New Obstacles To Peace In The Middle East. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Hadar Susskind, President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, a 42-year-old organization which, according to its website, is committed to persuading Americans to support policies that will lead to a comprehensive and durable Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace based on a two-state solution.
When asked if the peace movement in the U.S. had faded, Susskind responds, “I think you have to make the distinction between the political parties and leadership of what we call broadly the left and the peace movement – the NGO organizations. Certainly, if you look at this most recent Israeli election, which happened just the week before our U.S. election, the rightwing has returned to power and the leftwing political parties really did not do well at all.”
Yet Susskind explains that, if you add up the votes in the parliamentary system, the opposition actually got 30,000 more votes. “That’s my roundabout way of saying there actually are very strong, very vibrant, very important peace movement organizations working in Israel, starting with our colleagues at Peace Now and including many others. But this is most likely going to be the most rightwing government, a government where Netanyahu who, as you mentioned, is under indictment and has an ongoing trial around corruption and bribery – he’s actually going to be the reasonable center in the government,” Susskind says, “It has the possibility, even the likelihood of being incredibly damaging.”
Recognizing that the U.S. plays a very important role in Israel, Susskind notes, “I think it’s important for American political leadership to be very clear about what our policies are and what our priorities are in the region and to stand up for those things.” He adds that one of the major issues to consider is whether or not military hardware provided by the U.S. is used in human rights violations.