How a Hedge Fund Manager and Right-Wing Donor is Financing an Israeli Influence Op Masquerading as a Journalism Project

Vulture capitalist, right-wing financier and all-around shithead Paul Singer. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Paul Singer is a rapacious hedge fund manager and leading donor to the GOP and pro-Israel groups who retains a raft of corporate intelligence firms to slant the news in ways that favor his personal and political interests. In his spare time, he plots to topple governments and beggar citizens in the Third World to increase profit margins at Elliott Investment Management, the investment firm he founded and controls.

Charles Krauthammer, who’s dead, worked for the Carter administration writing bland, dreary speeches for bland, dreary Vice President Walter Mondale before morphing into a right-wing pundit whose columns were as lifeless and dull as the tripe he penned for his former boss in the White House West Wing. A rabid Zionist like Singer, Krauthammer never met an Israeli war crime he couldn’t turn into an op-ed that claimed it never happened, but if it had Palestinians were to blame.

What do you get when you combine Singer and Krauthammer? Voilà! The Krauthammer Fellowship, which awards 15 positions annually to “aspiring writers, journalists, scholars, and policy analysts” under the age of 35 and provides them with “editorial mentorship” and help placing their work. The fellowship is run by the New York-based Tikvah Fund, which runs media, educational, and policy programs in the US, Israel, and other countries as part of its broad goal of building “a new generation” of committed Zionists.

This year’s coterie includes Kassy Dillon, “an opinion journalist and political commentator for the Daily Wire” who previously was the US editor for Jewish News Syndicate and a video journalist for Fox News Digital; Adam Hoffman, a policy advisor on the DeSantis for President campaign who’s written for the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and National Review; and Zineb Riboua, a research associate and program manager of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East, whose work has appeared Foreign Policy and Tablet. If the Israeli government directly handpicked the Krauthammer fellows, it couldn’t have found a more reliable, devoted group of media cheerleaders – which, of course, is the program’s fundamental purpose.

The Krauthammer Fellowship was launched in 2019, a year after his death, and was established to honor his dedication to  “pursuing truth through honest, rigorous argument,” in the words of the Tikvah Fund’s website, though that description bears absolutely no resemblance to its namesake’s oeuvre. An egregious hack and one-man state-controlled news outlet, Krauthammer ceaselessly churned out bilge throughout his career, with a heavy focus on “America’s special role” in the world, its superficially similar but somehow entirely distinctive  “special place” in the world, and the “special responsibility” the United States must carry on its shoulders as a result, all which he noted in a single sentence of a particularly turgid 2003 Washington Post op-ed.

Independent journalist Charles Krauthammer with his good friend President Ronald Reagan in a 1986 photo taken at the White House. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Krauthammer was lauded by his peers as an expert on the Middle East, which he demonstrated in an article published shortly before the US invasion of Iraq the same year. The US had no choice but to take out Saddam Hussein, he argued, because with the nuclear weapons he was likely to have in his arsenal soon (though it turned out he never came close and wasn’t even trying) along with the weapons of mass destruction he already has (which he didn’t), the Iraqi leader posed a “threat of mass death on a scale never before seen residing in the hands of an unstable madman,” which was “intolerable…and must be preempted.”

A close friend of Benjamin Netanyahu, who described their relationship as “like brothers,” Krauthammer wrote an essay in 2006 that summarized the entire history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a dispute that began six decades earlier “when the UN voted to create a Jewish state and a Palestinian state side by side,” and while “the Jews accepted the compromise, the Palestinians rejected it.” Israel survived, which was its “original sin” and the reason why Palestinians had hated their good-hearted neighbors ever since.

All this makes the Tikvah Fund, which is staffed from top to bottom with Israeli diehards, a logical sponsor of the Krauthammer Fellowship. The organization’s current board includes Elliott Abrams, who ranks near the top of any credible list of most nauseating US government officials of modern times along with the likes of Henry Kissinger and Samantha Power; and Terry Kassel, a major fundraiser for pro-Israel groups who the Jerusalem Post put on its list of “Top 50 Most Influential Jews of 2022,” and who holds a number of positions with Elliott Investment Management and is a director of the Singer Foundation as well.

Elliott Abrams when he worked for President Donald Trump as the US Special Representative for Venezuela. Image enlarged to enhance Abrams’ appropriately ghoul-like appearance. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Tikvah Fund isn’t shy about promoting its role managing the Krauthammer Fellowship, which is extensively discussed on the organization’s website. The financing provided by Singer, on the other hand, is only obliquely noted on the Fund’s site, which says it runs the project “in partnership” with his foundation.

