Gingrich says his backer’s ‘central value’ is Israel (and NBC drops the subject)

On the NBC show Rock Center the other night, Ted Koppel asked Newt Gingrich why Sheldon Adelson is funding his campaign Super PAC, and Gingrich was frank:

Koppel: There has to be a so-what at the end of it. So– if you win what does Adelson get out of it?

Gingrich. He knows I’m very pro Israel. That’s the central value of his life. I mean, he’s very worried that Israel is going to not survive.

But when Rock Center reports at its website on the episode, a lengthy print version of the story, it says nothing about Adelson’s central value. Piece by Jessica Hopper:

Following Gingrich’s finish in Iowa, a Super PAC supporting the former Speaker of the House called ‘Winning Our Future,’ received a $5 million donation from wealthy casino owner Sheldon Adelson.  In South Carolina, ‘Winning Our Future’ has launched anti-Romney advertisements.

While Gingrich has publicly denounced the negative advertisement, the Super PAC supporting him continues to run the ad that paints Romney as a greedy businessman and attacks his record from his days at venture capital firm Bain Capital.

“We’re now entering a world where until the laws are changed, every serious campaign will have one or more Super PACs.  They will spend an absurd amount of money and it will virtually all be negative. That’s a fact,” Gingrich said.  “Given the playing field right now, you have no choice.”

And the video on the Rock Center site includes a lot of Koppel’s interview with Gingrich, but no mention of Israel:

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Yesterday we noted that Koppel seemed to duck the question he asked Gingrich, when Chris Matthews mentioned Adelson’s concern for Israel. The real-life political question that follows from Adelson’s gift is, Why is Adelson dissatisfied with frontrunner Mitt Romney? The best answer is that he regards Romney as soft on the Israel question and Gingrich as hard-core.

Speaking of hard-core: when Rick Santorum repeatedly referred to Israel in Monday night’s debate and said that we should “remove Assad for the benefit of the Syrian people and their neighbor Israel”… and when Rick Perry said, “There should be no space between the United States and Israel. Period”…. what was their game? Are they auditioning for Adelson money?  

About Susie Kneedler and Phil Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 31 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. mikeo says:

    It does beg the question if he loves it so much why doesn’t he go live there?

    • tod says:

      He’s not a Jew, silly! His not allowed to live there! :D

      • MLE says:

        There may come a point where in order to counter the Demographic threat, the Israeli government could hold their nose and let non Jews into Israel, provided they’re super anti Arab.

        Adelson is Jewish.

        • lysias says:

          Haven’t they already done that with a lot of Russians?

        • MLE says:

          But the Russians are willing to pretend to be Jewish, nominally in some cases.

          I’m talking about inviting those hard core evangelicals who watch the 700 club, read the left behind series, and really only care about the Jewish state till judgement day. The CUFI crowd, Glenn Becks, and the Santorums of America. How long before the Jews start taking them in because they’d keep the “white” population in the majority and they would form an Anti-Arab block in government. Plus they could put the Evangelicals as soldiers in the army to make up for the lazy Ultra Orthodox Jews who won’t serve. They would be all for living in settlements in areas that have historic ties to Jesus, no matter how dangerous it was. They may be able to squeeze an extra “holy land” tax on them, because they’re not Jews, which can be used to provide funds for supporting the Ultra Orthodox.

          Unless there is a major swing in Israeli policy, I give them 10 years before they start considering this option.

        • lysias,
          i think you are right… i believe they made very loose laws for in-laws and knowingly admitted many christian/non-jewish russians. i think it was intentionally loose because they knew they would be getting voters who tended to be right-wing, and anti-arab/muslim (white skin might be a bonus as well). padding the demographics with an acceptable goy persona; not ideal mind you, but zionists can be pragmatic when it comes to ensuring perpetual effective jewish/zionist dominance of the political system. around tel aviv there are multiple shops catering not just to christians (there are a few percent christian arabs) but to russian orthodox christians.

          considering a huge portion of jews are atheist, i do wonder how long the very fractured israeli society is going to hold up, internally. what is going to happen on the horizon (2-10 years)? it seems one major benefit of inflating the constant enemy (palestinians, arabs, muslims, and iranians) is to distract from the internal fissures.

          secular jews/russians in tel aviv generally despise the religious folks, and vary on the settlers/settlements. but the common hatred of arabs, which is astonishingly common and severe, is a great unifying commonality…. ugh.

