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In the Battle Between Israel’s Newspapers, Money Talks and Never Shuts Up

Israel’s upcoming election is playing out in a battle of the presses that began last year. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel haYom,   is a free paper ubiquitous on the streets of every city in Israel. It fast became the nation’s most popular paper, edging out Yediot Aharonot, whose readers call Israel HaYom “Bibiton, ” combining the nickname for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and iton, the word for “newspaper.” according to Arutz Sheva.

Yediot, along with its website Ynet, regards Israel HaYom as effectively pro-Netanyahu propaganda, and a bill was sponsored in the Knesset against free papers, legislation designed mainly with putting Israel HaYom out of commission. Readers of Israel haYom call Yediot and Ynet “Bujiton” referring to Yitzhak “Buji” Herzog, leader of the Labor Party.

Itzik Saban writes sentimental, even purple, prose in defense of the Prime Minster and the Bibiton, “A black flag is waving over most of the media in our country  … red lines are being crossed.” (When you get a black flag so close to crossing red lines, that can’t be a good omen.) Saban went on to call Bujiton the “neighborhood bully” comprised of a bunch of “leftists” who can only describe the “twisted reality in which they live.”

Adelson is not only influencing elections in Israel, but is a big spender in American elections as well, and gave boatloads to Newt Gingrich in his 2012 run. Oxfam estimates that 12% of all political donations worldwide are made by just 80 super rich people. One of those people is Sheldon Adelson. All eyes are on Adelson to determine which GOP candidate he is going to back. Well, let’s say guessing which candidate the casino owner is going to back is like a betting on a horse race.

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