• “Biden’s Legacy Will Be Apartheid” (Jewish Currents)

    “Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, underscored that Biden’s vice presidency taught him to apply this logic to Israel, convincing him that fighting with Netanyahu over settlement building would lead him to ‘hemorrhage domestic political capital.’ Friedman cited right-wing attacks painting both Biden and Obama as hostile to Israel during their presidential campaigns, and noted the recent escalation of such tactics, with AIPAC’s unprecedented spending to defeat progressive candidates during the 2022 Democratic primaries. ‘Biden’s overarching priority is, understandably, ensuring that Democrats hold seats in Congress and the White House,’ she said. ‘They know this is an issue that can be weaponized against them in elections.’”

  • Biden Gives Israel a Pass on West Bank Violence – SpyTalk (Jonathan Broder)

    “By coincidence, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf was on an official visit to Israel last week when the violence erupted, leading to hopeful speculation among some Middle East watchers that her talks would focus on ways to tamp down the mounting communal violence. But Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, said the West Bank was not on the agenda. ‘The clear priority and objectives of the Biden administration when it comes to Israel these days is to find things to rally around in agreement and support.’ Friedman told SpyTalk. ‘So it’s about reassuring Israel on Iran; it’s about working on getting Israel into the U.S. Visa Waiver program; it’s about doubling down on the Abraham Accords and seeking a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.'”

  • ‘Crisis of leadership’: How Democratic infighting silences criticism of Israel – Middle East Eye

    “‘The idea of accusing progressive Democrats of being anti-Israel and antisemitic has been proven to be an incredibly powerful weapon, not just for Republicans to use against Democrats, but to throw in and let Democrats use against other Democrats,’ said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. ‘Until the Democratic party is willing to make space to legitimise a spectrum of views on Zionism and Israel, then this is always going to be a sharp-edged weapon that Republicans just throw onto the other side of the aisle and let Democrats attack each other with it.'”

  • Herzog’s US visit designed to showcase Democrats’ uncritical support of Israel – Middle East Eye

    “”Immediately after this current government came into took office, we started to hear language about the US-Israel relationship being stronger than one government or the policies of one government. And I think that’s something this administration and Democrats in Congress are leaning into hard,” Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, told MEE… ‘This [visit] is about bear hugging Israel, the idea of the nation, the people, the relationship,’ said Friedman. ‘The relationship is bigger than any of these policies. US unconditional, unshakable support for Israel’s security is bigger than any [judicial] reform.'”

  • Critics skeptical of Israeli “pilot program” to land U.S. visa waiver (Mondoweiss)

    “‘This pilot program appears to be an effort by the Biden Administration to bring Israel into the Visa Waiver Program without requiring it to end its systematic profiling and discrimination against Palestinian Americans,’ Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman told Mondoweiss. ‘This effort strips the term ‘reciprocity’ of all meaning, gives a U.S. kosher stamp to foreign governments engaging in blatant racism against Americans, and demonstrates yet again that the rule of U.S.-Israel relations – regardless of which party is in the White House, and even when talking about the welfare and rights of American citizens – is zero accountability.’”

  • How U.S. Conservatives Use BDS Boycott Laws to Target Other Progressive Causes (Haaretz)

    “The ease with which anti-BDS bills could be altered in order to create new bills that target, for example, the Black Lives Matter movement or environmental activists is illustrated in the film by Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace: ‘It turns out, you would only need to change about 10 words,’ she says. ‘Why people are not more worried about this is just baffling.'”

  • Israel’s Latest Hasbara Scheme Enlists High School Students as Trolls Against Palestine (MintPress)

    “Instead of shifting the status quo, Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), told MintPress News that the program is just another futile attempt by Israel and its lobby to dissuade criticism. Friedman continued, ‘This is consistent with the longstanding talking point of much of the U.S. pro-Israel leadership and the Israeli government, which says, ‘Don’t worry about what we’re doing. Worry about how you’re going to sell it.” Rather than look inward, Israel is instead trying to shift outside perspective. ‘The answer to criticism of Israel for its policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians isn’t to examine those policies and change them. It’s to do a better job changing the subject to things that are positive about Israel or de-legitimizing the critics,’ Friedman said.”

  • What is behind rising anti-Semitism around the world? (UpFront/Al Jazeera)

    “…what are the best ways to identify and combat anti-Semitism?

    And how do we separate anti-Jewish rhetoric from criticism of the state of Israel and its policies? In this week’s UpFront Special, Marc Lamont Hill puts these questions to Rabbi Brant Rosen, reconstructionist rabbi and founding member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, and Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.”

  • The ADL’s Antisemitism Findings, Explained (Jewish Currents)

    “Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), said she was struck that the report devoted more space to explaining how anti-Zionist groups operate than to analyzing white supremacist activity, despite the comparatively small number of incidents related to anti-Zionism. ‘Even if you accept the ADL’s conflation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism, their own numbers demonstrate that [leftist anti-Zionism] is not the largest problem. The fact that they give more space to this than to white supremacy or actual assaults on Jews really does disclose the political agenda that is underlining the ADL’s approach on this issue,’ she said. …Some of the ADL’s policy recommendations reference Israel advocacy explicitly. The audit calls on its readers to ‘mobilize’ against the BDS movement, and also recommends support for the Abraham Accords, a series of peace deals between Israel and Arab states, in order to ‘promote tolerance and fight antisemitism in the region.’ Many progressives have criticized the accords for failing to hold Israel accountable for the occupation. ‘This has become red meat for the Jewish community to say, ‘If you don’t support normalization of Israel’s relationships with the Arab world, that proves you’re anti-peace and antisemitic,’ Friedman of FMEP said. ‘If you won’t marginalize or erase Palestinians from the public narrative, then that’s antisemitism.’”