Meet the American Hedge Fund Billionaire Who Could Start a ‘Holy War’ in the Middle East

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Henry Swieca is a money man. The New York-based billionaire made his fortune by co-founding Highbridge Capital Corp., a hedge fund that boasted clients like the American International Group.

In 2009, the banking giant JP Morgan Chase, another client of Highbridge, fully took over the flagship hedge fund. Swieca went on to play a role at two more hedge funds: Talpion Fund Management, which he launched, and Clearline Capital, which Swieca joined as a startup investor in February 2013.

Swieca, whose net worth is $1.2 billion as of September 2013, is well-known as a financial guru. His every move is covered by the financial press. But he’s less known for what his foundation pours money into: right-wing, pro-Israel causes. Along with a host of charitable groups and domestic Jewish centers, the Swieca Family Foundation, which he runs with his Israeli-American wife Estee, has poured tons of cash into pro-Israel groups–including to religious extremist groups that operate in the most sensitive of holy places. Swieca did not return requests for comment on his donations.

According to tax records reviewed by AlterNet, Swieca, an Orthodox Jew, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the American Israel Education Foundation, the non-profit offshoot of the powerful lobbying group called the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He’s also handed over cash to groups like the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces; the right-wing, anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center; and the Hebron Fund, a Brooklyn-based organization that funnels American money into illegal Israeli settlements in Hebron, a big city in the West Bank that has the most intense regime of settler violence and enforced segregation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

But perhaps most alarmingly is Swieca’s funding of the Temple Institute, an organization that promotes the building of the Third Temple on the third most holy site for Muslims. In early December, the Washington Post disclosed that Swieca and his wife funded the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute’s move to “to a large, renovated space in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Western Wall.” The move put the institute just a short walk away from the place where they hope the Third Temple arises.

The religious extremists who run the Temple Institute have their sights set on the Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary in English, which is also the Temple Mount for Jews. “Our short-term goal is to rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind through education,” the Temple Institute says on their website. “Our long-term goal is to do all in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time.”

In the middle of the Noble Sanctuary sits the Dome of the Rock, a shrine whose gold dome is a fixture on the Jerusalem skyline. The Noble Sanctuary is home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, thought to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad was transported to from Mecca and is the third holiest site to Muslims around the world. At the same time, it is a site deeply revered by Jews, since it is the place thought to be where the First and Second Temples stood. The Second Temple was famously destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans, who then sent Jews into exile. The Temple Institute says that “the Temple Mount has to be cleared of the Dome of the Rock and the mosques which are presently located upon it before the physical rebuilding of the Holy Temple can begin.”

Both Judaism and Islam have competing claims to the site, making it the most contested piece of real estate on earth. In 2000, a provocative visit by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the Noble Sanctuary set off clashes that many say sparked the Second Intifada. It continues to be a frequent site of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli authorities.

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  • KurtUSA

    The muslims only claim this site as the supposed farthest mosque is a fable. Even then from what I understand the accepted reference was to the mosque in Middena, not the yet unbuilt at the time, mosque in Jerusalem. The only reason for the claim as the third holiest site in Islam is because the Jewish people had their two previous Temples on the site and want to build a Third. The muslim claim as currently set forth is nothing more than an excuse to push and justify their genocidal, anti-Jewish hatred. Seems the whole world is falling for the muslim ruse.

    • Freespirit

      It is not “anti-jewish” hatred ,as you say, it is ANTI Zionist Israeli hatred, with good reason.
      I don’t believe I need to provide further proof of the ANTI-ARAB Palestinian hatred by Zionists in Israel causing all this problem.

      It started of course with the THEFT of Palestinian Land and the slaughter of Palestinians and the removal of Arab history to hidden locations in the Palestinian land being called, Israel.

      This may result in another EXILE of Jews, if this continues. Zionists are the enemy of both Jews and Arabs

      People are waking up to the REAL Criminals in this whole affair

      • KurtUSA

        You mean like the brave muslim warriors that will not take on the IDF directly, but only kill babies in their cribs?

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142846#.UriEOpt3vIU

        Or the total lack of Jewish artifacts like the coin from 4-5 BC?

        http://www.shalomlife.com/news/21362/israeli-museum-receives-worlds-oldest-jewish-coin/

        As for throwing the Jewish people out of their land, your argument is not with me or the Jewish people, but with the owner of the land. Let me know how that fight goes. His statements on the issue are as follows::

        Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. – Psalms 121:4 (KJV)

        Or,

        Amos 9:15 ►

        New Living Translation
        I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.

        Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria for around 19 years and Eygpt illegally occupied Gaza for the same amount of time. What happened to all the artifacts they found showing the Arabs predated the Jews? Or, are these Arab counties part of your conspiracy also?

        It is the muslim who want a Judenridden Judea and Samaria, like Gaza and Saudi Arabia. Arabs are citizens of Israel and serve in both the IDF and Israeli Parliament.

        What Arab country has more than a token Jewish person in their government or military?

        • dago dingo

          Kurt??? You must be another zionist wanker. Until you know what you are talking about, stay off these blogs you ignoramus. I am neither Jewish or Muslim. Ilive in the best country in the world, Australia, born in Italy, The wanker Zionist mother fuckers are swatting on land owned by the Palestinians goose. Israel is the most apartheid country in the world & anyone who supports their so-called Jewish settlements on Palestinian land is sympathetic to the apartheid regime which is Israel.

      • jay l

        Terrorists if you ask me.

      • 13guns

        The Roth’s are British not Jewish, they are using fifth column tactics and claiming to be Jewish, they are Satan worshiping Masons like the rest of the British royals. t

  • failedevolution

    December 23, 2013: banksters celebrate 100 years of absolute sovereignty!

    http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2013/12/december-23-2013-banksters-celebrate_23.html

  • Andy Fife

    It will be rebuilt so some 666 CEO of a corporation can sit in it , and declare itself to be divine. Drones / Skynet is watching. HI NSA PUKES ! THe best THInG u Can dO is quit your “job” and do something that is productive to society, like being a custodian or drywaller.

  • Sir TuberKopf

    The one man people should fear is George Soros who brags about the nations he has destroyed financially, and he promises more!

    George Soros truly engages in international financial terrorism for his own gain. George maybe Jewish by birth but has declared his open hatred of Israel and Christians alike.

    This guy is a true tool of Satan. He has amassed a significant holding in public media that he uses for his own fascist propaganda purposes as well as a tool to manipulate the markets and politicians that he also exploits.

  • jim_robert

    Since Muslims (the Religion of (human) Pieces) are so concerned, let’s discuss the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock issue AFTER the they give back Egypt to the Copts from which is was stolen

  • Nexusfast123

    More religious stupidity. Pity the world is so full of it and the hatred that goes with it.