In my latest piece of reporting for Inter Press Service, I talk about the appearance yesterday of Dennis Ross at his new/old home, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The combination of Ross’ experience and WINEP’s role in the Israel Lobby will make his a powerful voice even outside of government. It’s worth hearing what he had to say.
Posts Tagged ‘WINEP’
Posted in Iran, US-Israel Lobby, tagged AIPAC, democracy, Dennis Ross, Egypt, human rights, Iran, Israel, Israel Lobby, Middle east, Obama, Occupation, Palestine, Palestinian Authority, pro-Israel, Settlements, Two-state solution, WINEP on December 14, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Congress, Palestine, United Nations, tagged Abbas, Abe Foxman, ADL, AIPAC, Elliott Abrams, Howard Berman, Israel, J Street, Middle east, Obama, Palestine, Palestinian Authority, Ros-Lehtinen, United Nations, WINEP on September 15, 2011 | 2 Comments »
This piece originally published at LobeLog
Yesterday, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearingon the future of aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Aid to the PA is under bi-partisan attack in Congress due to the Palestinians’ campaign to somehow upgrade their standing in the United Nations. The campaign against the Palestinians, and also against the United Nations, has already gained enough momentum that yesterday’s hearing, initially to have been held in session of the Subcommittee on the Near East and South Asia, was upgraded to a hearing of the full Foreign Affairs committee.
Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who has introduced a bill threatening UN funding mainly, though not exclusively, over the issue of Israel and the Palestinians. But her predecessor as Chair, Howard Berman (D-CA) was absolutely blunt in saying: “I believe it is appropriate to point out that should the Palestinians pursue their unilateralist course, the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual assistance that we have given them in recent years, will likely be terminated.”
Four leading Democrats, Steve Israel (D-NY), Robert Brady (D-PA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Steven Rothman (D-NJ) have sent a bill to the Foreign Affairs Committee which would “… prohibit Foreign Military Financing program assistance to countries that vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state in the absence of a negotiated border agreement between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”
With all this, you’d think aid to the PA was doomed, would you not?
But hold on. At the hearing, there were four witnesses, with David Makovsky of the AIPAC-created Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) being the most moderate. The other speakers were James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation, Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (which, along with Heritage, are neo-conservative think-tanks, with more info available here) and neocon all-star Elliott Abrams. (more…)
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Abbas, AIPAC, David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Iran, Israel, Israel Lobby, Jordan Valley, Middle east, Netanyahu, Obama, Occupation, OECD, Palestine, Palestinian Authority, Pete Rouse, pro-Israel, Rahm Emanuel, Russia, settlement freeze, Two-state solution, West Bank, WINEP on October 1, 2010 | 3 Comments »
A short while ago, I was asked to write an article about why there was some hope for the peace process. I agreed to write it, after some consideration.
I was completely honest in the article, describing why I thought the best hope for success in the talks lies in the potential for a serious American effort to move the process forward and how this was actually possible politically.
What I left out, or really, only lightly alluded to was my near certainty that such effort was not likely to be forthcoming. For the most part, that seems to have been the case.
What we’re left with now is a growing sense of despair, as the Palestinians seemed poised, at this writing, to quit the current round of talks (the first in two years) in the wake of Israel’s refusal to extend the phantom “moratorium” on settlement construction.
There have also been some significant developments in Washington that bear some scrutiny in the wake of what seems to be a disastrous failure of a great deal of effort on the part of the Obama Administration to broker direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
I’ll start with one event that, while it certainly made the news, has not gotten anything like the attention it deserves, especially from Israel. That is Obama’s success in convincing Russia to cancel a billion-dollar weapons deal with Iran.
This deal was in the works from 2006, and was agreed upon in 2007. The Bush Administration had spent considerable effort to thwart the sale, with no success, and the fact that Obama succeeded is a major foreign policy victory for him. More than anything, it should have been a major bone to toss to Israel, whose current government has repeatedly indicated that they would be more disposed toward negotiations with the Palestinians if more was done regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Russian arms were air defense systems, and their presence could have made a theoretical Israeli attack on Iran more difficult. (more…)
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Ackerman, AIPAC, Border Crossings, Chomsky, Durban 2, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Israel Lobby, Martin Indyk, Middle east, Obama, WCAR, WINEP on February 18, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
My latest piece at Zeek magazine. You can see it by clicking here. In it, I describe the first visible steps the Obama administration is taking toward breaking with past policies.
The change is visible on many levels, and perhaps most importantly in Congress, where a major pro-Israel figure is stepping up and sharply criticizing settlements and other Israeli practices.
My view counterpoints the cycnicism of much of the hardcore left, which seems determined to believe that Obama will change nothing of substance in his dealings with Israel.
Do you need an expert speaker on Israel-Palestine, the history of the conflict, the US-Israel relationship, the different sectors of the peace movement, and many other topics related to Israel-Palestine?
Use the contact form here to contact me to speak to your group, on your panel or at your event.
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