Milken Family Foundation

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Milken Family Foundation, Source: Milken Family Foundation screengrab

The Milken Family Foundation is a private foundation based in California, established by brothers Lowell Milken and Michael Milken in 1982. Lowell Milken serves as chairman and co-founder of the foundation.

Funding Islamophobic groups and illegal settlements

According to UK-based Public Interest Investigations/Spinwatch (PII), the Milken brothers in recent years

have focused their attention on philanthropy, working on a wide range of causes, several linked to pro-settler and Islamophobic groups. For example, between 2009 and 2013, the Lowell Milken Family Foundation funnelled $607,000 to the Ariel settlement in the central occupied West Bank, either through the tax-exempt charity American Friends of Ariel or directly to the Ariel University Center of Samaria.
Indeed, Lowell Milken’s contributions to the illegal settlement are so important that the Friends of Ariel website has dubbed him ‘Ariel’s Celebrity’.
Also between 2009-2013, the Milken family foundations donated $555,000 to Aish HaTorah, an international Jewish Orthodox organisation that staunchly defends Israeli policies and features pro-settlement articles on its website. Ronn Torossian, a spokesperson for Aish HaTorah in New York, once told writer Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine, "I think we should kill a hundred Arabs or a thousand Arabs for every one Jew they kill," adding that: "If someone from a town blows himself up and kills Jews, we should wipe out the town he’s from, kill them all."
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Aish HaTorah has close ties to the virulently anti-Muslim Clarion Fund, which is behind the notorious anti-Islam film Obsession: Clarion's address, according to Manhattan directory assistance, is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, the group’s fundraising arm.[1]

Other grantees known for their Islamophobic and anti-Muslim activities include:

  • CAMERA, an organisation based in Boston that claims to monitor American media coverage of Israel, but which according to a 2015 report published by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network in reality 'is an Islamophobic watchdog organisation that bullies media outlets into producing pro-Israel coverage'.
  • MEMRI, founded byformer Israeli military intelligence officer Yigal Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli-born American political scientist, to provide free English language translations of Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Pashto and Turkish media reports. The Center for American Progress has called it "the Islamophobia network’s go-to place for selective translations of Islamist rhetoric abroad". One of its directors is Steve Emerson, a media "terrorism expert" who in January 2015 falsely told Fox News that Birmingham is a "Muslim-only city" where non-Muslims "don't go". The subsequent public outcry forced him to apologise.

Israel-focused grantees also include:

Tony Blair Faith Foundation

PII uncovered tax documents revealing that the Milken Family Foundation had donated $1 million to the American fundraising arm of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in 2013. The former UK prime minister was at the time was serving as special Middle East peace envoy of the Quartet, representing the UN, Russia, US and the EU. [1]


Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Vice President, Mike's Math Club

Program Director of Community Affairs

Board Member

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sarah Marusek and David Miller, The brothers who funded Blair, Israeli settlements and Islamophobia, Middle East Eye, 12 August 2015
  2. Milken Family Foundation, 990 Form, 2013
  3. Milken Family Foundation, 990 Form, 2012
  4. Milken Family Foundation, 990 Form, 2011