A: ATFP's fundamental approach to advocacy for Palestine in Washington is to engage the American system as it actually functions and to center its advocacy on the vital American national interest in the creation of a Palestinian state to live in peace, security and dignity alongside Israel. ATFP is not a lobbying organization, and is strictly nonpartisan. It does not engage with elections or party politics. Instead, the Task Force seeks to work with whomever the American people elect to the executive and legislative branches of government and their policy appointees. This is partly because of ATFP's status as a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) educational and advocacy organization. But it is also because the American national interest in a two-state solution that ends both the occupation and the conflict does not change between election cycles. ATFP is driven by its mission to advocate and promote awareness of the vital American national interest in achieving this all-important policy goal. Another of ATFP's core functions is to work continuously to mainstream Palestine, Palestinians and Palestinian Americans in Washington and throughout American social, cultural and political life.

Because ATFP is a policy, educational and advocacy group, much of its most important work is done discreetly and behind-the-scenes. Typically, when we have had an impact on policy making or framing, we cannot make any such accomplishments public. To do so would be the surest means to limiting future access and influence. This work involves low-key, high-impact engagement with officials, other experts, leading journalists and others who make and shape American policy. However, the cumulative impact of these necessarily discrete labors can be clearly seen in the attendance of a virtual "Who's Who" of the Washington policy community and diplomatic corps involved in matters related to Palestine at our annual galas, the caliber of our keynote speakers, the extraordinarily distinguished honorary host committees for the galas, and the testimonials listed elsewhere in this set of answers to FAQs.

A large part of ATFP's work involves public activity. The organization hosts and cohosts numerous significant events in Washington, and its staff participates as speakers in the highest level international forums, academic institutions, think tank and research organizations, and other conferences, seminars and public events. ATFP staff are also heavily engaged with the media, frequently writing commentaries and longer essays for major publications, and serving as a source for major journalists. Indeed, ATFP has moved beyond simply serving as a source for information and opinions into a position in which it frequently helps shape the core conceptualizations of major articles before they are written. ATFP staff are also frequent guests on major American, Arab and international broadcast programs and engage in robust public advocacy and debate in multiple media and various forums.

Another core aspect of ATFP's advocacy for Palestine is its coalition-building efforts. ATFP strongly believes that a major national, and indeed international, constituency for peace based on the creation of a Palestinian state will be required to achieve this essential goal. Therefore ATFP is consistently attempting to reach out to the widest range of potential constituent organizations and individuals to try to build such a coalition and working partnerships. The Task Force not only seeks to build relationships with other advocacy groups, think tanks and academic institutions, but also with Arab-American, Muslim, Christian, peace-activist and, crucially, a wide spectrum of Jewish-American organizations. ATFP believes that all those who support the realization of a two-state solution should put all other or past differences aside and work together to achieve this essential goal. Reaching out to the broadest possible range of potential allies in the quest for peace is a key aspect of how ATFP pursues its mission.

ATFP has also sought to pursue this by building strong working relations with other governments and officials outside of the United States, in particular in the Palestinian leadership, the rest of the Arab world, Israel and Europe. This process is also involved building ties to former, and potentially future, officials and those who helped shape the policy conversation and framing process in those societies.


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