Adam Milstein: It’s Time to Drop the Iran Nuclear Deal and Strengthen the Abraham Accords

This article was originally published in The American Reporter on December 2nd, 2022, written by Jennifer Ross. 

Unrest and pushback of the Iranian people against the repressive regime of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been brewing for decades. However, according to Israeli-American businessman and philanthropist, Adam Milstein, the recent unprecedented and unrelenting wave of anti-government protests sweeping the country, combined with Iran’s newly minted pro-Russia alliance in the war against Ukraine, calls for a renewed U.S. commitment to fighting the terror sponsoring regime both in the Middle East and on the world stage.

“Today, all we know is that the Iranian regime is a corrupt, bankrupt, and illegitimate spent force; that it won’t and can’t reform, and that the people of Iran are done with their dictators,” Milstein wrote in an op-ed piece co-authored with James Jay Carafano for MSN’s Tribune News Service. “We don’t know when the end will come or what it will look like, which raises the big question: What should America do about it?”

Milstein, who is a keen supporter of the U.S.-Israeli relations, believes that the U.S. leadership must reflect solidarity with Iranian citizens who seek freedom from a repressive regime, and warns that any attempts by the American government to revive the 2015 Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran would be a huge moral and strategic mistake. But to understand the future of U.S.-Iranian policy, Adam Milstein says we must first comprehend the chain of events fueling current protests in Iran that he hopes presages the downfall of the ruling regime.

The Death of Mahsa Amini: Understanding the Current Unrest in Iran

In September of 2022, 22-year-old Mahsa (Jina) Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police for not fully complying with the country’s strictly enforced veiling laws. Her subsequent death under suspicious circumstances while in custody and the attempted cover-up afterward was a flashpoint that ignited a population already rife with political unrest.

News of the incident sparked hundreds of demonstrations, many led by women and students. “Although we have seen the strangling of women’s voices in the past, this extraordinary movement has amplified people’s strident cries against political repression in the face of unspeakable peril,” American Iranian historian and professor Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet explained in an interview with Penn Today.

As borne out by the swift and brutal response by Iranian police and military, that peril was very real. Protesters were, and continue to be, beaten and killed. Though the count is likely higher, as of Oct. 15, 2022, the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported 233 protesters had died thus far.

Adam Milstein Explains How Iran’s Campaign of Disinformation Is Failing

Seeking to control the global spin on protest news coming out of Iran, the Iranian government began a determined campaign to derail social media by hijacking internet access and causing disruptive service outages. Adam Milstein asserts this gambit by Iranian authorities to stifle legitimate eyewitness accounts was only partially successful at best.

“The restrictions on the internet, the arrest of the leaders of the riots, and the presence of the state in the streets always eliminated sedition, but this type of sedition and its audience is different,” Rahman Jalali, political and security deputy for Iran’s Kerman province, admitted to the Iranian state-run news agency ISNA as reported by The Guardian.

Although Iranian extremists persist in their censorship efforts, they cannot stop the flow of first-person reports from leaking out and going viral. As this vital coverage from citizen journalists continues to reach a world audience, it demonstrates in real time that the uprising is far from over and is, perhaps, another sign that extremists may be finally losing their grasp on power.

Adam Milstein on Iran’s New Political Alliances and a Nuclear Threat

Even as it’s beset by troubles on the home front and in a reversal of years of precedent, the Iranian government has chosen to align itself with former political adversary Russia by providing military equipment in the war against Ukraine. According to ISNA, Iran also recently tested out the Ghaem 100, Iran’s first three-stage satellite carrier rocket, said to be capable of putting an 80-kilogram satellite into orbit approximately 500 kilometers from Earth. (Although the powers in Tehran deny the obvious implications, Ghaem 100 satellite carrier employs the same long-range ballistic technology that deploys nuclear warheads.)

“This is an example of the way Iran is working, crushing its citizens, moving toward nuclear weapons, and supplying lethal weapons that are killing innocent citizens in Ukraine,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in a 2021 report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Adam Milstein suggests that Iran’s technological advancements and military testing are a bid by Iran to position itself as a legitimate global power, and should be recognized as an extremely dangerous  red flag to the world’s free nations. While it’s hopeful that Iran’s Islamic extremist government may topple, Milstein cautions that partnering democracies such as the U.S. and Israel must remain vigilant in the face of the combination of troubling totalitarian military accords and the increasing potential for the use of nuclear intervention by such states.

“Americans can best defend American interests by safeguarding them against the malicious actions of others,” Milstein and Carafano proclaimed.

