Documenting, and fighting, settlement growth


In this seven-minute video report by Israel’s Channel 2, Peace Now members debate one settler about construction projects in the West Bank and encounter a violent attack by another as they try to film.

When I last interviewed Hagit Ofran, who directs Peace Now’s settlement watch division, she told me her work isn’t about making Israel look bad, but about trying to get Israel not to "be bad." "When you begin breaking the law, you justify worse and worse things," Ofran said. Read the story here.

Now Peace Now is using the incident filmed above to raise money. Here’s the fund-raising letter the group sent out in the wake of the incident:

Dear _______,
Last week, we shared with you the critical work Peace Now volunteers perform surveying West Bank settlement construction. Work that could not happen without your efforts.

Today, however, I want to draw your attention to some stunning images that demonstrate just how dangerous this work is.

Last week, a team of survey volunteers were assaulted by a settler in the settlement of Dolev. The incident was captured on video and reported by Israel’s Channel Two, whose news team was documenting Peace Now’s work, and was also assaulted.

Video aired by Israel TV Channel 2

Click here to go to our blog and watch the Channel Two footage.

Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran filed a police complaint against the assailant, and an arrest was made. Israel Channel Two featured the incident prominently in its evening news broadcast Thursday.

This settler violence is inexcusable, heart wrenching, and, unfortunately, all too common. It undermines the possibilities for stability and peace. Settlers assault our volunteers because they know that Peace Now’s work has an impact. They know that Peace Now is the best resource for information about settlements and has reinforced President Obama’s firm hand to bring a stop to settlements.

Our volunteers risk their lives for peace, but they cannot work alone. We need your help so they can continue their work and to also give it even greater impact. Please, take one minute out of your day to stand against violence.

First, support the critical work of Americans for Peace Now. Donate, $50, $100, $200, or more. Give whatever is right for you. This funding is absolutely critical.

Second, join in on the conversation about this incident on the APN blog. Leave a thought or a message of hope and peace for Israel’s future.

Third, if you cannot give, forward this email to your friends and family. Let them see what is really happening on the ground in the West Bank.

Please do at least one of the above right now.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for all you continue to do. Supporting this work is critical to keeping settlements from making peace impossible.

Please donate, participate, or forward this message today.


Noam Shelef
Director of Strategic Communications
P.S. This is not the first time that right-wing extremists have resorted to violence against Peace Now. Less than a year ago a bomb exploded outside of the home of Professor Zeev Sternhell. His neighborhood was plastered with flyers offering a bounty of a million shekels "to anyone who will kill a member of Peace Now." 20 years ago, a grenade thrown into a crowd of demonstrators killed Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig. Please help today.

Recommended from JTA