Adelson raises $20 million to fight Israel boycotts

Funds to be used in campaign to combat BDS at US colleges; Israeli-American media mogul Saban among the donors

Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson in a TV interview from Las Vegas, June 6, 2015 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson in a TV interview from Las Vegas, June 6, 2015 (Channel 2 screenshot)

A summit to organize against anti-Israel boycotts and anti-Israel activity on campus hosted by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson raised at least $20 million.

The meeting last week in Las Vegas of pro-Israel Jewish philanthropists and organizations had a funding goal of $50 million, the daily Forward reported, citing a Jewish communal leader who did not attend the meeting but who spoke to the organizers.

It is not known how much was raised at the summit, since participants have declined to say what they or their fellow activists pledged. However, according to the Forward, participation in the event was limited to donors willing to pledge at least $1 million over the next two years to the initiative, dubbed the Campus Maccabees. At least 20 donors took part in the meeting, according to the Forward.

The Campus Maccabees concept involves donors who will fund the operation, activists taking the fight to the campus, and researchers who will supply information about the anti-Israel groups and recommend possible legal avenues to block their activities, according to the Forward, citing Adelson.

Joining Adelson as hosts were billionaire Hollywood entertainment tycoon Haim Saban, Israeli-born real estate developer Adam Milstein and Canadian businesswoman Heather Reisman.

In the past year, student governments at 15 US universities have adopted resolutions calling for their schools to divest from companies deemed to be complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

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