Adam Milstein on the Importance of the US-Israel Relationship

October 24, 2022

This article was originally published in the NewsAnyway on October 24th, 2022, written by Lindsey Benson. 

The U.S.-Israel alliance was forged when the state of Israel was formally recognized by President Truman in May of 1948. Both countries were built on founding principles of democracy, freedom, and the right to preserve political autonomy in the face of aggression from outside forces. That’s why, according to Israeli American businessman and philanthropist Adam Milstein it’s not surprising the connection between the two like-minded nations was, and remains, so powerful.

What Makes the U.S.-Israel alliance Special?

“People established both America and Israel as a sanctuary and a melting pot for people in search of religious freedom and tolerance,”  In May 2018, Adam Milstein wrote in a Jerusalem Post editorial commemorating Israel’s 70th anniversary. “Both were founded on the Western values of democracy, Judeo-Christian values, free speech, and freedom of the press. The American dream is much like the Zionist dream, rooted in the principle that everyone should have the right to self-determination and the opportunity to achieve success through hard work and determination.”

America was the first nation to officially recognize the fledgling state of Israel, and in 2017, it was also the first country to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish state. “Israel is a great partner to the United States, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States. Americans and Israelis are united by our shared commitment to democracy, economic prosperity, and regional security. The unbreakable bond between our two countries has never been stronger,” the U.S. State Department recently proclaimed.

Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration

In furtherance of the U.S. and Israel’s ongoing commitment to promote these mutual principals, on July 14, 2022, the historic Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration was signed into effect by U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, during Biden’s visit to Israel.

The declaration states, in part, that: “The United States and Israel reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our two countries and the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel’s security. Our countries further reaffirm that the strategic U.S.-Israel partnership is based on a bedrock of shared values, shared interests, and true friendship…

“[We] will continue to work together to combat all efforts to boycott or delegitimize Israel, to deny its right to self-defense or to unfairly single it out in any forum.”

Long before the Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration came to be, Adam Milstein was conscious of the rising movement of anti-Jewish sentiment disguised as anti-Israel criticism that swept America. In response to the growing antisemitism, Adam Milstein works tirelessly, through his activism and charitable outreach, to raise awareness for the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel alliance for both Israelis and Americans.

Israel’s Lifesaving Iron Dome Defense System

In the Middle East, military conflict is as much a part of the present as the past. The lines between defense and offense are often obscured by rhetoric. But even in battles, there are valuable lessons to be learned and applied as the forces involved work toward a viable and peaceful resolution.

“Both the U.S. and Israel have withstood existential threats through courage and patriotism of their people,” Milstein said. Those threats, in turn, have led to necessary caution. However, Adam Milstein asserts the enforcement of such vigilance when governed by deep-seated American and Israeli core values, rather than escalating violence, has served primarily to safeguard the region’s population, thus saving lives — regardless of faith, nationality, or ethnicity.

One of this vigilance’s most impressive real-world applications is manifested in Israel’s cutting-edge Iron Dome defense system. Utilizing state-of-the-art anti-missile technology developed in Israel with considerable financial backing from the American government ($1.6 billion from 2011 to 2021, with another $1 billion approved by the U.S. Congress in 2022), the Iron Dome intercepts and eliminates short-range rocket and artillery fire aimed at civilian targets. Per the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), since its first deployment in 2011, the all-weather, mobile defense system has gained increasing accuracy and now achieves a 90% rate of effectiveness.

“[The Iron Dome gives] Israel a viable option to defend itself and shifts its focus from a strategy of preemptive offensives against terrorists who hide among tightly packed civilian areas to a defense system that intercepts real and present danger,” explained an Aug. 8, 2022 article in AJC/Global Voice. “It also reduces the need for ground operations in and around the civilian areas that terrorists use for launching missiles and rockets at Israeli civilians.”

Iron Dome technology isn’t limited to the defense of Israel, however. “It’s not widely understood, but the United States’ generous funding of Israeli technology, including missile defense, has become a wise investment in the safety of its citizens,” explained Yinam Cohen, consul general of Israel to the Midwest, in the Sept. 9, 2022, issue of The Detroit Jewish News.

After a joint live-fire trial conducted in New Mexico by teams from the U.S. Army and the Israeli Missile Defense Organization was deemed a resounding success, two Iron Dome systems were purchased by the U.S. Army, the first of which was deployed to Guam in late 2021.

The Future of Israel-U.S. Alliance

While the importance of mutual American and Israeli interests in technology (not limited to the military) and economic development cannot be downplayed, Milstein believes the vital role the two nations play in brokering a long-term, sustainable peace in the Middle East will ultimately determine the global future for all.

The U.S. played an integral part in the Abraham Accords, helping  establish Israel as a key regional player and a partner for peace with neighboring countries that share its goal of regional security and stability such as Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan.

At the close of the historic Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration, American and Israeli leaders pledged not only to carry out the pact’s stated initiatives of continued reciprocal support, but affirmed “countless other joint endeavors, undertaken between their peoples at every level of government and civil society demonstrate that the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership is indispensable and makes an outsized contribution not only to the good of American and Israeli citizens but also to the good of the Middle East and of the world.”