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December 2010 Archives

Security expenses for settlers living in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem went up in the new budget, reaching NIS 3,160 per settler.

By Akiva Eldar

Arab Hatred of Jews Makes Peace Impossible?


Go HERE for all installments of APN's "They Say, We Say"

They say: The Arabs' conflict with Israel has nothing to do with territory. It is all about the Arabs' hatred toward Jews. In other words, what fuels this conflict is anti-Semitism. Plain and simple. Trying to make peace with anti-Semites is futile. It will never work.

BeitYonatan.jpgYariv Oppenheimer -- Peace Now's director -- today published the following op-ed in the popular Israeli daily newspaper Ma'ariv.

"Despite a clear court ruling requiring the house to be evacuated and sealed, (Jerusalem) Mayor Barkat has no intention of quarreling with those who helped him be elected as mayor--even if this means the systematic trampling of the rule of law."

Following the Ma'ariv op ed is a link to Ha'aretz: "Jerusalem mayor holds off eviction of settlers from East Jerusalem home"

Visiting Speakers to L.A. - Rosenblum, Abuelaish, Golan


Several programs of interest in the L.A. area will will help kick-off 2011:

Wednesday, January 5, 8:15 am Breakfast Briefing and Discussion with Americans for Peace Now's founder Professor Mark Rosenblum

Wednesday, January 12, 7:00 pm - L.A. Central Library "Aloud" series, featuring Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of "I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza's Doctor's Journey on the Path to Peace"

Tuesday, January 25, 5-7 pm - "Is There an Arab-Israeli "Peace Process?" A Public Talk by Galia Golan

See more information.

3 days to change lives


A new generation of Israeli and Palestinian children is growing up in the midst of conflict, trapped by the occupation, ensnared by the fear of violence. It is not a conflict of their making, but it will play a huge role in their lives.

A peace agreement can change the course of their lives. Contribute now to help make that change possible.

APN and Peace Now work to make that peace a reality: We press for tough American leadership. We support honest reporting from the West Bank about the challenges that settlements pose. We mobilize tens of thousands of Israelis and Americans to demand progress.

Articles citing Peace Now on "booming" construction

Israeli West Bank settlement construction is booming three months after Israel ended its building freeze, possibly upsetting future peace talks, (Peace Now) said.

An additional 13,000 units have been contrast, in each of the last three years only 3,000 housing units were built.

See excerpts and links to:

Jewish Week: "Construction Without Consensus"
UPI: "Israeli construction booms in West Bank"
JTA: "Settlement building rises sharply following freeze"
YNET: "Since end of freeze: 13,000 homes approved"
AFP: "Israeli settlers building 100 illegal homes"
Jerusalem Post Frontlines: "Is settlement growth booming?"

Why I "Believe" in Israel and in Peace

Ori21.jpgEarlier this month, in reaction to a fundraising letter, we received a response from a potential donor. He attached an empty envelope. "I am a great believer in Peace Now and would love to support your organization," he wrote, but, he continued, he would do so only if we answer how an organization that believes in peace can also believe in an Israel that continues to expand settlements in the West Bank, continues with its blockade on the Gaza Strip and continues to evade negotiations with the Palestinians.

He is my reply to the gentleman, whose name I would rather not share without his permission:   

Dear Friend,  

Thank you for your December 3 letter.

In it, you refer to our slogan, "Believe in Israel, Believe in Peace," and ask: (I am paraphrasing) how is it possible to believe in Israel when its government pursues policies that are antithetical to peace?

Tank 320x265.jpgAlpher answers questions about the two years that have passed since Operation Cast Lead, and the wave of demonstrations against foreigners in Israel.

Last Sunday I was deeply sorrowed by the fact that only 100 Israelis could take part in the historic meeting that was organized by the Geneva Initiative movement in the mukataa in Ramallah. Had it been up to me, all of Israel's citizens would have gone and seen, with their own eyes, the dramatic change that has taken place in Palestinian society.

Go HERE to listen to Yariv share his impressions from the meeting.

New York Times features Peace Now on front page

NYTimes Front Graphic Color 12-23-10.jpgOur movement scored a victory today. The front page of today's New York Times features an article which draws strongly on Peace Now's work and research. The headline says it all: "West Bank Settlement Boom Sows New Obstacles to Peace."


Ileana_Ros-Lehtinen_186px.jpgThe new House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman says she is determined to 'show Israel that we are strongly in its corner.'

Included are quotes from APN's Ori Nir, such as: "Thanks to Congress, America's aid program to the Palestinians is probably the most conditioned, restricted and audited aid program in the world."


As my colleague Ethan Bronner reports, Israelis are divided over a West Bank settlement construction boom.

Impressions from a meeting with President Abbas

Today's New York Times features a report about an usual meeting between 60 leading Israelis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting, organized by the Geneva Initiative, took place yesterday in Ramallah. Peace Now's director, Yariv Oppenheimer, took part. Listen to him share his impressions from the meeting with APN's Ori Nir.
Alpher focuses on regional issues, with questions about Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon and Jordan's interactions with Iran.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) on Berman Resolution

Gwen_Moore,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress.jpgCongresswoman Gwen Moore delivered a brilliant statement on Wednesday laying out the problems with H. Res. 1765 - Rep. Berman's (D-CA) resolution opposing Palestinian efforts to achieve recognition of a Palestinian state.  We commend her and highly recommend her statement as an example of what a truly pro-Israel, pro-peace position sounds like.

