• Flawed IHRA antisemitism definition reaches Ontario

    “As Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, has written, the IHRA definition is being used to ‘exclude criticism of Israel from the bounds of acceptable discourse.’”

  • Middle East Monitor: Pompeo in Israel: Three announcements that cement ‘apartheid’

    “Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), said the move was unprecedented in US policy. ‘This is brand new ground. There’s nothing comparable to it.’ Friedman told MEE that most organisations would not be able to certify that they don’t distinguish between settlements and Israel. ‘There are global NGOs that work around the world – and consistent with international law, with EU policy, with the values of human rights and civil rights, they differentiate between Israel and settlements,’ she said. ‘If this policy is implemented as it’s articulated by the State Department, it means that those organisations will not be able to be partners with the US anywhere in the world.’ …Friedman said Pompeo’s statement, in effect, annexes both the land and the people who live in Area C. ‘This is essentially the US recognising Israeli sovereignty and Area C – all of it.’ She added that the move exposes the two competing positions of pro-Israel advocates in the US who don’t meaningfully oppose annexation as they hold on to the two-state solution and vehemently push back against the idea of a single state with equal rights. ‘Palestinians living in Area C do not enjoy the same rights as Jewish Israelis in Area C – let alone Israelis inside Israel. Full stop. They live under a different legal regime. That is apartheid,’ Friedman said.”

    “I mean it’s the strangest thing: We actually have unprecedented clarity from the US administration in terms of seeing the West Bank as permanently part of Israel and saying it.

  • ‘Til Kingdom Come’: IDFA Review

    “…other warning voices include Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, who sees Israeli settlers and US evangelicals as alike in their ideological pursuit of what they consider a holy agenda…What emerges from the film is not only a disturbing picture of how extremist political and religious agendas are connected, but also a sense of the contradictions involved, including – as Friedman points out – the dubious question for Jews of getting into bed with the far right.”

  • Weaponizing Anti-Semitism, State Department Delegitimizes Human Rights Groups

    “Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, said that US officials were ‘weaponising’ anti-Semitism in a bid to repress human rights organisations critical of Israel. Friedman’s criticism focuses on the prevailing understanding of anti-Semitism adopted by both parties in the US, which was first defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The ‘working definition’, which Friedman says is politicised, states not only that anti-Semitism includes hostility towards Jews, but also ‘applying double standards” to Israel or requiring of Israel “behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.’”

  • DOC NYC 2020: ‘Til Kingdom Come (movie review)

    “Israel has written off progressive American Jews according to Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace…Lara Friedman gets straight to the point when she says: ‘It’s understandable of Israelis to seek allies. It’s a question though of who you decide to align with and what it says about you. It’s the irony of our times that there are great friends of the Jewish people who can be seen as anti-Semitic.’”

  • NYT: Palestinian Leaders Are Banking on Biden Win Next Week

    “Allowing the reopening of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic mission in Washington or restoring much of the aid to projects that directly benefited the Palestinian Authority would require Mr. Biden to overcome a number of legal obstacles, some of which might require Congressional approval. And re-establishing the United States Consulate in Jerusalem, which until 2019 functioned as the American diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, would require Israel’s permission — something it may not be too quick to grant in a city that Mr. Trump himself formally recognized as Israel’s capital. ‘These are all possible but they would require heavy political lifting,’ said Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and an expert on the role of Congress in the region.”

  • Aiming for regional peace, could normalization deals spark arms race instead?

    “Given that opposition to the F-35 sale has been overwhelmingly Democratic, one might conclude that it has been largely politically motivated. But Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman dismissed the assumption. ‘Supporting Israel’s QME is something that members of Congress — even those critical of Israeli policy — take very seriously,’ she said. “The idea that Israel lives in a tough neighborhood and needs these kinds of weapons that others don’t have has been beaten into the psyche of those on the Hill,” the head of the dovish DC-based organization said. ‘So when all of the sudden Congress members are being told by the White House that they need not worry, it’s rattling.’”

  • Beinart predicts a rightward shift on Israel among millennial Jews; Lara Friedman suggests progressive newcomers will bring ‘more backbone’ to Congress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    “Friedman focused on potentially significant shifts in the U.S. political environment, including Rep. Eliot Engel’s (D-NY) primary loss to Jamaal Bowman and the resultant race to replace Engel as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and other similar defeats of longtime House members to upstart progressive challengers. ‘Things are going to be changing in the next Congress,’ she said. ‘We’re going to see some of the old guard departing.’ Friedman noted that outside spending in Engel’s race and other primaries failed to prevent several incumbents from being unseated.
    ‘That sends a really powerful message to members of Congress,’ she said. ‘There is some hope that [in] the next House in particular, you will see more backbone.'” But Friedman said she does not expect much change from the status quo in a potential Joe Biden administration. ‘I think fundamentally it will be an effort to roll it back to the ‘highly successful’ — I say that with sarcasm — policy of the Obama administration,’ Friedman told the panel, adding: ‘Either Trump or Biden… I think it is going to be a more interesting situation next year where you potentially have more progressives willing to hold the line, particularly on constitutional matters.’”

  • Redefining anti-Semitism on Facebook

    “Yet, the people behind this campaign are neither interested in irony nor in justice, and certainly not in justice for Palestinians. As Lara Friedman, the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace who wrote an expose on the Facebook campaign for Jewish Currents, has pointed out, their letter to the Board of Directors “’represents the latest front in the battle to use the IHRA definition to officially exclude criticism of Israel from the bounds of acceptable discourse’”.

  • Lara Friedman at Jewish Currents: Israel-Advocacy Groups Urge Facebook to Label Criticism of Israel as Hate Speech

    “ON AUGUST 7th, amid broad efforts to get Facebook to clamp down on extremist activity and hate speech, more than 120 organizations sent a letter to the social media giant, urging it to “fully adopt” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism as the “cornerstone of Facebook’s hate speech policy regarding antisemitism.” This definition, which was adopted by the IHRA in 2016 and has been promoted to governments worldwide, includes several examples of what it describes as “contemporary” antisemitism—including “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards” to Israel—that can be interpreted to define much criticism of Israel, Israeli policies, or Zionism as antisemitism. This letter represents the latest front in the battle to use the IHRA definition to officially exclude criticism of Israel from the bounds of acceptable discourse…”