Muslim governments, Jewish philanthropists top Clinton foundation givers


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim governments are big donors to Bill Clinton’s foundation, but there are also plenty of big Jewish givers as well.

Perusing the foundation’s website, where the list was posted Thursday morning, reveals a number of Jewish activists and philanthropists. (Apparently because of high demand, the link was only sporadically working, and very slowly, on Thursday afternoon.)

Haim Saban, an AIPAC supporter and the founder of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, gave between $5 million and $10 million to the foundation. The non-profit organization, which raises money to fight poverty and HIV/AIDS and financed the former president’s Little Rock library,only listed ranges of giving and not specific contribution amounts.

Also at the same level was the Wasserman Foundation, founded by the late Universal Studios head Lew Wasserman.

Among the names in the next level down — from $1 million to $5 million — are Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation founder S. Daniel Abraham; the Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Ukranian Jewish oligarch Victor Pinchuk, Barbra Streisand’s foundation and Harold Snyder, a member of the board of directrors of the Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Other Jewish donors in the $250,000-$1 million range include film director Steven Spielberg, media mogul David Geffen, George Soros, Edgar Bronfman, the Ted Arison Family Foundation, top Jewish Democrats Bernard Rapoport and Alan Solomont (his family foundation), diplomat andformer American Jewish Commitee president Alfred Moses and pardoned fugitive Marc Rich’s ex-wife, Denise Rich.

The American Jewish Committee also had a donation in the $250,000-$500,000 range. Clinton spoke at the group’s annual meeting in 2005.

No single Jewish donor, though, gave as much as Saudi Arabia, whose gift was in the $10 million-$25 million range. An organization called "Friends of Saudi Arabia" — which the Wall Street Journal reports is a group of former diplomats and U.S. businessmen with interests in Saudi Arabia — as well as the "Dubai Foundation" and the governments of Kuwait and Qatar donated between $1 million and $5 million.

The foundation has raised $492 million from 205,000 donors in the last 11 years, but the former president had not previously made the list of donors public. He agreed to release the names after the nomination of Hillary Clinton to serve as secretary of state because of worries about the impact his business dealings around the world could have on his wife’s new job.

Recommended from JTA