Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Not to be confused with Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Founded 1976[1]
Founder Daniel J. Elazar[1]
Type Public Policy Think Tank
Method "A multidisciplinary, independent non-profit think tank for Israel policy research and education, bringing together the best minds in the political, strategic, diplomatic and legal arenas, in Israel and abroad."[3]
Key people
Dore Gold (President, 2000 - 2015 & 2016 - )[3]
JCPA building in Katamon

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) is an Independent Israeli research institute and public policy think tank devoted to research and analysis of critical issues facing the Middle East. The center is located in Jerusalem.[4] Its research focuses on public diplomacy, foreign policy, international law, paradigms for regional diplomacy, and the connections between local and global terrorism.[4]


The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs was established in 1978 by Daniel Elazar as an umbrella organization encompassing the Center for Jewish Community Studies and the Jerusalem Institute for Federal Studies. Elazar personally raised most of the funds for the operation of the organization and the restoration of an historic building on Tel Hai Street in Jerusalem, named in honor of the Milken family.[5] The building, Beit Milken, served as the Embassy of Uruguay from 1957 to 1980, when Uruguay decided to move their embassy to Tel Aviv.[6] In 1989, the 1,200 ton building was moved 16 meters on rails to reach the site it currently occupies.[7]

Dr. Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN and former foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, headed the Jerusalem Center from 2000[8] to 2015, when he took a leave of absence to become director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[9] Dore Gold has returned as president of the Jerusalem Center.

Policy positions

JCPA is a pro-Israel organisation, promoting a positive image of Israel, advocating Israel's right to exist and fighting anti-Semitism. It advocates the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and its lasting control of the West Bank and Golan Heights.[10][11] It opposes a unilateral Palestinian drive toward statehood.[12]

Institutes and Publications

The Jerusalem Center founded the Institute for Contemporary Affairs (ICA) jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation.[13] The current director of the ICA is Ambassador Alan Baker.[14] Through this outlet, the JCPA publishes Jerusalem Issue Briefs and Jerusalem Viewpoints.[15] They also publish the twice-yearly Strategic Perspectives, special reports presenting studies on Israeli security and diplomacy topics by the Contributing Editors board of the ICA.[16] The JCPA is also the publisher of the Jewish Political Studies Review, an academic journal which publishes articles on Jewish public affairs, Jewish institutions and behavior, and Jewish political thought. It is published twice yearly.[17]

In 2008, JCPA founded the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs in response to growing international anti-Semitism. Directed by Manfred Gerstenfeld, the institute addresses a variety of topics related to Jewish communities around the world.[18] The institute helps direct the "Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism Project" and its associated monthly publication "Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism," both of which attend to global anti-Semitism.[19] More can be learned about these below in the Programs and Initiatives section. The JCPA also produces a related publication entitled "Changing Jewish Communities," which is less focused on global anti-Semitism and, therefore, addresses a wide variety of issues related to global Jewish communities.[20] Additionally, the JCPA has organized a publication called "Jewish Environmental Studies," which looks deeply at Jewish environmental studies as a separate and important field and analyzes Jewish environmental thought through references from the Bible and classic Jewish texts.[21]

JCPA also produces the "Daily Alert" for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a daily news summary and analysis concerning Israel's security and diplomacy that is distributed through email.[22] It is estimated that this email briefing reaches over 100,000 people,[23] and has inspired a counter-publication, the Middle East Bulletin, produced by the Center for American Progress (CAP), to counter right-wing pro-Israel bias in the Daily Alert.[24]

In addition to their written publications, the JCPA produces numerous videos that analyze a variety of issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East. These include videos created by the center as well as videos of JCPA contributors appearing in various news outlets or conference venues. The videos can be found on the JCPA website[25] or on the JCPA’s YouTube page.[26]

