It comes toward the end this long New Yorker profile, which otherwise focuses on how Haim Saban built up his entertainment empire. Saban, remember, was an avid backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy:
Saban remains a Democrat, remains very loyal to the Clintons, and was key to making sure she got a polite-to-warm at the AIPAC policy conference in March. Still, he flirted with McCain after his Obama frustrations, but came back to the Dems.
One nuance that consistently gets missed when it comes to Saban-Israel profiles. Much is made of his oft repeated credo, that he does it all to secure Israel — gets involved in politics, buys media, etc.
But what comes through in this story is that he is committed to protecting Israel through investing in the two-state solution. It’s not a strictly Israel, right-or-wrong approach:
The crisis in U.S.-Israel relations that followed Biden’s trip, when Israel announced its construction plans in Eas Jerusalem, seems only to have hardened Saban’s view of Obama. “I don’t think Haim feels particularly positive about Bibi’s performance,” Saban’s close adviser said. “But he certainly isn’t happy about Obama’s.” “I’m hoping that the White House’s brilliance will surprise us all,” Saban told me. “But I believe in my heart of hearts that the chances of success are much bigger if they work with Israel rather than against it.” Saban pointed out that, in the late nineties, President Clinton had pushed Netanyahu very hard, but behind closed doors. “Bill Clinton somehow managed to be revered and adored by both the Palestinians and the Israelis,” he said. “Obama has managed to be looked at suspiciously by both. It’s not too late to fix that.”