Talk:Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is a Washington-DC-based think tank and part of the so-called pro-Israel Lobby; WINEP was founded in 1985. WINEP was founded by AIPAC, and initially WINEP staff and offices overlapped; WINEP’s founding director was Martin Indyk, AIPAC’s former research director. While AIPAC sought to influence the US Congress directly, WINEP is seen as a means to influence US foreign policy, discussion of foreign policy in the media, to serve as a conduit to place its own personnel in key policy-making position, and to recruit important policymakers to its cause. WINEP’s means used to influence US foreign policy include the following:

  1. Write policy papers[1]
  2. Host seminars/discussions – WINEP hosts or appears in most foreign policy discussions in Washington DC.[2]
  3. To recruit academics, out-of-office/revolving door policymakers, and wannabe policymakers as fellows to the institute
  4. Influence US military staff by hosting military as “visiting Military Fellows”[3]
  5. Place WINEP members in policymaking positions[4][5]
  6. Issuing endless streams of press releases
  7. Provide pundits or commentators for the US or Western media.[6]
  8. Provide forums where it engages in discussions on policy in the Middle East with similar-minded academics, journalists, and policymakers in the Middle East[7]
  9. Create new foundations or forums to affect specific policy issues or aspects of regional politics WINEP/AIPAC seek to influence[8]

Critical Assessment

MJ Rosenberg comments on WINEP:[9]

I was working at AIPAC and it was Steve Rosen who cleverly came up with the idea for an AIPAC controlled think-tank that would put forth the AIPAC line but in a way that would disguise its connections.

There was no question that WINEP was to be AIPAC's cutout. It was funded by AIPAC donors, staffed by AIPAC employees, and located one door away, down the hall, from AIPAC Headquarters (no more. It has its own digs). It would also hire all kinds of people not identified with Israel as a cover and would encourage them to write whatever they liked on matters not related to Israel. "Say what you want on Morocco, kid." But on Israel, never deviate more than a degree or two.

So why does it matter?

It matters because the media has totally fallen for this sleight of hand and WINEP spokespersons appear (especially on PBS) as if WINEP was not part of the Israel lobby.

Government Appointments


Matthew Levitt, director of the Terrorism Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has been named to lead the Treasury Department office responsible for intelligence in the fight against terror financing and financial crimes, the research organization announced today.
Dr. Levitt assumes his new post as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for intelligence and analysis on November 14, 2005. In that capacity, he will head the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, which is part of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.[WINEP press release]


John P. Hannah, a research fellow and deputy director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was named on October 31, 2005, by Vice President Dick Cheney to be his national security adviser. Hannah and David S. Addington, who will serve as Cheney's chief of staff, are replacements for I. Lewis Scooter Libby who was indicted October 28, 2005.
Hannah was sourced by the Washington Post as having said "during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 'the year of Iran'" and indicating "that a U.S. attack was a real possibility.[10]

