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Blog: March 2009 Archives

Today the Newsweek-Washington Post site (PostGlobal) has an op-ed by me (Lara Friedman) and Hagit Ofran, my Israeli colleague at Peace Now who runs Peace Now's Settlement Watch.  Enjoy!

A reflection on knee-jerk propagandists

Haaretz's Anshel Pfeffer penned a powerful critique today of the knee-jerk Israel propagandists, for whom it is always easier to "blame the messenger" than to explore and internalize troubling Israeli actions.

Bibi "Partner for Peace"? Hold him to his Words!

Many have predicted in recent days that Binyamin's Netanyahu's premiership - he is expected to be sworn in shortly - means the end of the peace process. How can a prime minister who refuses to utter the phrase "two-state solution" pursue a meaningful peace process with the Palestinians, they ask.

The answer is vigorous encouragement. Encouragement from within Israeli society, which is still solidly supportive of the two-state solution, from within the American Jewish community - also solidly supportive of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, as recent polls have shown - as well as from the Obama administration and the international community.

Will the High Court hold its ground?

Monday's Middle East Peace Report covered the revelation that Defense Minister Ehud Barak did not intend to demolish illegally constructed settlement buildings in Ofra anytime soon.

Go HERE to see the video of this program held in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2009, sponsored by Middle East Progress, Americans for Peace Now and American Task Force on Palestine.

Coming to terms with the war in Gaza

Yesterday's Middle East Peace Report covered the discussion in Israel sparked by the statements of Israeli soldiers who served as combatants in the Gaza war this winter.  The testimony of these soldiers deserves reading, and it bears mention that there are other similar accounts now being made public.

APN Passover Haggadah Insert - 2009

Each year, APN provides language which can be added to the reading of the Haggadah at Passover.
Washington, D.C. - Come to a presentation and discussion with the veteran analyst, advisor to the Oslo negotiations, Geneva Initiative participant, and author
The event will be at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn

New op-ed: The vision of Israel's new government

My new op-ed on the vision for Israel and its relations with the Palestinians was just published in the Baltimore Sun. Here it is,0,2793131.story

Viewpoint: Where is Abba Eban when we need him?

By Ori Nir

March 18, 2009

Remember Abba Eban?

As Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to (again) become the prime minister of Israel, as hate-monger Avigdor Lieberman prepares to be sworn in as Mr. Netanyahu's foreign minister, and as security hawk extraordinaire Moshe Yaalon prepares to take over the defense ministry, I really miss Abba Eban. I miss Israel's quintessential diplomat, who fought so eloquently and effectively to portray to the world a just, moral and peace-seeking Israel in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

A moderated discussion to examine key issues -- how to best rebuild Gaza, avoid strengthening Hamas while bolstering Palestinian moderates, and United States engagement
The time has come for the U.S. to establish a serious political process that can deal with the core issues at stake in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including a smarter policy regarding Hamas.

Not Every Day is Purim

(The following article has been sent for syndication by U.S. Jewish weeklies)


By Ori Nir

A colloquial Hebrew expression says "not every day is Purim," which can loosely be translated to "you can't fool all the people all the time."

Israelis - and many in our pro-Israel community in the U.S. - in the past wanted to believe that Palestinian economic development is the path to resolving Israel's conflict with the Palestinians: If only the Palestinians have full stomachs and some cash in their pockets, they will forget about Israel's occupation of the West Bank, about their land being gradually eaten up by Israeli settlements, about their aspirations for independence and sovereignty being ignored.