Miriam Adelson: From Bibi supporter to critic?

#27: Miriam Adelson

Miriam Adelson (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Miriam Adelson
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
She doesn’t live in Israel, but her influence over Israeli politics cannot be underestimated. Miriam Adelson, 73, cannot be separated from her husband, casino magnate and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, whom she married in 1991. It was a second marriage for both.
In 2007, the couple established Israel Hayom and turned it into the country’s most-circulated newspaper with the clear aim of getting Benjamin Netanyahu elected as prime minister. After he was reelected in 2009, the paper continued to support him and even today – after the Adelsons reportedly cut off contact with the Netanyahus – Israel Hayom continues to blatantly support the Likud leader.
Earlier this year, Miriam Adelson took over as publisher of Israel Hayom, following the departure of Asher Baharav and Zippi Koren, publisher and CEO respectively of the Israel Hayom Group since the paper’s inception 12 years earlier. The Adelsons also own Makor Rishon, a religious-Zionist right-wing newspaper published in Hebrew.
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Adelson made headlines recently due to the testimony she gave police about her relationship with the Netanyahus, revealing that Sara constantly asked the couple for gifts. Adelson said that Sara “once showed me a necklace. Then told me ‘Arnon bought me this from [Tiffany & Co.],’ or something like that. She implied that she was happy when…”
Investigator: “How did she imply it?”
Adelson: “You’re a billionaire and somebody shows you a watch and says, ‘Look at this Rolex watch,  someone got it for me,’ – doesn’t that imply you also want one? I said I have a casino license and that I can’t do these kinds of things.”
While Adelson was born and raised in Israel, the Adelsons are also heavily involved in politics back in the States as die-hard and hard-cash supporters of the Republican Party. They have given tens of millions of dollars to Republican election campaigns.
Such generous devotion does not go unrewarded. In November last year, President Donald Trump conferred the Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, on Miriam Adelson. It was not exactly surprising. The Adelsons had contributed $30 million to Trump’s presidential campaign. She sincerely believes that Trump has done more for Israel than any other US president.
Major beneficiaries of their largesse include Yad Vashem, Birthright, B’nai B’rith Youth, Ariel University among others. On average, the Adelson Family Foundation gives $200 million each year to Israeli and Jewish causes.
In a recent interview, Sheldon was asked to name the best deal he ever made in his life. Without hesitation, he replied: “Marrying Miriam.”