Adam Milstein — who, with his wife, Gila, is the driving force behind the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, which has a mission to “strengthen American values, support the U.S.-Israel alliance, and combat bigotry and hatred in all forms” — lauds former President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the arms deal his predecessor Obama brokered with U.S. allies to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities and to level sanctions against them rather than send them aid. “Washington ought to do nothing to prop up a collapsing dictatorship that also sponsors terrorism worldwide,” Milstein and Carafano wrote. “That means dropping all efforts to revive the Obama-era Iran deal, which has zero prospects of preventing Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon yet promises to net the regime more than $1 trillion to continue its reign of terror.”

While politics and policy in America often cleave according to strict party lines, support for Israel still enjoys bipartisan support from both sides of the aisle. Citing solidarity with the protesters and Iran’s unwillingness to keep faith with the spirit of the 2015 nuclear arms agreement, the administration of President Joe Biden says there are currently no plans to seek its furtherance on the table.

“It is clear, and the Iranians have made very clear, that this is not a deal they have been prepared to make. The deal certainly does not appear imminent,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told Reuters. “Right now, our focus … is on the remarkable bravery and courage that the Iranian people are exhibiting through their peaceful demonstrations.”

Adam Milstein on Leveraging the Abraham Accords to Broker Middle East Peace

Adam Milstein views the historic Abraham Accords Declaration, first signed by the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on Sept. 15, 2020, and since expanded to include Sudan and Morocco, as the key to normalizing Arab-Israeli diplomatic relations that may ultimately provide the path to sustainable peace to the Middle East.

“The U.S. has a ready instrument in the Abraham Accords. The agreement is more than a framework for normalizing Arab-Israeli relations,” Milstein and Carafano explained. “It is also a tool for economic, political, and diplomatic cooperation and integration. America should also continue to bolster Israeli deterrence and encourage stronger Israeli-Arab alliances to ensure its security interests in the region.”

 

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer has been a part of the journey ever since The American Reporter started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from health category.

Kanye West’s Antisemitism Inspired by Louis Farrakhan

This article was originally published in The Jerusalem Post on November 25th, 2022, written by Adam Milstein. 

Farrakhan must be treated as a persona non grata in America. For too long, his poisonous presence and rhetoric have been tolerated.

 

Over the past 25 years, antisemitism has been growing exponentially in American culture and politics, with an uptick this past month due to the rabid antisemitic remarks expressed by famed rapper Kanye West, newly known as “Ye,” which has been normalized by other African-American icons like Kyrie Irving.

Among the antisemitic tropes expressed by West: Blacks are the real Jews and therefore cannot be antisemitic, Jews are greedy and only watch out for their own at the expense of others, and Jewish Zionists control or have disproportionate influence over media, finance, entertainment and broader American society. Ye has also expressed admiration for Hitler.

While suffering some consequences for his outrageous bigotry, West kept his loyal fan base, who strongly believe he and the black community are being punished for telling the truth. A few days later, NBA superstar Kyrie Irving publicly promoted the pseudo-intellectual film Hebrews to Negroes, steeped in similar antisemitic ideology about fake, impostor Jews and a global Jewish conspiracy for world domination.

As antisemitism, in its most raw forms, becomes more and more mainstream in the African-American community, Americans must not only hold those who spew it accountable but also understand and combat its source and inspiration: Louis Farrakhan.

 A protestor carries a white supremacist and antisemitic sign outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on the second day of jury deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, US, November 17, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)A protestor carries a white supremacist and antisemitic sign outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on the second day of jury deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, US, November 17, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

Kanye West’s antisemitism mirrors that of Farrakhan

Observers of antisemitism quickly grasped that West’s antisemitism closely mirrors that of Farrakhan, the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI) – an antisemitic group that advocates for innate black superiority over whites. For decades, Farrakhan has spewed hateful venom at Jews, alleging that the Jewish people were responsible for the slave trade and that they conspire to control the government, the media and Hollywood, as well as various black individuals and organizations.

He frequently denies the legitimacy of Judaism – or the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel – arguing that “Judaism is nothing more than a ‘deceptive lie’ and a ‘theological error’ promoted by Jews to further their ‘control’ over America’s government and economy.”

Unbeknownst to many, West and Farrakhan have been publicly connected for years. In July 2005, West accepted the “Million Man March Image Award” at the NOI headquarters in Chicago. In 2013, when West first drew attention for antisemitism when he lamented that “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people,” Farrakhan defended him and told him not to “bow to pressure to apologize.” Two years later, West took his family to meet Farrakhan, and his song All Day, released that same year, boasted: “Just talked to Farrakhan, that’s sensei.”

What is vital to note is that Farrakhan has an immense following and “may be the most popular antisemite in America” and his “speeches still draw hundreds of thousands of viewers online and his influence reaches millions through regular mentions in news media, popular culture, social media, and more.”

