Some elephants aren’t fit to print: ‘NYT’ front-pages Adelson gift to Gingrich PAC without a word about Israel!

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 25 Comments
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson

This is so shocking it’s funny. LOL funny. ROTFLMAO funny. The New York Times has a long front-page story by Nicholas Confessore about Sheldon Adelson’s wife Miriam donating another $5 million to the Gingrich campaign and there is no mention of Adelson’s #1 issue, Israel.  Not a single mention.

What is the Times doing to the discourse? Hollowing it out. Chris Matthews needs the Times if he is going to discuss this openly. The bloggers at the Center for American Progress need the Times if they are going to hold their positions.

The more shocking when you see that the Forward profiles Miriam Adelson as an Israeli-born doctor who has founded clinics and gives millions to Birthright, the program to propagandize American Jews for Israel.

Tablet is also forthright about Sheldon’s agenda. 

But if [the nominee] does end up being Gingrich, it will be in no small part thanks to Sheldon Adelson, the richest Jew in the world (as he has boasted) and an extremely hawkish supporter of Israel. And this is quite important. Earlier this month, Adelson materially aided Gingrich and politically helped him by changing the narrative when he donated $5 million to a pro-Gingrich group, well over half of which was spent in South Carolina.

And David Bromwich at the New York Review of Books is trenchant (no wonder this was the quotation of the day for Andrew Sullivan):

The right-wing coalition government of Israel is trying to secure support, with the help of an American party in an election year, for an act of war that it could not hope to accomplish unassisted; while an American opposition party complies with the demand of support by a foreign power, in an election year, to gain financial backing and popular leverage that it could not acquire unassisted.

Bromwich lauds New Yorker editor David Remnick for speaking frankly about Jewish donations on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN show, GPS.

Remnick’s comment is especially notable because it gives up the euphemism “Jewish voters” and refers frankly to Jewish donors. It is millions of dollars and not just a few thousand votes that the pandering Republicans are trawling for.

And not just Republicans. Obama is also trawling. From the New York Post:

Obama had started his evening [last Thursday] at a reception and discussion with Jewish leaders at [Upper East Side restaurant] Daniel about relations between Israel and the United States. The event was thrown by UBS’s Robert Wolf, Aryeh Bourkoff, Dr. Daniel Fass and Jeremy Goldberg, among others.

Before the discussion, there was a private reception where Obama met with Harvey Weinstein and Showtime’s Matt Blank….

During the discussion, Obama stressed his strong support for Israel, and discussed the peace process, energy policy and Iran. The event, attended by up to 100, raised about $500,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign.

I have to believe that the Iran talk at Obama’s events last Thursday night was less bellicose than it was during the Republican debate last night, in which two candidates seemed to relish a confrontation with Iran. I have to believe that there is a split within the Jewish (Israel-loving) community on this question, and that Sheldon Adelson’s money and Obama’s money-men are on opposite sides. Alas the Times is doing nothing to advance that process.

The Times’ omission is the more stunning because elsewhere in the same paper it does talk about Adelson’s big issue, apropos of an Islamophobic film from the Clarion Fund used by the NY police for training:

[Clarion’s] previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.

P.S. Some gratitude to the Times. Here is Bill Keller, the former NYT editor, trying to calm the Iran talk with a piece called Bomb-bomb-bomb, Bomb-bomb-Iran. He goes after Matthew Kroenig’s recent article in Foreign Policy and seems to express misgivings for his own disastrous support for the Iraq war. The piece includes some hinting references to the Israel lobby.

The [warmaking] scenario above is extracted from an article by Matthew Kroenig in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs. (The particulars are Kroenig’s; the mordant attitude is mine.) Kroenig, an academic who spent a year as a fellow at the Obama administration’s Defense Department, apparently aspires to the Strangelovian superhawk role occupied in previous decades by the likes of John Bolton and Richard Perle. His former colleagues at Defense were pretty appalled by his article, which combines the alarmist worst case of the Iranian nuclear threat with the rosiest best case of America’s ability to make things better. (Does this remind you of another pre-emptive war in a country beginning with I?)

This scenario represents one pole in a debate that is the most abused foreign policy issue in this presidential campaign year.

