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CNI to Publish a Full-Page New York Times Ad

For immediate release


Contact: Shannon O'Hara, 202-863-2951

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 13, 2006) -- The Council for the National
Interest Foundation will publish a full-page New York Times ad
this Easter Sunday, April 16th. The title of ad, which will run on the
back page of the "Week in Review" section of the Sunday Times, is
"America, Hamas and the Israel Lobby." It is the first in a bimonthly
series of such advertisements, which will explore U.S. policy in the
Middle East for the estimated 5 million readers of the Sunday Times,
published by the Council for the National Interest Foundation.

The advertisement addresses the need to create and maintain an American
discourse with Islamic nationalism, particularly with the newly-elected
Hamas government in Palestine. It makes the connection between lack of
progress on the Israel-Palestine dispute with our need for a positive
end to the American adventure in Iraq.

One section of the advertisement asks the question: "Will the Israel
lobby taboo be broken?" It concludes that the "Israel Lobby and U.S.
Foreign Policy" study by Harvard and University of Chicago professors
may be a tipping point leading to a new understanding of how important
it is for the Israel lobby to be brought under control and made more

President Eugene Bird said, "We have seen a free and fair election in
Palestine, and ignoring or trying to topple that government would be the
worst idea of this administration. Yet we are going down that road with
the Israel lobby cheering us on."

The following is the full text of the New York Times ad to run on the
back page of the "Week in Review" section on this Sunday, April 16th.
You can see the full ad at the following link:

To make a tax-deductible contribution to the Council for the National
Interest Foundation click here:

Donate Now!


/*"Why has the United States been willing to set aside its own security
in order to advance the interests of another state?"*/

*//*You can make a difference in bringing the debate over Middle East
policy back to an open and rational discourse. Israel’s only security is
in finding a way to peace with Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Join in our
cause to bring some common sense to American policy in the Middle East.

*/Palestine, Iraq and the War on Terror/*

What happens in Palestine deeply influences what will happen in Iraq and
in the war on terror. As a recent study by professors at Harvard and the
University of Chicago concludes, “Saying that Israel and the United
States are united by a shared terrorist threat has the causal
relationship backwards: rather, the United States has a terrorism
problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not
the other way around.”

In Iraq, and now in Iran, there is strong evidence that irrational
concern for Israel by U.S. policymakers continues to be a prime
motivation for our military adventures. And the credibility of our drive
for democracy in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East hangs by a thread
in our choice of policy towards the new government in Palestine.

Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000...

       Children Killed         Total Killed    Total Injured
Palestinians    719     3,858   29,691
Israelis        82      1,084   7,633
Isn't it time to make peace?
Sources: IDF, PRCS, Remember These Children

*/Islamic Nationalism: Stop Shouting, Begin Talking/*

As the elections in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine and even in Israel
itself demonstrate, Islamic nationalism is a rising phenomenon in the
Middle East. America and Israel can either confront that nationalism or
recognize it as a potential ally in fighting radical movements that
support terrorism in the Muslim world.

The President has said that we need moderate allies in the Middle East.
So far, the U.S. and Israel have chosen a military solution to what is
essentially a political problem. Israel was not successful in Lebanon or
in Gaza, with its military retaliations and continuous human rights
violations. Israel's unjust and brutal policies, and America's
uncritical support for those policies, are an important force in
alienating mainstream citizens in the Middle East into supporting
political parties that express their outrage, humiliation and anger.

If our top priority is a successful conclusion to the Iraq war, we must
learn to work with Islamic nationalists, and that includes the Hamas-led
Palestinian government. Toppling that government with the help of Israel
is apparently the unstated U.S. policy. A second election in Palestine,
however, is likely to be no different from the first.

Many Americans do not understand that Hamas is a typical anti-colonial
insurgency responding to an Israeli occupation and what amounts to
government terror against Palestinian civilians. It is not at all
related to al-Qa'ida or 9/11. Hamas has held a unilateral ceasefire for
a year, while Israel has ignored it and continues its attacks. Hamas
will not renounce suicide bombing or other terrorist tactics, which it
should, until Israel renounces assassinations that kill more civilians
than militants. Does anyone doubt that the massive financial pressures
being organized by the United States and Israel against the new
government of Palestine will lead to anything but more violence?