What is so alarming is that Farrakhan’s antisemitic message has appeal across the political spectrum, from the far-left to the far-right, and among radical Muslims. According to Professor Jack Fischel, “Beyond NOI, a web of white supremacists and black nationalists are linked together by online social networks that propagate antisemitic imagery, wild conspiracy theories about the effort of Jews to control America, and other forms of propaganda designed to foster hatred of Jews.”

‘Kanye is right about the Jews’

WE RECENTLY witnessed this extremist cross-pollination in action due to Kanye’s well-publicized, Farrakhan-inspired antisemitic outbursts. On October 22, 2022, members of the white supremacist Goyim Defense League hung a banner over a central Los Angeles freeway reading, “Kanye is right about the Jews,” while they raised their arms making Nazi salutes.

When Kanye talks about blacks being the real Jews, he mimics the beliefs of another black supremacist group, the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI), whose members are often radicalized in prison by NOI teachers.

The Black Hebrew Israelites claim that they are the descendants of the Israelites of the Old Testament and are the true Jewish people. They depict Jews as usurpers of God’s will, a devilish people who have prevented the black man from realizing his true destiny. This incitement has led to real-world violence against Jews.

In December 2019, two heavily armed BHI-connected individuals murdered three people at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey. That same month, only weeks later, a BHI-inspired individual attacked a Hanukkah gathering in Monsey, New York with a large knife, killing 72-year-old Rabbi Josef Neumann.

As I’ve consistently warned, such antisemitism is not just a danger to American Jews, but to all Americans, threatening our core values of democracy, free speech, and freedom of religion. It is a harbinger of violence and extremism that will affect all Americans, as we saw in December 2021 when BHI-inspired Darrell Brooks rammed his SUV into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six and injuring over 60.

What is increasingly clear is that while Farrakhan and his black supremacist ilk don’t represent the African-American community nor their fight against hate and racism, these radicals pose a clear danger to America, empowering and inciting extremists across the country.

In response, Farrakhan must be treated as a persona non grata in America. For too long, his poisonous presence and rhetoric have been tolerated. Politicians and celebrities that support or echo Farrakhan and his vile ideology must be held accountable. He and his NOI organs and acolytes must be denied the reach afforded by social media, where he boasts over 350,000 followers on Twitter. To its credit, Facebook banned him in 2019.

Otherwise, we’ll be dealing with the antisemitic and extremist fallout of many more Kanye’s in the years to come.

Adam Milstein on the Importance of the US-Israel Relationship

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.”

Iran Regime on Borrowed Time – Opinion

This article was originally published in the MSN Tribune News Service on October 20th, 2022, written by James Jay Carafano and Adam Milstein, The Heritage Foundation. 

Despite weeks of brutal repression, ordinary Iranians of all ages and all sections of society, and from all regions, continue their mass protests, calling for an end to the Islamic Republic’s rule. Their message is unmistakable. The Iranian Revolution has failed. The regime it spawned is doomed. The only question left for history to answer is: When will it fall?

A picture obtained by AFP outside Iran, reportedly shows objects lit on fire in the capital Tehran, on Oct. 8, 2022.© AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

While women and girls have been most visible on the frontlines, the sheer number of protesters suggests that dissatisfaction with the regime is rampant across all demographic groups. The uprising has reportedly spread to 177 cities, making it the largest and most sustained stretch of civil unrest to grip Iran since 2009. The persistence and resilience of the demonstrators is stunning — especially in view of the fact that the action in the streets is largely leaderless, without any national organization coordinating matters.

Nor is the resistance limited to just disaffected minorities. It may be no surprise that protesters in Iran’s Kurdistan province are shouting “Death to Khamenei,” but the same chants are echoing in the streets of Tehran’s downtown bazaar. Estimates are that more than 400 people have died, including many young boys and girls, and more than 20,000 have been detained. Yet the protests show no signs of abating, despite the government ordering a full-scale military response.

All of this unrest is irrefutable evidence that Iranians are captured people, incarcerated within their borders by their own leaders.

So, when will the regime be swept aside? The surest answer history has to offer is that, when security forces in the street refuse to fire on the crowds, the regime’s days are numbered. Still, when will that day be? All we can say for sure is we will all, Iranians included, likely be surprised.

The reason for that is well-explained in Natan Sharansky’s book, “The Case for Democracies.” Sharansky notes that a defining characteristic of authoritarian governments is that they hold power, not just through the use of brute force, but by restricting information. Even many in the regime don’t know how the regime is faring. In the absence of transparency, they are unable to judge any better than outsiders how tight a hold they have on power.

