Institute for Research:
Middle Eastern Policy

"Research - Awareness - Accountability"





The Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) regularly hosts or co-organizes conferences and events that are open to the public. Follow the links below to visit conference websites and videos.

Transcending the Israel Lobby at Home and Abroad 2022

Date: March 4, 2022
Venue: The National Press Club
Topics: How Americans are effectively working to overcome Israel lobby demands to violate international law, undermine freedom of speech, reward Israeli militarism and denigrate peaceful Palestinian aspirations. How voters this election year can both support and field politicians and keep them from succumbing to the lobby’s coordinated campaign contributions and constant pressure for fealty. Exploring important grassroots legislative and legal battles won by peace and justice allies in 2019-2020, how they did it, and how you can, too.The key differences between Jewish establishment Zionism and Christian Zionism, and common misunderstandings.How to implement emerging “non-Israel-centric” regional strategies to eliminate the crippling human and financial costs of unending wars.
End US Support for Israeli Apartheid?
The 2021 virtual edition of the IsraelLobbyCon annual series

Dates: April 17 and 24, 2021
Venue: Online conference
Topics: While Congress wrangled over modest emergency pandemic relief for Americans, the nation of Israel receives $3.8 billion annually—and even more covert aid—with barely a whisper of debate. Any member of Congress who might question the annual U.S. subsidy for Israeli militarization knows that he or she will incur the wrath of AIPAC and other Israel lobby groups. The lobby patrols the Congress to ensure that Israel, a small country of some nine million people, remains by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II., U.S,. aid enables Israeli apartheid, new settlements in illegally occupied territories and ongoing violent repression of Palestinians. Meanwhile, American citizens who question illegal Israeli policies and engage in nonviolent protest movements such as BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) are accused of being anti-Semites, and their free speech rights threatened.

This web-based conference considers whether the United States should cut off aid to Israel or make any such assistance conditional on negotiation of a genuine peace settlement, respect for Palestinian human rights, and adherence to international law. Wrapping around the annual meeting of the Israel lobby group J Street, the webinar will address U.S. financial support of Israel, the strengths and weaknesses of “liberal” lobby groups like J Street, prospects for a one- or two-state solution, and the progress of free speech organizations, the BDS movement and other forms of resistance, including solidarity between Palestinian activism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Israel Lobby & American Policy 2019

Date: March 22, 2019
Venue: The National Press Club
Topics: Experts will address the following questions: How has the Israel lobby further captured key nodes of U.S. government policymaking? Why is U.S. policy so expensive, destructive and unrepresentative of the will of the American people? How are a handful of politicians now successfully running against previously unquestioned, longstanding Israel lobby platforms? What rules do reporters follow when they tell the truth about U.S. policy and the lobby? Why do U.S. presidents sign secret letters promising not to publicly discuss Israel’s clandestine nuclear weapons program? Why does the U.S. give more foreign aid to Israel than to any other country, and how is the makeup of that aid changing? What, if anything, does the U.S. get out of its so-called “special relationship” with Israel? How are human rights groups working to “de-Israelize” state and local governments? What is the Israel lobby doing to provoke an armed U.S. confrontation with Iran? What else is the lobby doing to improve Israel’s strategic position in the region? Why are assertions that Israel and the U.S. have “shared values” made, and are these assertions accurate?

The Israel Lobby & American Policy 2018

Date: March 2, 2018
Venue: The National Press Club
Theme: Expert speakers addressed the Israel lobby’s agenda, whether the U.S. is supporting an apartheid state, how supporting Israeli violations of international law impacts the U.S., the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, Israel lobby suppression of free speech and academic freedom on campus, how and when Christian evangelicals became Zionists, Israeli societal trends, the Palestinian BDS campaign, the impact of Russian vs Israeli media and electoral influence, the trajectory of the CIA/Mossad relationship and whether the U.S. can be persuaded to attack Iran to advance Israel’s strategic position.

The Israel Lobby And American Policy 2017

Date: March 24, 2017
Venue: The National Press Club
Theme: Experts spoke about US foreign aid to Israel, what has changed, legislation against BDS, overcoming the Israel lobby in Congress, a Palestinian perspective on the "peace process," the documentary film "Two Blue Lines," "strategies to push back on Hollywood stereotypes," Israel lobby funding Islamophobia, "fake" peace processing, viewing the Israel-Palestine conflict through the lens of "settler colonialism," and an undercover investigative journalism series on covert Israel/lobby operations in the UK.


Israel's Influence: Good or Bad for America?

Date: March 18, 2016
Venue: The National Press Club
Expert panelists and keynote speakers analyzed the enormous impact Israel’s influence has on Congress, establishment media, academia and other major institutions.


The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US? Is It Good for Israel?

Date: April 10, 2015
Venue: The National Press Club
Theme: This unprecedented gathering focused on the Israel lobby in America. How big is it? How fast has it grown? How interconnected are the organizations and individuals? How much revenue does it raise and where does the money go? What are the common objectives of the lobby? What laws apply to lobbying to benefit a foreign government and are they vigorously enforced? Do coordinated campaign contributions cause American policymakers to act more on behalf of Israel than the United States? What fallacies underlie the assertions that U.S. and Israeli interests are the same? What are the Israel lobby’s public and private, short-and-medium-term policy objectives? And what can Americans who do not believe pro-Israel slogans, activities and policy objectives do?

