Newest political bedfellows — Obama & Adelson

US Politics
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The looming U.S. attack on Syria is certainly bringing some interesting alliances to the fore. Bloomberg lays out an Israel lobby 101 in describing the push in the American Jewish community for war. From Adelson New Obama Ally as Jewish Groups Back Syria Strike:

The pro-Israel community contributed $14.5 million to federal campaigns for the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than the $11.1 million in donations by the defense aerospace industry, one of the biggest and most consistent political contributors.

While most of the Jewish groups’ donations lean Democratic, Adelson alone transformed the 2012 Republican primary when he and his wife used $15 million in private funds to sustain the unsuccessful candidacy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and then poured $53 million into groups advancing Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In all, Adelson and his wife donated $93 million to Republican causes in the 2012 campaign, center data shows.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, which counts Adelson as a board member, yesterday sent an “action alert” to its 45,000 members, directing them to tell Congress to authorize force. “This is not a partisan issue,” the coalition said in its message.

Adelson Support

It spent $6.4 million against Obama last year, according to the center, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending.

Adelson, a Las Vegas casino owner, supports the coalition’s Syria message, his spokesman Ron Reese said in an e-mail.

The RJC’s counterpart, the National Jewish Democratic Council, today added its voice to a chorus of U.S.-based Jewish groups urging military intervention. Others include AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Their advocacy began after a telephone briefing yesterday with White House deputy national security advisers Tony Blinken and Ben Rhodes, who outlined the case for action against Syria, according to a participant who asked for anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly.

Pre-Holiday Pitch

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the group decided to act before the Jewish high holidays, when rabbis will likely speak on Syria. Rosh Hashanah begins tonight.

Jewish groups said their concern was that a failure to take action against Syria would send lessons to other countries, most notably Iran, that they could act with impunity.

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