As a result, we will all wake up one day shocked to find the Iranian government collapsing faster than the Washington Nationals.

Today, all we know is that the Iranian regime is a corrupt, bankrupt and illegitimate spent force, that it won’t and can’t reform, and that the people of Iran are done with their dictators. We don’t know when the end will come or what it will look like after. Which raises the big question: What should America do about it?

The U.S. government should never embrace regime change as an instrument of foreign policy. In the end, it is not our duty or responsibility to dictate to other people how to govern themselves. Americans can best defend American interests by safeguarding them against the malicious actions of others. At the same time, the U.S. can and should show its support for the Iranian protesters by offering words of solidarity and helping to provide access to the internet, popular social media channels and uncensored news.

There are other prudent actions that Washington should take to prepare for a future where the Iranian Revolution is just another failed human experiment in oppression.

For starters, Washington ought to do nothing to prop up a collapsing dictatorship that also sponsors terrorism worldwide. That means dropping all efforts to revive the Obama-era Iran deal, which has zero prospects of preventing Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon, yet promises to net the regime more than $1 trillion with which to continue its reign of terror.

Instead, the U.S. should double down on isolating, sanctioning and punishing the regime for its many human rights abuses and atrocities. Iran has consistently shown that it cannot be trusted. The only language it understands and responds to is strength.

Further, Washington should be a stronger partner for developing a more resilient Middle East, one prepared to keep the region from falling into chaos in the aftermath of the Iranian regime’s collapse. The U.S. has a ready instrument in the Abraham Accords. The agreement is more than a framework for normalizing Arab-Israeli relations. It is also a tool for economic, political, and diplomatic cooperation and integration. America should also continue to bolster Israeli deterrence and encourage stronger Israeli-Arab alliances in order to ensure its security interests in the region.

When the Iranian regime is dragged down, it will take a stronger, more secure Middle East to stem the flood of discord and uncertainty that will follow. Now is the time for America to start laying the groundwork.

____

ABOUT THE WRITERS

A Heritage Foundation vice president, James Jay Carafano directs the think tank’s research program on matters of national security and foreign affairs. Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American “Venture Philanthropist” and co-founder of the Israeli-American Council.

Why I think the Golden Age for Jews in America is coming to its end – opinion

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on October 19th, 2022, written by Adam Milstein. 

The decline in the favorability of mainstream American views toward Israel has coincided with a rise in antisemitic violence, particularly in large metropolises, promoted by Islamo-Leftist groups.

By now, we have read countless articles warning of the coming end of the Jewish golden era in America. The dwindling number of Americans identifying as Jews (now around 4.5 million—half of all Americans of Jewish descent), the passing of the Holocaust generation and the fading memory of the Holocaust itself, ideological polarization and illiberalism are just a few of the reasons discussed.

Over the span of Jewish history, across centuries and continents, the Jewish people had many periods of prosperity. Most well-known was the Golden Age in Spain from the mid-12th century until the end of the 14th century. Under the rule of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, “Al-Andalus”—modern day Spain—became a haven for Jewish culture in which art, literature, philosophy, and theology. This peaceful period ended abruptly in 1492, when all Jews of Spain and Portugal were suddenly and forcefully expelled or converted to Christianity.

Hundreds of years later, around 1950 to the turn of the 21st century, Jewish life experienced another Golden Age, this time in the United States and Israel. During the post-World War II-era, as many survivors, as well as Jews expelled from Arab countries, immigrated to the Israel and the United States, conditions in America improved dramatically for Jewish Americans. Antisemitism rapidly decreased, and the Jewish community became one of the most successful immigrant communities in the United States.

What does Israel have to do with the American Golden Age?

The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948—and Israel’s military victories over larger Arab forces in 1949, 1956, 1967, and 1973, fostered a surge of pride in Jewish Americans. From antiquity until the creation of the Jewish State, Jews were largely people of the book, merchants and scholars. The creation of Israel unified them into one strong peoplehood, with a homeland and with an army committed to defending the Jewish people worldwide. For the first time in centuries, Jews around the world were no longer victims but architects of their own secure haven that they could flee to in crisis.

From the establishment of the Jewish State until the beginning of this century, Zionism came to replace religious observance amongst secular American Jews as a core element of their own Jewish identities. That started changing around the year 2000, when the Palestinians launched a terror campaign against the Jews in Israel known as the Second Intifada. Support for the Jewish state began to wane at the fringes of the American Jewish community.

