The founder of WhatsApp Jan Koum donated a record $2 million payment to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) Democratic primary campaign last month.
The Ukrainian-born Jewish innovator and multibillionaire has more than doubled his contributions to the contentious pro-Israel lobby, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Critics say that AIPAC poses a “existential threat” to the US Democratic Party following a surge in funds that secured victories for pro-Israel candidates.
Koum, whose net worth is estimated to be between $9.8 and $13.7 billion. He is believed to have given $140 million to approximately 70 pro-Israel groups in the United States between 2019 and 2020.
One of his more contentious donations was reportedly $6 million to Friends of Ir David, the US fundraising arm of Elad, a right-wing NGO focused on relocating Jews in Arab neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.