Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Haim Saban Calls Donald Trump a ‘Clown’ — and Dangerous for Israel

American-Israel businessman and Hillary Clinton supporter Haim Saban ripped into Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, saying he would be “dangerous for the world” and thus to Israel as well.

Asked by Channel 2 TV about the American presidential campaign, Saban said the elections have become a “circus” with Trump acting as the “clown.”

Trump holds up a child he pulled from the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in New Orleans, March 4, 2016.

“The Republican are in a janana,” he said, using a Hebrew slang word, originally from Arabic, meaning craziness. “They don’t understand what is happening to them, and they woke up to it too late.

“We now see a very serious campaign underway to stop the tsunami called Donald Trump. Will it succeed? Nobody knows.”

When asked if Trump is dangerous for Israel, Saban said that “Trump is dangerous to the world, and as Israel is part of the world he is dangerous to Israel.”

Saban said that unlike Clinton, Trump was “unpredictable.”

“It’s hard to know what’s in his mind. One day he’ll give an interview to an Israeli newspaper and say ‘you’ve never had a friend in the White House the way you will when I will be president.’ The next day they ask him about the Middle East and he says, ‘I’m neutral. I’m the UN. I won’t involve myself, you just don’t know with him, every day it’s something else.’

“So I can’t really say if he’s good or bad for Israel, I can only say it’s unknown.”

When asked about Clinton, Saban said that “if you believe in the two-states for two peoples, Hillary Clinton will be excellent for Israel, the Mideast, the world and the U.S. [But not] if you don’t believe in the two-state solution… because that’s what she believes.”

Asked if Clinton’s position could put her at odds with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saban said, “I think she’ll get along with the prime minister in the most effective manner imaginable … because I take him at his word and he has said – two-states for two peoples.”

“How will that work out in reality? He has his opinions, she has her opinions, they’ll sit at the table, and I hope there won’t be a gap between them. But I don’t think there’s a danger of tension between them.”

Saban, among Clinton’s closest confidants, has described himself in the past as a “one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel,” has been a major donor to political campaigns of both Clinton and her husband, reportedly giving them more than $30 million over the years, according to JTA.

Saban joined Republican mega-donor and Netanyahu-backer Sheldon Adelson for a short-lived partnership to fight the boycott movement, but left only months after the two began raising funds for the program, which was supposed to target anti-Israel activities on campus.

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.