Recent Publications

The JCPA has released multiple publications recently that discuss relevant topics relating to Israeli security and diplomacy. One, written by Nadav Shragai, is entitled "The 'Al-Aksa is in Danger' Libel: The History of a Lie" and describes the lie continuously promoted by Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim groups and individuals that Israel intends to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[27] Another, called "Changing Forms of Incitement to Terror and Violence: The Need for a New International Response," was written by Alan Baker.[28] In response to the increasing attention given to Iran, the JCPA compiled "Iran: From Regional Challenge to Global Threat," a collection of essays by various experts that address many aspects of the current discourse surrounding Iran.[29] The JCPA also released a book entitled Israel's Critical Security Requirements for Defensible Borders, which summarizes the history of conflict along Israel's borders and emphasizes the importance of Israel's maintaining defensible borders.[30] In 2014, the JCPA released a publication organized by Alan Baker called "Palestinian Manipulation of the International Community".[31]


On March 24, 2014, the Jerusalem Center held a conference entitled "Europe and Israel: A New Paradigm." The conference focused on the complicated relationship between Israel and Europe, including topics such as economics and the BDS movement, security and anti-Semitism. The conference was well attended and received a significant amount of press, including articles in The Times of Israel,[32] The Jerusalem Post,[33] J-Wire,[34] Ynetnews,[35] and CBN News.[36]

Programs and Initiatives

Defensible Borders Initiative

The JCPA is committed to the cause of securing defensible borders for the state of Israel, and due to that commitment the center includes a Defensible Borders Initiative.[37] The initiative supports Israel's right to hold “territory beyond Israel’s internationally recognized border for strategic depth between a hostile force and Israeli population centers.”[38] On October 19, 2004 the JCPA and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee jointly organized a conference on the defensible borders issue that provided a kick-start for JCPA's Defensible Borders Initiative.[39] The initiative has since provided seminars, briefings, and publications on the issue of defensible borders.

Related work has looked at Israel's requirements for defensible borders from a quantitative, empirical perspective.[40]

Iran and the New Threats to the West

This program focuses on security threats posed by Iran to Israel and the West.[41] The program began with a publication entitled “Referral of Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the Charge of Incitement to Commit Genocide,” authored by Dore Gold and Elie Wiesel, among others.[42] The publication was created in response to multiple threats directed toward Israel by the Iranian leader, including a 2006 declaration that “Israel should be wiped off the map.”[43] The JCPA continues to monitor security threats posed by Iran in the post-Ahmadinejad era with this program.

Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism Project

This program addresses contemporary anti-Semitism on a global scale. It also addresses post-Holocaust subjects, particularly the manipulation of Holocaust history. The idea for the project was conceived of following a 2001 UN Anti-Racism conference that revealed a global resurgence of anti-Semitism. It includes a publication entitled Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism. Manfred Gerstenfeld heads the project.[19]

Global Law Forum

This program covers issues pertaining to Israel and international law. The goal of the program is to “protect Israel’s legal rights in its conflict with the Palestinians, the Arab world, and radical Islam.”[44] Topics include the legality of settlements, human rights, and Israeli border issues, among others. Avi Bell directs the program. Additional contributors include Robert Sabel, Ruth Lapidoth, Irit Kohn, Alan Baker, Meir Rosenne, and Justus Weiner.

International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Anti-Semitism

In May 2015 the center sponsored an event promoting an initiative to make anti-Semitism an international crime through a convention to be signed by participating states. Of the 160 foreign diplomats invited, none chose to attend. The organizers seemed surprised. The Times of Israel reported: "So far, not a single state has indicated that it is considering signing the convention, including Israel."[45]


