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How Jewish billionaire Ron Lauder’s media empire crumbled

The billionaire’s business debacles have led to his distancing from circles of power and seriously damaged his statesmanlike image.


  • Ron Lauder hammers out deal to cut ties with Israel’s Channel 10
  • Tycoons turning Israeli media into hasbara tools
  • Channel 10 rescue plan unraveling over debt

Jewish-American billionaire Ronald S. Lauder left Israeli television station Channel 10 a year and a half ago, after 11 years during which he lost some $130 million (500 million shekels) on his investment. But it turns out that at the same time as his troubles in Israel, he has been suffering for the past two years from a business debacle in Eastern Europe that has led to his distancing from circles of power and seriously damaged his statesmanlike image.

Throughout his business career, Lauder’s “business model” has always rested on two main foundations: the large amount of money that he inherited from his parents (his mother was the cosmetics queen Estée Lauder), and the political connections he earned himself over the years, including close relations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. These two assets have been the backbone of his business in Israel, and all over the world.

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