The “New Antisemitism,” also known as anti-Zionism or hatred of Israel as an acceptable stand-in for the classical hatred of Jews, initially gained currency in universities and in leftist intellectual circles. It has since metastasized to much of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Today, several U.S. congresswomen have claimed that Jewish Americans have dual national loyalties. These elected leaders call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel with a vehemence they reserve solely for the state of the Jews

And as American Jews are severing their alliance with Israel, the second Jewish golden age is now coming to its end – and soon. Antisemitism is rising. American Jewish communities are divided, disengaged, and declining in membership. For the most part, this change has been driven not by a decline in material conditions, but rather a change in the way Americans Jews think about their Jewish identity and their relationships with the homeland of the Jewish people.

The New Antisemitism is becoming violent

The decline in the favorability of mainstream American views toward Israel has coincided with a rise in antisemitic violence, particularly in large metropolises, promoted by Islamo-Leftist groups. In New York City, more than half of hate crimes in 2019 targeted Jews. During the last major conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in May 2021, terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched more than 4,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians. At the same time, we witnessed stunning and unprecedented scenes in New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities of Jews being assaulted by mobs of anti-Israel activists. This surge of anti-Jewish hate also included harassment, vandalism and online abuse.

With many Jews in America now fearing walking the streets in their kippot or wearing other items that identify them as Jewish or Zionist, or even speaking Hebrew in public, we are sliding in the direction of our European Jewish brethren—in fear and under siege, requiring more and more layers of security.

Meanwhile, many American Jews serve willingly as useful idiots for groups that despise us, divided our community, and weaken our resolve, under the pretext of legitimate  critique of the Israeli government policies.

The end of the story for American Jewry? 

While we undoubtedly face grave challenges as American Jews, we must not give up. Until now, due to lack of information and fear of rejection and persecution, many American Jews have been complicit as anti-Zionism morphs into the new antisemitism. Now is the time to stand up, fight back with all our remaining might and hold antisemites accountable.

We must form alliances with groups that share the same Judeo-Christian values of freedom and democracy, inspire today’s Jewish youth to be proud of their people and the Jewish homeland, and bring Israel back to the center of our Jewish life in the diaspora.

We must embrace Zionism as an integral part of our Jewish identity. We must engage in renewed efforts to strengthen the homeland of the Jewish people, ask Israel to empower and defend Jewish communities worldwide, and take stock of the strength our community possesses.

We must collectively demand a rejection of all forms of antisemitism, including and especially anti-Zionism.

 Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American “Venture Philanthropist.” He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @AdamMilstein, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/AdamMilsteinCP.

This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world. Read the previous article by Miriam F. Elman.

American Friends of Israel: A Conversation with Adam Milstein, Israeli-American Philanthropist and Community Leader

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American real estate investor, lobbyist and philanthropist. He is a managing partner of Hager Pacific Properties. In 2000, Milstein and his wife Gila founded the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation. He is a co-founder of the Israeli-American Council, where he currently serves as chairman of the board. Both organizations support Israeli-American and Jewish-American identity and support of Israel. We would appreciate your help in supporting the American Friends of The Open University of Israel – www.afoui.org American Friends of the Open University of Israel, Inc. (AFOUI) was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 1981 to build awareness of the Open University of Israel (OUI) in the United States and raise funds in order to provide grants to OUI to support the students, faculty, and growth initiatives of the OUI. We extend our heartfelt thanks to you – our sponsors, donors, friends, and colleagues.

Your vital support is the foundation upon which the successes of the OUI have been built and upon which all its future achievements depend. We invite you to join us in our life-changing mission to further the goals of the OUI, a pioneer and cutting-edge leader in distance learning, dedicated to educating all those who would otherwise be denied a university education and to perpetuating the academic and intellectual traditions of the Jewish people. We would appreciate your help in supporting the American Friends of The Open University of Israel – www.afoui.org

What About Antisemitism in our High Schools?

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on September 13th, 2022, written by Adam Milstein. 

 

Antisemitism in high schools is uniquely dangerous as teenagers are particularly impressionable, deeply affected by social dynamics of their peers and by the authority of their teachers.

 

In recent years, while much of the Jewish community has been keenly focused on antisemitism on college campuses, we have largely overlooked another growing danger. Activist teachers and administrators have increasingly injected antisemitism into American public and private high schools through expanded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) departments and policies and by promoting radical curricula steeped in Critical Race Theory (CRT), such as the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (LESMC). Through this ideology, American Jews are implicitly and sometimes, explicitly, portrayed as privileged white oppressors. By extension, the Jewish State, Israel, is described as an oppressive ethno-state engaged in apartheid, colonialism, and ethnic cleansing.

