Israel Policy Forum gets absorbed by CAP

Months ago,  I blogged that the Israel Policy Forum, a pro-peace process group, was being absorbed by the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP). And then…nothing but IPF denials.

Turns out I was just a little early.

This week IPF announced that it is “embarking on its next chapter.  Effective January 1st, Israel Policy Forum will bring its experience and expertise to Middle East Progress (MEP), a project of the Center for American Progress (CAP), to form a strong base of American support for a comprehensive Middle East peace, including a two-state solution.”

In the cosmos of pro-peace process groups, IPF was always the one striving for the centrist label. It loved studies and complex analyses by its “scholars,” including public diplomacy guru Stephen Cohen.

IPF was created in 1993 as an arm of Israel’s Labor Party, but quickly shifted to a broader, pro-peace process stance – a good thing, given Labor’s sinking fortunes.

Later, IPF absorbed Project Nishma, an interesting group that combined pro-peace process advocacy with a strong emphasis on Israeli security.

But in recent years IPF has been eclipsed by more aggressive, politically involved groups that want quick action on a two-state solution, including Americans for Peace Now and J Street, the combination lobby and political action committee.

What, exactly, did IPF stand for, aside from the idea of a two-state solution? It became harder and harder to figure that one out, which is why the group largely faded from public view – especially after the departure last year of Washington director MJ Rosenberg, who left for Media Matters – a better fit for the outspokenly progressive super blogger.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.