Media

  • Politifact: Was Jimmy Carter the last president to call Israeli settlements illegal?

    Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, which supports a two-state solution, told PolitiFact that, “in effect, Carter was agreeing with the assertion that he views settlements as illegal — in that they were contrary to the Geneva Convention, meaning illegal — without using that word himself.” At least one of Carter’s subordinates went so far as to use the word “illegal” — the United States representative to the United Nations, William Scranton, in a 1976 speech. “Substantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal under the (Geneva) Convention,” Scanton said. Friedman added that a group of memos to Carter from his chief of staff Hamilton Jordan used the term “illegal” in relation to Israeli settlements 16 times…

  • The Israel-Palestine Peace Process Is [really, truly] Dead. Now What? Masterclass Middle East by Lara Friedman

    “Halfway into Donald Trump’s four-year term as president of the United States, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is, irrefutably, dead. Its final deathblow came in the form of the White House’s embrace of a hardline Israeli ideology – which today likewise dominates the Government of Israel – that rejects both the premises and goals of the Oslo process, including the framework of land-for-peace, the goal of a negotiated two-state solution, and the very legitimacy of Palestinians’ claims to national political aspirations. For all who reject zero-sum outcomes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this is an historic moment of both peril and opportunity: the way forward on Israel-Palestine, and how it fits into and impacts on the broader regional picture, is now uncharted territory.”

  • Jewish Currents: Why Are the Democrats Doing Bibi’s Dirty Work?

    “Of the many bad pieces of legislation being discussed in Washington at the moment, there are two particularly pungent anti-BDS bills presently winding their way through Congress—H.R. 246 and S. 120. If a Congressional freakout about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement feels familiar, it’s because the Senate already passed a bill targeting BDS in early February before it stalled out in the House. But rather than concede defeat, pro-Israel advocates and their Congressional allies have opted for what Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, has correctly identified as a “tactical shift,” a canny softening of language designed to get more Democratic buy-in.”

  • NYT: How the Battle Over Israel & Anti-Semitism is Fracturing American Politics

    Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and former director of policy at Americans for Peace Now, the sister organization of the Israeli group Peace Now, which works to promote a two-state solution, says she worries that anti-B.D.S. laws set a precedent for legislative assaults on free speech in other domains: “The American Jewish community, which is broadly speaking liberal, has allowed itself in the name of defending Israel and fighting B.D.S. to become the leading edge of illiberalism by pushing legislation to curb free speech.”

  • BDS: An In-Depth Conversation

    J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami and Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman in conversation with Todd Gitlin. They discuss what BDS is and isn’t — and offer strategies for responding to this very polarizing issue.

  • US diplomats speak out against closure of Palestine mission

    Lara Friedman, director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, was a diplomat at the consulate from 1992 to 1994. She told Al-Monitor that the move, coupled with the closure of the Palestinian mission in Washington, signified the United States’ “formal de-recognition” of the Palestinians as a people.“It relegates them — for the first time in history — to the status of an internal Israeli issue, to be reported and understood exclusively through the lens of the US-Israel relationship. In so doing, this move will make the situation on the ground worse, will make the possibility of peace more remote and will further isolate the US in its self-imposed bubble of bad policies shaped not by the facts or expert, apolitical analysis, or even by US interests, but instead by the agenda of a handful of messianic ideologues,” she added.

  • JPost: U.S. diplomat revisits Hebron massacre with previously unreleased cables

    Copies of declassified United States government cables, chronicling the Baruch Goldstein massacre of 29 Muslim worshipers in Hebron in 1994 and the wounding of more than 125 others, have been tucked away in a box under the desk of former diplomat Lara Friedman. On that fateful day of February 25, Friedman, who would later work for the left-wing organization Peace Now and today runs the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, was a foreign service officer at the US Consulate General in Jerusalem.

  • Here’s The Pro-Israel Lobby’s New Plan To Preserve Its Political Influence

    Omar’s and Tlaib’s ascendancy within the Democratic Party, alongside Bernie Sanders and other progressives who reject bundled donor or corporate money, “challenges the entire structure on which AIPAC’s influence is based,” noted Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a left-leaning Washington-based think tank.

    “This could certainly be successful,” Friedman said. “But let’s be clear: if AIPAC believes that a new group selling same old AIPAC hasbara is going to resonate with Americans who today are voting both with their ballots and their wallets to support candidates who are truly progressive — including when it comes to Israel-Palestine issues — then it suggests that AIPAC is out of touch or in denial about what is happening at the grassroots level in this country.”