We are starting to see the consequences of this campaign. Highschool students, both in public and private schools around the nation are engaging in antisemitic bullying and harassment toward their Jewish peers. Amplified through social media and group chats, the phenomenon has become increasingly frequent in high schools. Antisemitism also rears its head in high school sports and a there’s a spike in antisemitic graffiti, like swastikas. Physical violence rooted in antisemitism has become increasingly common in the U.S. and worldwide, from Los Angeles to AtlantaPalm BeachNew York, and even in Australia.

Last month, a federal investigation found that during the 2018 and 2019 school years, a Tempe, Arizona, based Kyrene School District violated the civil rights of a middle schooler when she was forced to endure repeated antisemitic harassment in class. Nine students harassed and called her antisemitic names, in addition to making frequent jokes about the Holocaust.

Most antisemitic attacks on Jewish students go unreported and if in recent years we are starting to find out about antisemitic incidents in high schools which took place several years ago, one can only imagine how much serious is this phenomenon today.

Antisemitism in high schools is uniquely dangerous. Teenagers are particularly impressionable, deeply affected by social dynamics of their peers and by the authority of their teachers and their school administrators. This environment places Jewish students in the classroom in a terribly vulnerable position. To fit in socially, they are often forced to adopt and advocate for ideas rooted in CRT. It is difficult for them to combat the trendy ideas of the day and speak out against the classmates who promote them, even when these ideas advance antisemitic canards. Compared to college, there is even less room to challenge authority in high schools.

Parents of students, even in prestigious private schools, are often hesitant and afraid to speak out against school authorities. When Jewish parent Jerome Eisenberg questioned the elite Brentwood School in Los Angeles for holding racially segregated meetings and encouraging students to treat Jews as “oppressors”, the school administration simply expelled his 8th-grade daughter by preventing her from returning the following school year.

These trends on high school campuses are exacerbated by what teens find on social media, the place where teens get their news, which has become a cesspool for antisemitism. Unfortunately, in recent years all the major social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat allow and even promote antisemitic content through their algorithms.

Let us also not forget that not all kids who attend high school go on to university. About one-third of all American teens do not pursue higher education. As a result, the stakes are even higher since essentially all teenagers attend high school. If our youth are being inculcated with antisemitic ideologies from a young age, this will be carried on not only to universities, but also to society. This creates the perfect environment for antisemitism to spread like wildfire and become mainstream in America.

Many Jewish kids and parents (even when they have resources to fight back) are unwilling to report or take action against antisemitism in fear of retaliation toward themselves or their kids.

Is there anything we can do? 

First and foremost, we need to inspire the next generation to be proud Jews and nurture in them a deep connection to the State of Israel so that any indoctrination they encounter in high schools doesn’t carry weight.

Second, we must actively address the danger of DEI and CRT in our schools, which are often packaged as Ethnic Studies. We must prevent the passage of legislation that makes Ethnic Studies curriculum mandatory in high schools at the state level across the country and work to ensure that individual school districts do not adopt curriculum rooted in hate.

Third, Jewish students must be educated about their civil rights as upheld by the U.S. Constitution. Our children must be empowered with the ability to identify, report, and document antisemitic attacks and incidents, with attorneys ready to take action if necessary to uphold their rights. Teachers and administrators must also be educated and held accountable. One noteworthy resource at their disposal is “Addressing Anti-Semitism in Schools: Training Curriculum for Secondary Education Teachers, a joint publication of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and UNESCO.

Forth, we must go on the offense against those that target our high school students with antisemitic ideas by exposing their agenda and holding them accountable in the court of law and the court of public opinion. We need to empower both teens and their parents to report and stand up against jew-hatred.

For American Jews, education is fundamental. Our children are entitled to and deserve top quality education free of malice, discrimination and antisemitism. It is far past time that we make safeguarding our youth a much higher priority.

This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world. Read the previous article by Noam Koren.

Cultivating the Jewish Venture Philanthropists of the Future

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on August 11th, 2022, written by Dorit Naftalin Nelson and Adam Milstein. 

Recent research suggests that younger Jewish philanthropists do not share the same charitable priorities of their parents. The efforts to engage the younger generations needs to start with teens.

The Looming Crisis

The 21st century marks a turning point in Jewish philanthropy. The generations that are fading away hold vivid memories of the Holocaust, lived through the miraculous founding of the State of Israel and experienced the thrill of Israel’s triumph in the 1967 Six Day War. It feels inevitable that the focus and the intensity of Jewish giving is changing as these pivotal events go further and further into the rearview mirror.

While hundreds billions of dollars are being passed down from one Jewish generation to the next, research suggests that younger Jewish philanthropists do not share the same charitable priorities that their parents did. One can now imagine a majority of American Jews declining to support the State of Israel as a homeland of the Jewish people, fight antisemitism, or breathe life into the Talmudic statement that “Kol Israel Areivim Zeh La’Zeh” (all Jews are responsible for one another).

