Seth A. Klarman

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search


Seth Klarman is a "Boston-based pro-Israel billionaire."[1] The journalist Max Blumenthal describes Klarman as "one of the pro-Israel community’s most prolific financial angels and also one of its most ideologically hardline."[2] He reports:

"Klarman became one of the world’s richest people through the Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund he founded that is now worth upwards of $20 billion. With his philanthropic foundation, Klarman emerged in the past five years as one of the pro-Israel lobby’s most aggressive funders."


Politically, Klarman is reportedly on the hawkish right of the pro-Israel spectrum.[2] In an op-ed co-authored with Charles Jacob of The David Project, Klarman argued that "there is a new assault on the world's Jews," based on "hatred for Israel" and its supporters. It is promoted, he wrote, by "Islamic anti-Semitism" on the one hand, and Western "Palestinianism" -- sympathy for the Palestinians' plight by "Western radicals" -- on the other. In the West today, "hostility to Jews" manifests primarily as criticism of Israel.[3]


Klarman funds many pro-Israel lobby groups, including The David Project (of which he is also co-Chair); The Israel Project; Scholars for Peace in the Middle East; Birthright Israel, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Ir David, Middle East Media Research Institute and the American Jewish Committee.[2][1]

Klarman funded The Times of Israel, according to The Forward, because of 'his belief that coverage of Israel within Israel itself is unbalanced and unjustifiably hostile — and that he can do something about it.'[4]

The 'Wedge' strategy

Unusually, Klarman also funds American Islamic and Palestinian organisations, with the aim, Max Blumenthal argues, of driving "a wedge through mainstream Muslim-American organizing".[2]

The American Islamic Congress was heavily funded by Klarman; it refused to engage with mainstream Muslim civil rights groups and forbade "members of its student arm, Project Nur, from discussing Palestine-related issues on campus."[2]

Klarman also funded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. It is led by Zuhdi Jasser, "an Arizona-based physician and practicing Muslim who served as the key protagonist of the anti-Muslim propaganda film, The Third Jihad."[2] The Klarman Family Foundation donated $150,000 to the AIFD between 2011 and 2012.[5]

Another recipient of Klarman donations is the American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP), a group that has been widely criticised for lending support to US and Israeli measures that in fact work against Palestinians interests.[2] According to ATFP senior fellow Hussein Ibish, Klarman's financial support for the group amounts to a single donation of $10,000 at the 2011 ATFP Annual Gala.[6]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Max Blumenthal, "Weddady’s Free Arabs, American Islamic Congress and the pro-Israel funders who helped them rise," Electronic Intifada, 7 May 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Max Blumenthal, "American Task Force on Palestine finds funding from anti-Palestinian billionaire and a repressive monarchy," Mondoweiss, 27 Nov 2013
  3. Charles Jacobs and Seth A. Klarman, "Jews Are Under Siege: A Call For Action," accessed on 28 Nov 2013
  4. Josh Nathan-Kazis, The Softspoken Man Behind Times of Israel, Forward, 29 February 2012.
  5. Data retrieved from filings of Form 990s 2011 - 2012.
  6. Hussein Ibish, Tweet, made at 28 Nov 2013 at 02:37; accessed on 28 Nov 2013 at 16:27; Hussein Ibish, Tweet, made on 28 Nov 2013 at 02:37; accessed on 28 Nov 2013 at 16:29