Dem Donor Blasts Sanders, AOC For Israel Stances

Rips Sanders as 'disaster zone,' criticizes Ocasio-Cortez for being 'misinformed'

Haim Saban / Getty
July 10, 2019

Haim Saban, Israeli-American billionaire co-creator of Power Rangers and top Democratic donor, criticized Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) for their stances on Israel in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

Several of Sanders's presidential campaign advisers have ties to the anti-Israel community, and Ocasio-Cortez has compared supporters of Israel to supporters of the Iraq War.

"We love all 23 candidates," Saban told the Hollywood Reporter. "No, minus one. I profoundly dislike Bernie Sanders, and you can write it. I don't give a hoot. He's a communist under the cover of being a socialist ... So, 22 are great. One is a disaster zone."

Saban continued his criticism of Sanders by mocking what he sees as the self-proclaimed "democratic socialist" senator's unenthusiastic support for the Jewish state. Saban blamed Sanders for causing all of the Democratic candidates to skip the annual AIPAC meeting.

"I can't deny the impact that Bernie has had on the Democratic Party," Saban said. "I love it when Bernie says, 'I recognize Israel's right to exist.' That's how he expresses his support of Israel. Well, thank you so very much. Are you out of your freaking mind? Oh, I'm allowed to live. Hallelujah, praise the lord."

On Ocasio-Cortez, Saban criticized the young progressive for making statements that are "compelling, but misinformed."

"AOC made a statement: 'There's a massacre in Gaza,'" Saban said. "She was asked a question related to what's going on between Israel and the Palestinians, and she said, 'Well, I'm going to have to study this.' So, here she made a statement that is pretty scary and pretty compelling but misinformed."

During the 2018 election cycle, Saban donated almost $4.3 million to Democratic candidates and PACs. In 2016, he and his wife Cheryl gave a total of $12.2 million to Priorities USA Action, the largest Democratic Super PAC that supported Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Despite his criticisms of the socialist wing of the party, Saban reiterated that he and his wife would remain Democrats. Cheryl also said that the pair would be active in donating to 2020 campaigns.