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25 Responses

  1. flyod
    January 24, 2012, 10:09 am

    Actually, pretty impressive of the Times to mention the Adelson gifts at all. Arthur best be careful least he ends up like poor old Alfred Harmsworth

  2. richb
    January 24, 2012, 10:55 am


    Perhaps this exchange contributed to a growing resolve on Adelson’s part to try to force the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, out of office. Adelson and Olmert had been friendly since the nineteen-nineties, when Olmert was a member of the hard-line Likud Party. Olmert became Prime Minister in January, 2006, following Ariel Sharon’s stroke. He, like Sharon, came to recognize the inexorability of Jewish-Arab demographic trends. Olmert declared that a two-state solution was the only way of preserving Israel as a democratic state with a Jewish majority, and he said that he was ready to negotiate with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. Adelson saw Olmert’s actions as a betrayal of principle. He had long wanted to see the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu returned as Prime Minister, but a revived peace process gave that goal new urgency.

    A revived peace process. We wouldn’t want that. And he got his way:

    He is fiercely opposed to a two-state solution; and he had contributed so generously to Bush’s reëlection campaign that he qualified as a Bush Pioneer. A short, rotund man, with sparse reddish hair and a pale countenance that colors when he is angered, Adelson protested to Bush that Rice was thinking of her legacy, not the President’s, and that she would ruin him if she continued to pursue this disastrous course. Then, as Adelson later told an acquaintance, Bush put one arm around his shoulder and another around that of his wife, Miriam, who was born in Israel, and said to her, “You tell your Prime Minister that I need to know what’s right for your people—because at the end of the day it’s going to be my policy, not Condi’s. But I can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.”

    Money doesn’t buy influence does it? Nah:

    When Adelson was merely rich, he wrote checks for causes that he favored and for politicians whom he supported. Occasionally, he demanded to be heard. But he did not expect to play a significant role in U.S. foreign policy, or in Israel’s strategic decisions, or in the fate of a sitting Israeli Prime Minister. That was before he acquired many billions of dollars. (He has assets of twenty-six billion dollars, according to a Forbes list published in March.) His political expenditures and his expectations have increased proportionately. Not long after Bush’s encounter with Adelson last October, an Israeli government representative said that Bush, describing it to another Israeli official, had remarked wryly, “I had this crazy Jewish billionaire, yelling at me.”

    Quid meet quo. This shows both the power of money and the corrupting influence of Christian Zionism.

    In July, 2001, after arriving in Beijing, Adelson and Weidner saw Olympic banners flying along the streets. They soon learned that the country was waiting to find out whether it would be selected as the site for the 2008 Summer Games. In addition to seeing the Vice-Premier, Adelson and Weidner met with the mayor of Beijing, who asked Adelson for help with a matter pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, which he believed was threatening China’s chance to host the Olympics. (In the United States, China was widely perceived as the frontrunner, and it is not clear that Congress’s position would have had any impact on its chances.) Adelson said in court that he immediately made calls on his cell phone to Republican friends in Congress—including Tom DeLay, then the majority whip—who had received generous support from Adelson. DeLay told him that there was indeed a resolution pending about China and the Olympics. (Representative Tom Lantos, then the highest-ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, had introduced a resolution opposing China’s Olympic bid, saying, “China’s abominable human rights record violates the spirit of the games and should disqualify Beijing from consideration.”)

    Weidner, in his deposition, described the relationship between DeLay—“a very religious guy”—and Adelson. “The link between Sheldon Adelson and right-wing religious Christians is the commonality of a strong Israel,” he said. “So it just happens to be Sheldon has taken Tom DeLay to Israel and he’s a friend.” DeLay told Adelson that he supported the resolution because of his concern about China’s record on human rights but added that he would be discussing the legislative agenda shortly. “Sheldon folds his cell phone up and says to the mayor of Beijing, ‘I’m going to do my best,’ ” Weidner said. “About three hours later DeLay calls and he tells Sheldon, ‘You’re in luck,’ ” he continued, “ ‘because we’ve got a military-spending bill. . . . We’re not going to be able to move the bill, so you tell your mayor that he can be assured that this bill will never see the light of day.’ So Sheldon goes and he goes to the mayor and he says, ‘The bill will never see the light of day, Mr. Mayor. Don’t worry about it.’ ” Weidner also instructed the Sands’s lobbyists in Washington, Patton Boggs, to suggest to the Chinese Embassy that Adelson and Las Vegas Sands were involved in the process that stalled the bill. (According to DeLay’s spokeswoman, DeLay does not recall the conversation and had no role in blocking the bill. Representative Lantos died last February.)

