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Blog: December 2010 Archives

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.

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?

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.

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 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.

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.

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.