To return to the new Peace Now website click here.

Ya'alon hate-filled rhetoric

In a speech to Likud Party activists this week, Moshe Ya'alon -- Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs -- lashed out at Peace Now.

In order to save Israel, Ya'alon said, "we must deal with the issue of the virus that is Peace Now and, if you will, the elites. Their damage is very great. From my point of view, Jews should live in every part of the Land of Israel forever."

Ya'alon's ugly rhetoric sparked a wave of criticism. Prime Minister Netanyahu summoned him to a meeting yesterday, after which Ya'alon issued a statement saying his words were taken out of context. Ya'alon's statement, sadly, does not end this episode. He failed to take back his comment about Peace Now and many will take Ya'alon's words to heart.

As this episode unfolds, we want you to do two things:

First, click here to join our online petition.

Second, click here to make a donation to support the critical work of Americans for Peace Now and the Israeli Peace Now movement. Donate $50, $100, $200, or whatever amount is right for you.

Ya'alon's hateful words must be condemned because Peace Now is the best hope for Israel's future. Peace Now is the largest organization mobilizing Israelis in support of a two-state solution.

Ya'alon's hateful words must be condemned because incitement like this can result in violence. Two months ago, two Peace Now activists who were surveying settlement expansion came under attack. Less than a year ago a bomb exploded outside of the home of Professor Zeev Sternhell while flyers plastered in his neighborhood offered a bounty of a million shekels "to anyone who will kill a member of Peace Now."

But even while Ya'alon's comments are hateful, they clearly demonstrate that our important work is having an effect, that our message and mission is the right one, that peace is spreading, and that the extremists will try to stop us.  

It is Peace Now's court cases that have repeatedly compelled the Israeli government to roll back settlement construction. It is Peace Now that brings young Israelis and Palestinians together for dialogue. And it is Peace Now that mobilizes Israelis to push for peace.

By the way, Ya'alon's comments have drawn reaction from across the political spectrum. You can read some of these reactions here.