JTA — A self-described anti-corruption activist filmed himself accosting Sheldon Adelson in Tel Aviv, telling him “Asshole, you live too long.”
Barak Cohen, a left-wing lawyer who was suspended by the Israeli bar association in 2017 for harassing banking executives, posted the encounter on Twitter. Adelson is a Jewish casino magnate and major donor to conservative causes in the United States and Israel.
Eli Bitan, a journalist for the state-owned Israel Broadcasting Corp., or Kan, and writer for Makor Rishon appeared to applaud Cohen in a comment on Twitter.
“Barak, I love you!” Bitan wrote.
you live too long, ya maniak pic.twitter.com/EhsZkiXqAy
— ברק כהן (@barak1cohen) May 30, 2019
Many Twitter users condemned Cohen’s behavior.
“You are a contemptuous person,” Moshe Bagad wrote. “Even in disagreement, such language is inappropriate.
In the video, Cohen is seen telling the camera in Hebrew: “God save us from Sheldon Adelson, then we would all be equal.”
Adelson, 85, is seen in a mobility scooter in the background flanked by two men and another younger man, who appears to be a body guard. Cohen then shouts the same sentence in English at Adelson’s direction, prompting the younger man to walk slowly in his direction.
“Stop interrupt in our lives,” Cohen shouts in broken English. “You know what is maniak? You are maniak.” In Hebrew, the word is equivalent to “asshole” in English.
“You are Netanyahu,” added Cohen, whose tweet with the video was titled “Sheldon, You live too long, ya maniak.”
When the younger man touches Cohen, the heckler tells him to stop touching him. The younger man then asks Cohen: “Be respectful of an elderly person.” Cohen replies: “He’s destroying our lives. Hand off. You hit, you murder. Hands off.” He continues to curse Adelson, adding “You live too long.”
Cohen wrote on Twitter: “Netanyahu’s pimp, Sheldon who-needs-democracy Adelson was added of my archive of dialogues with thieves, corrupt people and crooks.”
Adelson owns the conservative Israel Hayom newspaper, which has long been seen as supportive of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He and his wife Miriam Adelson were in Israel this week accompanying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who has received sizable campaign donations from the couple.
Adelson is also a top donor to US President Donald Trump and the Republican party.