Israel Policy Forum is deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Lifton, z”l, a founding chair and lifetime board member of our organization. Bob was a mensch who lived a truly extraordinary life. The synopsis of his autobiography, An Entrepreneur’s Journey: Stories from a Life in Business and Personal Diplomacy, provides a snapshot of the remarkable life he lived:

“This is the story of Bob Lifton who was born in Brooklyn in 1928 to a working class Jewish family and grew up to lead a fascinating life in business and politics that connected him to remarkable people from artists and scientists to kings. With his business partner, a World War II war hero, Lifton’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to a broad range of business endeavors, including an Oscar winning movie score, ownership of the U.S. men’s National Soccer Team, being landlord to Donald Trump in Atlantic City and buying the Navy aircraft carrier he served on. Their company was the first to integrate a hotel in the South. As President of the American Jewish Congress, and Co-Chair of the Middle East Project of the Council on Foreign Relations, Lifton interacted with Prime Ministers of Israel and heads of Arab nations with a focus on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His story will introduce the reader to the famous and infamous, describing his conversations with Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, winning the gratitude of President George H.W. Bush, meetings with Nelson Mandela and Yasser Arafat and fending off overtures from Jimmy Hoffa.”

Bob’s kind spirit, his trenchant analysis of the region, his unwavering commitment to achieving a lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and his firm belief in the importance of regional diplomacy served to motivate and advance Israel Policy Forum’s work. May his memory be for a blessing and continue to inspire the pursuit of lasting peace and security.

Israel Policy Forum Founding Chair Robert K. Lifton with Yitzhak Rabin