The lifestyles of the Israel lobby. Vanity Fair has published a hitpiece on financier Dan Loeb saying that “even in the rough-and-tumble financial world, his tactics—nasty, personal attacks on C.E.O.’s and colleagues—are considered extreme.” Loeb picks fights against teachers unions and is given to “Godfather”-style vulgar threats. The piece turns on a couple of paragraphs to which its url refers: “Dan Loeb’s Skeletons: Did he hit a young Cuban kid in a 2002 accident?” The author is William D. Cohan, and the allegations are vague:
In March 2002 there was a strange blip in Loeb’s biography, when he traveled to Cuba with his friend Alexander von Furstenberg (son of the designer Diane von Furstenberg, a Vanity Fair contributor) for what was supposed to be a long weekend. Things unexpectedly took a dark turn, and according to a lawsuit later filed by Youlia Miteva, a former Third Point analyst who accused Loeb of breach of contract, among other things, “Cuban authorities had refused to allow him to leave.” Asked what had happened in Cuba, Loeb told me earlier this year, for a previous Vanity Fair story, that he had been involved in a car accident, stuck around for a couple more weeks, had a legal hearing, and everything turned out fine.
But, according to Chapman, a desperate and sobbing Loeb had called him from Cuba, where he was confined to his hotel after the accident. “I remember how scared Dan sounded when describing the incident involving his hitting a local Cuban kid with his car,” recalls Chapman. “I truly felt so sorry for him when he told me he had found himself unable to leave the country, curled up in a ball on the floor of his room crying, promising God that he’d do anything if the Almighty got him out of his predicament. It wasn’t as if Dan had done it on purpose, and who really knows what ended up happening to the kid?”
The article doesn’t talk about a demonstrable aspect of Loeb’s extremism, his Israel advocacy. Eli Clifton reported at ThinkProgress two years ago on the financier’s support for the rightwing Emergency Committee for Israel.
The ECI has a thuggish track record. It characterized the Occupy Wall Street movement as anti-Semitic, called for war on Iran throughout the 2012 race, and has lately said that the new Iranian president has American blood on his hands. Clifton:
ThinkProgress reported in June that two-thirds of ECI [Emergency Committee] PAC’s contributions in the past election cycle came from Daniel S. Loeb, CEO of Third Point Management, a New York based hedge fund.
Loeb’s $100,000 in support for ECI follows his track record of falling out of love with Obama after the White House pushed for financial regulatory reforms….
Indeed, in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, Loeb… contributed nearly $170,000 to a stable of Republican candidates including radical Islamophobe Rep. Allen West (R-FL).
And last week, the New York Times reported that Loeb had signed on to support Mitt Romney.
While the ECI appears to be in the business of taking any and all opportunities to paint the Obama administration and the Democratic party as anti-Israel, their attempts to smear the Wall Street protests as anti-Semitic closely aligns the right wing pro-Israel group with the domestic political and business interests of its biggest financial backer.