    This was all in the New York Times article right? Uh..oh..nevermind. All the news that’s fit to spike.

  3. Dan Crowther
    January 24, 2012, 11:15 am

    I don’t understand, there is a “split” between Harvey Weinstein, the guys from UBS, Showtime etc and Sheldon Adelson? Yeah, I dont think so my brother.

    You would think that Showtime and Harvey were proponents of the sopa/pipa bills. They bust up unions just like Ol Shelly, and are all known to be ruthless capitalists – this is who they are. Showtime and the Weinstein’s want young, cool people in and watching their products – so, they donate to democrats, who carry out the same agenda as the Republicans when in power. This is all marketing gimmicks – these guys are two sides of the same coin.

    I really dont understand the recent obsession with Adelson. Nor do I understand the “why wont the NY Times or Chris matthews discuss this” stuff. They aren’t going to discuss it Phil. They aren’t going to admit they have been lying for decades – its just not going to happen. And that is precisely what it would mean if all of a sudden the Times and NBC changed its tune or “allowed different voices” etc. Nope, the mainstream press will continue to be a place where a major propagandist of a war of aggression can years later make jokes — “(Does this remind you of another pre-emptive war in a country beginning with I?)”– about a slaughter that killed hundreds of thousands like it was a bad dinner entree selection. And he’ll even get “some gratitude.”

    This whole fucking conversation is waaaaaaay to “polite” for my tastes. (some) American Jews represent the most reactionary, racist and militaristic elements in American society – but unlike many of the toothless gentiles on the right wing, they have “Serious People” credentials – they own businesses, write for newspapers, journals, broadcast “news” and so on. So, they are taken seriously. Their language is measured, they seem symptathetic, and maybe they even donate to charity. They resemble something approaching humanity, so we project onto them views similar to our own. We begin quests to find this humanity, “we have to believe” its there. Well, brother Phil – it aint. Adelson is just keeping it real.

    And not for nothing, the Times already writes too much about “all things jewish” — I know its your thing Phil, but the rest of us are getting kind of tired of hearing and reading about the “debates” or potential “debates” within the “jewish community” – as if the Jews are some sort of vanguard we need to first wait on, then follow. You guys aren’t as interesting as you think. And maybe not as important to the “discussion” going forward. The cat is out of the bag and us gentiles aren’t feeling as guilty as we once did. You saw the panic in Ynet’s response to Ben Whites book and Zoabi’s forward – THAT is progress. A jewish guy writing about jewish guys as it relates to jewish people in Israel and their relations with Palestinians has the effect (even if unintended) of making I/P and “israel firsters” like Adelson etc a “jewish issue” — its not. The Times in no way offers an alternative to I/P being cast as a jewish issue – all the way down the line, from its investors/owners to its editors to its writers. I’d like to see Phil and Co. take on jewish dominance/vanguardism in advocacy on this issue, it seems like the same entitlement that adelson and weinstein feel is felt elsewhere as well

    • Dan Crowther
      January 24, 2012, 4:20 pm

      And lookey here – Robert Reich, “liberal” economist has a column up about Adelson and Gingrich and says zilch about Israel. Now, I find THIS to be intentionally misleading, as Reich is also in the Tribe, and knows the score

      “Do you know who Sheldon and Marian Adelson are? Do you know what Gingrich has promised them, or what they think they’ll get out of a Grinch presidency? I don’t. But if Newt becomes President of the United States, they’ll be singularly responsible. And we better find out, because Newt will owe them big time.

      Forget the Lincoln Bedroom. The Adelsons and their kids will have the run of the White House, including the Oval Office. Hey, they’ll take over the Old Executive Building next door and turn it into a casino.”
      So, here we have a official democratic party operative/advocate misleading readers on Adelson. But let’s just “hope” these people will “change” their minds and start being more honest.

      • mudder
        January 24, 2012, 6:58 pm

        well said, Dan.

