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Ronald J. Sider and M.J. Rosenberg
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November 30, 2007

A look at the headlines related to this week's conference on Mideast peace in Annapolis might leave a reader confused about expectations and results:

"Restraint in Quest for Peace," THE NEW YORK TIMES; "Annapolis Talks Prompt Much Doubt, a Few Jokes, in Mideast," THE WASHINGTON POST, "Olmert warns of 'end of Israel'," THE BBC, "Annapolis conference gave Rice little to build on," NEWSDAY.

THE ECONOMIST was especially blunt in its assessment of results: "Better than nothing. For now, that is the most that can be said of the new Arab-Israeli 'peace process' George Bush inaugurated in Annapolis on November 27th."

Bill Moyers asked guests Ron Sider and M.J. Rosenberg for their perspective on the Annapolis meeting by noting some of the new developments that came out of the meeting. Moyers asks if the ante been raised as "after Oslo the Palestinians were required to recognize Israel as a state. But at Annapolis, Olmert said the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state?"

Does their promise to meet monthly indicate real progress? Find out more about the guests and the issues discussed below.

>Read the recent Evangelical Statement on Israel/Palestine

MJ Rosenberg by Robin Holland

M.J. Rosenberg

Since 1998, M.J. Rosenberg has been the Director of Policy Analysis for Israel Policy Forum (IPF). He heads the organization's Washington, D.C. office and writes IPF FRIDAY, a widely-circulated weekly opinion column which focuses upon U.S. Middle East policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Proir to joining IPF, Rosenberg worked for 14 years on Capitol Hill as an aide to Representatives Jonathan Bingham (D-New York), Edward Feighan (D-Ohio), Nita Lowey (D-New York) and Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan).

From 1982 to 1986, Rosenberg edited NEAR EAST REPORT, the American Israel Public Affair Committee's (AIPAC's) biweekly publication on Middle East Policy.

Ronald J. Sider
Ronald J. Sider is Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry and Public Policy and Director of the Sider Center on Ministry and Public Policy at Palmer (formerly Eastern Baptist) Theological Seminary and President of Evangelicals for Social Action. Ron Sider by Robin Holland

His RICH CHRISTIANS IN AN AGE OF HUNGER was recognized by CHRISTIANITY TODAY as one of the one hundred most influential religious books of the twentieth century and named the seventh most influential book in the evangelical world in the last fifty years.

Sider's most recent books include THE SCANDAL OF THE EVANGELICAL CONSCIENCE: WHY ARE CHRISTIANS LIVING JUST LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD, JUST GENEROSITY: A NEW VISION FOR OVERCOMING POVERTY IN AMERICA and CHURCHES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE: REACHING YOUR COMMUNITY WITH GOOD NEWS AND GOOD WORKS (with Phil Olson and Heidi Unruh). Sider is the publisher of PRISM magazine and a contributing editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY and SOJOURNERS.

Guest photos by Robin Holland

Published on November 30, 2007

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Watch "Is God Green?"
MOYERS ON AMERICA, October 11, 2006. Track the debate inside the evangelical community about what to do about the environment.
References and Reading:
The Israel Lobby Debate

The Israel Lobby
by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS, March 23, 2006
"For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centerpiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy' throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world."

There Is No New Anti-Semitism
by Rabbi Michael Lerner, BALTIMORE CHRONICLE, February, 2, 2007
"What the Jewish establishment organizations have done is to make invisible the strong roots in Judaism for a different kind of policy."

Yes, It's Anti-Semitic
By Eliot A. Cohen, WASHINGTON POST, April 5, 2006
"Mearsheimer and Walt conceive of The Lobby as a conspiracy between the WASHINGTON TIMES and THE NEW YORK TIMES, the Democratic-leaning Brookings Institution and Republican-leaning American Enterprise Institute, architects of the Oslo accords and their most vigorous opponents."

ScribeMedia.org: The Israel Lobby Debate
Watch the LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS debate about John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's Israel lobby piece.

Democracy NOW
"Study Alleging Dominant Influence of Israeli Lobby Sparks Heated Fallout," May 24, 2006.

