Mission Statement

The U.S./Middle East Project was established in 1994 by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) under the direction of Henry Siegman, a senior fellow on the Middle East at the Council. In 2006, the U.S./Middle East Project became an independent policy institute. Its mission is to provide non partisan analysis of the Middle East peace process and to present policymakers in the United States, in the region and in the larger international community with balanced policy analysis and policy options to prevent conflict and promote stability, democracy, modernization and economic development throughout the region.

The U.S./Middle East Project pursues these goals under the guidance of an International Board chaired first by by General (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft (President, Forum for International Policy; former National Security Adviser to President Gerald Ford and President George H.W. Bush), and now by Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering (Vice Chairman, Hills & Company; former Under Secretary of State; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; former Senior Vice President, Boeing Corporation). The International Board comprises eminent personalities with extensive experience, in government and in the private sector, in dealing with the political, economic and social aspects of this critical and troubled region.

The U.S./Middle East Project pursues its mission through a range of activities that include studies, periodicals and publications, conferences, consultations with heads of states in the region and collaboration with a wide range of international agencies pursuing similar goals.



General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

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Does America really ‘share values’ with today’s Israel?

In the late sixties or early seventies, when I served as the executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating body for certain social action and interreligious activities of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform national rabbinical and congregational organizations in the United States, I had a private conversation—one of many—with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who was considered the leader of modern Orthodoxy in the United States, if not the world.

Rabbi Soloveitchik had just completed a high-level seminar attended by a select group of rabbis and Christian ministers. I asked him if he would agree to lead another such a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.

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