A quick feed off of the JTA–(we’ll see if this comes to fruition, and what the vision will look like since it’s so funder driven it’s unclear what the politics will look like, but interesting and a conversation (in terms of having something to offer a different vision than AIPAC) many of us have been having for a long long time…)
A top staffer for billionaire philanthropist George Soros met recently with senior representatives of the dovish pro-Israel community to discuss setting up an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, JTA has learned.
Morton Halperin, a director of Soros’ Open Society Institute and a veteran of senior positions in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations, confirmed to JTA that the meeting took place late last month. He would not add details.
Dovish group still pushing talks
“It was a private meeting, it was an effort to get this off the ground,” said Halperin, who directs the institute’s U.S. advocacy.
The meeting focused on how best to press Congress and the Bush administration to back greater U.S. engagement toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how to better represent American Jews who don’t buy into AIPAC’s often hawkish policies.
Contacted by JTA, an AIPAC spokesman said he was not aware of the effort, but officials with the group did not express any concern that the new initiative posed a threat.
JTA has learned from a variety of sources that a follow-up meeting focused on funding will take place in New York on Oct. 26.