Media

  • Middle East Eye: NGOs, donors pledge solidarity with blacklisted Palestinian civil society groups

    “‘The cynical weaponization of anti-terrorism laws poses an existential threat both for Palestinian human rights defenders and those defending human rights globally,’ FMEP president Lara Friedman said in a statement. ‘The breadth of signers of this letter underscores funders’ shared recognition of the urgency of challenging this dangerous tactic, and of the moral obligation to defend partners on the ground who, in essence, have been singled out for attack because they have done their work defending human and civil rights too well.'”

  • Jewish Currents: Philanthropist Michael Leven Donated to Canary Mission Blacklist

    “‘The Jewish mainstream looks at Canary Mission and it makes them uncomfortable. The idea of trying to ruin students’ lives is uncomfortable. But the bottom line is it comes out of the Jewish mainstream,’ said Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (and a contributing writer to Jewish Currents). ‘Shutting down critics of Israel and criticism of Israel on campuses is in the mainstream. [Leven’s donation] is one more piece of evidence of how mainstream it is.’”

  • AZ Jewish News: AZ divesting from Ben & Jerry’s citing ‘antisemitic, discriminatory efforts against Israel’

    “[Lara] Friedman, who is also president of the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, said Arizona, Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever have all been crystal clear, and the state’s law is being applied the way it was intended. Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s say they are not boycotting Israel, but Arizona has defined boycotts to ‘explicitly apply to ‘in territories controlled by Israel,” she said. ‘The law basically says, ‘We don’t care if you do business inside the sovereign state of Israel, if you are differentiating between the sovereign state of Israel and areas of Israel that are not even under Israeli law, or part of the sovereign state of Israel but are controlled by Israel. We consider that boycotting, and you’re done.”

  • NPR: Israel’s New Leader Wants A Fresh Start With America. That Will Be Tough

    “Progressive American Jews, who overwhelmingly voted for Biden, increasingly view Israel’s policies toward Palestinians through the lens of racial justice. ‘It’s a Jewish American population that is maybe more aware than at any time since the civil rights movement of what inequality and inequity and injustice means,’ said Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington. But she said the Democratic establishment has little appetite to adopt progressive positions and push Israel to change its policies significantly toward Palestinians in a way that could be turned into a wedge issue weakening Democrats ahead of U.S. midterm elections.”

  • ForeignPolicy.com – An Israeli-Palestinian Ice Cream Sandwich

    “But persuading the courts or Americans themselves to sanction Ben & Jerry’s may not be the ultimate point of the exercise, according to some observers. ‘This is less about waiting to see if sanctions are imposed on Ben & Jerry’s,’ said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. ‘The point is to send a message to any company that this is going to cost you financial harm. It’s the chilling effect.'”

  • Times of Israel: How McDonald’s took the same stance as Ben & Jerry’s but avoided public backlash

    “‘Israel decides to make an issue of people differentiating [between] settlements [and Israel proper] when it feels like it,’ she [FMEP’s Lara Friedman] said, referencing economic agreements former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government signed with the EU and South Korea and China that explicitly do not apply to the settlements. ‘In those cases [Netanyahu] didn’t make a deal of it or accuse them of boycotting Israel.’…FMEP’s Friedman explaining that Jerusalem seized on the public nature of Ben & Jerry’s announcement ‘as an opportunity, rather than a challenge.’ ‘Where McDonald’s is a challenge because [the government would] like to keep their branches in Israel, Ben & Jerry’s has been an opportunity to reframe the issue in terms of BDS and to send a warning message to anyone else who might want to do it,” she posited, noting that the same strategy was employed against Airbnb three years ago.'”

  • JTA: How US laws against Israel boycotts could hit Ben & Jerry’s

    “Following a series of First Amendment challenges to the laws, many states now set a minimum amount of $100,000 in trade before anti-BDS measures can be triggered against a contractor. That would mean that smaller Ben & Jerry’s contracts would remain unaffected, even in states with anti-BDS laws. But Friedman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that future contracts could be jeopardized. ‘If Ben & Jerry’s bids annually for a contract to provide ice cream for the University of Texas, and the University of Texas has an anti-BDS clause that you have to sign when you’re putting in a bid, that could be a problem,’ she said.”

  • Foreign Policy: Israel Goes to War Again, This Time Against Ben & Jerry’s

    “The effort here is to impose the greatest possible reputational harm and business costs on Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever,” both to reverse the policy and send a chilling message to other companies, Lara Friedman, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, told Foreign Policy. ‘But this was the point of these anti-BDS laws: redefining support for Israel as support for Israel and its permanent control over the West Bank and East Jerusalem.’”

  • Times of Israel: US states’ fully baked anti-BDS laws could put the freeze on Ben & Jerry’s

    “Lara Friedman, who tracks anti-BDS legislation as president of the Foundation of Middle East Peace, said she expected states to act swiftly. Lara Friedman, who tracks anti-BDS legislation as president of the Foundation of Middle East Peace, said she expected states to act swiftly. ‘For legislators trying to make a really political statement, I don’t see them saying, ‘Well let’s wait and see,’” she said, adding that settlement boycott opponents will likely be “scrubbing the books in the states that have these laws to see if they can take some punitive action.’”