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Indyk, Martin (1951–)


Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel (1995–1997 and 1999–2001), Martin Indyk grew up in Australia where he earned a degree in economics and a doctorate in international relations. In 1978, he was an advisor to the Australian secret service. In 1982, after he had been living in the United States for two years, he joined the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a U.S. lobby promoting the interests of Israel within the U.S. administration.

Between 1983 and 1993, while executive director of AIPAC, Indyk headed the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, to which Dennis Ross also belonged. Members of a "group of presidential studies," both played an important role at the time of the crisis brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union, becoming the principal crafters of the Israeli-Arab peace process that was launched in Madrid in November 1991. In 1988, Indyk supported the candidacy of Michael Dukakis for the presidency of the United States. The following year, with Dennis Ross, he was part of a group of advisors on the Middle East for President George H. W. Bush. During the presidential election campaign of 1992, Indyk was one of the consultants of candidate Bill Clinton on questions having to do with Arabs. In January 1993, after Clinton had been elected to the White House, Indyk obtained U.S. citizenship, and a few days later, he was named director of the Department of the Middle East and Southeast Asia of the National Security Council (NSC), replacing Richard Haas.

Along with Dennis Ross and Daniel Kurtzer, he became one of the principal architects of U.S. policy in the Middle East. In February 1995, succeeding Edward Djerejian, he was named U.S. ambassador to Israel, the first Jew to hold this post. This nomination led to unease in the Arab community, which feared that the policies advocated by the new U.S. ambassador would be too partial to Israel. In November 1997, having returned to Washington, Indyk became assistant secretary for the Middle East in the State Department under Madeleine Albright, while Dennis Ross was special coordinator for the peace process in the Middle East. In October 1999, Indyk was again named U.S. ambassador to Israel, replacing Edward Walker. On 21 September 2000, he was suddenly recalled to Washington for supposed "violation of security rules"; he returned to Israel a few weeks later. On this occasion, the Israeli press recalled that he had often been attacked by the Israeli right, who reproached him for his close ties with the Labor Party. On 12 July 2001, he resigned his post as ambassador to Israel, to be replaced by Daniel Kurtzer. In 2001 Indyk joined the Brookings Institution as senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program.

SEE ALSO Albright, Madeleine; American Israel Public Affairs Committee; Djerejian, Edward; Ross, Dennis B.

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