Uri Milstein was born in Tel Aviv to Avraham Milstein, a volunteer in the British army in World War II, and Sarah Milstein, a kindergarten teacher. He studied at Hayil school in Tel Aviv's Yad Eliyahu neighborhood, Hadassim youth village and a high school in Tel Aviv. In 1958, he was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces and served in the 890th Airborne Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade as a soldier, squad commander and combat medic. Before being discharged, deputy commander of the brigade, Rafael Eitan, appointed him as the historian of the paratroopers. He served as a medic in the Six-Day War, the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War, and did his reserve duty in the history department of the Israeli Air Force.
Milstein is married to the actress Shifra (Ben David) Milstein, with whom he has two daughters. His daughter Dalit is the co-founder and director of Notzar Theater.
After completing his service in the IDF in 1960, he studied economics, philosophy and political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He wrote his PhD on religion and legislation in Israel. After the Six-Day War, he published War of the Paratroops, and at the beginning of 1973 he published a military history of the early days of Israeli statehood, In Blood And Fire Yehuda. In the 1980s, he taught military history at the IDF Command and Staff College. In 1989, Milstein published the first volume of his series on the War of Independence, in which he alleged flawed functioning of commanders who were considered heroes in Israel. In 1993, he published Crisis and Its Conclusion, criticizing the functioning of the IDF in the Yom Kippur War.
In 1995 he published The Rabin File: How the Myth Was Inflated about Yitzhak Rabin as a commander of the Palmach. In a police raid of Yigal Amir's room after the Rabin assassination, The Rabin File was one of the books they found. Milstein described Yigal as a "good" and "very interested" student.
Milstein established Survival Institute and a book publishing house called "Survival." After that, Milstein taught at the Ariel University Center of Samaria.
Views and opinions
Milstein was one of the first academics to openly criticize the Israeli defense establishment. He is described as being too extreme in his conclusions, but his "contribution to the knowledge is enormous and he is willing to suffer his devotion to the truth."
In The Blood Libel of Dir Yassin – The Black Book, he claims that the Deir Yassin massacre was a myth created by the Israeli left to prevent the Irgun from forming an independent unit inside the IDF and keep Menachem Begin out of the first national unity government under David Ben-Gurion.
Milstein is a supporter of the thesis that the Soviet Union intended to assault Germany in 1941.
- After All, 1965, Kiryat Sefer publishers (Hebrew)
- The Blond Bear, 1970 Ramdor Publishers (Hebrew)
- The War of the Paratroopers, 2 vols. 1968 (Hebrew)
- The History of the Paratroopers, 4 vols. 1985–1987 (Hebrew)
- History of Israel's War of Independence, 4 vols. out of 12 projected, 1996–1999. University Press of America
- History of the War of Independence: A nation girds for war, Volume 1 of History of the War of Independence, Uri Milstein, Allan Sacks, ISBN 0-7618-0372-6, ISBN 978-0-7618-0372-0
- History of the War of Independence: The first month, Volume 2 of History of the War of Independence, Uri Milstein, Allan Sacks, ISBN 0-7618-0721-7, ISBN 978-0-7618-0721-6
- The Shaked Patrol, Miskal Publishers, 1994.
- The Rabin File: An Unauthorized Expose (English), 2000, Authors: Uri Milstein, Aryeh ʻAmit, Gefen Publishing House, ISBN 965-229-196-X, 9789652291967, 472 pages
- The Rabin File – The Myth And Its Collapse 2005 Survival Institute Publishers
- Blood Libel at Deir Yassin – The Black Book 2007 National Midrasha Publishers and Survival Institute Publishers. The book presents testimonies refuting the claim that a force of the Irgun underground committed a massacre at the Arab village of Deir Yassin in the 1948 war, and accuses leaders of the Israeli community of promoting the massacre story to discredit their political opponents.
- The Birth of a Palestinian Nation: The Myth of the Deir Yassin Massacre Gefen Publishing House, 2012. ISBN 978-965-229-582-8
Critique of Military Reason series
- The Outbreak of War 1992
- The Crossing Which Wasn't 1992. Yaron Golan Publishers (Hebrew)
- The Lesson of a Collapse 1993. Survival Publishers And Yediot Ahronot (Hebrew)
Critique of the Present Civilization series
- Razmach, Pamphlets Of Literature, 1970.
- The General Theory of Security – the Survival Principle, (English & Hebrew) 1999 Survival Institute Publishers
- New Administration for Israel – An Intellectual-Political Alternative, 1993 (English & Hebrew)
- An End to Life, 1994 Survival Institute Publishers (English & Hebrew)
- The Oasis of Dreams, The Legend of Hadassim, 2006 Survival Publishing, (English & Hebrew), (an autobiography of The Generation of the State)
- The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/k/karpin-murder.html
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- Leora Bilsky, Richard J. Bernstein (2004). Transformative justice. University of Michigan Press. pp. 331 of 378. ISBN 978-0-472-11422-1.
- Jewish News weekly 24 November 1995 Ex-Bar-Ilan professor: I may have helped kill Rabin by Elie Kaunfer
- Jewish Post article by Gad Nashon (Jewish Post of N.Y. May 2000)
- Ури Милыштейн Добровольные помощники Сталина. Почему ненавидят Виктора Суворова. In: Новая правда Виктора Суворова. Продолжение супербестселлера. Антология. Сост. Д. С. Хмельницкий. М.: Яуза-пресс, 2009. Серия «Великая Отечественная: неизвестная война». ISBN 978-5-9955-0099-5
- Condemnation, commemoration, determination: Bar-Ilan responds to a national tragedy. Bar-Ilan University, Spokesman's Office, English Communications. 1996. Bar-Ilan responds to a national tragedy
- Milstein's website