The front-page headline of Israel Hayom, the paper owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning over his handling of the Temple Mount crisis, dubbing the matter “Netanyahu’s demonstration of helplessness.”
The subheading termed Israel’s response to events on the Temple Mount as “feeble and frightened.”
Up until now, the newspaper has ostentatiously and unwaveringly supported the prime minister. When Netanyahu is criticized, from either side of the political spectrum, Israel Hayom tends to place the premier’s position in the main headline and include commentaries that defend him.
However, the accompanying analysis in Wednesday’s paper by political reporter Mati Tuchfeld, who has defended the prime minister in the past, changes tack.
“Netanyahu is not the first prime minister to lead a line of Israeli helplessness in the face of the powerful Islamic movements that control the Jews’ holy place with a strong hand,” Tuchfeld wrote. “But unlike previous prime ministers, the measure that Netanyahu led in the cabinet the day before yesterday is one that is directly aimed against his political base.”
Adelson, the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino and the largest donor to U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign, has historically been supportive of Netanyahu.