APN Legislative Round-up for the Week Ending December 17, 2010

1. Bills and Resolutions
2. House Resolution on Palestinian Unilateral Statehood Efforts (H. Res. 1765)
3. Senate Takes on House over FY11 Approps (including ForOps). Then Gives Up.
4. Special for Ros-Lehtinen: Review of Conditions/Restrictions/Oversight on Palestinian Aid
5. APN on H. Res. 1765
6. Selected Congressional Statements on H. Res. 1765
7. Palestinian response to H. Res. 1765

APN on Berman Resolution

Today APN sent the following message to all House offices:

Dear [staffer name],

Later today (or sometime tomorrow) the House will vote on a resolution, introduced by House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) and brought to the floor under suspension of the rules, opposing Palestinian efforts to promote unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Berman resolution includes elements with which Americans for Peace Now agrees - like support for negotiations, support for a two-state solution, and opposition to Palestinian unilateral actions that contradict peace efforts.  However, it omits one element so important that its absence renders the resolution problematic:  it omits any mention of Israel's obligation to refrain from unilateral actions that contradict peace efforts - like the ongoing settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (The resolution does quote Secretary of State Clinton's rejection of "unilateral steps by either party" in its preambular section, but it says nothing about this in the resolved clauses.)

If the goal of the Berman resolution is truly to oppose unilateral actions, support negotiations, and promote a peace agreement that delivers a two-state solution, it unfortunately falls short of the mark.  By singling out only Palestinian actions, it risks sending the message that Congress does not object to unilateral Israeli acts, no matter how corrosive they may be to peace efforts.

Israel Study Tour

Are you coming with APN to Israel this winter as part of APN's Israel Study Tour? If so, this is the place to check for information about the trip. We'll be updating it regularly as we get more information.

As always, if you have a question or feedback, please contact Barbara Green at or 202-641-8685.

Facts on the Ground, by Todd Gitlin

Originally published in Tablet Magazine.

"What Is 'Occupation'?"
In October, I took part in a conference at the luxurious, tourist-stuffed Mount Zion Hotel, a stone's throw south of the Old City wall in Jerusalem. My group debated "delegitimization," the current Israeli catch-all term that clumps together hostility to the post-1967 occupation with hostility to the existence of a Jewish state, hostility to everything Israeli, and hostility to Jews everywhere. The air was thick with anxious and angry embattlement, sarcasm and abstraction. A government minister told a nasty joke itemizing a long list of Palestinian sins. An official of the Foreign Ministry, his voice bristling with air-quotes, asked, "What is 'occupation'?" An American participant spoke of "the alleged occupation."

Peace Now presses Labor Party: Don't be Bibi's fig leaf

PeaceNowProtest186x140.jpgIsrael's Peace Now movement is putting the squeeze on the Labor Party over its continued support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By being part of a government that only pretends to pursue peace with the Palestinians, the Labor Party legitimizes Netanyahu's intransigent policies.

Alpher answers questions about the strategic implications of America's recent change in focus on the peace process.

Help the new peace plan succeed.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out a welcome shift in the Obama administration's peacemaking strategy in a speech on Friday night. The administration is stepping up talks with Israel and the Palestinian to try to reach a "framework agreement" on core issues.

Secretary Clinton put forward a good blueprint for a renewed peacemaking initiative. The key question now is whether the Obama administration will follow up with the resolute action needed to succeed.

APN Welcomes Clinton's Speech; Policy Will Be Judged on Actions

Hillary Clinton at Saban Inst 12-10 320x265.jpgAPN welcomed the Obama administration's commitment - as expressed December 10th by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - to intensify its efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. APN warned, however, that Secretary Clinton's words will be meaningless if not backed up by resolute actions that achieve results.

- Tell the White House to match actions with their rhetoric.

APN Legislative Round-Up for the Week Ending December 10, 2010

1. Bills and Resolutions 
2. A taste of things to come in the 112th Congress 
3. Senators Move to Limit US Iran Diplomacy

obamaisraelflag320x265.jpgThe news of the failure of the Obama administration's latest peace effort raises serious concerns about the future of President Obama's Israeli-Palestinian peace policy.   As the Obama Administration readies to announce what will come next, it must recognize that after two years in office, good intentions are not enough: it will be judged now on actions and results, not on words.

Spring 2011 Internships at Americans for Peace Now

Are you passionate about achieving Middle East Peace? Are you ready to take your activism to the next level? Are you a college student who is looking to get some work experience? Maybe you should apply for an internship at Americans for Peace Now.

In the fire, a glimpse of hope

Carmel Fire - PA Firefighter and Truck 186x140.jpgIsrael was struck by disaster last week: A forest fire blazed out of control outside of Haifa. More than 40 were killed. Israel's firefighters didn't have the manpower or the equipment to put out the blaze.

Today the fire is under control thanks to assistance Israel received from the United States, European countries, Turkey, and its Arab neighbors.

Alpher answers questions about the Mt. Carmel fire and the continuing ramifications of Wikileaks' release of State Department cables.

APN Mourns Death of Scores of Israelis in Deadly Fire

Washington, DC -- Americans for Peace Now (APN) mourns the death of dozens of Israelis in the deadliest fire in Israel's history. 

The fire, already characterized by Israel's media as the deadliest disaster in the country's history, is still raging near Haifa (12/5 update: Firefighters have gained control of the fire) . Israel's emergency services are reporting scores of fatalities and many injuries.