• ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Take Up Right to Boycott (Jewish Currents)

    “‘The organized Jewish community has known from the get-go that [anti-boycott laws] infringed on free speech,’ said Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. ‘Given a choice between upholding free speech and the right of protest for Americans, and undermining those rights writ large in order to protect Israel from criticism, they’ve demonstrated they prefer the latter.’”

  • US gives green light to Israel’s attacks on human rights groups (Electronic Intifada)

    “‘I found the most troubling element of the US response to what happened last week to be the statement about waiting for more evidence,’ Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace said during the DAWN webinar. ‘Because waiting for more evidence is not a passive statement. It is an active green light and encouragement for Israel to crack down further on these groups in order to try to manufacture more circumstantial evidence,’ she added. Friedman pointed to the discredited secret dossier on the groups that was given by Israel to European diplomats in May 2021 and supposedly contained information that justified the terror designations. ‘That dossier consisted virtually entirely of circumstantial evidence in the form of statements made by Palestinians under interrogation after they had been arrested by Israelis for similar charges,’ Friedman said. ‘This is coercive interrogation,’ on top of an already coercive military court system that leaves Palestinians with no due process. In another recent event, Friedman noted that Israel operates a ‘plea bargain factory’ in its military courts. Juana Rishmawi, a Spanish aid worker in her 60s, took a plea deal that saw her sentenced to 13 months in prison for her work with the Health Work Committees, which was declared illegal by Israel in early 2020. The Health Work Committees was not informed of the designation until Israel began an escalated campaign against it, arresting its director, Shatha Odeh, and closing its headquarters in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. ‘What [Rishmawi] pled guilty to effectively was unknowingly providing aid to an organization that Israel defines as a terrorist group,’ Friedman told the DAWN webinar. Israel held up Rishmawi’s plea agreement, made in a highly coercive context in which Rishmawi had no hope of actual justice, as proof against the targeted organizations.”

  • AIPAC says it helped defeat NY-10 candidate over her BDS stance (Mondoweiss)

    “‘That AIPAC hid its role in this race underscores truth that was clear in other AIPAC-targeted races in which it buried its pro-Israel agenda: these primaries were – by AIPAC’s own actions – by no stretch of the imagination referendums on voters’ views on Israel,’ tweeted Foundation for Middle East Peace Lara Friedman. ‘Indeed, the fact that AIPAC buried its agenda in the previous races & in this one completely hid its engagement behind another org, strongly suggests AIPAC knows that if it had made these primaries referendums on Israel the results might well not have been to its liking.’”

  • The Downfall of Israeli Intel in Washington? (Israel Today)

    “In a seven-thread tweet directed toward the Biden administration, Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and a former head of Americans for Peace Now, charged that the president took a ‘politically and morally cowardly approach of staying silent—an approach that amounts to foreign policy gross negligence/complicity.’”

  • As Israel Raids Palestinian Human Rights Groups, US Response Is Muted (Jewish Currents)

    “‘In some ways, Congress did the same thing the administration did. They were shown evidence, they were clearly pressed by Israel to join in and support this, and they decided, ‘there isn’t enough evidence,’’ said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. ‘But most of them didn’t decide to say anything to defend the right of NGOs to exist and operate.'”

  • Israel’s assault on Palestinian NGOs is shutting off access to international community (Middle East Eye)

    “;Most people looked at these designations when they first came out 10 months ago and understood this to be an effort to cut off international funding to them. If you cut off international funding to them, they’re no longer able to function,’ Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, told Middle East Eye…”

    “…Friedman said that by not offering a clear rejection of Israel’s actions, ‘it’s like being guilty until proven innocent’. ‘It’s as if we’re [the Unite States] going to basically operate in a space where we’re never going to stand up to Israel on this,’ she told MEE. ‘How long do you keep this process open before these organisations really can’t function anymore? At which point taking a position is irrelevant.'”

  • CIA unable to corroborate Israel’s ‘terror’ label for Palestinian rights groups (The Guardian)

    “According to Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, the US government’s public stance is a mixed one. ‘A lot of us would have liked to see an affirmative rebuttal of the designations,’ she said. ‘They didn’t do that, but there’s been nothing undertaken by this administration that would suggest they are viewing these organizations as terrorist organizations.’ But, she added: ‘The US administration has had ten months to convince Israel’ to reverse the designations. ‘Instead, this is now Israeli law.'”

  • ‘Frightening Escalation’: Palestinian Rights Group Says Director Detained by Israeli Agency (Common Dreams)

    “Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., called Sunday’s incident ‘the inevitable result’ of the Biden administration ‘agreeing to wait for more ‘evidence’ (after admitting ‘evidence’ Israel gave them til now was BS).’ Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, declined to explicitly the West Bank office raids during a Thursday press briefing but said that the administration is ‘concerned’ and had ‘reached out to the Israeli government… for more information.’…
    Friedman highlighted what members of the groups could face based on the past behavior of Israeli authorities. ‘The Kafka-esque example of World Vision’s Mohamed Halabi exemplifies this reality,’ Friedman said of an aid worker’s recent and widely criticized trial. ‘Secret evidence, detention for SIX YEARS with Israel trying to force him to plead to ANYTHING they could use, and then convicting him anyway.'”

  • Biden administration expresses ‘concern’ over Israeli raids, but refuses to condemn them (Mondoweiss)

    “’The Biden Admin has had Israel’s ‘evidence’ for almost a year,’ wrote Foundation for Middle East Peace president Lara Friedman. ‘It clearly knows this ‘evidence’ is BS — otherwise there is zero doubt they would have validated Israel’s designations/designated the groups themself. But knowing the evidence was BS, they appear to have taken the politically & morally cowardly approach of staying silent — an approach that amounts to foreign policy gross negligence/complicity.’ ‘Make no mistake: This is a Chekov’s gun situation,’ she continued. ‘Israel put the gun on the table last October. The Biden Admin saw that gun and decided to do nothing to pressure Israel to remove it. Now, the Biden Admin cannot claim surprise when Israel aims/fires that gun at Palestinian human rights defenders.’”

  • Pro-Israel groups denounced after pouring funds into primary race (The Guardian)

    “Some of Aipac’s supporters have suggested that the focus on Aipac’s funding of campaigns against candidates critical of Israeli government policies is antisemitic because the group is doing no more than other lobby organisations. In response, Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, tweeted: ‘So AIPAC can do it … & AIPAC can brag about doing it … But talking about what AIPAC did (at least in a critical way) is antisemitic. See how that works?'”