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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Adelson’

Jewish Mega-Philanthropist Backing Gingrich, Drawing Critique

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Republican US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s relationship with Jewish megabillionaire and foremost donor Sheldon Adelson has raised the ire of critics, who say Gingrich’s very public support for Israel is an exchange for support.

Gingrich reiterated his belief that the Palestinians are an “invented” people at a CNN Republican debate in Florida ahead of Tuesday’s primary, promising to issue an executive order moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in accordance with a law passed by Congress in 1995 which has been waived by every US President since.

View statements to the Republican Jewish Coalition in June 2011 by Gingrich, posted by his campaign on YouTube:

At the time the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which stated that “”Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem” as an “undivided city”, was passed, Gingrich was Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was during that tenure that Gingrich met Sheldon Adelson, wealthy casino resort magnate and staunch advocate for Israel.  To assist in promoting the law, Adelson arrived in Washington to talk to leaders about the matter on Capitol Hill.  Gingrich introduced the legislation, and Adelson and Gingrich’s relationship grew.  Ultimately Adelson became a big sponsor of the work Gingrich did prior to his candidacy, and then the foremost supporter of the campaign itself.

Adelson, who grew up as the son of poor Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to Boston, scratched his way to the top in business, first selling toiletries and ultimately becoming owner of 3 successful Las Vegas casino hotel s and convention centers, as well as contracts for casinos in Macau and Singapore.  He is now the 8th wealthiest person in the United States, according to Forbes’ most recent ranking, behind George Soros and ahead of Jim Walton.

Since making his billions, Adelson has earned a name as a pre-eminent Jewish philanthropist, giving $100 million to the Birthright Jewish identity-building project taking youth on trips to Israel, $25 million to the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial in Israel, and donated a new headquarters to the Israel lobby in Washington, AIPAC, despite his reservations that the organization is overly pro-Palestinian.  Adelson is against a two-state solution which would give the Palestinian Authority control over lands historically belonging to the Jewish people, and has supported Gingrich’s remarks on the subject of Palestinian nationhood.

Adelson also started the free daily newspaper distributed in major Israeli cities called Israel HaYom (Israel Today), which espouses views leaning more toward Likud than Labor.

Adelson’s wife, Miriam, is an Israeli-born doctor specializing in the treatment of addictions.  Together, they have opened treatment centers in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv.  The pair have made many of their contributions in tandem, with Miriam donating $5 million of the $10 million the couple have thus-far given to Gingrich’s campaign.

While media speculations that Gingrich’s pro-Israel outlook was bought by Adelson, Gingrich told the Associated Press that he has only promised Adelson to “seek to defend the United States and United States allies,” with Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein telling the AP that Gingrich has been known as “one of the few politicians who has had the courage to tell the truth about Israel,” saying that is probably why they formed a relationship.

As for himself, Adelson says that his support for Gingrich comes from an interest in helping his friend win.  “Our means of support might be more than others are able to offer,” Adelson said, “but like most Americans, words such as friendship and loyalty still mean something to us.”

What Threatens Israel’s Media?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The main item on State Radio Channel 2′s agenda recently was Channel 10′s apology to Sheldon Adelson. Some background: A few months ago, Channel 2 News broadcasted a lengthy report accusing the billionaire founder of the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Yisrael Hayom, Sheldon Adelson, of illegally gaining rights to build a casino. The report turned out to be false and the station was forced to broadcast an apology. The media claimed that the Channel 10 stockholders, who feared financial repercussions by Adelson, coerced the staff to apologize. Karen Noibach also devoted precious airtime to performer Yehudah Pollicker. Israel Army Radio featured the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Afterwards, the two stations switched stories.


The day before those broadcasts, an Egyptian mob had burned Israel’s embassy in Egypt. Six Israelis were extricated by the skins of their teeth, with just one door separating them from the Egyptian rabble that threatened to tear them to pieces. In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the Egyptians for the rescue and thanked President Obama for something – although it is not clear what. He promised that Israel will build an embassy in a safer place and reiterated that peace with Egypt is an important asset. Netanyahu also said that Israel would find the way to reestablish good relations with Turkey.


There is no doubt that Israeli society and its leaders are still wallowing deep in the peace mentality – peace with Egypt and peace with the Palestinians based on Oslo, along with deep faith in the Americans. They cannot discern that the emperor has no clothes. They continue to cheer his royal attire and to alter their policies to fit those illusory garments.


