Posts Tagged ‘Lara Friedman’


In my latest report for Inter Press Service, I examine a new Zogby poll of Israelis and Palestinians on the two decades of Oslo and the decidedly bleak outlook going forward.

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The head of the Yesha Council has stated the obvious–the settlers have won. In this week’s piece at Souciant, I examine his op-ed and its implications. Ultimately, until progressives, leftists and liberals can find some common ground to work together, there will be no solution until a cataclysmic event decides it. The right is marching steadfastly toward institutional apartheid, and if the left doesn’t get its act together, they will shift the terms of the discourse and the politics yet again, to everyone’s detriment.

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In my weekly piece at Souciant, I do a post-mortem on the PC(USA) divestment initiative, which failed by a 333-331 margin with two abstentions. I conclude that the defeat still shows a growing intolerance for Israel’s trampling of Palestinian rights.

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In this week’s column at Souciant, I revisit the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in light of recent events in Brooklyn and Peter Beinart’s controversial New York Times op-ed.

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Not much to say here, but WOW. Dov Weissglas was once Ariel Sharon’s right-hand man. He was the one who informed the world that the hidden agenda behind the Gaza withdrawal, in his own formulation was to put “formaldehyde” into the peace process.

Lara Friedman, of Americans for Peace Now circulated this op-ed that Weissglas published in Hebrew only in Yediot

Dov Weissglas

Ahronot yesterday. You can read her intro and the full piece by clicking here. I reprint the op-ed in its entirety here to increase its circulation. When a figure like Weissglas, whom no one would confuse with a “liberal,” a “leftist” or a “peacenik” says this it shows how clear the way out of the Israel-Palestine conflict really is.

It is time for Americans who care about Israel, Palestine or both to come together to push our government not to simply advocate ephemeral “negotiations”, but talks that are based on the parameters we all, including Weisglas, understand will be the realistic solution to this conflict. No more general talk of peace, but specific demands on both sides to accept these parameters, which so closely mirror those of former President Bill Clinton. (more…)

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Aaron Miller, long-time State Department official, warns President Obama against pushing so hard for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Lara Friedman, of Americans for Peace Now, explores the tangled web that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will

PA President Mahmoud Abbas

need to walk now that even the Arab League has endorsed direct talks.

The sum of both articles, though, leaves one wondering why Barack Obama is pushing so hard for direct talks.

It’s clear enough why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants direct talks. Israel has done nothing to advance the proximity talks and faced no consequences for it. In direct talks, that will be even truer; holding the talks will satisfy much of the world, and Israel will be able to prolong them indefinitely.

But what exactly does Obama expect to come from direct talks at this stage? Netanyahu is shouting to all that will listen that he can’t even extend the joke of a settlement moratorium or his government will fall (it won’t). So how can we believe he can possibly make the concessions necessary for peace?

That aside, let’s say Abbas and Netanyahu do come to an agreement that satisfies both sides. What happens with Gaza and Hamas? Part of any agreement that the Palestinians can agree to is the affirmation of the principle that the West Bank and Gaza are a single territorial unit.

If such an agreement, then, is not possible, what’s the big rush for direct talks?

It does seem that this is another symptom of the tragic lack of strategy that has dogged Obama’s Mideast efforts from day one. The President has kept this issue on the front burner, and I remain convinced of his good intentions.

But we all know what is said about the road to hell. (more…)

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