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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Nina Rosenwald


nina-rosenwald
    • William Rosenwald Family Fund: Vice President
    • Gatestone Institute: Founder

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Nina Rosenwald is founder of the Gatestone Institute—a New York-based offshoot of the neoconservative Hudson Institute—and an important funder of a panoply of right-wing "pro-Israel" and anti-Islamic organizations. Dubbed the "Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate" by journalist Max Blumenthal, Rosenwald is an heir to the Sears Roebuck fortune, a co-chair of the board at the equity firm American Securities Management, and vice president of the William Rosenwald Family Fund, which has donated enormous sums to conservative causes. She is the daughter of the late William Rosenwald, a liberal Zionist philanthropist who founded the United Jewish Appeal in the late 1930s.

Philanthropy

Along with her sister Elizabeth Varet, a principal at the right-wing Anchorage Fund, Rosenwald has helped funnel millions of dollars to rightwing "pro-Israel" causes. In its 2011 report on the U.S. "Islamophobia network," the Center for American Progress identified the Anchorage and Rosenwald foundations as key financial backers of anti-Islamic messaging in the United States. "Between 2001 and 2008," it noted, "the Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund contributed $2,818,229 to Islamophobic organizations," including more than $2.3 million to Daniel Pipes' Middle East Forum. Other beneficiaries flagged in the report included Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, the Clarion Fund, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Zuhdi Jasser's American Islamic Forum for Democracy.[1] Rosenwald has also supported the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and a host of U.S.- and Israeli-based organizations supporting Jewish settlers in the Golan Heights and occupied Palestinian territories.[2]

According to Blumenthal, Rosenwald's philanthropy has facilitated an "emerging alliance between the pro-Israel mainstream and the Islamophobic fringe," a partnership that "serves to sanitize and legitimize professional anti-Muslim bigots" and allows their views "to mingle easily with those of neoconservative foreign policy heavyweights intent on promoting the appearance of a convergence between U.S. and Israeli interests" against "a common 'Islamofascist' enemy." On this count, Blumenthal specifically cites Rosenwald's support for neoconservative writers like Daniel Pipes, as well as the multiple functions she has thrown in New York for Geert Wilders, the rabidly anti-Islamic Dutch MP who was tried in the Netherlands for hate speech. [3]

Rosenwald's largesse has earned her a place of considerable influence in the "pro-Israel" firmament. Blumenthal notes there is "hardly a single major pro-Israel organization that does not provide Rosenwald with a seat on its board of directors," including the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the Hudson Institute. Rosenwald is also vice president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which seeks to bolster high-level security ties between Israel and the United States.[4]

Rosenwald formerly served on the board of Freedom House, but resigned in 2007 after the organization chastened two of its scholars for accusing Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of failing to recognize "the character of the [Islamist] enemy against which the civilized world now finds itself arrayed." Rosenwald lamented to a National Review reporter that the group had become "little more than a Beltway bandit."[5]

Gatestone

After initially operating a New York branch of the conservative Hudson Institute, by 2011 Rosenwald had remade the branch into the independent Gatestone Institute.[6] The Institute bills itself as "a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank [that] is dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report."[7]

The spread of Islam appears to rank highly among these concerns. In April 2012, the institute "rolled out the red carpet" for Geert Wilders, who declared at a $10,000-a-head Gatestone event that "Islam is the largest threat to freedom which the world is currently facing."[8]

Gatestone's board has boasted longstanding neoconservatives and fellow travelers like chairman James Woolsey, Zuhdi Jasser, Douglas Murray, and Lawrence Kadish, as well as conservative journalists Christine Williams and Amir Taheri. Other members have included Georgette Gelbard, Naomi Perlman, Ingebord Rennert (spouse of the controversial junk bond investor Ira Rennert), Rebecca Sugar, and author Elie Wiesel.[9] Former Pentagon official Harold Rhode has been listed as a senior fellow, along with Soeren Kern, Guy Milliere, Khaled Abu Toameh, Samuel Westrop and Mudar Zahran.[10]

At one point Gatestone listed "Fjordman (2013)" as a distinguished scholar,[11] using a pseudonym for Peder Jensen, a far-right Norwegian blogger whose writings were featured in the manifesto of mass-murderer Anders Breivik.[12] The listing has since been removed.

Among its "columnists," Gatestone has hosted a bevy of anti-Islamic and "pro-Israel" figures, including writer Anne Bayefsky, former UN ambassador John Bolton, MEMRI president Yigal Carmon, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, Investigative Project on Terrorism head Steven Emerson, former Pentagon official Doug Feith, neoconservative firebrand David Horowitz, Hudson Institute president Herbert London, the right-wing group NGO Monitor, Daniel Pipes, Emergency Committee for Israelspokesman Noah Pollak, former AIPAC director Steven Rosen, American Enterprise Institutefellow Michael Rubin, One Jerusalemcofounder Natan Sharansky, Foundation for Defense of Democraciesfellow Lee Smith, anti-Islamic writer Robert Spencer, among many others.

According to Blumenthal, "Rosenwald has a penchant for launching into anti-Arab anti-Palestinian tirades at public forums, leaping up like 'a jack in the box' to denounce the evildoers." Her writings can exhibit a similar tone. For instance, in an article posted on the Gatestone website, Rosenwald criticized the Obama administration for not objecting to a Palestinian request to include language calling for the "international protection of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory" in a UN document on racism. Rosenwald said this was tantamount to "singling out Israel in an anti-racism manifesto."[13]

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Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources

[1] Center for American Progress, "Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America," August 2011, p. 21, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/pdf/islamophobia.pdf.

[2] Max Blumenthal, "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate," The Nation, June 13, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168374/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate#.

[3] Max Blumenthal, "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate," The Nation, June 13, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168374/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate#.

[4] Max Blumenthal, "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate," The Nation, June 13, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168374/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate#.

[5] John Miller, "Freedom House, Rocked," National Review, April 2, 2007, available at http://crf.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=5786&pubType=CRF_Excerpt.

[6] Max Blumenthal, "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate," The Nation, June 13, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168374/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate#.

[7] Gatestone Institute, "About," http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/about/.

[8] Max Blumenthal, "The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate," The Nation, June 13, 2012, http://www.thenation.com/article/168374/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate#.

[9] Gatestone Institute, About, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/about/

[10] Gatestone Institute, "Distinguished Scholars and Senior Advisers," http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/ny-senior-editors/.

[11] Gatestone Institute, "About," Internet Archive screengrab: http://web.archive.org/web/20130115231434/http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/about/.

[12] Power Base, Peder Jensen profile, http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Fjordman.

[13] Nina Rosenwald, "Obama's Real Agenda at Durban II," Gatestone Institute, February 24, 2009, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/334/obamas-real-agenda-at-durban-ii

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Nina Rosenwald Résumé

    Affiliations

    • William Rosenwald Family Fund: Vice President
    • Gatestone Institute: Founder
    • Hudson Institute: Board member
    • Washington Institute for Near East Policy: Board member
    • American Israel Public Affairs Committee: Former board member
    • Freedom House: Former board member

    Business

    • American Securities Management: Co-chair

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