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Sheldon Adelson’s trash talk of Palestinians (was parroted by Romney last year)

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People are talking about Jodi Rudoren’s report on a lunch with Sheldon Adelson at the Jerusalem convention center where he was honored and then went on a rant against Palestinians as murderous. See below that Adelson’s former water-carrier, Mitt Romney, echoed these ideas during the presidential campaign last year.

This is a great reminder of the sort of hateful statements that are utterly acceptable in the US political discourse, though hopefully Rudoren’s report will change that: 

[Adelson] trashed the prospects for peace with the Palestinians. He tried to school American reporters on the history of the Middle East. And he denounced as “stupid” people who criticize Birthright Israel, a program that has brought 400,000 young Jews here over 13 years, much of it on his dime.

“It’s the cement that connects one generation of Jews to the next,” he said of the program, to which he has donated $180 million since 2007. “Without Birthright, in two or three more generations, there won’t be any more Jews in the United States.”

Asked about Secretary of State John Kerry’s plan to infuse as much as $4 billion into the economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, much of it to build tourism, Mr. Adelson responded, “Why would I want to invest money with people who want to kill my people?”

“How can you move a ball forward when the Israelis legitimately want peace and the Palestinians want Israel piece by piece?” he said of Mr. Kerry’s broader effort to revive the stalemated peace process. “Have you ever heard any Palestinian say, ‘We have to give up our hope of destroying Israel in favor of living in peace.’ ?”…

As for the Palestinians, Mr. Adelson said, “They teach their children that Jews are descended from swine and apes, pigs and monkeys.” Then he questioned their existence as a distinct ethnic group, saying they were “southern Syrians” or Egyptians until Yasir Arafat, who was leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, “came along with a pitcher of Kool-Aid and gave it to everybody to drink and sold them the idea of Palestinians.”

These ideas, staples of the far right, are deeply offensive to the Palestinians — perhaps partly the point.

So how would Mr. Adelson resolve the long-running conflict? “Put up a big fence around our territory and say to the guys over there, your trucks can’t go over our land if you carry weapons, your planes can’t go over our airspace if they carry weapons,” he said. “How do you recognize a partner for peace when all they want to do is kill you and your people?”

None of this tough political talk was aired at the podium, where Mayor Barkat called the Adelsons “Zionist heroes of the city.”

These kinds of statements are actually very common in Israel, and Adelson will get no rebuke for them. They are a reminder that Israel’s only Rx for the future relationship with its neighbors is militarism, as its only Rx for the past relationship with its neighbors was militarism. 

And what about the American discourse? That’s the real problem here. Last year Adelson made disparaging statements about Palestinians that Newt Gingrich then aped; and Adelson then held a lunch for Mitt Romney at the King David Hotel and Romney also spewed rightwing garbage about the Palestinians. And how many reporters even tried to interview Adelson when he was playing such an outsized role in US politics last year?

Listen to Romney last year, at the video’d fundraiser:

The Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish…

I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.

Well he piped that garbage from Adelson.

Turns out Edmund Saunders at the LA Times also got the story. He has a transcript, including this:

I don’t think the destruction of Israel is in the minds of a lot of Palestinians.

Really? How naïve and how ignorant can you be? I don’t understand why they teach their children to hate and kill Jews.

A lot of Israeli Jews are concerned about what the lack of peace is doing to the Jewish, democratic state. Are you worried that if there is no two-state solution, it will threaten Israel?

That’s completely irrelevant and that’s propaganda-ish. It’s plain stupidity to recognize a partner that wants to kill you [in order to achieve] peace.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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10 Responses

  1. Citizen on May 30, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Yep. Mormons and rabid Jewish Zionists get to trumpet hate speech in America. Just goes to show you that Jefferson’s concern about protection of minority rights in fledgling USA never considered USA in 2013. Now I wonder is anyone concerned about protecting Americans from the minority?

