• Florida prepares to pull Ben & Jerry’s investments over Israeli settlement boycott (The National)

    “‘There’s nothing accidental about this,’ Lara Friedman, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, told The National. ‘The Israel law and the US laws were designed to corner companies and individuals in the international community into taking a side: there is Israel, river to the sea, and you stand with it or you’re an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bigot.’”

  • 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.’”

  • How anti-BDS laws paved the way for the assault on critical race theory (+972 Magazine)

    “According to Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Israel — whether its backers intend it or not — is often used as a wedge issue to make reactionary policy palatable to liberals and progressives. Once reactionary policies designed to help Israel are passed, they are often expanded upon to other fields. Friedman pointed to legislation in states like Texas that targets private businesses for discrimination against the gun, oil, and gas industries, which are based in part on anti-BDS legislation. These Israel-related bills, she said, are ‘the tip of the spear to destroying free speech.’”

  • Both of These Politicians Opposed Iron Dome Funding. Only One Was Called Antisemitic (Haaretz)

    “Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman says the Iron Dome response is ‘the latest example of the selective outrage when it comes to anyone who doesn’t hew to the expected status quo position when it comes to supporting Israel.’ She says the difference in Democrats’ statements on Paul compared to the House fury ‘would suggest that much of the elected Democratic Party either wants to fend off accusations that Democrats are insufficiently pro-Israel, or they are very happy piling on to delegitimize members of their own party who hold positions on Israel that they find uncomfortable. There seems to be an insistence on differentiating between why somebody is asking questions about something related to Israel,’ she says. If ‘the person who was asking questions is Republican, and is doing so ostensibly for reasons that are not about criticizing Israeli policy, then that’s basically [seen as] OK. If a Democrat is seen to be obstructing in ways that have anything to do with a kishkes test that says they are not sufficiently supportive of Israel, right or wrong, then they fail,’ she adds.”

  • 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.”

  • – 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.'”