Many efforts have focused on engaging and activating Jewish students in college, but “the work” needs to start much earlier. In an effort to shield young people from unpleasantness and negativity, our institutions have chosen to shield teens from the true face of the Jewish people’s enemies. This has left them completely unprepared to respond when they encounter Jew-hatred on campus or in the workplace. The result is that when many young Jews come face-to-face with antisemitism, they simply walk away, stay passive, or even find justifications in the anti-Jewish claims that are made. Because we don’t prepare them, they choose the path of least resistance.

We cannot afford a younger generation that stays inactive in the face of unprecedented antisemitism. As Jewish parents and pro-Israel philanthropists, how we can cultivate shared philanthropic priorities in our children? It is incumbent on us to mentor and empower young Jews to be knowledgeable and active leaders of our community in a holistic way. We must teach them to go beyond simply engaging in social justice projects in or outside the Jewish world. We need to find ways to enable our next generation to understand the deepening problems our community is facing and take early steps on their own leadership journeys to confront these challenges. We need to equip them with the knowledge, the know-how, the means, the tools and the opportunities to lead.

Venture Philanthropy for Jewish Teens

To reverse the trend of detachment, we need to develop programs that will interest, engage, prepare  and educate young Jews about standing up for Israel and the Jewish people and challenging antisemitism through philanthropy while they are still in high school. We need to think about how to facilitate certain kinds of skill development, nurture a deep sense of Jewish pride, and transmit the importance of building a united Jewish community confronting antisemites and defending the State of Israel with charitable giving.

This is why a group of concerned parents and Southern California philanthropists are developing a new program with the mission of supporting Israel and combating Jew-hatred that will take inspiration from the Los Angeles-based Impact Forum, which brings together a network of like-minded philanthropists to fund and empower a network of small but impactful nonprofit organizations to collaborate and amplify each other’s work.

The vision is to develop a “Venture Philanthropist Club” for Jewish high school students in Los Angeles, which will hopefully become a model adopted nationwide. A coeducational, after-school curricular activity, the club will assign young students to different venture teams focused on fighting antisemitism, supporting the State of Israel, and strengthening their communities.

The program will educate students about the issues facing our community, the principles of strategic philanthropy, and the organizations leading the charge to defend the Jewish people and the State of Israel. It will build up students’ knowledge to make their own choices about which organizations are doing the most essential work. In addition to teaching them to raise funds in their networks, the program will provide them with seed funding to support existing pro-Israel organizations that speak to them, as well as new philanthropic ventures. The fundraising will take place jointly from impact philanthropists and their local communities, demonstrating the impact that is possible by leveraging multiple networks of giving.

Strategic Venture philanthropy involves much more than financial giving. It is a holistic investment of one’s personal time, resources, knowledge, and efforts. In the context of the Venture Philanthropist Clubs, participating students will take a hands-on-approach throughout the evaluation, creation and funding process. They will do the work of vetting different nonprofit organizations, interacting with them and asking key questions. After internal discussions, students will vote as a club to determine the amount to donate to each organization, and then to establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their contributions.

Students will also be encouraged to stay involved with the organizations by volunteering or perhaps serving on student boards. By investing more of themselves, sometimes in projects of their own, students will have a real-world experience to drive more impact, which hopefully will make the work of standing up for Israel and the Jewish people a higher personal priority in college and beyond.

Empowering our Youth is Critical 

We are facing a critical communal challenge. If Jews are going to continue to thrive in America, we need to find ways to interest and empower a younger generation to become leaders. Using venture philanthropy as a vehicle to activate and energize them is an important pathway to that goal. Our adversaries have learned to cultivate ever younger cohorts of activists. It is time that we develop the potential in our high school students.

In the Los Angeles area alone, there are billions of dollars that will be passed down from Jewish parents to the next generation. The best way to ensure these funds are used effectively to support causes vital to our community – Jewish unity, fighting antisemitism and supporting the State of Israel – is to invest in empowering the younger generation to assume leadership through venture philanthropy. American Jews, across the generations, need each other more than ever.

Dorit Naftalin Nelson, a healthcare consultant In Los Angeles, is the proud mother of 4 (including an IDF lone soldier) and has been active in many Jewish communal organizations. 

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American “Active Philanthropist.” He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @AdamMilstein, and on Facebook .

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Policies: A Danger to Jews and All Americans

This article was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on July 5th, 2022, written by Adam Milstein. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices, officers, policies, and programming are being increasingly embraced in American institutions, from government to the corporate workplace. This is particularly true in education, from leading American universities to elite prep schools. In fact, one sampling of leading American universities found DEI staff making up an average of 3.4 positions for every 100 tenured or tenure-track faculty members and outnumbering by a factor of at least four the staff dedicated to helping students with disabilities.

