Israel is 'tolerant, peace-loving, Western democracy' - Sylvan Adams

“I am not trying to convince the haters and the antisemites,” said Adams. “I am speaking to the apolitical silent majority, in their living rooms and on their mobile phones.”

Sylvan Adams at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, September 12, 2022

Noted business leader and philanthropist Sylvan Adams said he is trying to promote the message that Israel is a “tolerant, benevolent, peace-loving Western democracy.”

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York City on Monday, the Canadian-born Adams, who immigrated to Israel in 2018, pointed out that his efforts to promote Israel through sports and culture have resulted in vastly positive exposure of the country to hundreds of millions of people around the world who are not otherwise aware of Israel.

“I am not trying to convince the haters and the antisemites,” said Adams. “I am speaking to the apolitical silent majority in their living rooms and on their mobile phones.”

Adams added that his promotion of sports and cultural events in Israel showed the positive side of Israel. The events included Israel’s hosting of the first three stages of the Giro d’Italia Grand Tour bicycle race in Israel in 2018, and the championship game in July of the French soccer league, the Trophée des Champions which was watched by 400 million fans of French soccer, and which featured superstar Lionel Messi with his 230 million social media followers.

“When Messi is posting pictures from his stroll on the boardwalk of Tel Aviv,” said Adams, “he is educating hundreds of millions of his fans.”

 Sylvan Adams at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, September 12, 2022 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Sylvan Adams at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, September 12, 2022 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Adams noted the beauty of sports is that it is “a language that everyone speaks” and mentioned the positive encounters of his Israel Start-Up Nation professional cycling team in the United Arab Emirates.

He added that his efforts to present Israel in a positive light extend beyond sports and culture to arranging for life-saving surgery on children from around the world, as well as bringing children to Israel for no-cost medical treatment through the “Save a Child’s Heart” NGO.

“Save a Child’s Heart shows off the big heart of Israel and the Jewish People,” said Adams. He also cited a daring rescue mission he led that extracted more than 400 Afghans, including the last Jewish family in Afghanistan, from the clutches of the Taliban, arranging visas for them in France, Switzerland, Italy and Canada.

Adams invited conference attendees to join him in his projects to increase the visibility of Israel.

“I’m always looking for partners,” concluded Adams. “If anyone wants to join me in these positive, fun and impactful projects, I would love to meet you.”