Peace Now brings West Bank settlement data to smartphones, desktops

If you don’t think technology is changing Jewish activism, you’re probably living under a rock.

Americans for Peace Now (APN) has come up with a unique way to use technology to get its message across; today the group announced its  “Facts on the Ground: The APN Map Project.”  for the Iphone, Ipad and desktops.

What it does is provide computer and smartphone users with a portable, up-do-date database on Jewish settlements in the West Bank “integrated with high-tech mapping technologies.”

Peace Now in Israel has established itself as the leading monitor of settlement activity; its maps are legendary among reporters who cover the issue, and now a lot of that information will be even easier to get.

“This new app shows the unfiltered realities that settlements create on the ground of the West Bank,” said APN CEO Debra DeLee. “While people are entitled to their opinions on this divisive issue, there is only one set of facts, and our app makes these facts available in unprecedented clarity and detail.”

In the APN release, DeLee added  “We hope this app will revolutionize the debate over West Bank settlements, breaking through polemics and spin, and anchoring the discussion in the facts.”

I sort of doubt that; it seems to me that most users will probably be activists already committed to the Peace Now cause. But there’s no question the new APN smartphone app will draw a lot of attention to the group’s top issue, and it might prove a handy tool for administration officials and assorted Middle East activists who worry about the impact of the settlement issue on the prospects for a negotiated peace agreement.

Right now it’s just for the Iphone, Ipad and desktop, and only in English; a Hebrew version is in the works, and so is one for Android devices.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.