Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam Ochsorn, leaving a Mitt Romney speech in Jerusalem on July 29, 2012. (Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP)
Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, a major contributor to Mitt Romney’s election effort, is pressing the Republican nominee to come out for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, a major Republican donor and associates of Adelson and Romney tell The Daily Beast. . . .
The issue is apparently one of a handful where Romney differs from Adelson on Israel. The billionaire has also asked Romney to state publicly that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are a waste of time because the Palestinians are unwilling to make peace, according to the sources—and he wants a firmer commitment from Romney to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in what would be a de facto recognition of Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. For his part, Romney has not said peace talks are a waste of time and has gone only partway on the embassy question, saying he would undertake the move in consultation with the Israeli government—a campaign promise other presidents have made. (Adelson has pressed Romney to pledge to move the embassy without consulting the Israeli government.)
Spokespeople for both men declined to comment on the private talks between Adelson and Romney. Ron Resse, a spokesman for Adelson, was willing to say that the two men were not always on the same page. “People that support candidates are bound to disagree with these candidates on some particular issues,” he told The Daily Beast. But he said Adelson and Romney agree “on most big issues.” Asked what Adelson expected from Romney in return for his support, Reese said the billionaire has no expectations in terms of foreign or domestic policy. “He hopes to be invited to the Chanukah party at the White House,” Reese said.
Funny enough, Adelson told Forbes in February, “I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections.” (But his rationale is, if George Soros is going to do it, so will he.)
In other news, Adelson filed a $60 million libel suit against the National Jewish Democratic Council for saying he “condoned prostitution in his Macau casino properties.”
Adelson at the opening of the Sands Cotai Central in Macau, April, 2012. (Photo: AP/Kin Cheung)
(h/t Matthew Taylor)