A prominent billionaire real estate tycoon in the United States has embarked on a high-stakes media initiative aimed at enhancing Israel’s global image while casting the Hamas armed group in a negative light. This move comes among widespread pro-Palestinian solidarity demonstrations around the world.

The campaign, “Facts for Peace,” aggressively pursues financial contributions from numerous influential media, finance, and technology figures. An email disclosed by the news website Semafor reveals a targeted fundraising effort seeking million-dollar donations from over 50 of the world’s wealthiest individuals. This list includes prominent names such as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Dell CEO Michael Dell, and financier Michael Milken, who collectively possess an estimated net worth of approximately $500 billion.

Some of these targeted individuals have previously taken strong stances on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Investor Bill Ackman, for instance, has openly threatened to blacklist pro-Palestine students critical of Israel. On October 10, Ackman expressed on X (formerly known as Twitter) his intention, along with other business leaders, to compel Ivy League universities to disclose the identities of students affiliated with groups that have criticized Israeli policies in Gaza.

Barry Sternlicht, the U.S. billionaire spearheading this initiative, stated that the campaign’s objective is to position Israel favorably in the global narrative. In an email in which he solicited contributions from these wealthy individuals, Sternlicht emphasized the urgency to “get ahead of the narrative,” particularly in light of the intense Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip. He expressed concern that images of Palestinian civilian suffering, whether real or manipulated by Hamas, could significantly erode global empathy for Israel.

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Since October 7, Israel has conducted extensive air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, resulting in significant casualties and displacement, as reported by Gaza officials. In response, a surprise attack by Hamas on Israeli territory on the same day led to numerous Israeli casualties, according to Israeli officials.

Sternlicht’s media campaign seeks to label Hamas as a terrorist organization, a designation already recognized by the U.S. and the European Union. The primary goal is to amass $50 million in private donations, with a matching contribution from a Jewish charity. The exact amount raised thus far remains unclear, but early reports suggest the collection of several million dollars.

The campaign receives strategic guidance from Josh Vlasto, a notable communications strategist with experience working for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, the United States, Israel’s strongest global ally, continues its substantial aid and diplomatic support. Despite the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the U.S. has resisted international calls for a ceasefire and maintains its unwavering support for Israel. This stance was further solidified with the recent passage of a $14.3 billion emergency military aid package for Israel by the U.S. Congress.

However, domestic support for the U.S. government’s position shows signs of waning. A recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicates a growing disapproval among U.S. Democrats regarding President Joe Biden’s handling of conflict.

As the conflict continues, the implications of Israel’s ongoing settlement expansions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, deemed illegal under international law, remain a contentious issue. The U.S. has condemned these expansions but has taken limited action against its closest ally, posing significant challenges to the prospect of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.