In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Israeli-American media producer and Democratic mega-donor Haim Saban declares that he loves every Trump challenger besides Bernie Sanders and blames the Vermont Senator for stoking anti-Israel sentiment within the Democratic Party.
Saban, who is worth an estimated $3.2 billion, has donated millions of dollars to Democrats and pro-Israel efforts throughout the years alongside his wife Cheryl, president of their Saban Family Foundation. “The basic strategy is 50-50. Meaning for every dollar we give in America, we give a dollar in Israel,” he says in the interview.
Although the couple says they have not picked a Democratic presidential candidate yet, they reserve a particular amount of scorn for Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Saban tells the magazine:
“We love all 23 candidates. No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it. I don’t give a hoot. He’s a communist under the cover of being a socialist. He thinks that every billionaire is a crook. He calls us ‘the billionaire class.’ And he attacks us indiscriminately. ‘It’s the billionaire class, the bad guys.’ This is how communists think. So, 22 are great. One is a disaster zone.”
When asked about Democrats skipping the recent American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Summit, Saban blames the move on Sanders himself:
“I can’t deny the impact that Bernie has had on the Democratic Party. I love it when Bernie says, ‘I recognize Israel’s right to exist.’ That’s how he expresses his support of Israel. Well, thank you so very much. Are you out of your freaking mind? Oh, I’m allowed to live. Hallelujah, praise the lord.”
This isn’t the first time that Saban has accused Sanders of anti-Israel bias. During the 2016 Democratic primary, Saban claimed that Sanders had been an “anti-Israel person” for 25 years. Between June 2015 and June 2016, Saban and his wife donated $7 million to Priorities USA, the primary super PAC that supported Hillary Clinton.
In the interview, Saban also criticizes New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a May 2018 where she referenced the “massacre” in Gaza:
“AOC made a statement: ‘There’s a massacre in Gaza,’ ” he says. “She was asked a question related to what’s going on between Israel and the Palestinians, and she said, ‘Well, I’m going to have to study this.’ So, here she made a statement that is pretty scary and pretty compelling but misinformed. Why don’t you go study and then make a statement?”
The entire interview can be read at Hollywood Reporter‘s website.