Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former close friend and benefactor, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, chose not to express hope that Netanyahu would emerge unscathed in his criminal investigations during an interview with Army Radio on Monday.
Asked if he wished Netanyahu well in the probes, Adelson would only say: “I wish I could tell my wife what to do and I wish for peace.”
When asked further about Netanyahu, he would only add “I wish for everybody good things.”
Netanyahu has been accused of offering to harm the newspaper Adelson owns, Israel Hayom, in return for more positive coverage from its competitor, Yediot Aharonot. That offer is the subject of the newspaper collusion affair known as Case 2000.
In a taped conversation that police found on a computer confiscated from Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Ari Harow, the prime minister told Yediot publisher Arnon Mozes that he would talk about having Israel Hayom stop coming out on weekends with “the redhead,” referring to Adelson.
Adelson and his wife, Dr Miriam Adelson, were questioned by police as part of that investigation. Since the probe, their relations have cooled and the coverage of the newspaper has become less pro-Netanyahu.
The editor of Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, later told the radio station that the reason why Adelson did not speak was for legal reasons, because he is a party in the case.
The Adelsons remain close to US President Donald Trump, to whom they made massive contributions during the 2016 presidential election. Adelson said in the interview that Trump kept his promise to move the embassy because “he promised everyone he would do it” and that he expected the move to take place over the next year.
Asked if the decision was historic, he said: “Sure. No other president in 70 years has done it.”