This message arrived this afternoon from the Council for the National Interest Foundation, and states,
Stop Rep. Tom Lantos from Holding Biased Hearing on Annapolis Conference Tomorrow
Well who is surprised that Tom Lantos, an AIPAC representative in Congress, would do such a thing. Everyone realizes, I presume, at least by this time, given Israel’s backtracking, that Condi Rice’s missed her last chance to remake her failed Secretariat of State through an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Tom Lantos is now attempting to cover up the wasteful Annapolis Conference photo-op. Lantos knows as well as everyone else, that Israel has no intention of allowing the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and intends to annex the region on the very next available pretext.
But for now, as the heat on Israel to appear peace loving, we have Tom Lantos as the MC of another propaganda show, interviewing two of the most notorious right wing American Zionists, Ross and Wursmer.
Here’s the CNI email:
Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has called for a hearing for Wednesday afternoon at 2:30pm on After Annapolis: Next Steps in the Middle East Peace Process. Rep. Lantos has represented California’s 12th district since 1981. During this time, he has been a strong advocate of Israel in the House of Representatives and an ally of AIPAC, as well as sponsor of the war in Iraq.
This biased hearing will feature two witnesses: Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and David Wurmser of Delphi Global Analysis Group.
For more than twelve years, Dennis Ross played a leading role in shaping American involvement in the Middle East peace process. He was responsible for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during both George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. Currently, Ross is counselor of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the research arm of AIPAC. Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer named Dennis Ross as a member of the Israel Lobby in their recent book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.
David Wurmser has previously served as the Middle East advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and was a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute. Many credit Wurmser, a neoconservative, as being one of the main authors of the 1996 report A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, which was prepared for then incoming Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. A pro-Israel ideologue, Wurmser has advocated war with Iran and US interference in Syria – Lebanese relations. His wife, Meyrav Wurmser, is the director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the neoconservative-aligned Hudson Institute.
This absurd witness list shows that Congressman Lantos is not capable of exercising his duties as Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in a responsible manner. Dennis Ross and David Wurmser should not be dictating the next steps for the peace process, please help us bring about change on Capitol Hill today!
TAKE ACTION: Pick up the phone and call Rep. Lantos today at 202-225-3531 and demand that he add to the witness list a representative of an organization that is unbiased, or at least not pro-Israeli. Eugene Bird, president of CNI, has formally asked that two members of the recent delegation to the Middle East, Ambassador Robert Keeley and Richard Bliss, be added to the witness list today. If Rep. Lantos is unwilling to provide the Committee on Foreign Affairs with impartial experts, the least he can do is balance his partiality with witnesses who have recently traveled to the region and can testify as to the realities on the ground.
The delegation from the Council for the National Interest Foundation recently completed a five-nation trip to the Middle East in exercise of “citizen” diplomacy. Along with peace activists and non-governmental organizations, the delegation met with high-ranking officials in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon to discuss the implications of the Annapolis conference.
Don’t let Congressman Lantos get away with another biased hearing. Take action today!
Call his office today at 202-225-3531 and inform him that these biased hearings on the Hill will no longer be tolerated. Please suggest that he counterbalance the witness list with members of the CNI Foundation delegation. Your phone calls will make a difference!
So phone in.
Annapolis… and Beyond
UPDATE from Huntington Post:
Representative Tom Lantos: “True Blue and White”
Posted December 5, 2007
Today, Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has decided to hold a hearing at 2:30 pm on the recent Middle East peace meeting called “After Annapolis: Next Steps in The Middle East Peace Process.” It sounds wonderful. He has taken the initiative of holding this hearing on how we can continue pursuing such an even-handed policy in the peace process as we have so faithfully pursued throughout the past six decades.
Or not. Let’s start with the hearing where two witnesses are invited: Dennis Ross and David Wurmser. While on the surface, Dennis Ross is a neutral expert as he was responsible for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during both George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations, he is currently counselor of the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the research arm of American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC). David Wurmser is also a seemingly neutral expert who has previously served as the Middle East advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and was a former research fellow on the Middle East at the American Enterprise Institute. But what Lantos wouldn’t share on the press release is that Wurmser, too, is a neoconservative and has long been credited as being one of the main authors of the 1996 report Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, which was prepared for then incoming Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Both invited witnesses have a consist record of disproportionately and unconditionally supporting Israel.
Read on here at Huffington Post: