News Release

Annapolis Conference

LAILA EL-HADDAD
A journalist based in the U.S. and the Gaza Strip, El-Haddad recently wrote the piece “Annapolis, as seen from Gaza.
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Amb. ROBERT KEELEY
DANIEL LIEBERMAN
A former U.S. ambassador to Greece, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, Keeley was recently on an 18-day delegation to five Mideast countries organized by the Council for the National Interest Foundation, which Keeley now chairs. Lieberman, editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web-based newsletter, accompanied the delegation and wrote the piece “The Turbulent Winds of the Annapolis Conference: A Voyage Through Middle East Capitals Reveals the Suppressed Truths.”
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MOSSI RAZ
NIDAL FAQAHA
The Geneva Initiative arose after the last official Israeli-Palestinian peace talks ended unsuccessfully in 2001. Negotiators from both sides refused to end talks and privately continued negotiations. Supported by the Swiss government, they agreed on a Model Permanent Status Agreement in Geneva in 2003. Raz serves on the board of the Israeli Geneva Initiative and is a former member of the Knesset, the Israeli legislature. Foqaha is executive director of the Palestinian Geneva Initiative. They will speak at St. Anne’s Church in Annapolis this evening at an event that begins at 5 p.m., they begin their talks at 7 p.m.
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PHYLLIS BENNIS
A fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis’s most recent book is Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer. She recently wrote the piece “Middle East Talks in Annapolis: Photo-Op or Talk-Fest?”

Bennis said today: “This conference is not about bringing justice to the Palestinians or security to the Israelis, both of which are desperately needed. It’s about isolating Iran and polishing the U.S. image and especially that of Condoleezza Rice, who is perhaps best remembered in the region for encouraging the Israeli attack on Lebanon to continue.

“It is important to remember that the U.S. as well as Israel bear significant responsibility for the divisions, tensions and violence inside the Palestinian polity. In his leaked confidential report, former UN representative to the so-called Quartet, Peruvian diplomat Alvaro de Soto stated directly that ‘the U.S. clearly pushed for a confrontation between Fatah and Hamas — so much so that, a week before Mecca [the Saudi-brokered unity agreement between the two factions], the U.S. envoy declared twice in an envoys meeting in Washington how much “I like this violence,” referring to the near-civil war that was erupting in Gaza in which civilians were being regularly killed and injured, because “it means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas”.’

“The talks in Annapolis will likely not even address the current humanitarian (as well as political) crisis currently ravaging the 1.6 million people of Gaza. The U.S./Israeli-led international boycott of Gaza, as well as Israel’s designation of Gaza as an ‘enemy entity,’ will remain in place.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.