It is wrong for a journalist to tailor his or her stand in the direction of big money just to ensure a successful career. But what is much worse is that a journalist who wishes to progress to the upper echelons of Israeli media must hide his or her nationalist views. Journalistic servitude to money is nothing compared to journalistic servitude to ideology. The journalists presently raising the roof over freedom of the press are really the last to talk.


Perhaps the best example of the media tyranny in Israel is not to look at what the media choose to broadcast, but what they choose not to broadcast. The very fact that on the day after Israel’s embassy in Cairo was burned, the Adelson agenda is what the media chose to hammer into our heads is proof that something is seriously wrong. Around Israel, our enemies are declaring war on us and the media is shouting that the sky has fallen because someone has forced them to apologize – truly a major threat to Israel’s existence!


I do not know if the media intentionally plan on not analyzing in depth what is happening around Israel, and not reconsidering the entire misconception of peace with Egypt and the surrender of Sinai. I do not know if they are burying our collective head in the sand because they understand the situation and are trying to hide it, or because they do not understand the situation at all. One way or the other, they have failed miserably.


I have also felt the strong hand of Sheldon Adelson and the private newspaper that he established. (What can I do? I do not always stand by Netanyahu.) Nevertheless, I can only rejoice that somebody understands the importance of opening Israel’s media to additional voices, and has invested the required funds to do so. The media have noticeably improved since Adelson’s paper has been published. They are much more balanced. Radical leftist Gabi Gazit, for example, no longer works at the radio station that pretends to be objective.


There is still no visible connection between Israel’s media and the ideological and moral make-up of Israeli society that is expressed, for example, in the results of elections. Nevertheless, Adelson can chalk up success by virtue of the fact that the media in Israel today are in a much better place than they were before the Expulsion from Gush Katif.

What Threatens Israel’s Media?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The main item on State Radio Channel 2′s agenda recently was Channel 10′s apology to Sheldon Adelson. Some background: A few months ago, Channel 2 News broadcasted a lengthy report accusing the billionaire founder of the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Yisrael Hayom, Sheldon Adelson, of illegally gaining rights to build a casino. The report turned out to be false and the station was forced to broadcast an apology. The media claimed that the Channel 10 stockholders, who feared financial repercussions by Adelson, coerced the staff to apologize. Karen Noibach also devoted precious airtime to performer Yehudah Pollicker. Israel Army Radio featured the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Afterwards, the two stations switched stories.


The day before those broadcasts, an Egyptian mob had burned Israel’s embassy in Egypt. Six Israelis were extricated by the skins of their teeth, with just one door separating them from the Egyptian rabble that threatened to tear them to pieces. In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the Egyptians for the rescue and thanked President Obama for something – although it is not clear what. He promised that Israel will build an embassy in a safer place and reiterated that peace with Egypt is an important asset. Netanyahu also said that Israel would find the way to reestablish good relations with Turkey.


There is no doubt that Israeli society and its leaders are still wallowing deep in the peace mentality – peace with Egypt and peace with the Palestinians based on Oslo, along with deep faith in the Americans. They cannot discern that the emperor has no clothes. They continue to cheer his royal attire and to alter their policies to fit those illusory garments.


It is wrong for a journalist to tailor his or her stand in the direction of big money just to ensure a successful career. But what is much worse is that a journalist who wishes to progress to the upper echelons of Israeli media must hide his or her nationalist views. Journalistic servitude to money is nothing compared to journalistic servitude to ideology. The journalists presently raising the roof over freedom of the press are really the last to talk.


Perhaps the best example of the media tyranny in Israel is not to look at what the media choose to broadcast, but what they choose not to broadcast. The very fact that on the day after Israel’s embassy in Cairo was burned, the Adelson agenda is what the media chose to hammer into our heads is proof that something is seriously wrong. Around Israel, our enemies are declaring war on us and the media is shouting that the sky has fallen because someone has forced them to apologize – truly a major threat to Israel’s existence!


I do not know if the media intentionally plan on not analyzing in depth what is happening around Israel, and not reconsidering the entire misconception of peace with Egypt and the surrender of Sinai. I do not know if they are burying our collective head in the sand because they understand the situation and are trying to hide it, or because they do not understand the situation at all. One way or the other, they have failed miserably.


I have also felt the strong hand of Sheldon Adelson and the private newspaper that he established. (What can I do? I do not always stand by Netanyahu.) Nevertheless, I can only rejoice that somebody understands the importance of opening Israel’s media to additional voices, and has invested the required funds to do so. The media have noticeably improved since Adelson’s paper has been published. They are much more balanced. Radical leftist Gabi Gazit, for example, no longer works at the radio station that pretends to be objective.


