Romney Funder's Israeli Newspaper Buries Video Controversy
Sheldon Adelson spends millions on ads for Mitt, but tries to downplay the GOP candidate's gaffes.
The Israeli press gave some attention Wednesday morning to Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn's reporting on the video of Mitt Romney at a closed fundraiser, and understandably so: The tape caught the Republican presidential candidate saying that peace between Israelis and Palestinians was "unthinkable," and he would handle the issue by "kick[ing] the ball down the field." Popular tabloid Maariv (who called Mitt "big mouth") and the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz featured Romney's remarks prominently on their front pages.
Israel's largest circulation newspaper, however, is the tabloid Israel HaYom, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands mogul Sheldon Adelson—who attended a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Israel over the summer and has given $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore our Future. Israel Hayom tucked a teaser about the Romney video (focused on the "47 percent" remarks) in the corner of its front page and buried the full story on page 23—although it got some decent real estate there:
Israel HaYom is seen as very supportive of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his right-wing Likud party. Israeli-American historian Gershom Gorenberg notes, however, that "[O]n the Palestinians, [Romney] has not actually parroted Netanyahu; he has placed himself to Netanyahu's right. The Israeli prime minister, after all, has at least paid lip service to a two-state agreement." Then again, lip service to the two state solution is exactly what Romney has provided in public, his just speaks differently in quiet rooms.