Team of Experts


Yaakov Amidror, Ra’anana; Alan Baker, Jerusalem; Yoni Ben Menachem, Jerusalem; Eytan Bentsur, Jerusalem; Michael Brown, Toronto; Steven M. Cohen, Jerusalem; Irwin Cotler, Montreal; Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan, Kohav Yair *; Daniel Diker, Jerusalem; Arthur I. Eidelman, M.D. Jerusalem *; Freddy Eytan, Jerusalem; Joel Fishman, Jerusalem; Rela Mintz Geffen, Philadelphia *; Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem *; Allen (Avi) Glicksman, Philadelphia; Dore Gold, Jerusalem; Hirsh Goodman, Jerusalem; Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, Ontario; Aryeh Hecht, Jerusalem; Raphael Israeli, Jerusalem; Pinhas Inbari, Modi’in; Chaim Kalchheim, Jerusalem; Irit Kohn, Tel Aviv; Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Jerusalem; Jacob Landau, Jerusalem; Robert Licht, Philadelphia; Deborah E. Lipstadt, Atlanta; Zvi R. Marom, Ramat Hasharon *; Irwin Mansdorf, Ra’anana; Zvi Mazel, Jerusalem; Reuven Merhav, Jerusalem; Alan Mittleman, Allentown, PA; Jacques Neriah, Tel Aviv; Fiamma Nirenstein, Jerusalem; Daniel Reisner, Tel Aviv; Harold Rhode, Washington, DC; Mordechai Rotenberg, Jerusalem; Colin Rubenstein, Melbourne; Shmuel Sandler, Jerusalem *; Jonathan Sarna, Newton, MA; Michael Segall, Netanya; Shimon Shapira, Ramat Efal; Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem; Steven Spiegel, Los Angeles; Gerald M. Steinberg, Jerusalem; Joshua Teitelbaum, Ra’anana; Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, New York; Shmuel Trigano, Paris; Ilan Troen, Beersheva; Mervin F. Verbit, New York; Leslie Wagner, Jerusalem; Harold M. Waller, Montreal; Justus Weiner, Jerusalem; Howard Weisband, Jerusalem; Steven Windmueller, Los Angeles. (*)-Member of Board of Directors


  1. 1 2 "Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: About Daniel J. Elazar". Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  2. "Contact Us". JCPA. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 "About the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs". JCPA. 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  4. 1 2 "ETH Zürich". Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  5. "The Intellectual World of Daniel Elazar". Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  6. "Uruguay Embassy Leaves Jerusalem". The Age. 1980-08-18. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  7. "Our Building: A Protected Jerusalem Landmark". Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  8. "About the Jerusalem Center". Retrieved 2013-04-14.
  9. Keinon, Herb (May 25, 2015). "Dore Gold picked as new Foreign Ministry director-general". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  10. Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace. Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2008
  11. JCPA on YouTube: Dividing Jerusalem Puts Holy Sites in Danger; Israel's Right to Build in Jerusalem; Israel's Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace
  12. Jerusalem Center Brochure 2010-2011.
  13. "Israelization of Washington Policy: the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs". 2004-08-01. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  14. "About Alan Baker". Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  15. "Institute of Contemporary Affairs". Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  16. "JCPA Strategic Perspectives". Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  17. "Introduction". Jewish Political Studies Review. 23: 2. Spring 2011.
  18. "Watch "Institute for Global Jewish Affairs" Video". OVGuide.
  19. 1 2 "UNMASKED JUDEOPHOBIA - The Threat to Civilization".
  20. "Publication name Changing Jewish Communities - Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ Stanford University".
  21. "Jewish Environmental Studies: a New Field".
  22. "E-Publications". Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  23. "Soros and Hillary:Partners on Israel?". 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  24. "Liberal Mideast Newsletter to Launch". The Jewish Daily Forward, 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  25. "TheJerusalemCenter" via YouTube.
  26. TheJerusalemCenter via YouTube.
  27. "Libel: Israel Intends to Destroy the Al-Aksa Mosque". Arutz Sheva.
  29. "Review of "Iran: From Regional Challenge to Global Threat"". Jewish Book Blog.
  31. Palestinian Manipulation of the International Community, JCPA, 2014
  32. "EU ready to pay Palestinians who renounce right of return". The Times of Israel.
  33. "EU aid package meant to assure Israel that 'Palestine' won't become a failed state". The Jerusalem Post -
  35. "EU-Israel ties growing, despite disagreements". ynet.
  36. "Israeli, EU Trade in Tact Despite BDS".
  37. "Reading: I Have a Dream (".
  39. "Defensible Borders for a Lasting Peace".
  41. "About the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs". Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs.
  42. ISN Editors. "Referral of Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the Charge of Incitement to Commit Genocide".
  44. Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy, p. 237, at Google Books
  45. Think tank fumes at foreign diplomats for skipping anti-Semitism event the Times of Israel, 12 May 2015
  46. "Authors". Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs. Retrieved 21 November 2016.

External links

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