Major donor Saban unhappy with Obama


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A major pro-Israel Democratic Party campaign donor says he is unsettled by the Obama administration’s Middle East policy.

"The situation is catastrophic, if you want me to put it simply," Haim Saban, an entertainment magnate, told Israel’s Channel 10 news on May 13. "Look, I don’t think Obama is anti-Israel, like people think he is. His goal is to achieve peace, just like our goal is to achieve peace. The way he intends to do it may not be the way some people in Israel would like it, and especially on the right."

Saban did not go into particulars, but in another recent interview with the New Yorker magazine, he said he was not satisfied that Obama would confront Iran should it become a nuclear power.

Saban, who was interviewed at a conference of the Israel Leadership Council in Los Angeles, has been a major Democratic Party donor.

He backed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 primaries and considered switching to Republican support after Obama won the candidacy. Saban said he has raised his concerns with Clinton, who is now secretary of state, and with Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff.

Saban, who holds dual Israeli-American citizenship, has said that he exercises his political influence in support of Israel and a lasting peace in the region.

Saban is considering the purchase of Newsweek magazine, which is up for sale, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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