The Israel Lobby: Is It Good For The US?

National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel "Special Relationship"

Date: March 7, 2014
Venue: The National Press Club
Theme:  U.S. financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel has grown significantly and steadily throughout the past 60 years and now dwarfs annual American foreign assistance to all other nations.

Research indicates the U.S.-Israel "special relationship" is a major factor in foreign hostility towards Americans. Some experts suggest that Israel has been central to U.S. wars in the Middle East. However, the huge public backlash against Israel lobby-generated momentum for U.S. attacks on Syria and Iran indicates that Americans are concerned about the direction of U.S. foreign policy, how it is made, and those trying to make it. This historic summit will provide an in-depth, multifaceted inquiry into this critical subject matter. Panelists will include former military and diplomatic personnel, intelligence officers, scholars, economists, researchers and a variety of other subject-matter experts and authors often shut out of key discussions in public forums and news media outlets. Members of the public will be allowed to ask the key questions and network with other attendees.

The NUMEC Cover-up: The Diversion of U.S. Weapons Grade Uranium from NUMEC to Israel

Date: January 31, 2013
Venue:  Parks Township Volunteer Fire Hall, just outside Apollo, PA
Theme: Author Grant F. Smith discussed key findings from his 2012 book, Divert! NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro, and the Diversion of US Weapons-Grade Uranium into the Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program at the Parks Township Volunteer Fire Hall.

Smith's talk covered the corporate histories of NUMEC and Apollo Industries, how regulators dealt with the plant's massive losses of bomb-grade nuclear material, the FBI's investigation of NUMEC's joint venture with a front for Israel's nuclear weapons program, and the ongoing clandestine interactions of NUMEC executives with Israeli intelligence and covert nuclear weapons program operatives.

Smith also unveiled a major new effort to declassify all remaining CIA, NSA, Justice Department and National Security Council files revealing how American presidents quietly grappled with NUMEC as a proliferation and safeguards issue from the LBJ to the Carter administrations.

US-Israel Trade: Espionage, Theft and Secret

Date: April 6, 2011
Venue: University of Rochester
Theme: Using a slide show of declassified documents and charts, Smith revealed how secret agreements and a joint Israeli embassy/AIPAC covert operation undermined US industries and the trade negotiating process. New quantitative analysis and disclosures reveal the US-Israel trade agreement is actually a $10 billion/year foreign aid program. Smith also discusses how major omissions in Dan Senor and Saul Singer's 2009 Council on Foreign Relations book Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle undermine their two major findings: that perpetual conflict gives Israel a comparative advantage and that the US should reinstate conscription in order to match Israel's entrepreneurial output.

Israel's Nuclear Arsenal: Espionage, Opacity and Future

Website: and
Date:July 7, 2010
The International Spy Museum
Theme: What do newly declassified documents about weapons grade uranium and dual-use technology diversions from the US reveal about the role of espionage in building Israel's secret arsenal? Did Israel's proposed nuclear weapons sales to apartheid South Africa signal they are still for sale if the partner and price are right? Do FBI and CIA cover-ups of investigations into Israeli nuclear espionage signal official US government approval or political acquiescence? Did cooperating with Israel's policy of "strategic ambiguity" ever make sense for the United States? Is the era of 'nuclear opacity" now coming to an end? Are Israel's nuclear weapons of strategic benefit to the US? John Mearsheimer, Sasha Polokow Suransky and Grant F. Smith tackled these questions.


Neocon Middle East Policy: The "Clean Break" Plan

Date:November 26, 2003
The Rayburn House Office Building
Theme:"A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" is an ambitious 1996 Middle East policy paper. A Clean Break recommended toppling the government of Iraq, "rolling back" Syria and Iran, and "electrifying" support for Israel in the US Congress in exchange for new missile defense contract opportunities. Three of the eight authors have since become prominent policymakers in the U.S. government. The study leader, Richard Perle, is the former chair and a current member of the Defense Policy Board of the Pentagon. Douglas Feith is Undersecretary of Defense and David Wurmser is Vice President Richard Cheney's recently hired Middle East advisor.

But what is "A Clean Break?" What are the plan's core assumptions? How has it affected US regional policy? What insights does it reveal about US policy initiatives in the Middle East? How do Arab countries perceive current US regional policy? Are Clean Break assumptions and strategies beneficial to US interests? What are the potential costs? The IRmep Capitol Hill Forum took place on Wednesday, November 26th 2003 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Gold Room of the Rayburn Congressional House Office Building. Our distinguished and diverse panel of experts and IRmep analysts reviewed the implications of A Clean Break and took questions from the public. Panel members included Adam Shapiro of the International Solidarity Movement, former congressional candidate and Million Man March leader Dr. E. Faye Williams, Muhammad Khaddam, First Secretary of the Syrian Embassy; Khaled Dawoud, D.C. bureau chief of Al-Ahram; and Adib Farha, adviser of the Lebanese Minister of Finance and professor at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon.




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