A Beautiful Friendship?
By Glenn Frankel, WASHINGTON POST, July 16, 2006
"In search of the truth about the Israel lobby's influence on Washington."

A 'Two-State Solution,' Palestinian-Style
By Martin Indyk, WASHINGTON POST, June 15, 2007
"Abbas and Fatah have in effect conceded Gaza to Hamas while they hold on to the West Bank. Hamastan and Fatahstine: a "two-state solution" -- just not the one that George W. Bush had in mind."

The Saban Center for Middle East Policy
"The Saban Center conducts original research and develops innovative programs to promote a better understanding of the policy choices facing American decision-makers in the Middle East."

Perspectives on the Annapolis Summit

More than 40 nations invited to Annapolis
YNET, November 20, 2007
"White House issues formal invitations to peace conference despite admitting it likely won't result in steadfast results."

Thousands Demonstrate in Jerusalem Against Annapolis Summit
by Hana Levi Julian, ISARELI NATIONAL NEWS, November 27, 2007
"Knesset Members, prominent rabbis and leaders of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) addressed thousands of Jews Sunday night protesting against discussions being held between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Quartet Mideast envoy Tony Blair, who represented the U.S., Russia, United Nations and European Union."

Bush optimistic about Annapolis
ALJAZEERA, November 26, 2007
"Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which is not among those invited to the talks, said it will not be bound by any decisions made in the US."

Cinderella at Annapolis
THE ECONOMIST, November 22, 2007
"Muddled expectations and mismanaged diplomacy may mean that the Annapolis peace summit achieves far less than its backers once hoped."

GOP Candidates Voice Wariness Over Annapolis
By Eli Lake, NY SUN, November 21, 2007
"Republican candidates for the presidency are distancing themselves from President Bush's effort to broker a Middle East peace at an ambitious Arab-Israeli summit that will begin next week."

Israel, Palestine, Crab Cakes
By Roger Cohen, NEW YORK TIMES, November 19, 2007
"Hope is a shrinking refuge. Annapolis looks like a looming photo-op. Even photo-op-plus would be something at this stage."

Additional Resources

Evangelicals for Social Action
"Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA) is an association of Christians seeking to promote Christian engagement, analysis and understanding of major social, cultural and public policy issues."

The Evangelical Scandal
Interview by Stan Guthrie, CHRISTIANITY TODAY, November 26, 2007
"Ron Sider says the movement is riddled with hypocrisy, and that it's time for serious change."

Evangelical Voters, Practice What You Preach
By Ronald J. Sider, BELIEFNET
"At this moment of alleged political clout, let's look to the Bible, not to political parties, to set the agenda."

For the Common Good
by Ronald J. Sider, SOJOURNERS, April 2007
"A biblical perspective on the role of government."

Israel Policy Forum
"Israel Policy Forum (IPF) advocates for active and sustained American diplomatic efforts, which are essential to achieving a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict."

TPM Cafe
Read recent posts by M.J. Rosenberg on Josh Marshall's TPM Cafe.

Letter to President Bush From Evangelical Leaders
NEW YORK TIMES, July 29, 2007
"We also write to correct a serious misperception among some people including some U.S. policymakers that all American evangelicals are opposed to a two-state solution and creation of a new Palestinian state that includes the vast majority of the West Bank. Nothing could be further from the truth."

When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy
By Paul S. Boyer, AlterNet. February 20, 2003
"Does the Bible foretell regime change in Iraq? Did God establish Israel's boundaries millennia ago? Is the United Nations a forerunner of a satanic world order? For millions of Americans, the answer to all those questions is a resounding yes."

Also This Week:

CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL reports on the politically powerful group Christians United for Israel, whose leader, Pastor John Hagee, advocates for a preemptive strike against Iran.

RONALD J. SIDER AND M.J. ROSENBERG
THE JOURNAL gets theological and political perspective on the story in the Middle East from Ronald J. Sider, Professor of Theology and President of Evangelicals for Social Action, and from M.J. Rosenberg, Director of Policy Analysis for Israel Policy Forum.

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