Russian-Israeli billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak will stop giving charitable donations to Israeli organizations, a spokesman for his foundation told Haaretz this weekend.
Gaydamak, who last year started the Israeli Social Justice political party, first gained notoriety for his philanthropic efforts during Israel’s war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, when he spent $15 million to build a tent village on the beach of Nitzanim, where residents of Israel’s northern region could find refuge from rocket attacks.
Gaydamak also paid to take residents of Sderot on a one-week respite vacation to Eilat.
Also in 2006, he pledged to give $50 million to the Jewish Agency for Israel to help Russian Jews, but he later reneged on that gift under some acrimony. He ended up giving only $15 million to the Jewish Agency.
According to the Haaretz story, Gaydamak is halting his giving to Israeli orgs because each gift is too heavily scrutinized by the public and causes him too much trouble:
Associates of Gaydamak said Saturday: “Every time that Gaydamak wants to donate, they put a spoke in the wheels in the form of complaints and police investigations. We got to a situation where they investigate the financial source of every donation. It’s impossible. If there are claims about the halt of donations, focus on those complaining against Gaydamak.”