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An ode to JINSA

January 11, 2010 1 comment

By Jay N. Jacobson

BOCA RATON, Florida — Last year I went to Washington for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) Board of Advisors meeting.  I was so impressed that in early December this year, my wife Lorita and I went back.  It’s an amazing organization.  They have instituted many programs that no other organization is involved with.  I will only mention four that I think are important.

* Every summer JINSA sends 30 cadets from our Military Academies to Israel for a personal and  intensive interaction with their Israeli’s counterparts. 

JINSA also invites retired flag and general officers who are still active in areas of National Security Policy to Israel for intensive discussions with their Israeli counter parts, and also meet with the highest level of Israel’s civilian leadership.  They come away with a better understanding of the threats Israel faces, and the resources it brings to meet those threats, as well as ways in which the U.S. and Israel can cooperate  for our mutual security interests.

* Combating terrorism has become the single most intense issue in American and Israel law enforcement. JINSA’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) brings American law enforcement officials to Israel for crucial counter-terrorism training with the Israel National Police. And JINSA’s  popular national security forums, conferences and JINSA Reports educate community leaders across America about terror threats and how they’re being met.

* JINSA members put their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting the young men and women who serve in our Armed Services.  For the last six years, JINSA members have supported a holiday appeal on behalf of deserving soldiers and their families. They have distributed over a half a million dollars to families that have a breadwinner serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries abroad, or have had a  family member killed in action.

* In 2003 JINSA created and presented the first Grateful Nations award, which sought to honor an outstanding representative from each of the five services and the United States Special Operations Command.

Each year since, six young heroes have been honored by JINSA for having distinguished themselves through exceptional, superior conduct in the war against terrorists and their sponsors.  The Chairman and all the Joint Chiefs of Staff attend this dinner.

Honorees are chosen by their respective services and come from the enlisted, noncommissioned officer and/or junior officer ranks.  There was not a dry eye in the room when a young girl of nine or ten accepted the posthumous for her father who was killed in Afghanistan.

I know there are many who care as deeply as Lorita and I do about the future of Israel and the United States, and recognize that these are challenging times. We shake our heads as Israel continuously receives misguided and unwarranted condemnation on the world stage – and even within the Jewish community – simply for exercising the right to defend her citizens.  JINSA is the Jewish organization whose sole purpose is national security – for the United States and  Israel.

* JINSA played a major role in advising the United States  national security establishment not to put troops in the Golan. JINSA was one of the first organizations to issue warnings about the Iranian nuclear program. Two decades ago – when most Americans thought domestic terrorism was something they’d see only in science fiction films – JINSA was already warning about threats that are all too real today.

Right now, the U.S is talking about using multinational forces as “peace keepers” in the West Bank, substituting for the security presence of the IDF. JINSA is well placed to provide professional military analysis detailing the potential problems that such a force would create.  

The future of the United States, of Israel – and indeed of true democracy everywhere – all depend on the outcome of the issues JINSA deals with every day.

*
Jacobson is a Jewish community activist who divides his time between Boca Raton, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota

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