped by APN’s Washington DC office to record this video. It was a last-moment initiative. I scrambled to prepare our clunky recording equipment, and then rushed to meet him at the elevator. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was. I’ve read all his books – some of them twice – and have always admired him for his literary achievements and for his dedication to peace and security for Israel.

Out of the elevator emerged a short, modest man, warm and upbeat.

As I attached the microphone to his jacket, I told him that his book A Tale of Love and Darkness helped me better know my mother. She grew up in the same Jerusalem neighborhood as he did, not far from his parents’ home, and shared many of the childhood experiences Oz describes in the book. He saw how emotional I was. He placed his warm hand on my shoulder and said: “This makes me very happy, your relationship with your mother.”

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Why 2 States?

"I sometimes feel like I’m consulting with the management of Peace Now"
- Reportedly said to Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot by Avigdor Lieberman upon his resignation as Israel Defense Minister.


Americans for Peace Now is validated by Israel's top security officials, who consistently agree with solutions that we and our Israeli Peace Now partners offer -- namely resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution that secures Israel's future as a liberal democracy and as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Our Brochure "Why Two States" demonstrates why this solution is so crucial for Israel's future, and provides quotes from many of Israel's leading security chiefs in support of this position.

Please help us advance our mission
with a tax-deductible donation.

 

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"Make peace," she said

As part of a group of non-Israeli academics assembled by Tel Aviv University, I visited the Temple Mount in July 2017. On the next day, two Israeli border police officers were shot there in a terror attack. I had the opportunity to make a condolence visit to Hurfeish, the Druze village in the Galilee from which the two policemen (who were cousins) hailed. In the intimate setting of the room in which female relatives were mourning, I told an aunt of the slain men that I was coming to work for the American sister organization of Shalom Achshav and wanted to help in any way I could.

She looked at me, grief-stricken and weary, and said, "Make peace."

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A new peace generation shall lead

A Message from Letty Cottin Pogrebin - Author, Activist, and APN Board Member:

I am happy to see Shaqued Morag at the helm of Shalom Achschav, Israel’s Peace Now movement, not only because of her proven management skills (and not only because I am always happy to see talented women in positions of leadership and power), but because she is the face and spirit of the peace movement’s new generation.

Shaqued is one of hundreds of thousands young Israelis who are determined to resist their right wing nationalist government and its erosions of democracy. 

Shaqued and her cohort are forcefully demanding that Israel maintain the rule of law, end its occupation of the West Bank, and allow both peoples — Israelis and Palestinians — to bequeath to their children two states living side by side in peace and security.

As Peace Now's partners in the U.S., Americans for Peace Now and its leaders are not naive about the frustrations and challenges of a stalled Israeli- Palestinian peace process. Nevertheless, however grim its prospects at the moment, we know that as long as people of conscience are willing to continue the struggle for peace, our cause is far from lost. Moreover, we believe we owe it to our activists here and in Peace Now in Israel to redouble our efforts to keep hope alive in these dark times. We owe it to Shaqued and her friends. We owe it to every reasonable, justice-minded Israeli. We owe it to every American who believes in human dignity and disavows hatred of The Other. And we owe it to the memory of the eleven Jews slaughtered this fall in Pittsburgh simply for being Jews, a people that continue to be seen as The Other in the eyes of those who trade in demonization and hate.

Rather than surrender to the toxicity and hopelessness permeating today's world, we at APN have recommitted to peace by stepping up our education and advocacy efforts, whether in person, in writing, on our remarkable website (check out its riches), or in concert with Shalom Achschav, our Israeli counterpart. But we need your help to do our work: to provide quality materials, settlement maps, and resources so that legislators, the media, thought leaders, and every American is well informed on all the issues — and fired up enough to effectively resist Netanyahu, Trump, and the extremists who would lead the region into an abyss of perennial conflict and shameful subjugation of another people.

I'm counting on you to stay with us, stand with us, and be inspired by Shaqued’s letter (below) to support us!

Thank you so much.

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It's not about the oil, it's about the light

On a wall at APN’s Washington office, there’s a Hanukkah poster that we produced years ago, which says, “It’s not about the oil, it’s about the light.” The idea was that the true miracle of Hanukkah was not the Maccabees finding an extra pint of oil, but their using it to generate the light needed at a time of severe adversity.

Today, still, it's all about the light.

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