Entertainment mogul Haim Saban reportedly has pulled out of a campus anti-BDS initiative he launched with fellow billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
Saban’s partnership with Adelson on the effort, called the Maccabees, was supposed to show bipartisan support for campus pro-Israel activism. Saban is a major donor to Democrats, while Adelson is a major giver to Republicans. But Saban has withdrawn from the project fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement because of its right-wing tilt, according to the Jewish Daily Forward.
“He didn’t like that Adelson was pushing the group towards funding right-wing groups that are only speaking in a right-wing echo chamber and not towards pushing a message that would actually change hearts and minds,” an unnamed Jewish communal official told the Forward.
Saban has also minimized his role in the Israeli American Council, an Israeli-American organization that he has funded along with Adelson, the Forward reported. Saban will not be at the organization’s conference this month.
The director of the Maccabees, David Brog, denied that Saban has taken issue with the group.
“I can assure you that Haim Saban had no objections to our plans for the Maccabees,” Brog, the executive director of Christians United for Israel, told the Forward. “Whoever claims otherwise simply has no idea what they’re talking about. Instead of chasing the rumors of the uninformed, please just stay calm and watch what we do.”