A billionaire casino magnate who has provided financial backing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the Palestinian people are a made-up nation who only exist to destroy Israel.
"The purpose of the existence of Palestinians is to destroy Israel," Sheldon Adelson said at the first conference of the Israeli-American Council, a group formed to support Israeli-Americans and the state of Israel.
Adelson, who was debating with Haim Saban, the billionaire Israeli-American mogul and funder of the US Democrats, said that it was the Palestinian people who created the 'Palestine problem', not the state of Israel.
"Palestinian narrative created the Palestinian narrative," he claimed.
Adelson said that Israel will not be able to survive as a democracy because of the threats that democracy will bring to its security.
"So Israel won't be a democratic state, so what?" he asked, rejecting the possibility of a two-state solution. "You are committing demographic suicide."
In his defence of the state of Israel, he said that he "would put up a big wall around my property."
Despite the political differences between Adelson and Saban as Republican and Democrat supporters, Adelson said that they both shared support for the state of Israel.
"Everyone in this room - whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or Independent ... when it comes to Israel, we're on the same side," Adelson said.
The Israeli-American community in the United States is estimated at over 600,000.