Pressure on Israel?

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Pressure on Israel?

WASHINGTON - Tonight, President Obama is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Monday, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and Netanyahu were among the speakers at the annual conference
of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

ANDREW BACEVICH
Professor of history and international relations at Boston University, Bacevich is an author whose latest book is The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.

He recently wrote the piece "How
Petraeus could swing thinking on Israel: His belated recognition that
U.S. and Israeli interests aren't always intertwined has particular
impact
," which states: "How long the United States can tolerate the
denial of Palestinian self-determination is one question demanding
urgent attention. Yet behind that question there lurks an even larger
one: Is the progressive militarization of U.S. policy in the Greater
Middle East -- entrusting ever more authority to proconsuls like Gen.
Petraeus and flooding the region with American troops -- contributing
to peace and stability? Or is it producing precisely the opposite
result?"

RAE ABILEAH
Abileah is a national organizer with CODEPINK and a Jewish-American of Israeli descent who interrupted Netanyahu's remarks Monday night. See: "CODEPINK Protests Netanyahu inside AIPAC Gala: Activists call for end to siege on Gaza and illegal settlements."

Earlier Monday, a spoof news release distributed by CODEPINK,
saying that AIPAC had called for an Israeli settlement freeze, was
reported as fact by NPR and other major media.

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer.
Bennis said today: "Despite a campaign commitment to making a two-state
solution real, which would require real pressure to make Israel comply
with international law, the Obama administration's policy towards
settlements has largely been limited to a series of polite requests of
Israel. Request: 'Please freeze settlements.' Answer: 'No.' 'Please
freeze settlements.' Answer: 'No.' 'Please freeze just a few
settlements.' Answer: 'No.' 'Please freeze just a few settlements, just
for a little while.' Answer: 'Maybe ... well ... no.' Then they stopped
asking.

"Someone seems to have told the Obama administration that a series
of polite requests equals pressure. It doesn't. Real pressure looks
like this: 'Please stop settlements.' Answer: 'No.' 'Then, you know
that $30 billion that Bush arranged for you from U.S. tax money, and we
agreed to pay -- you can kiss that goodbye.' That's what pressure looks
like."

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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

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