There is still no visible connection between Israel’s media and the ideological and moral make-up of Israeli society that is expressed, for example, in the results of elections. Nevertheless, Adelson can chalk up success by virtue of the fact that the media in Israel today are in a much better place than they were before the Expulsion from Gush Katif.

What Threatens Israel’s Media?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The main item on State Radio Channel 2′s agenda recently was Channel 10′s apology to Sheldon Adelson. Some background: A few months ago, Channel 2 News broadcasted a lengthy report accusing the billionaire founder of the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Yisrael Hayom, Sheldon Adelson, of illegally gaining rights to build a casino. The report turned out to be false and the station was forced to broadcast an apology. The media claimed that the Channel 10 stockholders, who feared financial repercussions by Adelson, coerced the staff to apologize. Karen Noibach also devoted precious airtime to performer Yehudah Pollicker. Israel Army Radio featured the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Afterwards, the two stations switched stories.


The day before those broadcasts, an Egyptian mob had burned Israel’s embassy in Egypt. Six Israelis were extricated by the skins of their teeth, with just one door separating them from the Egyptian rabble that threatened to tear them to pieces. In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the Egyptians for the rescue and thanked President Obama for something – although it is not clear what. He promised that Israel will build an embassy in a safer place and reiterated that peace with Egypt is an important asset. Netanyahu also said that Israel would find the way to reestablish good relations with Turkey.


There is no doubt that Israeli society and its leaders are still wallowing deep in the peace mentality – peace with Egypt and peace with the Palestinians based on Oslo, along with deep faith in the Americans. They cannot discern that the emperor has no clothes. They continue to cheer his royal attire and to alter their policies to fit those illusory garments.


It is wrong for a journalist to tailor his or her stand in the direction of big money just to ensure a successful career. But what is much worse is that a journalist who wishes to progress to the upper echelons of Israeli media must hide his or her nationalist views. Journalistic servitude to money is nothing compared to journalistic servitude to ideology. The journalists presently raising the roof over freedom of the press are really the last to talk.


Perhaps the best example of the media tyranny in Israel is not to look at what the media choose to broadcast, but what they choose not to broadcast. The very fact that on the day after Israel’s embassy in Cairo was burned, the Adelson agenda is what the media chose to hammer into our heads is proof that something is seriously wrong. Around Israel, our enemies are declaring war on us and the media is shouting that the sky has fallen because someone has forced them to apologize – truly a major threat to Israel’s existence!


I do not know if the media intentionally plan on not analyzing in depth what is happening around Israel, and not reconsidering the entire misconception of peace with Egypt and the surrender of Sinai. I do not know if they are burying our collective head in the sand because they understand the situation and are trying to hide it, or because they do not understand the situation at all. One way or the other, they have failed miserably.


I have also felt the strong hand of Sheldon Adelson and the private newspaper that he established. (What can I do? I do not always stand by Netanyahu.) Nevertheless, I can only rejoice that somebody understands the importance of opening Israel’s media to additional voices, and has invested the required funds to do so. The media have noticeably improved since Adelson’s paper has been published. They are much more balanced. Radical leftist Gabi Gazit, for example, no longer works at the radio station that pretends to be objective.


There is still no visible connection between Israel’s media and the ideological and moral make-up of Israeli society that is expressed, for example, in the results of elections. Nevertheless, Adelson can chalk up success by virtue of the fact that the media in Israel today are in a much better place than they were before the Expulsion from Gush Katif.

A Newspaper That’s ‘Proud To Be Israeli’: An Interview with Yisrael Hayom Foreign Editor Boaz Bismuth

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

At a time when media pundits are calling daily newspapers “print dinosaurs,” Las Vegas casino mogul and Zionist philanthropist Sheldon Adelson tweaked the “experts” by investing millions of dollars in the creation of Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today), a free Hebrew-language tabloid newspaper that was launched on July 30, 2007.

Written off by the dominant local newspapers – including Yediot Aharonot, Maariv and Haaretz – as nothing more than a mouthpiece for Prime Minister Netanyahu, Adelson hired an all-star staff of respected editors, journalists and columnists, who created an alternative voice for the Israeli public.

By the end of 2008, Yisrael Hayom had not only succeeded in luring readers away from the aforementioned Israeli dailies, the paper announced a plan to increase circulation by offering free home delivery. A year later, Yisrael Hayom announced that circulation had surpassed 250,000 copies and a weekend edition would be launched to compete with the major dailies.

