A figure of 1,800 foreign citizens in IDF was posted in some article, I think, but not sure how many of the 1,800 were u.s. citizens.
Regarding the Birthright project, there's an apparent link between the funder of NYU's Steinhardt School of Cultural Education and Human Development (which trains future journalists at NYU in its media program) and one of the original funders of Birthright Israel in the 1990s, Max Steinhardt. Steinhardt has given over $20 million to NYU to fund its Steinhardt school in recent years and in the late 1990s he donated millions of dollars of his Wall Street speculation activity-derived wealth to fund the Birthright project. As Michael Steinhardt wrote in his 2001 book, "No Bull: My Life In And Out of Markets":
"...In 1979...I went into partnership with an Israeli businessman, Lehu Veisser. We constructed...industrial parks in...towns, including Kiryat Gat, Natirot, Schderet, and Ofakim, that had been built near the southern border of Israel primarily for strategic purposes...I met Shimon Topor, who eventually became a partner of mine. He became my guide to all subsequent investments made in Israel, some of which have been substantial...
"I have derived the most satisfaction from my most ambitious...project `birthright israel'...I am of a generation that...had a strong allegiance to Israel...In the spring of 1997...I ran into Charles Bronfman...whose family controlled The Seagram Company...We agreed to each put up $5 million to start developing an organization called `birthright israel.'
"By the summer of 1998, we had developed a plan that would fund `Birthright Israel.' In Jerusalem,...Benjamin Netanyahu announced he would commit $20 million a year to the project. The United Jewish Appeal/Council of Jewish Federations agreed to give $20 million a year. In addition, Charles and I said we would raise another $20 million a year on our own. The fund would then have $60 million a year with which to operate. Starting January 1, 2000, 15,000 college-aged Jews would be brought to Israel. In 5 years, that number would double...
"The New York Times reported in the fall of 1998:...`Jewish organizations plan to start a program that will pay for any Jew in the world between age 15 and 26 to travel to Israel for 10 days. The program, `birthright Israel,' is expected to cost $300 million over 5 years and will be financed by the Israeli Government, a group of major Jewish donors from North America, and the Council of Jewish Federations.'...
"...In 1999, Charles and I each wrote a check for $9 million...Our selection procedure gave us a group of some 6,000 college students from around the world. About 4,000 came from the United States and another 1,000 from Canada. We also picked 1,000 kids from 14 other countries...Of the 4,000 Americans, 3,000 came from Hillel...
"...The kids...met Israeli politicians...A number of them took Jeep trips...through the Golan Heights...After seeing the topography...they were absolutely opposed to giving up the Golan Heights in any peace negotiations...The Golan Heights became theirs simply by visiting. They developed a sense of ownership for this land that most of them had known nothing about prior to the trip..."
For a video of public domain protest folk song from the late 1970s, "Palestine Lives" that reflects opposition to the mission of the NYU Steinhardt School funder's "birthright israel" project, readers might be interested in checking out the following youtube protestfolk channel link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYv4sP0mAak
Most people in the United States still don't believe governments should violate international laws like the UN charter, the Nuremberg Accords or UN General Assembly resolutions like 194; and Professor Chomsky's assertion that 194 is "conditional" and just a "recommendation" seems to be an inaccurate interpretation. The Journal of Palestine/Israel, for example, characterized the meaning of Resolution 194 in the following way:
"UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) and the Right of Return2
UN resolution 194, paragraph 11, establishes the framework for a solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees. It identifies three distinct rights that Palestinian refugees are entitled to exercise under international law - return, restitution and compensation. Resolution 194 further affirms that those refugees choosing not to exercise their Right of Return are entitled to be resettled and receive compensation for their losses. It also instructs the UNCCP to facilitate repatriation, resettlement, compensation, and economic and social rehabilitation. The emphasis on repatriation as the preferred solution for Palestinian refugees reflects several principles, including the right of displaced persons to return to their homes, as well as the prohibitions against arbitrary denationalization and mass expulsion, that were customary norms of international law by 19483. Several principles are relevant to the implementation of the right of return as delineated in resolution 194.
First, the resolution clearly identifies the exact place to which refugees are entitled to return, i.e., to their homes4. Second, the resolution affirms that return must be guided by the individual choice of each refugee. According to the UN Mediator’s report, it was an “unconditional right” of the refugees “to make a free choice [which] should be fully respected”5.
Third, resolution 194 identifies the time frame for the return of refugees, i.e., “... at the earliest practicable date.” The UN Secretariat concluded that “the Assembly agreed that the refugees should be allowed to return when stable conditions had been established. It would appear indisputable that such conditions were established by the signing of the four Armistice Agreements” in 1949. Fourth, resolution 194 imposes an obligation on Israel to re-admit the refugees. Finally, resolution 194 was drafted to apply to all refugees in Palestine. While the first two drafts of paragraph 11 used the term “Arab refugees” the final draft approved by the General Assembly on 11 December only used the term “refugees.”
The fact that the General Assembly made Israel’s admission as a member to the UN conditional upon implementation of resolution 194 clearly indicates that the Assembly considered Israel bound to ensure full implementation of the Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return6. The UN General Assembly has reaffirmed resolution 194 annually without diminution since 1948.
Many opponents of Israeli militarism and AIPAC's lobbying for the Democratic Obama administration to give the green light to an IDF attack on Iran have also, historically, been critical of FDR's WWII priorities. As Howard Zinn, for example, noted in "A People's History of the United States:" "The plight of Jews in German-occupied Europe, which many people thought was at the heart of the war against the Axis, was not a chief concern of Roosevelt. Henry Feingold's research ("The Politics of Rescue") shows that, while the Jews were being put in camps and the process of annihilation was beginning that would end in the horrifying extermination of 6 million Jews and millions of non-Jews, Roosevelt failed to take steps that might have saved thousands of lives. He did not see it as a high priority; he left it to the State Department, and in the State Department anti-Semitism and a cold bureaucracy became obstacles to action."
And as Lenni Brenner observed in "Zionism In The Age of the Dictators;" "...No Zionist organization ever did more than call for the smallest amendments to the immigration laws. Only the left, notably the Trotskyists and the Stalinists, ever demanded that the gates be thrown wide open to the Jews...The vast majority of Zionists, and most other Jews as well, supported Roosevelt's domestic reforms and feared that raising the refugee and immigration questions would work against the Democratic Party...Roosevelt had ambivalent attitudes toward Jews. He had one in his Cabinet and had appointed another to the Supreme Court, and he had several among his confidential advisers. But he never made the slightest move in the 1930s to amend the anti-Semitic immigration laws. Although Jews were prominent in the northern and western Democratic machines, there were several outspoken anti-Semites among the Dixiecratic contingent in Congress and Roosevelt would never think of separating from them. He never expressed any public anti-Semitic sentiments, but there is no doubt that he held them. Years later, the United States government published the notes of the Casablanca Conference, held in January 1943:
During the Conference, Roosevelt spoke with the French resident general at Rabat, Morocco, about postwar independence and Jewish immigrants in North Africa. Roosevelt proposed that:
"[t]he number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions (law, medicine, etc.) should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population.... [T]his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over 50 percent of the lawyers, doctors, schoolteachers, college professors, etc., in Germany were Jews."
Given the fact that The Nation magazine's editor/owner and her father have been longtime members of the board of the Roosevelt family's Roosevelt Institute, perhaps this particular Nation magazine also represents, in part, an attempt by the Roosevelt family's Democratic Party-oriented Roosevelt Institute to polish up the historical image of FDR (who also ordered the jailing of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII) in the 21st century?