Politics makes strange bedfellows – and, in some cases, strange stage fellows.
On center stage at the recent inaugural event of the Israeli American Council were new BFF’s – Republican powerhouse Sheldon Adelson and Democratic mega-donor Haim Saban.
Both of these business titans put their money where their politics is, and both are ardent supporters of the State of Israel. The big difference: whereas Adelson supports a Republican party that is “all in” supporting the Jewish state, Saban bankrolls the political home of Israel’s American enemies.
Since Saban’s pro-Israel sentiments are far closer to the Republican mainstream than those of his own party, it must be immensely frustrating and somewhat embarrassing for him to find himself among those who would sooner see his fellow Jews at the mercy of terrorists than they would see those same Jews living securely.
Haim Saban sprung onto the scene in the mid 1990’s by converting an absurdly bad Japanese television program called Super Sentai into the hit worldwide sensation Might Morphin Power Rangers. A number of other spectacular media ventures followed, and soon Saban was one of the richest men in America. His politics have been a bit more tumultuous.
“I used to be a real leftist,” Saban once remarked. “I remember Arik Sharon [the leader of Israel’s conservative Likud Party] coming here, to my house, a few months before Camp David, when he was still leader of the opposition. He told me there would be no deal because [Yassir] Arafat would not sign. I told myself that there was nothing to be done – these right-wingers were simply insane. I had no doubt that there would be a deal and the problems would be resolved. History proved that Sharon was right and I was wrong. In matters relating to security, that moved me to the right. Very far to the right.”
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