Protests Target Clinton Fundraiser at Hollywood Home of Pro-Israel Mega-Donor

When billionaire media tycoon and pro-Israel mega-donor Haim Saban organized a Hollywood fundraiser for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at his Beverly Hills estate yesterday, he was met with more than 100 protesters who gathered outside his gated community to warn event-goers of his staunch opposition to Palestinian human rights.

“We gathered to say that Palestinian human rights should not be for sale,” Karen Pomer, organizer with Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, told AlterNet.

Hailing from organizations including Al-Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return, Friends of Sabeel and Black Lives Matter, protesters marched and picketed as close as they could get to Saban’s home.

Their message was directed at Saban, as well as Clinton and Democratic party backers. "It was immoral for the U.S. to support apartheid South Africa decades ago, and it is immoral for the U.S. to support apartheid Israel today," said Nana Gyamfi, a human rights attorney and organizer with Justice Warriors for Black Lives.

Saban, for his part, has been upfront about his political aims, telling the New Yorker in 2010, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.”

One of the biggest donors to the Democratic party under both the Barack Obama and Bill Clinton administrations, Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, have funnelled at least $10 million into Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC. This included millions of dollars that were donated following Clinton’s letter to Haim Saban in July of 2015, in which she sought advice on "how we can work together” to defeat the growing movement to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction (BDS) Israel.

Initiated by Palestinian civil society organizations’ call in 2005 for global tactics similar to those levied to topple apartheid in South Africa, BDS has attracted international support from artists, scholars, students, and human rights campaigners. Participants in the movement apply global pressure in a bid to force Israel to abide by international legal conventions.

Clinton’s pledge to fight the international effort hits close to home for California human rights activists, who face a state legislative initiative to pass an anti-BDS bill known as AB 2844, which would bar California and municipalities from companies that refuse to do business with Israel.

Meanwhile, Clinton has made her “unbreakable bond” with Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a cornerstone of her potential presidency. In July, Clinton backers on the Democratic Platform Committee rejected all reference to the occupation, settlements and human rights violations against the people of Gaza.

"We must say no to hypocrisy,” said Amani Al-Hindi Barakat, chair of Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition. “All humans have rights, even Palestinians.”


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