Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Forward 50 2015

Haim Saban

The Israeli-American entertainment mogul’s political loyalty was put to a test this year. Haim Saban, a top financial backer and personal friend of Hillary Clinton, and a hawkish supporter of Israel, was faced with a dilemma posed by the proposed Iranian nuclear deal: Clinton was for it; Israel was against it, as was AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby that Saban generously supports.

Saban, who describes himself as a “one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel,” chose to stick with Clinton, declaring that the Iran deal, with all its faults, is a “done deal” and that it’s time to move on, instead of trying to defeat the agreement.

With the 2016 elections approaching, Saban has consolidated his pro-Israel activity to avoid interfering with Clinton’s presidential run. He has severed ties with GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson after a short-lived honeymoon in which the two billionaires partnered to launch a new pro-Israel campus organization and cooperated in backing an Israel expat group.

Saban, 71, started his career as a rock musician and producer in Israel. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1980s and got his business start buying a successful children’s cartoon series. He has since become a major player in Hollywood entertainment with a net worth estimated at $3.5 billion.

With Clinton leading the Democratic presidential race, Saban is expected to devote more time and resources this coming year to political activity. If his bet pays off, Saban is poised to become the closest Jewish backer of the Democratic nominee, and perhaps of the next president.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.