          MLE,
          christians love visiting, but those who have the most intense focus on israel, generally have some sick prophecies in mind. namely, they do not want to move there really, and consider it a place where jews should be. in fact, if we keep playing out prophecy there *may* be a time in the coming years when a fringe will try to help get the other half of the world’s jews over to israel….. i am not joking, they need jews to “get there”, and these people want jesus to come back…. and so many think it will happen “in their lifetime”. of course, zionists draw great strength from jews in the diaspora, and in america specifically. this would mark an open clash between jewish zionists (who do not actually want all the jews there, for many reasons), and fundamentalist christian zionists.

        • Avi_G. says:

          lysias says:
          January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

          Haven’t they already done that with a lot of Russians?

          An Israeli team was in Haiti after the earthquake and managed to convince some Haitians to convert to Judaism after promising to save them from that natural disaster-stricken area.

          Expect Israeli teams to show up at other natural disaster areas around the world.

          Who knows, one day Israel may resort to buying mannequins in bulk in order to tilt the demographic scales in its favor, kind of like those HOV/Carpool Lane violators who put a blowup doll in the passenger seat to avoid fines.

      • mikeo says:

        Sorry, I actually meant Adelson not Gingrich!

  2. Les says:

    The Israel Lobby has pushed the embargo against Iran to expensive extremes especially the higher price Americans and most others in the world will have to pay for their oil. An editorial in today’s Financial Times chides Saudi Arabia for announcing it intends to see that the price of oil goes from $75 to $100 a barrel. Taking advantage of the US embargo against Iran, Saudi Arabia seems the kind of US ally that Israel is. Add to the expensive farce created by the Lobby’s embargo, that all the companies who are owed money by Iran pledged to be paid back in oil, are exempt from that embargo until the debt is repaid with Iran’s oil.

  3. Please someone find a way to get this question to the Republican candidates:

    “Suppose America did bring home its troops from around the world, as Congressman Paul recommends. Now also suppose that as a result America’s enemies were lured closer to its shores. Suppose both Israel and Hawaii came under attack. Suppose you only had enough troops to defend one or the other. Would you send troops east to defend Israel or or west to defend Hawaii?”

    • dahoit says:

      I see the point you are making,but there are absolutely no enemies in the world today interested in invading Hawaii,other than Hawaiian nationalists wanting sovereignty,and there is no nation capable of attacking Israel that they couldn’t handle themselves,as they are armed to the teeth,so that question is almost a dream one for Zionists,as it is the usual false equivalency put forth by serial liars.
      Find a better analogy.

      • MLE says:

        Hawaii and Guam serve as strategic points because they provide a stop over between the Western coast of the united states and east Asia.

        It’s not very likely, but plausible at some future point, China might covet one of these locations. I don’t really see it happening, but maybe a future Chinese government may have more expansionist aims.

        • Gentlemen — With this question I only would be trying to get a Santorum or a Gingrich to say that he would defend Israel (read funding) over Hawaii (read Obama.) It would be delicious to extract a quote wherein a presidential candidate professes to defend a foriegn country over his own. -N49.

        • MLE says:

          True Hawaii is gay marriage and medical marijuana. Not worth saving.

    • yourstruly says:

      which way would israel-firsters be pushing for?

  4. munro says:

    “Death of real news source of non-partisan sadness” for Ted Koppel
    link to washingtonpost.com

  5. Kathleen says:

    Koppel asked the tough question. Newt answered honestly. Koppel stopped there. Such a wide opening and Koppel was not going through.

    How Rep Paul will play his delegates card will be interesting

  6. Kathleen says:

    Now this is classic. Had my “moderator” status taken away after I marked, copied and kept many of the racist comments over at Huff Po on the post about the Iranian scientist being killed as inappropriate. Now that is telling

  7. lysias says:

    OT, trouble at JINSA: Jewish Daily Forward: JINSA Leadership in Flux After Ouster: Perle and Woolsey Quit Hawkish Jewish Security Think Tank:

    Washington — Torn by internal strife, a leading conservative Jewish organization known for its hawkish views is struggling to find its footing after firing a key staffer and losing prominent members of its advisory board.

    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs recently terminated the second-highest-ranking staff member, who has been with the organization for more than three decades. The move, a culmination of months of internal struggle, prompted several conservative icons to quit the group’s advisory board in protest. Among those turning their back on JINSA were former CIA director James Woolsey, former top Pentagon official Richard Perle and neoconservative figure Michael Ledeen.

    . . .

    [Shoshana] Bryen’s blunt analysis of the Middle East gave her a reputation as a hawkish straight shooter, short on nuance and willing to take on the conventional wisdom. For instance, she opposed talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization even when negotiations were endorsed by a Republican administration; even now, defying much of the rhetoric of supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, she thinks an Israeli attack on Iran is unlikely.

