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APN Condemns Violence at JVP Event

Americans for Peace Now's President and CEO Debra DeLee today commented on the violent incident that occurred at an event organized by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) on Sunday in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"People must be able to talk about Israel in an open, safe environment. It is extremely upsetting that Sunday's JVP event was disrupted by a violent incident that involved pepper spray," DeLee said.

"What happened Sunday is part of a litany of events that demonstrate just how difficult it is becoming for American Jews to speak in a civil manner about the issues. This summer, APN's West Coast Regional Director was heckled when he took his turn at the dais of a solidarity-with-Israel rally. Rabbi Michael Lerner - editor of Tikkun Magazine - had his home vandalized in May," DeLee said

DeLee added: "We have seen a similar breakdown of civilized discourse in Israel. Extremists are using violence and intimidation to squash the open, constructive debate on public policy, which is the essence of democratic discourse. The time has come for all of us in the American Jewish community to reject violence and intimidation, and to conduct our debates on controversial issues in a civilized, rational fashion."

APN recently joined the Jewish Council for Public Affairs' Statement on Civility and strongly urges other Jewish groups to do the same.