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Aviva Meyer

I'm writing to you because you have been supportive of APN in the past. So, first, I'd like to say thank you for your past support.

I recently joined APN's board as I feel strongly that this is a pivotal moment for the peace movement in Israel and for Israel's future. As we usher in 2014, we are halfway through the time allotted for this round of peace negotiations. Soon we will know if President Obama and Secretary Kerry were successful in getting Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to agree on the outlines for a future peace deal.

But we can't just sit and wait for the outcome of the negotiations. At this time, we need to do as much as we can -- more than we have done so far -- to help Israel reach peace with its neighbors. It is tempting to become cynical, or to give up, but we must remember that this is the real thing. This is what we have been waiting for: Real negotiations over all "final status" issues, mediated by a determined US Secretary of State, who is willing to apply real US pressure and even submit a US plan in order to get results. This is the time to show more commitment than ever.

I have been a long-time APN donor. When the attached letter from Debra was first was sent to me, I was moved and motivated by it. It gives a taste of the true effect of settler extremism by focusing on one aspect - the destruction of the very symbol of peace: olive trees. The letter shows just how routine the extreme settlers' vandalism and violence has become - so banal that it has ceased to be news, reminding us that the longer a two-state solution is not reached, the more extremism creeps into Israeli society. Debra's letter was so powerful that I wanted to call it to your attention on the assumption and hope that it would strike you as it struck me, so that you too would feel the same sense of urgency that I do.


Again, please accept my thanks for your past support of Israel's peace movement and please think about what the pamphlet says - if you can make a gift now, please do.

I look forward to the day when peace becomes a reality, and you and I can focus on other worthy causes. Unfortunately, we are not yet at that point. Peace Now's work is only possible with the financial support of people like you. Your tax deductible contribution helps: it supports our settlement watch program, monitoring and challenging what happens in the settlements, calling on the government to make changes and publicizing the activities of the settlers and advocating on behalf of peace.

Thank you so much.

Aviva Meyer,
Board, Americans for Peace Now

On A Bright Sunday Morning

last October, Suleiman Jaber of the West Bank village of Kufr Lakef walked to his olive grove to find seventeen uprooted trees. It was the third time in a month that his olive grove, near the settlement of Karnei Shomron had been vandalized. On that night alone, October 6th, a total of 85 trees were uprooted around the villages of Kufr Lakef and Qaddum.

On October 9th, there was a brazen attack by revenge-seeking Israeli settlers in the village of Jalud, near Nablus, reportedly because of the razing of an illegal outpost by the IDF. Masked settlers reportedly attacked a Palestinian school (where children were in class), vandalized 5 cars, and burned 400 olive trees. Six minors and four adult settlers were reportedly arrested. The IDF did their job and Palestinians suffered.

Image of Olive Tree

Just over one year ago, in October 2012, the Israeli press noted that settlers destroyed nearly 600 olive trees in six Palestinian West Bank towns, not including stolen olive harvests and additional damage to trees. A UN report notes that between January and mid October 2012, extremist settlers destroyed more than 7,500 olive trees."

Palestinians depend on these trees for their livelihood. Nearly half of their agricultural land is covered with olive trees. Extremist settlers are doing anything they can to provoke Palestinians. Mosques and monasteries have also been vandalized and set on fire. It is as morally appalling as it is damaging to the state of Israel. When we call them on their actions, these radical settlers lash out at us, too. Leaders of Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) have been subjected to numerous death threats and acts of vandalism for working to achieve peace. Extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank have holds.

Yet, extremists are taking an axe to any attempt to make peace. Noah's olive branch was only a symbol, but the destruction of the trees is more than symbolic - the threat to the peace process is real.

Thankfully, the extremists do not monopolize the power to shape the future. Most Israelis still fervently desire a two-state solution. Most Israelis want a secure peace. And peace is still possible.

Image of Olive Tree Burning

What do you get when you support Americans for Peace Now? We and our Israeli partner Shalom Achshav are organizations that many consider their moral compasses, as we document disastrous settlement expansion and work to curtail it.

You can sit back while extremists chop down the peace process. Or you can help Americans for Peace Now plant peace. If you care about peace between Israelis and Palestinians, spread the word to your friends, family and social connections. Remember, this is not about right vs. left: it's about right vs. wrong. You can do the right thing: join us in planting a hopeful future.

Your tax deductible contribution to Americans for Peace Now helps support Peace Now's essential programs.