      • peeesss
        January 25, 2012, 1:45 am

        May I add another well said, Dan

      • peeesss
        January 25, 2012, 2:26 am

        Its very sad to know that no matter the truth of our words,our comments and the passionate advocasy for justice in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the anti-war , anti imperialist message that are espoused by so many in Mondoweiss, people such as Adelson and his wife can influence events so readily with their money. The looney words one hears from the Republican candidats on foreign policy, other than Paul, shows them beholden to the money controlled and contributed by the most hawkish Zionist supporters of Eretz Israel. Whether its “the invented Palestinian people'”or ” there are no Palestinians” in Palestine, oh excuse me , in Israel one must wonder are they knave or fools or both. Listening to them , in chorus, talk about bombing Iran, assassinating their scientists or just “kill them” makes one want to leave this land because there is , obviously, no hope. I have fought the fight since the 60′ and have never been so distraught . Are the American people so uninformed , ignorant and/or so uncaring about the destruction that their govt. has unleached on the world that they can cheer these comments . And may I add the idea that the Obama administration and Obama are acting rationally as compared to those Repubs , I don’t take seriously. They have placed the US in an active state of war, economic, covert, with Iran, waiting for some Iranian response in order to then attack with their contrived “justification”. To read some comments about the US sending ” a message” to Israel I find hard to digest. Obama is meeting with Zionist fat cats in NY soliciting their contributions while espousing the most hardline , Likudnik words about I/P and Iran. And he just earmarked billions more to Israel’s coffers. What else does he have to do to make one realize this man is dangerous. A smile and a well articulated phrase does not warm my heart.

  4. Jethro
    January 24, 2012, 11:20 am

    The NY Times didn’t cover the Andrew Adler “Gee, the Mossad really should think about assassinating Obama” story. Neither did the Washington Post.

    • chet
      January 24, 2012, 2:33 pm

      A ten page Google search of “Andrew Adler Atlanta” showed that only CNN and The Guardian covered the story – again the obvious: what if a Muslim had written the article?

      The over-riding concern is not that the story was suppressed, but HOW it was able to be suppressed.

  5. yourstruly
    January 24, 2012, 11:34 am

    should the israel-firster abelson couple’s ten million dollar gift to a gingrich superpac help win the presidency for him, will the quid pro quo be an iran war? if so, when the body bags start coming home, what will be president gingrich’s message to the bereaved loved ones of u.s. navy personnel killed in the straits of gormuz? something like “nobody can say that your loved one died in vain, because they gave their lives for the settler entity israel – that it remain jewish and democratic* with jerusalem as its capital.”

    *except for its being ethnically cleansed of palestinians

    • richb
      January 24, 2012, 12:22 pm

      should the israel-firster abelson couple’s ten million dollar gift to a gingrich superpac help win the presidency for him, will the quid pro quo be an iran war?

      That’s certainly part of it. Note the following from the New Yorker article I cited. [Emphasis and snarky delete keys mine]

      Adelson is also funding, with a $4.5-million grant, a think tank, the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, at the right-leaning Shalem Center, in Jerusalem. Netanyahu allies are on its staff. Natan Sharansky, the chairman of One Jerusalem, also chairs the Adelson Institute. Sharansky helped organize a “Democracy and Security” conference last June, in Prague, which was attended by President Bush. Iran was a major topic of discussion. A month after the Prague conference, Adelson attended a fund-raising event at the C.A.A. talent agency, in Los Angeles, for Steven Emerson, an investigative journalist specializing in Islamic extremism and terrorism, who was showing a ten-minute trailer for a film he wanted to make. Emerson introduced Sheldon and Miriam to the overflow crowd in C.A.A.’s two-hundred-seat theatre, saying that they were his generous supporters. After Emerson’s presentation, Pooya Dayanim, a Jewish-Iranian democracy activist based in Los Angeles, chatted with Adelson. Recalling their conversation, Dayanim observed that Adelson was dismissive of Reza Pahlevi, the son of the former Shah, who had participated in the Prague conference, because, Adelson said, “he doesn’t want to attack Iran.” According to Dayanim, Adelson referred to another Iranian dissident at the conference, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, whom he said he would like to support, saying, “I like Fakhravar because he says that, if we attack, the Iranian people will be ecstatic.” Dayanim said that when he disputed that assumption Adelson responded, “I really don’t care what happens to the United States^H^H^H^H^H ^H Iran. I am for Israel.”

