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definition - Washington_Institute_for_Near_East_Policy

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Washington Institute for Near East Policy

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Motto Insight and Analysis on U.S. Middle East Policy
Formation 1985
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Executive Director Robert Satloff
Website www.washingtoninstitute.org

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. focused on United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Established in 1985,[1] the institute's mission statement states that it seeks "to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East."[2] The group is often described as being pro-Israel.[3][4][5]



Martin Indyk, an Australian-trained academic and former deputy director of research for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), helped found WINEP in 1985.[6] In 1982, following his position as Australian deputy director of current intelligence in the Middle East, Indyk started to set up a research department for AIPAC.[7] Because of his affiliation with AIPAC, Indyk felt his research wasn't being taken seriously and so started WINEP to convey an image that was "friendly to Israel but doing credible research on the Middle East in a realistic and balanced way."[8][9] Indyk would go on to become an American citizen, U.S. diplomat and its ambassador to Israel.[9]

The Washington Institute is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and derives 87 percent of its operating revenues through direct public support.[10] As of 2005, its list of trustees included more than 600 names, including Democratic senator Frank Lautenberg, managing editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson, real estate developer A. Alfred Taubman, and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman.[10]

  Policy orientation

WINEP is focused on influencing the media and U.S. executive branch; this is unlike AIPAC, which attempts to influence the U.S. Congress. [11] Its activities include annual conferences, a Military Fellows Program that "brings together senior officers from the armed forces of the United States and key Middle Eastern allies", a Presidential Study Group it describes as a "bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission charged with drafting a blueprint for the next administration's Middle East policy", closed-door policy forums, and various publications and research programs.[12]

At the time it was founded, the institute focused research on Arab-Israeli relations, political and security issues, and overall U.S. Middle East policy.[13] In the 1990s, prompted by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Persian Gulf War, and changes in regional strategy, the institute expanded its research agenda to cover a larger array of Middle East topics, including a "special focus on Turkey and the rise of Islamic politics."[13]


Former Vice President Al Gore called WINEP "Washington's most respected center for studies on the Middle East."[2] Charles Krauthammer has also praised WINEP, calling it "the number one center for information and analysis in Washington."[2]


In a December 2003 interview on Al Jazeera, Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American professor and director of Columbia University's Middle East Institute, sharply criticized WINEP, stating that it is "the fiercest of the enemies of the Arabs and the Muslims," and describing it as the "most important Zionist propaganda tool in the United States."[14] In response, Martin Kramer, editor of the Middle East Quarterly and visiting fellow at WINEP, defended the group, saying that it is "run by Americans, and accepts funds only from American sources," and that it was "outrageous" for Khalidi to denounce Arabs that visited WINEP as "blundering dupes."[15]

John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago political science professor, and Stephen Walt, academic dean at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, describe it as "part of the core" of the Israel lobby in the United States.[16] Discussing the group in their book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt write: "Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a 'balanced and realistic' perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda … Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks."[16]

Members of WINEP have in turn criticized the book on multiple grounds, pointing to its "not including any interviews with current or former government officials about the lobby's influence on foreign policy",[17] the fact that "not only has the U.S.- Israeli relationship not been a liability for either country (the central claim of the book),[18] it has been, at least to some extent, an asset to the Arab regimes, as a strategic counterweight to radicalism",[18] and that "foreign policies are shaped by leaders and events, not lobbies."[19]

In October 2003, the Zionist Organization of America criticized WINEP for "embracing a delegation of representatives of the Fatah terrorist movement".[20]

  Notable current and former scholars

Several current and former members of WINEP have served in senior positions in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush,[21][22] Bill Clinton,[9] and George W. Bush.[9]

  Board of Advisors

As of November 4, 2009, the Washington Institute's Board of Advisors included:[23]

  Turkish Research Program

The Turkish Research Program is one of the centers of the institute[24].


The program was founded in 1995. Under the leadership of founding director Alan Makovsky and interim director Helena Kane Finn, the center introduced the Washington policymaking community to Turkey's leading political, diplomatic, military, and academic figures.[25]

The speakers for the center's events have included, among others, Süleyman Demirel, who thanked the Institute and program for furthering relations between Turkey and the United States[26], and Abdullah Gül.[citation needed]

Since 2003,[citation needed] the director of the Turkish Research Program is Soner Cagaptay.[27]

  Mission statement

The Turkish Research Program's goal is to actively engage policymakers in discussion about Turkey's political, diplomatic, and strategic environment. Through its research and publications, Policy Forum luncheons, media appearances, congressional testimony, and seminars – along with special programs such as the Turgut Ozal memorial lecture series and the Turkish Military Fellowship[28] – the Turkish Research Program attempts to discern trends in foreign relations of Turkey and the impact those trends may have on both U.S. interests and US-Turkish relations.

  Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture

The Washington Institute established the Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture to pay lasting tribute to Turgut Özal, the late Turkish president, and to raise the profile of Turkish policy issues in the Washington community. The annual event features a prominent statesman or scholarly expert on Turkey. Those featured include:[29],

Bill Clinton said that “The establishment of this annual lecture series is a fitting tribute to the memory of a great President of the Republic of Turkey and a true friend to the United States.”[30]


Among the Institute's publications are a number of topical booklets, and the following books:


  1. ^ "About Us." Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 13 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Our Mission". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. self-published. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=67. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  3. ^ Lockman, Zachary (2004). Contending visions of the Middle East: the history and politics of Orientalism. Cambridge University Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-521-62937-9. "Describing itself as a "public educational foundation dedicated to scholarly research and informed debate on US interests in the Middle East," WINEP emerged as the leading pro-Israel think tank in Washington." 
  4. ^ Arnove, Anthony (2003). Iraq under siege: the deadly impact of sanctions and war (2nd ed.). Pluto Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-7453-2033-3, ISBN 978-0-7453-2033-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=AlZbPNvaoHMC&pg=PA110. 
  5. ^ Mittleman, Alan; Licht, Robert; Sarna, Jonathan D. (2002). Jews and the American public square: debating religion and republic. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 164. ISBN 0-7425-2124-9, ISBN 978-0-7425-2124-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=1suw77aSEJMC&pg=PA164. 
  6. ^ Sterns, Peter N. (2008). "American Israel Public Affairs Committee". Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. 1. Oxford University Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-19-517632-2. "AIPAC also has an active relationship with various elements of the executive branch of government. In this regard, in 1985 it set up the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-Israeli 'think tank,' that essentially served as a proxy." 
  7. ^ Fayazmanesh, Sasan (2008). The United States and Iran: sanctions, wars and the policy of dual containment. Routledge. p. 62. ISBN 0-415-77396-2, ISBN 978-0-415-77396-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZB9F74tiE-kC&pg=PA62. 
  8. ^ Ottoway, David B. (March 24, 1989). "Mideast Institute's Experts and Ideas Ascendant; Latecomer's Go-Slow, Small-Steps Approach Finds Favor With Bush Administration". The Washington Post. 
  9. ^ a b c d Fayazmanesh, Sasan (2008). The United States and Iran: sanctions, wars and the policy of dual containment. Routledge. p. 63. ISBN 0-415-77396-2, ISBN 978-0-415-77396-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZB9F74tiE-kC&pg=PA63. 
  10. ^ a b "A Guide to Think Tanks and Iran". U.S. News and World Report. September 19, 2007. http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/world/2007/09/19/a-guide-to-think-tanks-and-iran.html?PageNr=4. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  11. ^ Beinin, Joel (July 2003). "US: the pro-Sharon thinktank". Le Monde diplomatique. http://mondediplo.com/2003/07/06beinin. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  12. ^ "Our Programs". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. self-published. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=22. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  13. ^ a b "Our History". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. self-published. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=20. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  14. ^ From Washington Al Jazeera, December 11, 2003. (Arabic only)
  15. ^ Columbia’s Radical Caravan by Martin Kramer, New York Sun, January 6, 2004.
  16. ^ a b Mearsheimer, John J.; Walt, Stephen M. (2007). The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Macmillan. pp. 175–6. ISBN 978-0-374-17772-0. 
  17. ^ Fishman, Ben (August 27, 2007). "Missing the Point". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. National Interest Online. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1082. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  18. ^ a b Makovsky, David (September 8, 2009). "Why Walt, Mearsheimer, Still Wrong". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. JewishWeek.com. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1335. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  19. ^ Ross, Dennis (July/August 2006). "Foreign Policy Is Shaped by Leaders and Events, Not Lobbies". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Foreign Policy. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=942. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  20. ^ "ZOA Criticizes Dennis Ross & Winep For Embracing Fatah Terrorist Delegation". Zionist Organization of America. October 27, 2003. http://www.zoa.org/sitedocuments/pressrelease_view.asp?pressreleaseID=615. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  21. ^ Ismael, Tareq Y.; Ismael, Jacqueline S. (1994). The Gulf War and the new world order: international relations of the Middle East. University Press of Florida. p. 333. ISBN 0-8130-1264-3, ISBN 978-0-8130-1264-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=gjmc28G0AGIC&pg=PA333. 
  22. ^ The myth of the `Jewish lobby'. 20. Frontline. 2003-10-10. http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2020/stories/20031010000906000.htm. 
  23. ^ "Board of Advisors". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. self-published. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=133. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  24. ^ "The Washington Institute for Near East policy – Turkish Research Program". European Journal of Turkish Studies. http://ejts.revues.org/index3447.html. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  25. ^ Turkish Research Program - About Us http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=59
  26. ^ "Turkey: A Role Model at Turbulent Crossroads," featuring Suleyman Demirel (April 27, 1999) http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC07.php?CID=182
  27. ^ Soner Cagaptay
  28. ^ Turkish Military Fellowship http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=82&newActiveSubNav=Turkish_Research_Program_&activeSubNavLink=&newActiveNav=aboutUs
  29. ^ Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=84&newActiveSubNav=Turkish_Research_Program_&activeSubNavLink=&newActiveNav=aboutUs
  30. ^ Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture http://www.thewashingtoninstitute.org/templateC11.php?CID=84&newActiveSubNav=Turkish Research Program &activeSubNavLink=&newActiveNav=aboutUs

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