The Jonathan Institute was founded in Israel in September 1976.
Aims and objectives
He listed three aims of 'paramount importance':
- …The Jonathan Institute intends to make plain, especially to the youth and army of Israel, the essential facts of the world Jewish Problem, the classic Zionist solution, and the indispensability of Israel to the survival of the Jewish people…
- … the Institute will advance the idea… that Israel's survival, strength and security are crucial to the survival of the free world…
- … the Institute will seek to determin the roots of the terrorism which engulfs the world today… The ways and means of coping with this danger will be explored…
- Binyamin Netanyahu, one of the most significant figures in the creation of the ideology of counter-terrorism, founded the Jonathan Institute in memory of his brother and organised two seminal international anti-terrorist conferences.
- The first was held in 1979 in Jerusalem and, according to Netanyahu, 'exposed . . . the full involvement of states in international terrorism, and the centrality of the Soviet Union and the PLO in fomenting and spreading it'. He quoted the former chief of Israeli military intelligence General Shlomo Gazit, who revealed that 'Arab terrorists participated in 50 different military schools, some 40 in the Soviet Union itself'.
- These observations, from Netanyahu's introduction to a 1986 collection of papers, Terrorism: how the west can win, perfectly encapsulate both the ideological roots of latter-day counter- terrorism studies and the uses of supposed intelligence material to shore up a subjective, factually spurious, premise. As we now know from the WMD fiasco in Iraq, 'intelligence' is rarely detached from the aims of the political leadership that controls its public dissemination.
- Netanyahu, a vivid, brilliant propagandist and player on the Washington diplomatic circuit, sought to convince American conservatives that the sectional interests of the Israeli state were identical to those of the western democracies. He was largely preaching to the converted. Many of the names of contributors to the second Jonathan Institute conference, held in Washington in 1984, reappear as neoconservatives in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. They include Jeane Kirkpatrick, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Ledeen and Bernard Lewis. 
Ardent conservative Caroline Glick writing in the Jerusalem Post cites the Institute conference as providing views that 'in large part', 'framed' the policies of George W. Bush twenty-five years later.  She identifies the Democratic Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson as a key speaker:
- the interesting thing about Jackson's view of international terrorism is how central Israel's unstinting war against Palestinian terrorism was in shaping his thinking.
- The occasion at which Jackson articulated his thoughts most extensively was in a speech he gave in Jerusalem in 1979 when he addressed the Conference on International Terrorism sponsored by the Jonathan Institute - named for Yoni Netanyahu. In his speech in 1979, Jackson referred to terrorism as 'a modern form of warfare against liberal democracies' whose goal 'is to destroy the very fabric of democracy.'
- Alluding to the PLO, Jackson argued then, 'To insist that free nations negotiate with terrorist organizations can only strengthen the latter and weaken the former. To crown with statehood a movement based on terrorism would devastate the moral authority that rightly lies behind the effort of free states everywhere to combat terrorism.' Jackson ended that address by praising Israel's battle against Palestinian terrorism saying, "In providing for her own defense against terrorism, Israeli courage has inspired those who love freedom around the world.'
Founding Executive Committee
- Honorary President: Ephraim Katzir, President of Israel
- Chairman: Golda Meir, Former Prime Minister of Israel
- Menahem Begin Prime Minister | Yitzhak Rabin Former Prime Minister of Israel, MK | Moshe Dayan Foreign Minister | Shimon Peres Former Minister of Defense, MK | Ezer Weizman Minister of Defence |
- The objective of The American Friends of the Jonathan Institute is support of educational & cultural activities, increasing public awareness of Jewish history, values of Judaism, role of the State of Israel as the spiritual center of the Jewish people, and the dynamics of conflict and peace in the Middle East.
- The Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism was convened by the Jonathan Institute on 2-5 July 1979. The venue was the Jerusalem Hilton Hotel.
- The Second International Conference on Terrorism, Washington DC was convened by the Institute at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 24-26, 1984.
- Benjamin Netanyahu (Ed.) International Terrorism: Challenge and Response Transaction Publishers, June 1981.
- Benjamin Netanyahu (Ed.) Terrorism: How the West Can Win Farrar Straus & Giroux; 1st edition (May 1986).
- Ed Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan Jonathan Institute, extract from The "Terrorism" Industry
- Lord Chalfont Letter to Mr Reinsch on behalf of the Jonathan Institute 27 May 1984.
- John O'Sullivan 'TERRORISM AND THE MEDIA' STATEMENT TO THE JONATHAN INSTITUTE SECOND CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 1984, FOUR SEASONS HOTEL WASHINGTON, DC.
- 6 Hovevei Zion Street
- The Jonathan Institute The Jonathan Institute, Circa 1977, 15pp
- Kevin Toolis 'Rise of the terrorist professors; Throughout academia, the study of terrorism is booming. But in reality, argues Kevin Toolis, these 'experts' represent an ideology that has its roots in the cold war and in Israeli conservatism', New Statesman June 14. 2004.
- Caroline B. Glick 'A return to Jacksonian Zionism' The Jerusalem Post, November 22, 2002 Friday
- Prime Minister's Office Benjamin Netanyahu Curriculum Vitae. Accessed 4 August 2014.
- Guidestar American Friends of the Jonathan Institute, accessed 31 August 2012
- Benjamin Netanyahu, International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Jonathan Institute, 1981, Foreword.
- Melani McAlister Iran, Islam, and the Terrorist Threat, 1979-1989 in J. David Slocum (ed) Terrorism, Media, Liberation. Rutgers University Press, 2005.