  8. seafoid says:

    If Adelson is concerned about Israel’s future, expanding YESHA and the settler project will achieve the exact opposite. He has lost money on his casino businesses since 2008. What did he do in response ? Did he embark on a round of M&A expansion and invest billions with no long term profit potential and big attaching liabilities? Or did he pull back and aim to secure the cashflow until things improve?
    Israel needs the same treatment. Romney could give it a private equity makeover- dump the settlers and sell off the housing to the Palestinian refugees and scale down the IDF then resell on the stock market at a tidy profit.

    I wonder to what extent the billions of dollars in support for the fascists in YESHA is a way for elderly rich Jews to make up for all they have missed out in life.

  9. I was surprised to hear the answer stated so directly.

    I sincerely thought that Adelson had other concerns as well, that it was not one-dimensional commitment.

    • MLE says:

      You can look up Adelsons records of philanthropy. He has two pet causes- Republicans and Israel.

    • jewishgoyim says:

      We hear that all the time. It’s always “multi-dimensional” and oh so very “complex”. “Support for Israel is one among so many explaining factors”. Well, there you have it for Adelson… And frankly I’m sure you’d still be surprised if you heard the same thing for Sabban.

      But if anybody impugns the motives of these gentlemen, it is so antisemitic and conspiratorial. If you don’t see through someone like Adelson who is quite forward about his motives, no wonder you’re always in disbelief when you hear about an Israel lobby. By systematically refusing to connect the obvious dots, you sound partisan and governed by tribal loyalties.

      Which of these high profile donors said: “I’m a one man issue and this issue is Israel” or something similar?

  10. kalithea says:

    All the more reason to back Ron Paul. This is NEVER going to change unless Israel is shoved in the media’s face. But of course, it’s lets talk about anything but Ron Paul, because this site has joined the bandwagon that considers Ron Paul kryptonite and still considers Obama Superman. So what can I say? How about: I HAVE NO PITY FOR ENABLERS!

    • paul (clearly) will not get the nomination.

      but i pray for a ron paul 3rd party run, and i don’t even believe in god.

      the debates will be awesome, and he might actually poll surprisingly high. most of his republican supporters will vote for him if he gets good polling results, and some of the christian republicans who don’t trust a mormon “cult” flip-flopper from massachusetts, might throw in for paul as well (if they are not israel-firster christians). and who knows what chunk of former obama voters would go for paul (i am one).

      BTW kalithea, i have to disagree on how you characterize the sum total of ron paul treatment here. phil has pumped paul on many individual issues, and he gets a LOT of airing in articles and in commentary; from paul lovers, haters, and the in-betweens.

      but i would like to see a pro ron paul analysis, looking at his policy stance on the middle east and possible ramifications of these positions (good and bad). but that might be better timed for later in the year…. when he is surging as a 3rd party candidate (fingers crossed).

      • yourstruly says:

        paul could end up in the driver’s seat if neither gingrich nor romney have a majority of the delegates.

        • even if that were the case, one of them would likely have more delegates than paul. unless paul had 50% of the delegates (he will not, let’s be serious)… they would broker the convention and put in an insider- romney or gingrich based on delegates and assumed “electability”. but it will not even come to that, and those that drop out will give their delegates to romney or gingrich, and one of them will emerge with a good majority.

          but i am actually content with paul as a 3rd party run. and in some ways might prefer it. head to head vs obama he polls OK *now*, but once in those smooth talking national debates, with an even greater MSM attack? he’d be DOA.

          but in a three way race he can show a third way. plus he can pull from the left and right, showing the broad appeal of his platform, and also show us that the 2 party system was restricting our breath of options.

          and if he can win head-to-head, he might even have a GREATER shot at winning the plurality in a three way election. obama and the republican will chop those who would never have voted for paul anyways, and he can then win with a plurality, which would have been a head-to-head minority.

  11. Theo says:

    “What was their game?”

    Those dirty prostitutes were advertising their ware and waiting for an offer.
    Do we want a president with a main interest in a foreign country?
    In the old days we called them traitors, do the meaning of this word still apply?

  12. Hostage says:

    Wayne Barrett has a report at the Daily Beast: Is Gingrich’s Hard Line on Palestine Paid for by Sheldon Adelson? — “Gingrich went from Middle East moderate to saber-rattling hawk after Sheldon Adelson’s millions began flowing into the candidate’s coffers”

    link to thedailybeast.com