Las Vegas Sands Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson speaks during a media briefing in Singapore December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash
If a Jew-hater somewhere, inspired perhaps by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, sought to invent an individual who symbolizes almost all the anti-Semitic clichés that have dogged the Jewish people throughout history, he could hardly come up with a character more perfect than Sheldon Adelson.
Think about it. Adelson, who likes to brag, “You know, I am the richest Jew in the world,” is a gambling magnate who is reported to be under criminal investigation for official bribery and has been accused of having widespread ties to organized crime, including the use of prostitution for his business interests. He is openly deploying his $22 billion fortune to pervert our democracy on behalf of what he believes to be the best interests of Israel, which he defines as an endless war by the Jewish state against its adversaries, with America offering its unquestioning support.
When it comes to Israel, Adelson is as hawkish as they come. He told the Jewish Week, “The two-state solution is a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.” He withdrew his financial support to then–Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when the latter became serious about peace negotiations. He even found AIPAC a bit wishy-washy for his taste and cut it off, as well. Significantly, he remains a big supporter of Bibi Netanyahu, and has gone so far as to fund a free Fox News–style Israeli newspaper devoted to cheerleading for his right-wing policies and attacking all who disagree.
In the United States, Adelson owes his recent prominence to the roughly $10 million he and his wife have contributed to Newt Gingrich’s kamikaze presidential campaign. While Adelson no doubt shares some views on domestic policy with Gingrich, including possibly his barely concealed racist hatemongering against the man he calls the “food stamp president,” among others, it is on Middle East policy where the two have really bonded.
During the current campaign, for instance, Gingrich has referred to the Palestinians as an “invented” people who “had a chance to go many places” but presumably preferred a life of military occupation. He has endorsed Israel’s illegal seizure of Palestinian land in Jerusalem and elsewhere—contrary to Netanyahu’s promises to refrain from doing so—and refers to a possible Israeli attack on Iran as “an act of self-defense,” suggesting that the United States should do all it can to help.
Interestingly, as Wayne Barrett has pointed out in the Daily Beast, these positions represent an almost complete reversal of the positions Gingrich held before he began rolling in Adelson’s riches. For instance, in 2005 he wrote an article urging the “Palestinian diaspora” to invest in “their ancestral lands,” and went so far as to propose that Congress “establish a program of economic aid for the Palestinians to match the aid the U.S. government provides Israel.” Gingrich even said that the US government should defend “the Palestinian people’s right to have a decent amount of land” and condemned “the desire of some Israelis to use security as an excuse to grab more Palestinian land.” Such actions, he argued,