The Washington Project
Directed by Steven J. Rosen, the central purpose of the Washington Project (WP) is to influence United States policy in the Middle East. To this end, the WP engages in two kinds of activity: (1) research and publication of information and analysis aimed at the administration policy-makers and policy-influencers; and (2) private and confidential meetings with key people in the Washington Mideast policy community to monitor and influence internal policy developments and trends.
During its first three years of operation, the WP has had an impact in several key areas:
U.S. Policy toward Israel: The Washington Project published a number of influential pieces encouraging the Obama administration to work with, rather than pressure and confront the elected government of Israel (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7); to veto one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council (1, 2); to oppose the Palestinian Authority's unilateral statehood bid, and to hold it accountable for its refusal to negotiate with Israel (1, 2).
The Settlements Issue: The Washington Project was at the forefront of the opposition to the Obama administration's relentless pressure on Israel to stop all construction activities in the settlements. It did so through behind-the scenes work to alert policy-makers and policy-influencers to the destructive effects of their policy, as well as the publication of papers and articles (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) suggesting sophisticated solutions to the problem.
Obama Team Staffing: Immediately after the 2008 elections, the Washington Project established the Obama Mideast Monitor - a widely read blog to observe and influence the new administration's Mideast personnel appointments and policy. The website's foremost success was to abort the appointment of Chas Freeman as head of the National Intelligence Council. It was credited for this by the Washington Post and many other publications.
UNRWA: Rather than resolve the Palestinian refugee problem, the UN agency established for this purpose some 64 years ago has perpetuated it by replacing the original 750,000 registered refugees who passed away over the years with five million newly-minted artificial "refugees." By way of combating this disturbing phenomenon, the Washington Project developed ideas employed by U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who sponsored an amendment passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on May 24, 2012, and requiring the State Department to inform Congress how many UNRWA beneficiaries fit the definition of a refugee and how many do not. Widely seen to have the potential to shake-up the decades-long UN-sponsored scam that refugees status is transmitted through bloodlines, the amendment was subsequently superseded by other legislation, for reasons unrelated to UNRWA. But members of Congress concerned with UNRWA's destructive practices are expected to introduce new legislation in 2013.
Beyond these four areas, the Washington Project has had some impact on a number of policy issues, including policy toward Turkey, challenging Israel detractor Peter Beinart in debate, and exposing how European influence undermines U.S. support for Israel.