The Middle East Forum

Profile: The Middle East Forum

1- Name of NGO:

The Middle East Forum

2- Brief & Mission:

The Middle East Forum, a think tank founded in 1994 by Daniel Pipes, promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats. In the Middle East, they focus on ways to defeat radical Islam; work for Palestinian acceptance of Israel; develop strategies to contain Iran; and deal with advancing anarchy. Domestically, the Forum emphasizes the danger of lawful Islamism; protects the freedoms of anti-Islamist authors, and activists; and works to improve Middle East studies. The MEF has been accused of promoting KSA and UAE interests, and some critics have called it a “pro-KSA,UAE think tank.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

The Middle East Forum achieves its objectives through three primary mechanisms. Operationally, it exerts direct influence through its projects, each tailored to address specific issues. Intellectually, it provides context, information, insights, and policy recommendations via platforms such as the Middle East Quarterly, conference calls, staff and fellows’ writings, lectures, and media appearances, thereby charting a path towards victory over its adversaries. Philanthropically, it allocates approximately $2 million annually in dedicated funds through its Education Fund to support roughly 75 groups and individuals actively working towards the Forum’s objectives. Additionally, the Forum organizes events that align with the interests of KSA and UAE, particularly against Iran and Qatar, as both countries are considered rivals in the region.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The Middle East Forum’s public relations initiatives, which actively promote the interests of Middle Eastern monarchies, raise questions about the think tank’s strong affiliations with Gulf monarchies. Notably, any affiliations between the MEF’s leadership and Saudi Arabia’s primary Gulf State ally were not transparently disclosed, which is a cause for concern. This lack of transparency highlights the organization’s deep connections with the Saudi Arabian monarchy.

5- Sources of Funding:

Allegations have surfaced that the firm received substantial amounts from Saudi Arabia (KSA).

6- Activities:

For instance, the think tank is organizing an event featuring Gregg Roman, the Director of the Middle East Forum. The event will focus on the recent tragic events in Israel and the path forward. Mr. Roman will provide an analysis of the factors contributing to the calamity, where Hamas claimed over a thousand lives in one day. He will outline strategies for dismantling the group and emphasize the necessity of addressing this issue for regional stability.

The discussion will extend to the roles of Qatar, Iran, and Turkey, and the importance of holding them accountable. It will also encompass the reactions of the Israeli public, the IDF’s strategic approach, and the implications of Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen potentially opening additional fronts in the war.

These actions and events clearly indicate that this think tank holds a stance against and shows bias against Iran, Qatar, and Hamas, considering them as adversaries, as perceived by the KSA and UAE. To some extent, the think tank appears to promote the interests of the Gulf states.

7- NGO Leadership:

Middle East Forum Board of Governors:

– President: Daniel Pipes

– Chairman: Scott Rosenblum

– Vice Chairman: Joshua Katzen

8- Controversy:

The MEF’s close ties to the KSA and UAE governments have raised concerns about its independence and objectivity. Some critics have accused the MEF of being a lobby group for the KSA and UAE governments.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website: https://www.meforum.org
  • Address:USA
  • Email: info@meforum.org

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The collaboration between the MEF and the Saudi government has indeed ignited substantial ethical discussions. It has prompted a thorough examination of the responsibilities and ethical duties of public relations firms in their interactions with authoritarian regimes. This situation highlights the urgent requirement for increased oversight and the establishment of rigorous ethical standards within the public relations field. Such measures are particularly critical when these firms are tasked with advancing the interests of governments with contentious reputations, especially in domains related to human rights and governance.

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