Media Mention of ATFP in Politico - October 16, 2009 - 12:00am

J Street has confirmed that Obama's National Security Adviser Jim Jones will be the keynote speaker at the group's first annual Washington conference next week.

Jones has been raising his profile, speaking on issues with which he has particular familiarity and expertise. (In 2007, Jones was appointed to be the State Department's Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security, helping build up the capabilities of the Palestinian security forces and increase confidence between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.) Last night, Jones was the keynote speaker at the well-attended American Task Force for Palestine gala at the Ritz — among the crowd, NSC Middle East/Iran strategist Dennis Ross, Rep. Robert Wexler, George Mitchell aides Jennifer Butte-Dahl and Dan Shapiro, State AfPak senior adviser Vali Nasr and awardee Shibley Telhami.

The former NATO supreme allied commander, Jones also recently introduced the new NATO secretary general on his first visit to Washington in the job. Among those in the first row of the Atlantic Council audience, former Bush I National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft (like Jones, a retired general) and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, Jones's successor as chairman of the Atlantic Council.

Ben Smith has been chronicling Hill members dropping from speaking at the event of the more left-leaning pro-Israel, pro-peace group with an associated political action committee, among them New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand. Noted one organizer of the American Task Force for Palestine gala last night, that counted pro-Israel lawmakers Howard Berman, Gary  Ackerman, Carl Levin and Wexler among its honorary host committee, the issue may have more to do with competition inside the organized Jewish American political community than policy stances.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017