The Settlers' Billionaire Backer
The Israeli settler organisation ELAD has been accused of evicting Arab families in Jerusalem. With Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich unmasked as ELAD's largest donor, this report investigates settlement funding.
ELAD has organised tours for more than 15 years, giving people a look inside the ancient 'City of David'. It also promotes settlements in occupied Jerusalem. Dr. Shahar Shilo, the group's former marketing director says ELAD's tourism push was a necessary step: 'We need tourism because through tourism, we can really shape reality and influence public opinion. And so we will actually fulfill our goals, which are basically Jewish sovereignty over ancient Jerusalem, for generations to come, forever.' The Palestinian Sumarin family, whose eviction has dragged out for decades, are waiting for a court decision. Ahmad Sumarin says, 'Our whole life is here. We still believe that we won't be leaving this house. It's scary.' A major revelation has come recently, that over $100 million in donations to ELAD came from Chelsea owner, oligarch Roman Abramovich. 'The majority of Russian immigrants to Israel lean towards the right side of Israel's political map. Very few, including amongst the oligarchs, are at the centre or liberal. But the question is: how far right?', asks former member of the Knesset, Roman Bronfman.FULL SYNOPSIS