We now have a small window of opportunity to encourage dialogue between
the Palestinians and Israel. CNI recently sent a delegation to the
Palestinian elections and visited all five of Israel’s neighbors. In
twenty hours of filmed interviews with top Islamic leaders, the
delegation found a sense of self-confidence and a deep desire in each
nation for a meaningful dialogue with Europe and the United States, a
dialogue that is totally missing now. The Arab League could be very
useful if we recognized it and worked with it, as we do with other
regional organizations.

*/Will the Israel Lobby Taboo be Broken?/*

The study by the Harvard University and University of Chicago professors
had to be published in London. Yet the Boston Globe has suggested that
the taboo on discussing the Israel lobby has been broken.

The reaction from defenders of Israel almost proves the thesis of the
paper: “The overall thrust of U.S. policy in the [Middle East] is due
almost entirely to U.S. domestic politics, and especially to the
activities of the ‘Israel Lobby.’”

Will the firestorm pass, or will the organizations that support Israel
unconditionally continue to intimidate policymakers and politicians and
continue to close down debate on U.S. Middle East policy?

Some Christian evangelicals are joining in the fight to prevent the Bush
administration from pressuring Israel to give up any West Bank territory
for peace. This is based on their relatively narrow interpretation of
the Bible. The future is not bright, unless the American people come to
realize how dangerous an “Israel first” policy in the Middle East really
is for the war in Iraq and for containing terrorism.

In the last few months, we have seen the downfall of lobbyist Jack
Abramoff, the indictment of two AIPAC lobbyists for sharing classified
information with Israel, and the introduction of laws meant to curb
corruption in our nation’s capital.

Lobbies are an essential part of the American political system, but
lobbies that work on behalf of foreign governments are out of control.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is dedicated to
shunting American policy into supporting only the most extreme Israeli
actions. That is not in our interest, nor in the long-run interest of
Israel. Groups like AIPAC continue to pursue Congressional resolutions
that will delay peace talks for many years and starve the impoverished
and embattled Palestinian people. Such lobbies should be required to
reveal their activities. CNI is encouraging the adoption of a Foreign
Lobby Registration Act.

*/Monitoring Aid to Israel: A Requirement for Peace/*

Our $3 billion of direct aid to Israel each year is being used to
destroy any peace process. It is being used to build illegal Israeli
colonies in the West Bank that will soon contain 8% of the Israeli
population (around 400,000 Jewish Israelis) and take over 25% or more of
the West Bank, the heartland for a future Palestinian state. This is the
single greatest obstacle to peace.

President Bush has repeatedly called for Israel to stop building Israeli
colonies. Yet Israel has defiantly ignored that call and continues to
use fungible American aid to expand the colonies.

One out of every four dollars spent on the Israel Defense Forces comes
from deficit appropriations from the American Congress. Israel’s use of
her military against Palestinian civilian populations is in direct
violation of many international agreements and conventions. The American
taxpayer is tired of spending money to keep Israel at war.

Is it not time to at least monitor and closely control aid to Israel?

*/What You Can Do/*

You can make a difference. Before Congress reconvenes on April 24th, let
your Congressman and Senators know that current legislation being
proposed (S. Res. 2370 and H. Res. 4681) will have a strong negative
effect on the humanitarian and political situation in Palestine and
delay efforts for Middle East peace.

The Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNIF) is a sixteen
year-old 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization that works to promote a
rational and even-handed Middle East policy that is in the long-term
interest of America, Israel and the Arab states.

/“D//efending the occupation has done to the American pro-Israel
community what living as an occupier has done to Israel – muddied both
its moral compass and its rational self-interest compass./

*- Daniel Levy, Former adviser to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Ha’aretz*

/“We in Hamas are for peace and want to put an end to the bloodshed.
Though we are the victims, we offer our hands in peace, but only peace
that is based on justice.”/

*- Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister*

/“If you do not talk to people with whom you have issues, there is no
possibility of resolving them.”/

*- Ambassador Edward L. Peck*

CNI Foundation
Council for the National Interest Foundation



Council for the National Interest Foundation
1250 4th Street SW, Suite WG-1
Washington, District of Columbia 20024
Phone: 202-863-2951
Fax: 202-863-2952
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