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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Funded by U.S. neocons, think tank researchers now carving Israeli policy

When the Shalem Center was established in 1994 with the aim of bringing neoconservative thinking into the Israeli political and cultural discourse, along the lines of American think tanks it was thought to be on the margins of Israeli intellectual life. Yoram Hazony, the center's provost and one of its founders - who is also one of Netanyahu's friends and former advisers - said when the center was established that Israel was in the midst of an "ideological degeneration" that had to be stopped. The institute was founded with the aid of American Jewish donors, including the Bernstein family, Sheldon Adelson, George Rohr and Ron Lauder. In the United States, research institutes like this serve as the intellectual hinterland of Republican administrations, leading critics of the Bush administration to argue that the White House was in effect being run by neoconservative intellectuals from think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Project for the New American Century.


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