• As U.S. Jerusalem Consulate Shuts, Pro-Israel Envoy Takes On Palestinian Relations

    Lara Friedman, a former U.S. foreign service officer in Jerusalem and president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, called the consulate closure “a massive shift” in U.S. policy. “At this point we are saying to the Palestinians and the world — we do not see the Palestinians as a people to engage directly. They are now a minority and a subset to our relationship with Israel,” said Friedman, who is not related to the ambassador.

  • Is West Bank Annexation Imminent?

    Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, said she too believes the Trump administration will takes a hands-off approach should Israel move to annex the West Bank. She said the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has publicly said “he considers that all of the West Bank belongs to Israel. He uses the words ‘us’ and ‘we’ when he means the Jewish people.” She observed: “There are some in this administration who in all likelihood will not have a problem with that orientation.”

  • Bernie Sanders pushed the Democrats left on Israel in 2016. Has he become the party’s mainstream?

    “Before the last presidential campaign, it was an article of faith that no candidate of any serious stature would go near Israel-Palestine,” FMEP’s Lara Friedman tells JTA. Sanders showed, she said, that “you can engage politically on this issue in a way that differs from the orthodoxy that has defined where politicians can go. Not only does it not hurt you, it makes you stronger as a candidate.”

  • JTA: Is there a need for another big Washington pro-Israel group?

    The Jewish Democratic Council backs anti-Israel boycott movement legislation under consideration in Congress, as does AIPAC; J Street, which opposes the boycott movement, also opposes the legislation, joining left-leaning groups that say the bill would impinge on speech freedoms. (The legislation broke a Senate filibuster this week and is scheduled for a vote before week’s end. Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, is tracking how senators are voting.)

  • What You Can’t Say About Israel

    There are signs that U.S. opinion might be shifting on Israel and its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. Mehdi Hasan interviews FMEP’s Lara Friedman and Marc Lamont Hill.

  • A Week Into New U.S. Congress, Tense Debate Erupts Over anti-BDS Bills

    Friedman said that for Republicans, “any Democratic opposition to these bills over concerns about freedom of speech will end with a statement bashing Democrats for being supposedly ‘anti-Israel”. She added that “so long as progressives allow the term ‘pro-Israel’ to be defined by Netnayahu and his supporters, there is no win for them on this. Until they take the initiative and take back the definition of what it means to be pro-Israel, this will be a losing argument for them.”

  • After Pittsburgh, Jewish Groups First Fight Is Against BDS — Not White Nationalism

    “An effort to now use this massacre to move legislation on the Hill that literally has nothing to do with the kind of anti-Semitism that was at play in this massacre, but is about trying to shut down criticism of Israel and activism related to Israel, seems opportunistic and cynical,” said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.