• Miriam Adelson’s Unfinished Business (NY Magazine)

    “In 2024, the two have unfinished Israel business from Trump’s presidency. Along with annexing the West Bank, the first Trump administration proposed recognizing Israeli settlers’ right to remain in homes on occupied lands. Also for Israel to remain an occupying force in any future Palestinian state. ‘I would take them at their word,’ says Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. They told us what they wanted to do in 2020. We should believe them, she thinks. ‘Last time around, they showed every interest in using antisemitism as a sharp-edged heavy weapon to try to shut down’ talk of Palestinian rights.”

  • Congressional Republicans Launch ‘Fishing Expedition’ Against Progressive, Jewish, and Palestinian Nonprofits (Reason)

    “…’This is part of a broader effort to demonize parts of the tax-exempt sector that a part of the Republican Party views as a key target in the war on woke,’ says Lara Friedman, president of the nonprofit Foundation for Middle East Peace, which has been tracking Congress’ stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ‘If you make this about supposedly fighting antisemitism, you bring parts of the Democratic Party with you.'” and “Friedman, the Foundation for Middle East Peace president, believes that the congressional letter is more likely to have a ‘chilling effect’ on nonprofits than to turn up any real evidence of illegal activity. ‘It’s partly a fishing expedition,’ she says. ‘And by lodging an accusation, they hope to paint a picture in the mind of the public.'”

  • Anti-Defamation League ramps up lobbying to promote controversial definition of antisemitism (The Guardian)

    “Critics have said the ADL has aligned itself with rightwing organizations, which was a central issue in the 2022 Drop the ADL campaign calling on progressives not to work with the group. The group has also joined forces with rightwing donors and groups pushing for the same legislation, said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. ‘The way that ADL and company are arguing for Jewish safety makes a zero-sum battle between that and the right to protest, and it’s weird for an organization like the ADL to play a key role in accrediting that paradigm,’ Friedman said.”

  • Campus protest crackdowns claim to be about antisemitism – but they’re part of a rightwing plan (The Guardian)

    “In a tactic familiar from the post-9/11 landscape, GOP lawmakers and civil society leaders from groups like the ADL and the Brandeis Center have endeavored to paint student protesters and groups as ‘terrorists’. This is bad news for activists across the country: a 2024 report by the Center for Constitutional Rights details how ‘core features’ of US antiterrorism law, ‘driven by anti-Palestinian agendas’, were ‘expanded and ‘brought home’ to repress other protest movements’, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests against the ‘Cop City’ Atlanta police training center. As early as next week, the Senate could vote on a bill designed to penalize criticism of Israel by suspending tax-exempt status for ‘terrorist supporting organizations’ – which Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, said would ‘dispense with the due process’ and empower ‘a single US official to act as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner of [American] orgs whose viewpoints that official disagrees with’.

  • The Bipartisan War on Pro-Palestinian Activism (The Nation)

    “‘This looks like almost dictatorial power given to a single political appointee, who will serve as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner,’ says Lara Friedman, the president of the DC-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, whose late April X thread on HR 6408 drew the first wave of significant public attention to its fiercely anti-free speech M.O. ‘This is about how you accuse and hold accountable American citizens in violation of US material support laws, and there’s a well established way to do that that involves due process. This is a new track to do that without any due process protections.’” and

    “‘This is about being able to rescind SJP’s tax exemption,’ Friedman says. ‘I don’t think a lot of people in Congress want to get up and say ‘I’m going to defend this group that allegedly has ties to Hamas.’ And since no one will make a courageously factual case that this is bullshit, that’s how all this got traction.’ It’s a familiar dynamic for groups like Foundation for Middle East Peace, which advocates for just outcomes in the Israel-Palestine conflict. ‘This is very much along the lines of the anti-BDS legislation that passed in state legislatures,’ she adds. ‘Back then, everyone sort of overlooked that, thinking it was a narrow Israel-Palestine issue that didn’t really concern anyone else. And now that legislation is the template for anti-DEI bills and other legislation that punishes speech.'” and

    “Given the fraught state of discourse surrounding the present wave of anti-Gaza protests, it’s not hard to envision a ratified COLUMBIA Act being used by hardcore supporters of the Gaza war—and skittish campus administrators—to dismantle Arabic and Middle Eastern studies programs outright. ‘What they’ve got there is the complementary legislation to Trump’s executive order, which makes the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition the official definition of antisemitism’—a version of the term that Palestinian activists have protested on the grounds that it equates Judaism and Zionism, says Friedman. ‘Then you create this monitor, and the IHRA definition becomes the official definition of antisemitism on campus.’ It’s always tempting, given Congress’s steady transformation into a glorified theater of culture warfare, to shrug off such measures as mere donor-pandering on autopilot. But the repercussions of such posturing in the real world are all too chilling. ‘They’re saying that the IRS should be using a political litmus test to determine a group’s nonprofit status,’ Friedman says. ‘That should alarm anyone.'”

  • FMEP’s Lara Friedman on Ian Masters’ Background Briefing on Gaza War & NGO legislation

    “We begin with the apparent intention of the Israeli Prime Minister to escalate the war in Gaza by invading Rafah and turning Gaza into a tent city of refugees amid the rubble of their former homes. Joining us to discuss this and efforts underway in the House and Senate to strip IRS non-profit status from NGO’s and other foundations supporting Palestinian causes is Lara Friedman, the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace…”

  • This Bill Would Give the Treasury Nearly Unlimited Power To Destroy Nonprofits (Reason Magazine)

    “‘Some observers seem to assume that it is merely about virtue signaling and grandstanding, but careful reading of the text of HR 6408 strongly suggests something much more serious,’ wrote Lara Friedman in her Foundation for Middle East Peace newsletter. ‘This would be: enabling a new category of legal harassment of NGOs [non-government organizations], focused in the first instance on those that engage with Palestinians or on Palestinian issues, but also enabling attacks on NGOs working in any sector and on any issues.'”