The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Obama, Netanyahu and AIPAC: Professional Wrestling or Real Fight?


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint meeting of Congress tomorrow.

NOURA ERAKAT, nourae at
Erakat works as an adjunct professor of international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University and is the U.S.-based legal advocacy coordinator for the Badil Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights. She is also a contributing editor to

She said recently on Democracy Now: "What Israel has been doing is trying to create its own de facto borders, and therefore not recognizing that there is an armistice line [the 1967 border]."

SAM HUSSEINI, samhusseini at,
Communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini recently wrote the piece "The Absurd U.S. Stance on Israel's Nukes: A Video Sampling of Denial," which states: "The upshot of the professional wrestling 'fight' between Obama and Netanyahu the last several days is that they both want the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be decided by 'negotiations between the parties.' These 'negotiations' are between a nuclear armed Goliath Israel and largely defenseless Palestinians. It's like 'negotiations' between the Corleone family and a bandleader -- except we're not even supposed to notice the Corleone family comes to the table with huge guns drawn."

ABBA SOLOMON, abbasolomon at
Solomon is the author of the new book The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein's Speech, 'The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews. Solomon addressed efforts by Palestinians to achieve statehood by going to the United Nations. He said: "The Israeli and U.S. governments are saying [such moves] would be 'anti-peace' because [they would be] unilateral (i.e., without Israeli approval)." Solomon notes however: "In 1947 and early 1948, some Jewish factions felt it was important to reach [an] agreement with Arab Palestinians, but were over-ruled by militants who disparaged the idea of reaching agreement, and celebrated the decision later." In his book he notes: "Discussing [Judah] Magnes and his Ehud group, which had been for a negotiated, bi-national state, [Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba] Eban said: 'The doctrine of "established fact" has been entirely vindicated against that of "prior consent."'"

RAE ABILEA, codepink.rae at
Abiela is spokesperson and media coordinator for Move Over AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee], which held a conference this weekend in Washington, D.C. coinciding with AIPAC's own annual convention. Among those at the Move Over AIPAC conference were Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, Jewish Voice for Peace Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, editor of "The Only Democracy" Jesse Bacon, Donna Nevel of "Jews Say No!" and Hanna King of the group Young, Jewish, and Proud. Epstein explained her desire to attend the conference, saying that "AIPAC pretends to speak for all Jews, but it certainly does not speak for me or other members of the Jewish community in this country who are committed to equal rights for all." See: "Protesters create stir before Obama speech."

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.