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Blog: October 2011 Archives

It's Either Abbas or Hamas

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this week that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should leave his post soon and that "anyone who replaces (Abbas) will be better than he is." Lieberman called Abbas "an obstacle to peace."

The firebrand foreign minister was talking about the same Abbas who Prime Minister Netanyahu called "my partner in peace," the same Abbas who Israel's President Shimon Peres recently characterized as "the best (Palestinian) leader we will work with," the same Abbas who former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin this week called a "statesman."

Rabbis Reflecting on Peace and Tolerance

APN's intern, Benjamin Kasdan, browsed several sermons that U.S. rabbis gave on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and put together this essay. Thank you, Ben, for the thoughtful piece.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time of reflection and self- criticism for Jews all over the world.  Across America, pulpit rabbis urge their synagogue members to take stock not only of their own behavior, but also of the conduct of community as a whole. 

This year, many rabbis addressed the organized Jewish community's difficulty tolerating dissenting voices within the community, especially criticism of objectionable Israeli government policies.

Following are short excerpts from three sermons of leading US rabbis who addressed the issue during the Days of Awe.
Outposts are again taking center stage in the settlements debate, as the Netanyahu government announces two new policies aimed at legalizing illegal outposts. In doing so, the Netanyahu government is sending a clear signal that it values settlements over negotiations, and it prefers "Greater Israel" to peace.

Most people are familiar with JustVision because of its powerful film "Budrus," which chronicles one West Bank village's ultimately successful non-violent popular struggle to change the route of Israel's separation barrier. Now JustVision has released 4 powerful new short films that put a very human face on the struggle against settlers in Sheikh Jarrah. They are very much worth watching and sharing widely.

APN's Lara Friedman in the Jerusalem Report: Call for a New Paradigm

The October 24th issue of the Jerusalem Report (print only) includes this op-ed by APN Director of Policy and Government Relations Lara Friedman, written shortly after President Obama's speech at the United Nations.  A pdf of the original article can be viewed/downloaded here.

Call for a New Paradigm
by Lara Friedman

In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly in late September, US President Barack Obama, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stated: "The question isn't the goal we seek - the question is how to reach it. And I am convinced that there is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades."

Peace Now honored for supporting reservists

Yariv_Oppenheimer_IDF_Uniform186x140.jpgThe Peace Now movement has recently received a certificate of merit from Defense Minister Ehud Barak for its support of reserve soldiers.
The certificate was personally signed by Barak and Chief Reserve Officer Brigadier General Shuki Ben-Anat. "For your activity and care for employees serving in reserve duty. Your activity is commendable and greatly contributes to the IDF's fortitude and the State of Israel's security."

"Price Tag" Terrorism Crosses the Green Line

Price_Tag_Collage186x140 copy.jpgThe extremist settlers call it "Price Tag." We have always called it by its proper name: Terrorism.

Now, Israel's Shin Bet, the IDF's top brass and Israeli Cabinet members agree with us. On Monday, shortly after a mosque was torched in an Israeli-Arab village in the Galilee and "Price Tag" graffiti was found nearby, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, a member of the extreme right wing Yisrael Beitenu Party, told an Israel Radio reporter that he prefers not to use the perpetrators self-serving jargon. "This is an act of terrorism," he said.
OutpostLieverman186x140.jpgThere is an old saying that goes "if you want to know how someone really feels, listen to what they say but more important, watch what they do."  In recent days the world has heard the Israeli government insist that it is serious about peace and about returning to negotiations without preconditions, but the Israeli government's actions have belied its words, as has so often been the case in the past.

Congress Blocking Aid to the Palestinians: the Facts & What They Mean

This past weekend there were press reports (original story in the Independent, with further reporting in the Israeli press) that Congress was blocking $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA).  As is often the case when it comes to the rather arcane world of Congress and appropriations, the press reports were partly correct and partly incorrect, and also missed some rather important points.