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Adelson-owned Vegas paper turns on Trump, but Israeli counterpart holds out hope

After quickly calling Biden win, Review-Journal editorial slams president for baseless fraud claims; Israel Hayom continues publishing columns claiming he still has a chance

US President Donald Trump, right, pats Las Vegas Sands Corporation Chief Executive and Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson on the arm, before speaking at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida, December 7, 2019. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
US President Donald Trump, right, pats Las Vegas Sands Corporation Chief Executive and Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson on the arm, before speaking at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida, December 7, 2019. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

A key newspaper owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, one of Donald Trump’s main financial backers, has turned on the US president, acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory in the election and urging him to give up his false narrative of voter fraud.

By contrast, Adelson’s Israeli paper, Israel Hayom, continues telling its readers that Trump still has a chance at defeating President-elect Biden.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal wasted little time, leading its front page last Sunday with the headline “Biden Wins” in big block letters above a tally of electoral college votes putting Biden at an insurmountable 290 to 214 lead over Trump, along with a picture of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their spouses raising their hands in victory.

If that weren’t enough salt in the wound for Trump, the Review-Journal published a vehement editorial later in the week asserting that Trump “does a disservice to his more rabid supporters by insisting that he would have won the Nov. 3 election absent voter fraud. That’s simply false.”

The editorial insisted that there was “no evidence” that voter fraud cost Trump the election and lamented the lack of evidence provided by the president’s campaign in proving an effort to “steal” the election.

“Mr. Trump lost this election because he ultimately didn’t attract enough votes and failed to win a handful of swing states that broke his way in 2016,” the paper stated.

But in Israel Hayom, also owned by Adelson and his wife Miriam, the tone has remained starkly different.

“Biden’s victory, even if it turns out to be certain, still wasn’t a done deal, and certainly not official,” columnist Ariel Kahane wrote on Friday. “The entity that elects the president, the electoral college, has not yet convened. The vote counting is not over. In any case, the loser did not recognize the results. He claimed the election had been stolen, and that there was fraud, and that in effect victory had been snatched from him.”

And it’s not just Kahane, the paper’s front page has been plastered with articles all week highlighting Trump’s claims of voter fraud. A Thursday front-page headline read “not giving up,” along with a picture of a defiant US president.

It did declare “Biden is president” on its front page last Sunday, but included a large underline with a quote from Trump saying “it’s not over.”

Another of its right-wing columnists, Caroline Glick, continues penning op-eds claiming that Trump still has a chance and that recounts in several states could lead to him winning a second term.

A collection of Israeli newspaper front pages, (top R-L) Maariv, Haaretz, Israel Hayom, and (bottom) Yedioth Ahronoth, their headlines featuring the 2020 US general election results, November 8, 2020. (EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)

Israel Hayom editor-in-chief Boaz Bismuth has largely thrown in the towel though, acknowledging Biden’s victory, but straying far from the Journal-Review route by lavishly praising Trump for his policies and actions relating to Israel during his four years in office. “There will never another president in the White House with such love for Israel,” Bismuth wrote on Monday.

Amid GOP concern last month that Trump’s campaign was flailing and might not be able to correct course, the Adelsons donated $75 million to the Preserve America super PAC that relentlessly attacked Biden.

Trump reportedly berated Sheldon Adelson in September for not giving enough to the campaign as Biden’s fundraising began to outpace the incumbent’s.

Adelson has also reportedly paid $87 million for the residence of the US ambassador in suburban Tel Aviv, possibly as a means of preventing Biden from moving the embassy back to that city (although Biden has said he has no intention of doing so). Trump says his move of the embassy to Jerusalem was one of the highlights of his presidency.

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