The ostensible goals of DEI are positive: to promote the representation, participation, and fair treatment of historically marginalized groups. In practice, though, DEI, which is closely linked to critical race theory (CRT), has been deployed to advance a radical agenda that undermines fundamental American values by promoting equality of outcome over equality of opportunity, collective identity (race, gender, etc.) over individual character, censorship of opposing viewpoints over freedom of speech, and a victim culture that crudely bifurcates society into oppressors and oppressed.

Along with embracing other favored radical causes, DEI is also being weaponized against Jewish students, maliciously portraying them and the Jewish State as wanton oppressors. Thus, with the expanding number and power of amply funded and staffed DEI offices that, rather than thwarting the rise of anti-Israel sentiment and restraining hostility toward Jews, actually contributing to it, American universities are becoming hotbeds of antisemitism.

The rise of antisemitism on college campuses is continuing and has already been well documented. A 2021 survey by Hillel and the ADL found that one in three Jewish college students personally experienced antisemitic hate in the previous academic year. Jewish students regularly have to contend with the demonization of Israel and its supporters, obscene Holocaust comparisons and minimization, negative stereotyping, and other common antisemitic tropes.

According to a December 2021 Heritage Foundation report, “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities,” which analyzed the Twitter feeds of hundreds of DEI university personnel, there is a disproportionate hostility toward Israel among university DEI staff. Malicious charges they have levied against Israel on Twitter include describing the Jewish State as an “apartheid” or “colonial” state and accusing Israel of engaging in “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing.”

Instead of creating a welcome and inclusive environment for Jewish students, who overwhelmingly feel a strong connection to Israel, DEI officials are engaged in anti-Israel demonization that promotes antisemitism and legitimizes Jew-hatred on campus.

In one particularly egregious illustration of this phenomenon, Yasmeen Mashayekh, a University of Southern California (USC) student senator for diversity, equity and inclusion, tweeted in May 2021 that she wanted to “kill every motherf***ing Zionist.” Despite this and other hateful messages in which she expressed support for terrorism and the murder of Israelis, she has not been disciplined by USC and was able to retain her student senator DEI position.

The harm that DEI programming and personnel cause Jewish students isn’t limited to higher education. It even extends to schoolchildren. A Jewish parent, Jerome Eisenberg, is suing the prestigious private K-12 Brentwood School in Los Angeles for engaging in a DEI-driven “scheme to transform the school under a racially divisive, antisemitic ideology that seeks to indoctrinate children to reject Western values.”

In recent years, the curriculum at Brentwood has taken a radical, racially divisive turn after it was handed over to its “Office of Equity and Inclusion,” whose “staffing had increased ten-fold in a short period of time.” According to Eisenberg, “the school held racially segregated meetings and encouraged students to treat Jewish people as ‘oppressors’ and discriminated against a Jewish group of parents.” When he expressed his concerns about antisemitic discrimination, the school threatened to expel his 8th-grade daughter immediately and ultimately effectively did so when they denied her from returning the following school year.

It is deeply troubling that DEI personnel and programming, which is ostensibly committed to combatting bias and hate, is actively contributing to antisemitism in the American education system. As I have repeatedly warned, though, antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem – it is an American problem. DEI policies may disproportionately target and harm Jewish students, but the DEI agenda ultimately seeks to undermine and replace fundamental American values and replace it with its own radical vision. As we’ve seen before, what starts with elites quickly spreads to society as a whole. We must combat these ethically corrupted DEI efforts before they do more harm to Jewish students and ultimately all Americans.

The writer is an Israeli-American “Active Philanthropist.” He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter , and on Facebook . 

This op-ed is published in partnership with a coalition of organizations that fight antisemitism across the world. 

Podcast: Adam Milstein Speaking with the American Friends of Unit 669, the Combat Search and Rescue Unit of the Israeli Air Force

Not Another Iron Dome – Adam Milstein’s Mission to Build Israel’s Iron Sword. A Strategic Approach to Defending Israel and Jewish Communities Through Social Entrepreneurship & Impact Investing

Episode Description

In this episode, our guest is one of AFU669’s biggest supporters and donors and a well-known philanthropist.

He is originally from Haifa, Israel, and served in the IDF during the Yom Kippur war.

He lives in Los Angeles today, he is a real estate entrepreneur with a portfolio valued at over 1 billion USD.

He co-founded the IAC (Israel American Council) and was its chairman, and is very involved in supporting

Israel and opposing BDS, and a few years ago he was chosen as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.