Israel Policy Forum joins up with Middle East Progress


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Israel Policy Forum has merged with Middle East Progress.

In a letter this week to its friends and supporters, IPF announced that it was "embarking on its next chapter" by becoming a part of MEP, which is a project of the liberal Washington-based think tank Center for American Progress. The move, rumored for months, became effective Jan. 1.

IPF said the new pairing would "form a strong base of American support for a comprehensive Middle East peace, including a two-state solution."

IPF launched in 1993 with the encouragement of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as a think tank and advocacy group to back the peace process, and it forged close ties wtih the Clinton administration. It did not have such ties with the Bush administration, and in recent years other groups pushing U.S. involvement in the peace process, such as J Street, have become more prominent.

In a letter to the IPF community, Center for American Progress senior vice president Rudy deLeon said the combination of the two groups will "enable us to make an even more significant contribution by providing resources in support of President Obama’s push for peace." The letter said that MEP would be welcoming the "IPF team and advisers," and that IPF would continue to fund-raise at its historical levels to help support the combined entity.

Middle East Progress publishes a twice-weekly e-mail with news and commentary on the Middle East, holds meetings and conferences on the subject, and supports public-private partnerships in the Middle East, among other activities.

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