News Release

* Mideast: Bush and Presidential Race * Rallying against Iran * Elliott Abrams

STEPHEN ZUNES
Zunes is Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus and author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. He said today: “The only way there can be real progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace is if President Bush is willing to pressure Israel to: 1) suspend its construction of additional West Bank settlements; and, 2) make a concrete offer that, in return for security guarantees, Israel will withdraw from the occupied territories so to make a viable Palestinian state possible.

“Despite all the rhetoric regarding ‘change,’ all the major contenders for both the Republican and Democratic presidential nomination have largely supported President Bush’s contention that the onus for compromise relies on the Palestinians under occupation, not the Israeli occupiers; that the outstanding issues must be based on Israel’s voluntary assent, not its obligations under international law; and, that there is no contradiction between the United States playing the role as chief mediator of the conflict and primary supporter of the more powerful of the two parties.”

Zunes recently wrote the pieces “Hillary Clinton on Military Policy,” “Hillary Clinton on International Law,” and “John Edwards’ Foreign Policy.”
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FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle is author of the just-released Breaking All the Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the Case for Impeachment. He said today: “The real purpose of this trip is to line up support from Arab ‘leaders’ throughout the Middle East for a U.S./Israeli bombing campaign against Iran — despite the clear and convincing evidence that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.”
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ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN
Abrahamian, who was born in Iran, is a distinguished professor of history at City University of New York. He is the author of the article “Iran: The Next Target?” and several books including Iran Between Two Revolutions. He said today: “The Persian Gulf ‘incident’ comes at a convenient time, inaugurating President Bush’s trip to the region to convince America’s Arab clients that they should fear ‘hegemonic’ Iran.”

JIM LOBE
Lobe is the chief of the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service and has written extensively on the “neo-cons.” He said today: “Elliott Abrams has effectively shunned the spotlight but he’s been perhaps the most influential and obstructive player in Mideast policy, particularly regarding the administration’s refusal to put serious pressure on Israel to follow through on its own promises.” For articles by Lobe and other background on Abrams, see SourceWatch.org.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167