Romney Funder’s Israeli Newspaper Buries Video Controversy

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” remarksin the corner of its front page and buried the full story on page 23although 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.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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