WASHINGTON (JTA) — Haim Saban, a top Democratic Party donor and backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton, slammed President Obama’s Iran strategy and advised Israel to bomb the “living daylights” out of Iran if a nuclear deal with the major powers endangers Israel.
If Obama strikes a “bad deal” with Iran in nuclear talks under way and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assesses it as a deal that would put Israel at risk, “I would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches,” Saban said Sunday at the first conference of the Israeli American Council, an advocacy group he is helping to fund.
The entertainment mogul for years has been close to former President Bill Clinton and his wife, who is considering a 2016 presidential run.
Saban said Obama made a mistake in helping to strike an interim agreement with Iran to roll back some sanctions in exchange for the rollback of some nuclear activity. The interim agreement led to the talks now taking place between Iran and the major powers, led by the United States, and has a deadline of Nov. 24.
Obama did not exhaust all options to pressure Iran before agreeing to go to talks, Saban said, and should have added sanctions and increased the U.S. military posture in the region to extract a better deal.
“We’ve shown too many carrots and a very small stick,” he said.
Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor, a casino magnate and also a funder of the IAC, was more circumspect, saying he would advise Netanyahu to take “all available steps” that involve the minimum risk to Israel.
Netanyahu and his officials have said that they see the possible deal now being considered as a bad one because it is likely to allow Iran to continue enriching uranium, albeit at low levels.
Discussing the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace and a two-state solution, Adelson repeated his claim that “the Palestinians are an invented people” and would never give up their ambition of destroying Israel.
Saban agreed, but said the demographic threat that he claimed Palestinians pose to Israel’s Jewish and democratic character necessitated two states.
The two moguls said they regretted missing the recent opportunity to buy the Washington Post in order to influence Israel coverage in the American media, which they said was biased, and discussed the prospects of buying The New York Times.