• 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.”

  • 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.