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Blog: August 2011 Archives

Peace Now activists tell Glenn Beck to go home!

Peace Now activists challenged Glenn Beck's rally in Jerusalem's Old City yesterday, and shamed the Israeli officials who permitted him to hold such a provocative event at one of the world's most sensitive sites. 

Peace Now's demonstrators carried signs saying "Glenn, take your hate back," "We have enough fanatics here," "With such friends, who needs enemies?" and "Bibi, have you run out of friends?" 

Peace Now protests Glenn Beck's Jerusalem Rally


When Glenn Beck and his followers come to Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday for their provocative "Restore Courage" rally they will get an earful from Peace Now activists. They will demand that Beck and his supporters stay away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and from one of the most sensitive sites on earth. Peace Now supporters will meet on Wednesday at the Dung Gate in the Old City to tell him that he is no friend of Israel and is doing it a disservice by fanning the religious flames of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

APN Strongly Condemns Terror Attacks in Southern Israel

Washington, DC - Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns the coordinated series of terrorist attacks in southern Israel today. APN sends its condolences to the families of the attacks' victims, and wishes fast and full recovery to those who were injured. APN stands with the people of Israel. 

In a piece published last week in Commentary, Jonathan Tobin confidently asserts that:

"While no American government has ever recognized Israeli sovereignty over any part of the ancient capital, it is equally true never before had an American president made an issue of the building of homes in the existing Jewish neighborhoods begun in the immediate aftermath of the reunification of the city in 1967. Though settlement building in the West Bank has been a constant source of tension, and projects such as the one at Har Homa outside these Jewish sections of the city (although it was on vacant, Jewish-owned land) were disputed by Washington, housing in places like Ramat Sharon had never been a bone of contention."(emphasis added)

You'd think before anyone would make such a categorical assertion in print (or even online), he'd first bother to check the facts.  Because the facts are easy to check.
The United States does not recognize the sovereignty of any party in any part of Jerusalem (East or West).   This is not a new policy imposed by the Obama Administration, as some seem to believe or want others to believe.  It is a policy that dates back to pre-1948, and has been followed by every U.S. Administration since, regardless of the President or party in the White House.  Across this entire period, the policy has applied equally to Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian claims in the city.  What follows are representative examples across this entire period illustrating the consistency of this policy.

Earlier this week I observed: "while many Israelis living inside the Green Line are protesting the painful costs of unrestrained free market capitalism that has left them behind, Israelis living in the West Bank are enjoying an economic model that resembles nothing so much as state-led socialism - a model that ensures that even the richest settler enjoys benefits that the poorest Israeli can only dream of."

Now longtime Israeli politician Haim Ramon is saying pretty much the same thing in an August 4th interview published in Maariv:

Get your "I Boycott Settlement Products" twibbon!

Twibbon Sample.jpgBack on July 19th APN joined Peace Now (Israel) in calling for a boycott of settlement products.  We did so in response to the flagrantly anti-democratic anti-boycott law passed recently by the Knesset - the clear goal of which is to stifle protest against settlements and the Israeli government's continued support of settlements and settlement expansion. 

Since then I've received a deluge of responses from people applauding this move by APN and Peace Now, and expressing their own intent to boycott settlement products.  Many said they actually have been boycotting settlement products for years (as I have done) but now will do so even more proudly, knowing that the act represents not only a statement of protest against settlements, but defiant support for the democratic values that American Jews believe must remain a central part of Israel's character. 

Now anyone who shares these sentiments with APN (and has a twitter and/or facebook account) can show their solidarity by adding the "I Boycott Settlement Products" button (a "twibbon" for those familiar with this sort of thing) to their profile photos.  You can get this new APN twibbon here.

Fall 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. 

APN is seeking interns to work in our Washington, DC office for the Fall 2011 semester.

Reading the Conflict - The Oslo Accords

The Oslo Accords were much in the news this past week - Israel has floated the notion that it might "cancel" the Accords if the Palestinians go to the UN to ask for state recognition in September, and it occurred to me: Who the heck remembers the Accords anymore?

Bibi_Housing_Poster186x140.jpgThousands of Israelis are in the streets protesting high housing costs.  It is an amazing, indeed, stunning development.  Israelis from all walks of life are fed up with Israel's wealth gap as it continues to widen.

These protests are not about Netanyahu's policies regarding the Palestinians or the settlements. But let no one be confused: these protests shine a bright spotlight on policies of the Netanyahu government regarding settlements.