By early February 2010, more than 300,000 copies of the weekend edition of Yisrael Hayom were being printed and delivered across the country. With Yisrael Hayom’s circulation and advertising revenues climbing faster than anyone anticipated, at least two Israeli newspaper owners lobbied Knesset members to pass a law that would ban foreign ownership of any major Israeli media entity. The proposed law, aimed at undermining Adelson, stands almost no chance being passed.

Veteran Israeli journalist Boaz Bismuth, who has written for both Maariv and Yediot Aharonot in addition to serving as Israel’s ambassador to Mauritania (2004-2008), was recruited by Yisrael Hayom Senior Editor Amos Regev to serve as the paper’s foreign editor. In an exclusive interview with The Jewish Press, Bismuth spoke of the keys to Yisrael Hayom’s unprecedented success.

The Jewish Press: What was the lure of joining Yisrael Hayom, which was considered anything but a sure thing in the highly volatile Israeli newspaper market?

Bismuth: First of all, I had a unique opportunity to return to my beloved profession. Uniquely, I saw that the paper was able to easily recruit respected journalistic soldiers such as Dan Margalit (Maariv, Channel 10). So I look at myself as a lucky editor who joined the paper on September 16, 2008. That was the day when people packed their bags at Lehman Brothers in the midst of the economic crash, while I became part of something new and different. We became a symbol of sorts for the newspaper industry, which was and still is having problems.

What was different about the Israeli newspaper marketplace that allowed Yisrael Hayom to put down firm roots?

From day one, the object was to create a free paper that was a fast read and interesting, though we did not want a paper that would be read and thrown away in five minutes. Immediately, we saw that readers appreciated the paper. When people in Tel Aviv, the key to the newspaper market in Israel because of the population that lives and works in the metro region, were changing their reading habits by taking the time to read the paper in a coffee shop, at home or at work, we knew that the paper was having an impact.

The editors of Haaretz, Maariv and Yediot openly criticized Sheldon Adelson for allegedly creating a paper with an agenda – namely, supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. How do you respond to this criticism?

The criticism leveled against Yisrael Hayom is hypocritical and cynical. Every newspaper has an agenda. Does one really think Adelson created the paper as a philanthropic venture? No one in the local newspaper industry is a philanthropist. Do the editors of the other papers or readers truly believe Adelson has the time for influencing daily editorial policy at the paper? If he does, he’s Superman.

I can tell you from having worked at major Israeli newspapers in the past, Yisrael Hayom is an extremely professional operation. Every evening, the editors choose from a variety of articles and editorials to publish. This is the business of true professionals. You don’t think the paper publishes stories that are critical of the Netanyahu government? Of course it does. I’m proud to be a part of this enterprise.

So the claim that Yisrael Hayom is imposing its editorial will on readers is journalistic sour grapes?

We have a created a new economic model for newspapers that has spurred a revolution in the marketplace. It’s a model that functions well and people like the paper. If we are imposing our will on the public, then how come there is an additional waiting list of nearly 50,000 people who want daily home delivery? I’m revealing this as a scoop. Circulation is already over 250,000 copies during the week. Thanks to my opponents’ crying and their criticism, I can see how well I’m doing my job at the paper.

But that hasn’t stopped people associated with Yediot and Maariv from trying to get Knesset members to pass a law banning foreign ownership of newspapers, which was obviously aimed at Adelson.

When, where do we put the limit? It’s an outrageous, anti-democratic law. Ironically, it’s OK for Knesset members and other members of the Israeli business community to accept investments and donations from Jews in the Diaspora. It’s OK for Diaspora Jews to purchase shares in Bank Leumi, or a controlling interest in Israel Discount Bank. But to invest and participate in the market of public opinion in Israel it’s not OK?

Trust me, if Yisrael Hayom were a flop, none of this would have ever been discussed. The other papers feel threatened. Yediot was considered a monopoly for years. Maariv has been in financial trouble for a while. Ironically, when Adelson was originally in negotiations to buy Maariv, the owners made him out to be the Vilna Gaon. Now they make him out to be like some Saudi sheikh.

Is some of the opposition due to ideological differences?

Yisrael Hayom is not a “stylish” left-wing newspaper. The difference is that we promote the fact that we are proud to be Israeli. And, thank God, we have Zionists abroad who take an interest and want to invest in the Israeli economy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/a-newspaper-thats-proud-to-be-israeli-an-interview-with-yisrael-hayom-foreign-editor-boaz-bismuth/2010/03/03/

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