Sheldon Adelson, who pressed the White House to nuke Iran, now seems to have threatened Jeb Bush over the fact that a foreign policy adviser, James Baker, addressed a liberal Zionist group last month.
At issue was Baker’s speech to J Street, which has opposed the settlement project in the West Bank. National Review reports
Adelson sent word to Bush’s camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as “rips***”; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor “a lot of money.”
The tension between Bush and Adelson doesn’t mean the candidate won’t have a chance to raise money from the rest of the pro-Israel crowd.Bush did not attend this year’s RJC leadership meeting, last weekend in Las Vegas, but several of his allies, including Mel Sembler, a top Florida bundler, and Fred Zeidman, a Houston-based fundraiser, were there. His son Jeb Bush Jr. was also in attendance, and his brother George W. Bush delivered the keynote address. Aides to the former Florida governor handed out buttons with “Jeb” emblazoned in Hebrew.
And maybe the need for Adelson’s money is what got George W. Bush to come out of his shell, and attend that RJC event in Vegas and attack Obama’s Iran deal? (“Warmonger critical of diplomacy that averts war”– J Street’s Dylan Williams)
Paul said of his stance toward Israel. “All I can do is keep saying what I believe in,” he added, calling Israel one of America’s “best allies and best friends around the world.”
Paul’s stop in Brooklyn comes just days after his potential GOP rival, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, visited The Ramaz School, an orthodox Jewish day school, to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. Bush has come under fire by some for not immediately coming out against his foreign policy adviser James A. Baker, who was critical of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
All this pandering does raise the possibility that the Israel lobby is going to be an issue in the 2016 campaign, with Democrats including Hillary Clinton taking the J Street line, and a few of them actually talking about the end of the two state solution.