Principals, Directors and Staff: 2012

Research Staff
Robert Satloff, Executive Dir. Patrick Clawson – Dir. of Research Michael Singh – Managing Dir.
Dennis Ross– Counselor
Senior Fellows
Soner Cagaptay Michael Eisenstadt Simon Henderson, Baker Fellow
Mehdi Khalaji Matthew Levitt David Makovsky, Ziegler Fellow
David Pollock, Kaufman Fellow David Schenker, Aufzien Fellow
Associate Fellows
Michael Herzog, Milton Fine Intl. Fellow Michael Knights, Lafer Fellow Eric Trager, Ira Weiner Fellow
Ehud Yaari, Lafer Intl. Fellow Mohammad Yaghi, Lafer Intl. Fellow Tal Becker – Intl. Associate
Adjunct Scholars
Myriam Benraad J. Scott Carpenter Hirsh Goodman
Avi Jorisch Dana Moss Joshua Muravchik
Magnus Norell Daniel Pipes Robert Rabil
Raymond Tanter
Military Fellows
Milford Beagle, Lt. Col. US Army Steven Beasley, Lt. Col. USAF Leigh Hasson, Maj. D. USAF
Jeffrey White, Defense Fellow
Visiting Fellows
Daniel Green, Soref Fellow Ash Jain Martin Kramer, Wexler-Fromer Fellow
Andrew Tabler, Next Generation Fellow
Margaret Weiss – Research Associate Kwame Lawson – Managing Editor, Fikra Forum
Research Assistants
Divah Alshawa, Schusterman Young Scholar Hale Arifagaoglu, Marcia Robbins-Wilf Young Scholar Lauren Emerson, Schusterman Young Scholar
Cory Felder, Marcia Robbins-Wilf Young Scholar Olivia Holt-Ivry, Schusterman Young Scholar Katie Kiraly, Schusterman Young Scholar
Research Interns
Ahmad Al-Rifai Caroline Hoey Cooper Klose
Julia Miller Ilana Nixon Altay Otun
Gabriela Rubin
Stephen Borko – Dep. Dir. Admin. Beverly Sprewer – Data Services Coordinator Gina Vailes – Administrative Asst.
Jeff Rubin – Dir. of Communications Mary Kalbach Horan – Executive Editor Scott Rogers Managing Editor, Online Comms.
George Lopez Editor Maurice Shohet – Managing Editor, Arabic Website Rebecca Edelston – Comms. Associate
Laura Milstein Dir. of Development Judy Cole – Regional Dir., CA Liah Zirler Asst. to the Regional Dir., CA
Jeanne Aufseeser – Regional Dir., FL and Midwest Jacqui Schein – Regional Dir., NY Parisa Esmaili – Asst. to the Regional Dir., NY
Larisa Baste – Managing Editor, Development Kayvan Chinichian – Development Operations Officer Beth Newman – Development Asst.
Rebecca Erdman – Executive Asst.
Laura Hannah – Chief Financial Officer Shaquan Ransom – Staff Accountant Francois Nkuru – Financial Asst.
Board of Directors
Martin J. Gross – President Howard P. Berkowitz – Chairman
Chairmen Emeriti
Michael Stein Fred S. Lafer Barbi Weinberg – Founding President
Vice Presidents
Bernard Leventhal – Senior VP Peter Lowy – Senior VP James Schreiber – Senior VP
Benjamin Breslauer – VP Walter P. Stern – VP
Board Members
Richard S. Abramson – Secretary Dimitri Sogoloff – Treasurer Charles Adler emeritus
Anthony Beyer Richard Borow Michael Gelman
Roger Hertog, emeritus Shelly Kassen Jack Kay
Michael Keston Moses Libitzky Daniel Mintz
Zachary Schreiber Fred Schwartz Merryl Tisch
Gary Wexler
Next Generation Leadership Council
Jill Abramson Anthony Beyer David Eigen, chair
Daniel Eisenstadt Jonathan S. Gilbert Benjamin Gordon
Adam Herz James Keston Zachary Schreiber
Whitney Skibell
Board of Advisors
Max M. Kampelman Henry A. Kissinger Samuel W. Lewis
Edward Luttwak Michael Mandelbaum Robert McFarlane
Martin Peretz Richard Perle James G. Roche
George P. Shultz R. James Woolsey Mortimer Zuckerman
Warren Christopher 1925-2011 Lawrence S. Eagleburger 1930-2011
WINEP: Research Staff and Board Members[11]
WINEP: Board of Advisors[12]


Contact Details

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-452-0650

External Resources

Related SourceWatch


  1. Joel Beinin, Pro-Israel Hawks and the Second Gulf War, MERIP, 6 April 2003. Beinin discusses one of WINEP’s early attempt to become a focal point in the determination of US foreign policy by issuing a report in 1988 entitled "Building for Peace: An American Strategy for the Middle East." The report urged the incoming administration to "resist pressures for a procedural breakthrough (on Palestinian-Israeli peace issues) until conditions have ripened." Six members of the study group responsible for the report joined the first Bush administration, which adopted this stalemate recipe not to change until change was unavoidable.
  2. For example WINEP’s annual Soref Symposium which is well attended by the foreign policy elites
  3. Beginning in 1988, WINEP has had a minimum of three high ranking US military officers as “Visiting Military Fellows”
  4. See a few of the WINEP fellows below
  5. Joel Beinin, Pro-Israel Hawks and the Second Gulf War, MERIP, 6 April 2003. Beinin catalogs many of WINEP officials or Fellows who eventually entered policymaking positions. This was particularly common during the Clinton administration. For example: Martin Indyk obtained US-citizenship in record time, and was then appointed as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. Later he became US ambassador to Israel. Beinin notes further: “The Clinton administration was even more thoroughly colonized by WINEP associates than its predecessor... Among them were National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, UN Ambassador and later Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Undersecretary of Commerce Stuart Eizenstat and the late Les Aspin, Clinton's first secretary of defense.”
  6. Patrick Clawson and Robert Satloff have often appeared on CNN, BBC or Sky to discuss issues pertaining the Middle East.
  7. For example, the Fikra Forum
  8. Both AIPAC and WINEP create new initiatives to affect aspects of evolving policy concerns, e.g., the Fikra Forum
  9. AIPAC CUTOUT: THE RISE & FALL OF THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY, Talking Points Memo, 11 April 2010. (Accessed: 13 February 2012)
  10. Karen DeYoung, U.S. Keeps Pressure on Iran But Decreases Saber Rattling, Washington Post, 11 February 2007.
  11. Accessed: 12 February 2012
  12. Accessed: 12 February 2012

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