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April 2013 Archives

Washington, DC - Americans for Peace Now (APN) condemns the killing of an Israeli civilian in the West Bank by a Palestinian assailant, who has been arrested. This murder -- the first of its kind since 2011-- cannot be justified for any reason.  Such acts of violence are immoral and unjustifiable.  The victim, a 30 year-old resident of the settlement of Yitzhar, leaves behind a wife and 5 children.


Alpher discusses what is the strategic significance of the controversy over chemical weapons use by Syria that was ignited last week in remarks by a senior Israeli intelligence officer; what he makes of media reports in Israel that Naftali Bennet is considering introducing a bill requiring a national referendum over any peace treaty reached with the Palestinians, and that he is trying to enlist the support of Yair Lapid; whether Kerry's plan to have a four-way Middle East peace summit in June, along with a comprehensive economic program to encourage US and European investment in the West Bank makes sense.

Dr. Nader Said Foqahaa joined APN for a briefing call On April 25 2013 to analyze the Palestinian political scene and Palestinian public opinion following the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Listen here

Lapid, Here's the Money!


Yair Lapid, the big success story of Israel's recent elections, announced his venture into politics a year before the elections on Facebook. He wrote an essay asserting that any discussion on Israel's future must start with these words: "Where is the Money?" The question became his campaign slogan, and now follows him into his current position as Israel's Minister of Finance.

Victory in Hebron

Hebron wholesale market186x140.jpg

Following legal measures taken by Israel's Peace Now movement, settlers who had illegally taken over Palestinian shops in the wholesale market of Hebron, today peacefully left the building.


Alpher discusses possible scenarios for the future of the post of prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, What Egypt is doing to restore order to the Sinai Peninsula and why isn't it working, the conjunction of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's trip to Israel with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's resolution supporting Israel in the event it attacks Iran's nuclear weapons program.

APN Legislative Round-Up: Week Ending 4/18/13 (one day early)

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. SFRC Amends S. Res. 65
3. Hearings
4. Kerry on the Record, on the Hill

Note: Apologies for the abbreviated/early Round-Up this week, but it won't be possible to publish on Friday...

Yesterday, at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Kerry stated:

"But I can guarantee you that I am committed to this because I believe the window for a two state solution is shutting. I think we have some period of time in the year to year and half to 2 years, or it's over."

Book Review: Gaza Kitchen

Gaza Kitchen.jpg

This is the seventh in a series of reviews of new books on Middle Eastern affairs. We asked Dr. Gail Weigl, an APN volunteer and a professor of art history, to review Laila El-Haddad's and Maggie Schmitt's new book about the cuisine and culture of the Gaza Strip.

Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt, The Gaza Kitchen:  A Palestinian Culinary Journey (Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2013). 138 pages.  $29.00

Dance for Peace success!


On April 11th, Americans for Peace Now brought together J Street U and the American Task Force on Palestine for "Dance for Peace," a night of music, food, and dialogue. College students of various backgrounds, nationalities and faiths from around the Washington, DC area came to meet others who care deeply about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Between bites of hummus and falafel, and to a soundtrack of popular Israeli and Arabic music, students were given the chance to hear a variety of perspectives on the conflict in a fun, relaxed setting.

Washington, DC - Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes amendments made by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) to temper a problematic Iran-war resolution. The amendments to Senate Resolution 65 were adopted today at an SFRC "mark-up" meeting on Capitol Hill.

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes amendments made by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) to temper a problematic Iran-war resolution. The amendments to Senate Resolution 65 were adopted today at an SFRC "mark-up" meeting on Capitol Hill.

A Victory in the Senate (Possibly Two!)


Last month, we asked you to take action on an AIPAC-backed resolution, S. Res. 65. We were concerned that this resolution, if passed in its original form, could become a "backdoor to war" with Iran, giving a green light for Israeli military action against Iran that would almost certainly compel the U.S. to join the fight.

Mapping The Dangerous Future Of Jerusalem

by Sarah Wildman

In a city where borders mean everything, one stubborn man has made it his mission to record and warn others about changes to the city.

"The quip in Hebrew is 'everyone pisses in the swimming pool. Not everyone does it from the diving board.' What we've been watching in the last year is an unprecedented surge in settlement activities." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "has been pissing from the high board, and what we hear from D.C. is, 'hey, there is a light rain.'"

Daniel Seidemann is not a man who trades in verbal niceties...


Alpher discusses Israel's security situation on this, the sixty-fifth anniversary of its independence, the ramifications of PA Prime Minister Fayyad's resignation, and why the Netanyahu government reportedly rejected Secretary of State John Kerry's proposal to renew two-state talks with the Palestinians on the basis of discussing borders and security first.


Audio recording of April 11th briefing call with filmmaker Dror Moreh on his award-winning documentary "The Gatekeepers." Listen here.

Yom Ha'atzmaut -- Restoring True Nature


Early Israelis were filled with pride in 1958 when a monumental effort to dry the Houla wetlands was completed. For seven years, under Syrian shelling that claimed the lives of forty people, Israeli and British engineers dried more than 15,000 acres of marshes, hoping to secure a vast piece of land for agriculture. Drying the Houla wetland was perceived at the time as the purest, boldest manifestation of the Zionist ethos of kibush ha-shmamah ("Conquering the Wilderness").

APN Legislative Round-Up: Week Ending 4/12/13

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. FY14 Function 150 (Foreign Affairs Funding) Request
3. Hearings
4. Members on the Record
5. From the Press


Behind and beyond the Kerry visit.

Alpher discusses all the difficult pieces that US Secretary of State John Kerry must juggle in his third visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah in two weeks in trying to restart the peace process: what he's seeking from each side, where Turkey fits in, what Egypt is doing about Hamas and how might this factor into Kerry's efforts, where Jordan fits in, and what is the bottom line.

Book Review: Grossman's To the End of the Land

This is the sixth in a series of reviews of new books on Middle Eastern affairs. We asked Dr. Gail Weigl, an APN volunteer and a professor of art history, to review David Grossman's heart-wrenching novel about the emotional toll of the conflict.



By Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb

The basic rules of kashrut - which animals we eat, and which we avoid (meat-milk strictures came later) - are outlined this week in Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 11. While some say that keeping kosher is a chok, a dictum, with no clear rationale, others place it among the mishpatim, righteous rules given for real reasons - with ethics, public health, peoplehood, and spiritual development among the common explanations.


Americans for Peace Now mourns the death of Diane (Dee) Halley, a fellow peace activist and a friend of APN.