Israel Hayom, the free Israeli daily financed by American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, lost $190 million from its inception in 2007 to 2014. That comes out to one shekel, or about 26 cents, per paper printed, Haaretz reported.
Israel Hayom is the largest circulation newspaper in Israel. Known for its favorable coverage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, the paper is colloquially referred to in Israel as “Bibiton,” a combination of Netanyahu’s nickname Bibi and the Hebrew word for newspaper, “iton.”
The paper has been the subject of news in Israel this week since a Channel 2 investigative report said that the Israeli police possess tapes of a conversation between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Moses in which Netanyahu offered to help stop Israel Hayom from publishing its weekend edition in exchange for more favorable coverage from Yedioth Ahronoth, which often turns a critical lens on the prime minister.
The scandal is rocking Israel and Labor party chief Isaac Herzog has called on Netanyahu to resign from his post as communications minister, calling for an investigation of the ties between Netanyahu and Israel Hayom.
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Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Sheldon Adelson Funded Israeli Paper Lost $190 Million in Seven Years