Adam Milstein is a millionaire real estate investor, as well as a "prolific donor to right-wing" and pro-Israel causes. Milstein is a co-founder and National Chairman of the Israeli-American Council, a board member at the "Israel on Campus Coalition, StandWithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, and Jewish Funders Network. Alongside his with, Gila Milstein, he founded the The Milstein Family Foundation which "supports a range of Pro-Israel organizations." Milstein is a vocal opponent of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement which he calls a "campaign of hate" and "a menace that must be contained today, before it alters our society’s moral compass and threatens the values and freedoms at the heart of our very way of life."
Milstein was born in Haifa, Israel and served in the IDF during the Yom Kippur War. He lives in California and is a managing partner with Hager Pacific Properties, where he oversees the "firm’s financing, disposition and property management."
In 2009, Milstein's net worth was $147 million. Through the Milstein Foundation, he has backed groups that have "pushed controversial state laws that crack down on BDS supporters by prohibiting contracts from going to companies and individuals that boycott Israel." Liz Jackson, an attorney at Palestine Legal, said Milstein is unique in the fact that he seems "proud of such aggressive, anti-speech tactics to suppress people of color.” In Milstein's own words, the mission of the foundation is "to strengthen the state of Israel."
News and Controversies
Tweets about Rep. Tlaib and Omar
Milstein has accused Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, of being a “terrorist" citing an exposé from Glenn Beck. Milstein has additionally called Omar "antisemitic [and] anti-Israel" citing a Daily Wire article. Rep. Rashida Talib, Omar's fellow first Muslim-American woman elected to Congress, has also been a target of Milstein's tweets. Milstein "questioned" Omar and Tlaib’s loyalty to the United States and accused them of "having links to the Muslim Brotherhood," which The Intercept calls "a tired trope popular among anti-Muslim bigots."
Going "on the offense" against the BDS movement
Milstein has said "BDS is anti-Semitism" and conflates the Israeli state with the Jewish people stating "BDS is anti-semitism, [a] boycott against Jews." When asked how to combat the BDS movement -- "the Palestinian-led movement that targets Israel over its military occupation of Palestinian land, building of illegal settlements, and denial of Palestinian refugee rights" -- Milstein said that "we need to think outside the box," "go on the offense," and "we need to go on the attack"
According to the Intercept, Milstein has spent a minimum of $4.4 million in donations to groups in both the United States and Israel "that work to solidify the U.S.-Israel alliance and harshly attack critics of Israeli policy." Examples given of this work include:
- funding "groups that accuse student activists of ties to terrorists, monitor student supporters of Palestinian rights, plaster students’ names on shadowy websites, and file legal challenges that pose a threat to activist work."
- donating to fund UCLA student campaigns
- Directing the board of, and donating to a group "which coordinates with the Israeli government and targets progressive students with secretive online campaigns."
- Helping to fund "a Jewish news service that publishes articles with a right-wing bent."
- Aiding David Horowitz -- "a driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black movements” -- through financial support of his group the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC). According to The Intercept, DHFC "spread inflammatory posters on college campuses accusing members of [Students for Justice in Palestine] and pro-Palestinian academics of links to Hamas, the Palestinian militant group. The posters fueled harassment and death threats at their targets."
Funding of Pro-Israel politicians, organizations and Right Wing Groups
Reviews of tax filings by the Intercept found that between 2004 and 2016, Milstein's foundation gave the following amounts in donations:
- American Israel Education Foundation, (the nonprofit arm of the [The American Israel Public Affairs Committee])- $1,896,620
- [StandWithUs] - $851,500
- Israel on Campus Coalition - $115,000
- Christians United for Israel - $77,000
- David Horowitz Freedom Center - $30,000
- Sen. Kamala Harris - $500
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen - $2,000
- Sen. Ted Cruz - $10,800
- Sen. Chuck Schumer - $2,700
- Sen. Brian Schatz - $1,000
- Rep. Brad Sherman - $8,700
- Rep. Juan Vargas - $7,400
- Rep. Adam Schiff - $2,400
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand - $1,000
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein - $2,000
- Sen. Robert Menendez - $1,900
- Sen. Ron Wyden - $3,000
- Jeff Bartos - $2,700
- Fmr. Sen. Joe Donnelly - $2,700
- Josh Mandel - $2,700
- Sen. Marco Rubio - $2,700
- Paul Chabot - $2,700
- Rep. Devin Nunes - $1,000
- United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback - $1,000
- Rep. Ted Lieu $1,000
- Alex Kane [https://theintercept.com/2019/03/25/adam-milstein-israel-bds/ RIGHT-WING DONOR ADAM MILSTEIN HAS SPENT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO STIFLE THE BDS MOVEMENT AND ATTACK CRITICS OF ISRAELI POLICY ] The Intercept March 25, 2019
- Milstien Family Fund who we are organizational website, accessed April 23, 2019
- Adam Milstein It’s Not Just About Israel. BDS Threatens Us All. Huffington Post Dec 22, 2016
- Hager Pacific Properties Adam Milstein bio organizational website, accessed April 23, 2019
- The Milstein Family Foundation about us organizational website, accessed May 23, 2019
- Adam Milstein Watch @glennbeck exposes @IlhanMN as a Terrorist, who operates on behalf #CAIR, an affiliate of #Hamas, a US designated terrorist organization. Glenn Beck takes a closer look at @Ilhan Omar and her relationship with dual leaders of Hamas and CAIR tweet, March 16, 2019
- Adam Milstein This photo came from a public elementary school in Minneapolis and the same coloring project has been reported in at least one suburban school district as well. The students are coloring pictures of antisemitic anti-Israel @IlhanMN as a hero. tweet, March 16, 2019
- Adam Milstein Adam Milstein Talks about how to Make Philanthropy Meaningful youtube, Published on Jun 16, 2017
- Chloe Hunt [www.dailycal.org/2014/07/03/funds-ucla-student-political-party-came-outside-donors-leaked-emails-show/ Funds to UCLA student political party came from outside sources, leaked emails show] The Daily Californian, August 24, 2016
- Open Secrets Adam Milstein Center for Responsive Politics, accessed April 24, 2019