For its part, the Singer Foundation makes no mention at all of the Krauthammer Fellowship or the Tikvah Fund on its own website, which is incredibly stingy about providing details about any of its operations and activities. Not a single current or past grant recipient is identified, there’s no information about how to apply, and indeed there’s nothing on the website at all beyond a concise bio of Singer, which says the New York Times has called him “one of the most revered” hedge fund managers on Wall Street, and an equally sparse description of the Foundation that says its priorities include “supporting free-market and pro-growth economic policies, the rule of law, intellectual diversity on campuses, US national security, individual freedom, the future of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The discretion is probably due to Singer’s prominent, and not generally flattering, role in the public spotlight. A textbook vulture capitalist, he’s perhaps best known for buying up the sovereign debt of countries teetering on the brink of bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar and using his political influence, money and army of lawyers to coerce their governments to pay it back for multiple times more. His most spectacular success came in Argentina, where his hedge fund’s activities over many years ultimately led to the collapse of the government and pushed vast numbers of people into poverty.

Between 2021 and 2022, Singer was the seventeenth largest political contributor in the US and the tenth biggest to the Republican Party, whose political committees and candidates received the entirety of the $22 million he shelled out during that period, according to He’s also a major donor and past or current board member at many right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups, including the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Claremont Institute, and the Manhattan Institute, which published a vicious anti-Muslim article the day after the Christchurch mass murderer killed more than 50 people at two mosques in 2019, saying he was expressing a “legitimate concern,” as reported here by the Public Accountability Initiative, better known as LittleSis.

Singer has also spent heavily to support conservative publications and reporters, with Commentary and the Washington Free Beacon being two of the outlets he’s financed. Another of Singer’s pet causes is getting information into the press that makes him and his hedge fund look good, and to advance his political and financial interests. One of the ways he’s accomplished the latter is by retaining the services of a variety of Washington private intelligence firms, including Fusion GPS – I’ll be writing more about some of the other companies who’ve worked for Singer a little bit down the road – which he hired during the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign to compile dirt on Donald Trump in order to help Marco Rubio, his No. 1 choice,.

Singer has supplemented the cash he dispenses to conservative causes out of his own deep pockets with money from his foundation, which has assets just north of $1 billion, according to its latest nonprofit tax filing with the Internal Revenue Service. Neither the foundation nor the Tikvah Fund disclose how much Singer has dispensed to underwrite the Krauthammer Fellowship, which initially provided fellows with a “full-time salary” for two years but subsequently reduced the term to nine months and the compensation to a paltry $5,000.

It’s still a pretty sweet gig that pays for fellows to attend retreats and conferences, among a range of sweeteners. The lucky few selected to be Krauthammer Fellows are hard to distinguish based on their bios at the Tikvah Fund’s website. Tuvia Gerin is an Israeli Army Reserve Captain and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. Andrew Gabel is a past special advisor to Senator Tom Cotton and research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Daniel Samet is another ex-staffer for Cotton and Graduate Fellow at the Rumsfeld Foundation, which I could add a lot more about, but the name is really all you need to know.

“Student radicals and outside agitators who had watched university administrators capitulate to mob tactics at Columbia, Yale, and other universities thought they could get away with the same antics in Texas,” Samet, a past awardee, wrote in a story published in National Review two months ago that’s listed on the Tikvah Fund’s website as an example of Krauthammer Fellows’ prime work. “Boy were they wrong.” It praised the University of Texas at Austin for approving cracking heads of “pro-Hamas” students protesting Israel’s military assault on Gaza, unlike the namby-pamby liberal administrators at Columbia, Yale, and other universities who chose to “capitulate to mob tactics.”

“What pure evil looks like,” the headline above another story featured by the Tikvah Fund that was co-authored by current fellow Kassy Dillon for Fox News quoted LeElle Slifer, a US citizen who had family members taken hostage by Hamas last October 7. “Israel cares for innocent people, no matter whether they are Palestinian or Jewish,” Slifer told Dillon. “They don’t want to hurt anyone.”

Other articles written by past and present Krauthammer Fellows that the Tikvah Fund promotes include “Harvard Shrugs at Jew Hatred” by J.J. Kimche in the Wall Street Journal; “Why and How to Revive American Anti-Communism” by Gary Dreyer in Commentary; and “In the City of Slaughter” by Daniel Kane in Public Discourse, which needless to say wasn’t a reference to any of the towns in Gaza the Israeli military has turned into graveyards of rubble, but to the collective plight of Israelis and Jews, like the author, who prior to last October 7 had been “cocooned in the security blanket provided by the IDF and the Iron Dome” and falsely imagined “the Jewish people had entered a new chapter of their history…safely divorced from the agony and fear that dominated Jewish life for more than 2,000 years.”

While these stories may not be remembered as historic works of journalism generations from now, that’s not what Singer’s paying for. His goal is to gin up pro-Israel propaganda and apologias for war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Force, and in that regard he’s probably getting a better return on investment than is indicated by the abysmal work product of Charles Krauthammer’s worthy successors.

This story first appeared on Ken Silverstein’s Washington Babylon substack page.

Ken Silverstein is a politically eclectic DC-based investigative journalist and creator of Washington Babylon