Herbert London: American patriot and Zionist

By Jeremy Frankel

Published July 9, 2018 in The Jerusalem Post

DR. HERBERT London, founder and president of the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank, has been passionate about the Jewish state from its conception.

He recalls listening with his father to the radio as the vote at the United Nations took place creating the state of Israel. At first, he didn’t realize why his father was crying and then his father told him those were tears of joy, “At last we are recognized.”

Although he considers himself an American patriot and has worked tirelessly throughout his life to make the United States a safe place for all of its citizens, his passion for the security of Israel has never waned.

London and the London Center for Policy Research also known as LCPR, work to ensure that both the United States and Israel are well-served and that the longstanding friendship between the two nations continues to thrive. The LCPR provides detailed research and opinions to influence U.S. policy, especially as it relates to global human rights and the Middle East.

Under London’s leadership, the LCPR has grown to emulate his own drives and talents. A key focus for the LCPR is research and analysis, drawing from London’s long immersion in academia. He founded the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University; though many US college campuses are seen as bastions for the liberal agenda, during his time at NYU London always passionately defended Western tradition and culture. While there, he revolutionized NYU’s approach to education, creating the Booklist and Rationale program, in which students select 25 “great books” that correlate to their chosen area of study and explore them, ultimately writing a paper and speaking at a colloquium.

London had also authored and/or edited 30 books. Two books of which he is most proud and which he believes make the greatest impact on readers are “The BDS War Against Israel” and “The Encyclopedia of Militant Islam.” The former details the fallacies inherent in the “Orwellian” boycott, divestment and sanctions movement; the latter examines the global contours of the jihadist threat.

Always dedicated to academia, London has seen to it that he merges his love of facts with his need to influence policy to help keep the United States and Israel safe and strong. He has served as an adviser to both presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and he spent 14 years heading the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. All this ultimately led London to found the LCPR four years ago, a center that stands for the best of American interests, the American people and is concerned with the United States’ foreign policy, national security and tranquility.

The founder and Editor-in-Chief of the American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. had this to say about The London Center: “The London Center does cutting-edge work particularly on the Middle East. I would be at a loss over and over again if it were not for Herb and his colleagues’ work.”

London explains that being a US patriot and a Zionist in no way counter one another, but rather go hand in hand, as he sees the continued survival and success of both nations as intertwined.

According to London, who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he finds it incomprehensible that so many people do not recognize how vital Israel is to the United States’ continued safety. Among its work, the LCPR is working to change that by highlighting the human rights violations occurring throughout the Middle East and labeling Israel as the region’s only true democracy that respects its citizens and their rights.

London’s influence can certainly be seen — and not just in his ability to change the routine citizen’s opinion through his appearances on radio and television news, and his op-eds, which he prints in respected publications once or twice a week.

The LCPR was critical in the creation of the Taylor Force Act, which pledges to cease sending American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority while it continues to reward violence against Israelis with money. Currently, the PA hands out money from its Marviduals who perform terrorist actions against Israel and other non-Palestinian groups. London felt it most fitting that the act be named for Taylor Force, an American serviceman who was studying in Tel Aviv when he was murdered in a terrorist attack perpetrated by a Palestinian. In addition to addressing the crimes of the PA, London and the LCPR have been adamant in their demand for the Muslim Brotherhood to be a declared a terrorist organization.

London’s influence also helped reverse the White House’s stance on Egypt. President Barack Obama’s administration had distanced the United States from Egypt, which had long been a political ally — one of America’s few allies in the Middle East. While London understands that the Obama administration made this move in light of the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt – which London refers to as “the Autumn Nightmare” – this distancing did not best serve America or its close ally Israel. After the London Center provided him research and advice, President Donald Trump met with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House. The Center also influenced the US Congress to support a statement of good will toward Egypt.

Several top politicians and commentators believe London’s research and viewpoints greatly inspired Trump’s comments in his Riyadh speech, where he gave a comprehensive overview of America’s national security and defense in regard to the Middle East, and detailed plans to better protect the United States.

Herbert Stupp, editor of Gipperten.com and a former New York City Commissioner during the Giuliani administration, said of London, “Dr. Herb London is a national treasure. One of the most gifted academic leaders in the United States, London’s analysis and writings have been amazingly prescient, time and again. For example, he predicted Vladimir Putin’s foreign aggression, once President Obama offered only vacillation in lieu of policy. The London Center for Policy Analysis is one of the newer thinks tanks on the American scene, but has had high impact since its inception. Dr. London has recruited some of America’s best minds and experts in the disciplines of foreign affairs, national defense and domestic policy, and they are sought out by national news organizations and academic institutions every day.”

When he is not traveling between the LCPR’s locations in New York City and Washington, D.C., London is often in Europe or the Middle East, meeting with dignitaries to acquire the facts first-hand that will protect the two countries he loves: the United States and Israel.

In 2013, after visiting the Nazi concentration camps in Europe and then going to Israel, London wrote: “Israel is indeed home for Jews. It is the realization that however much I love America, Israel is a sanctuary, a place where I can always seek repose. I thank God this nation exists and I thank God the Israel Defense Forces stands behind it.”

Of course, London could not realize his dream of strengthening the United States and Israel alone. The London Center’s board members and senior fellows all share London’s passion to make positive change in the world, especially by protecting the democracies of the United States and Israel.

Among London’s most valued colleagues are Eli Gold, the senior vice president of the Center, and Lt.-Col. Anthony Shaffer, vice president for strategic initiatives. Well-known commentator Monica Crowley is a senior fellow.

The London Center also partners with top academics and politicians to hold events that educate the public about issues of national defense, foreign policy, international conflicts, domestic policy, energy policy, human rights and missile defense. Through the London Center’s Chairman’s Lecture series, expert speakers in the fields of industry, peacekeeping, politics and energy share their thoughts and ideas. One of the Center’s best-attended lectures was provided by former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

The LCPR’s board members, staff and even lecturers all share one thing: They all have an emotional investment in this work. This is not just a job to any of them – it is a calling. This certainly shines through in their work, which continues to strengthen the United States, Israel and the bond between the two countries.

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