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Haim Saban Says He’s ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by Obama Administration’s Recent Actions on Israel

Variety logo Variety 1/4/2017 Ted Johnson
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Haim Saban, one of the most prolific donors to Democrats, said that he was “deeply disturbed” by the Obama administration’s decision not to veto a recent UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech several days later.

Saban, through his publicist, issued a statement, saying that “as a longstanding Democrat who has supported and defended President Obama on his treatment of Israel throughout his presidency, I am deeply disturbed by the Administration’s decision not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s subsequent one-sided speech.”

“These actions undermine our country’s long-standing support for Israel and harm any long-term prospects for peace, which is in our national interest,” he added. “Further, I urge the Obama Administration to stay true to our decades old policy by vetoing any additional biased UNSC resolutions that may be introduced at the Paris summit later this month, and refrain from issuing any other policy statements that would only make things worse.”

Last month, the United States abstained from a vote that condemned Israeli settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, allowing the resolution to pass. In his speech, Kerry criticized the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of blocking the peace process and of the current climate “leading toward one state and perpetual occupation.”

Saban was a major donor and fundraiser to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns in 2008 and 2016. He was more reluctant to throw his support behind Barack Obama in the 2008 general election, but eventually backed his 2012 reelection campaign and later hosted Obama at his home for a fundraiser.

Saban added, “Fostering the conditions for peace, security, and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians is a core American interest. In the months and years ahead, it is essential that the U.S. — in its role as the only superpower today — take the necessary steps to maintain its credibility as an intermediary between the parties and work to advance a sustainable two-state solution, in which a Jewish, democratic State of Israel lives in peace and security alongside its neighbors or, until the conditions are ripe for peace, promote a separation between the two peoples.”

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