Reprinted from Gush Shalom
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, of course.
The real ruler of Israel is one Sheldon Adelson, 81, American Jew, Casino king, who was rated as the world's tenth richest person, worth 37.2 billion dollars at the latest count. But who is counting?
Besides his casinos in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, Macao and Singapore, he owns the US Republican party and, lately, both Houses of the US Congress.
He also owns Binyamin Netanyahu.
ADELSON'S CONNECTION with Israel is personal. On a blind date, he fell in love with an Israeli woman.
Miriam Farbstein was born in Haifa, attended a prestigious high school, did her army service in the Israeli institute which deals with bacteriological warfare and is a multifaceted scientist. After one of her sons (from her first marriage) died of an overdose, she is devoted to the fight against drugs, especially cannabis.
Both Adelsons are fanatical supporters of Israel. Not just any Israel, but a rightist, supremacist, arrogant, violent, expansionist, annexationist, non-compromising, colonialist Israel.
In "Bibi" Netanyahu they found their man. Through Netanyahu they hope to rule Israel as their private fief.
To assure this, they did an extraordinary thing: they founded an Israeli newspaper, solely devoted to the furthering of the interests of Binyamin Netanyahu. Not of the Likud, not of a specific policy, but of Netanyahu personally.
Years ago I invented a Hebrew word for papers which are distributed for nothing. "Hinamon" translates, roughly, into "ragratis" or "gratissue" and was intended to denigrate. But I did not dream of a monster like "Israel Hayom" ("Israel Today") -- a paper with unlimited funds, distributed every day for nothing in the streets and malls all over the country by hundreds, perhaps thousands of paid young persons.
Israelis love getting something for nothing. Israel Hayom is now the daily paper with the widest distribution in Israel. It drains readers and advertising revenue from its only competitor -- Yedioth Ahronoth ("Latest News"), which held this title until then.
Yedioth reacted furiously. It became a ferocious enemy of Netanyahu. Yossi Werter, a commentator of the center-left Haaretz (which has a far lower circulation) even believes that the present election boils down to a contest between the two papers.
That is vastly exaggerated. Judged by political and social content, there is little to differentiate the two. Both are super-patriotic, war-mongering and rightist. That is the journalistic recipe for attracting the masses anywhere in the world.
Yedioth is owned by the Moses family, a business-minded clan. The present, third-generation publisher is Arnon ("Noni") Moses, the publicity-shy boss of a large economic empire based on the paper. The paper serves his business interests, but he has no special political interests.