      Say hello to WWIII folks…

  6. Exiled At Home
    January 24, 2012, 11:44 am

    Phil, et al.

    Interestingly, another front page story in the NY Times on a training video shown in the NYPD that disparages Muslims actually does mention the Adelson/Israel linkage.

    “The 72-minute film was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.”

  7. American
    January 24, 2012, 1:23 pm

    That’s 10 million down a rat hole….Newt is not going to be elected. The GOP elders hate him, no way will they let him get the nomination. So Aldeson paid 10 mil just to get Newt say in public there is no such thing as Palestines.

    • lysias
      January 24, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Newt’s surge may also have the effect of moving Romney in the pro-Israel direction. So I’m not so sure Adelson’s money is wasted, even if Newt doesn’t get the nomination.

  8. mudder
    January 24, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Look how Salon’s Robert Reich plays dumb today in the billionaire behind Newt:

    Do you know who Sheldon and Marian Adelson are? Do you know what Gingrich has promised them, or what they think they’ll get out of a Grinch presidency? I don’t. But if Newt becomes President of the United States, they’ll be singularly responsible. And we better find out, because Newt will owe them big time.

    I’m sure Rhodes Scholar Reich isn’t that dumb. He certainly knows.

    • Dan Crowther
      January 24, 2012, 4:24 pm

      shit mudder, i didnt see your link to the reich piece!

      • mudder
        January 24, 2012, 7:21 pm

        lol Dan, I see my bad link is to this page–not Salon’s. You give the correct link.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 24, 2012, 7:37 pm

        haha. Love that pic of bronner next to the “iranium” poster on your link upthread…

  9. Les
    January 24, 2012, 4:08 pm

    Lying is not what the Times does best. What it does best is not reporting.

  10. Susie Kneedler
    January 24, 2012, 7:27 pm

    Chris Matthews just asked, “Why does he [Adelson] love Newt?” Jon Ralston replies that Adelson is “more involved with Israeli than American politics” and “very close to Netanyahu.”

    Matthews treads “carefully”: “Let’s be very careful here…A-A good share of American people…in fact, overwhelmingly America supports Israel… regardless of your background…and even people who are Jewish Americans and are tremendously committed to Israel have positions which are very reasonable.”

    Matthews lists Gingrich-Adelson’s three positions on Israel:

    1. Free Pollard, “the guy who was convicted of spying on behalf of Israel”
    2. Move embassy [from Tel Aviv] to Jerusalem, which Matthews call “red-hot”
    3. Stop negotiating with the Palestinian Authority, whom Matthews calls the “more moderate people on the other side of the Green Line.”

    Matthews then says that Adelson’s desires are “divisive in the world and would cause nothing but trouble,” adding: “This is not exactly the normal pro-Israeli position that the Adelsons are advocating, is it?” Ralston agrees, calling Adelson “hawkish,” “bellicose.”

    John Heilemann, “NY Magazine,” adds that Adelson and Gingrich share something besides their stance on Israel: they are anti-union. Heilemann talks about how voters who follow politics know about SuperPACS and conclude “this whole thing’s corrupt.”

  11. Keith
    January 24, 2012, 7:44 pm

    In a related matter, an article over at CounterPunch concerning another NYT cover-up asks “Why is the New York Times concealing the key role that the United States played in the 1965 coup in Indonesia that ended up killing somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people?”

    • Les
      January 24, 2012, 8:23 pm

      A perfect example of what the Times does best, not reporting.

  12. iamuglow
    January 24, 2012, 9:48 pm

    Funny. The Times ignores it. This Wall st Journal on Adelson opens its article with it

    “A shared interest in supporting Israel, fostered over 15 years, is at the heart of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s support for Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid.



    The Times is weak. They probably hemmed and hawed over mentioning it after being called out by Bibi for the Friedman article. The Journal does so much war mongering in their editorials that they can get away with mentioning Adleson here or the article about Obama and his concerns for donors earlier this year. I pity the people who have to make sense of the world through these papers.

  13. Justice Please
    January 25, 2012, 5:10 am

    The NYT should be long out of business now, paying reparations to Iraq for supporting Judith Millers obvious lies.

    Good thing we don’t need the NYT to get the information we need.

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