  2. seafoid on May 30, 2013, 2:32 pm

    “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and
    I say there’s just no way.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6c45a092-d800-11e1-9980-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2UnlpaLmm

    “Ohio’s Jewish electorate is particularly im­portant. Florida is the state usually associated with Jewish voters, but among this year’s likely swing states, Pennsylvania, Nev­ada and Ohio also have significant Jewish populations. And Mr Romney’s advisers know that no Republican has won the White House in the past century without taking Ohio.
    David Harris, executive director of the non-partisan American Jewish Committee, says 10 to 15 per cent of the Jewish electorate appears to be “up for grabs” in this election – most of whom voted Democrat last time. “In a cliffhanger election, every vote counts, especially in states like Florida and Ohio,” he says. “That’s why we are seeing both parties pay so much attention to Jewish voters in this election. ”Ahead of Mr Romney’s Jerusalem visit, the two campaigns have been trading accusations over Mr Obama’s attitude towards Israel. “He has undermined [Israel’s] position, which was tough enough as it was,” Mr. Romney said this week. He also accused Mr Obama of not doing enough to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, and other donors have made several million dollars available for the Republicans to campaign against Mr Obama’s Israel policy. One Republican-friendly group, the Emergency Committee for Israel, has placed advertisements in Jewish publications this weekend attacking the president. High quality global journalism requires investment.

    “Susan Gellman, one of the co-chairs of J Street in Ohio, a liberal Jewish lobbying group that is backing Mr Brown, says the Republicans are trying to peel away voters by scaring Jews. “Almost every politician in the US is pro-Israel,” she says. “It is ridiculous to think that whoever bleats about it the loudest is somehow better for Israel.”
    Michael Bennett, publisher of the Cleveland Jewish News, says there “is more negativity about Obama and Middle East policy than I have seen for some time” among the Jewish community.

    “We have been approached by a good lot of Democrats unhappy with the attack on free enterprise and with the lack of support for the US-Israel relationship,” says Mr Mandel, now the Ohio state treasurer. “There is a lot of buyers’ remorse out there.”

    Romney lost.
    Rove lost .
    Massively

    Here’s Rove’s meltdown

    Americans, especially women, African Americans and Hispanics, do not give a rat’s ass about Israel.

    Adelson can spend as much as Elon Musk did and it won’t change anything. The Jewish Sparta is not relevant to the goys.

    • Leper Colonialist on May 30, 2013, 2:56 pm

      “The Jewish Sparta is not relevant to the goys.”

      AND THAT’S a hugh chunk of the problem. The Adelsons of the world can happily live with the goyim’s feeling that Israel is irrelevant, but until the goyim feel that Israel is detrimental to them and their interests, we’ll all be posting here, often as an ill-disguised exercise in futility.

      • seafoid on May 30, 2013, 4:35 pm

        The memes are all knackered and Israel doesn’t realize how valuable the 2 state figleaf was.
        They can’t keep on going back to the Shoah well indefinitely either.
        And they are very scared of BDS and the way the conversation is moving in the US.

  3. DICKERSON3870 on May 30, 2013, 4:34 pm

    RE: “These kinds of statements are actually very common in Israel, and Adelson will get no rebuke for them. They are a reminder that Israel’s only Rx for the future relationship with its neighbors is militarism, as its only Rx for the past relationship with its neighbors was militarism.” ~ Weiss

    REGARDING ISRAEL’S “Rx” FOR ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH ITS NEIGHBORS, SEE WIKIPEDIA [Iron Wall (essay)]:

    “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)” is an essay written by Ze’ev Jabotinsky in 1923. It was originally published in Russian, the language in which Jabotinsky wrote for the Russian press.[1]
    He wrote the essay after the British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill prohibited Zionist settlement on the east bank of the Jordan River, and formed the Zionist Revisionist party after writing it.[2]
    Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinian Arabs would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that “Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.”[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he argued, would be for Jews to unilaterally decide its borders and defend them with the strongest security possible.

    • References
    1.^ a b Jabotinsky, Ze’ev (4 November 1923). “The Iron Wall”. – http://www.jabotinsky.org/multimedia/upl_doc/doc_191207_49117.pdf
    2.^ Zionist Freedom Alliance – Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky – http://www.zfa.org.il/articles/jabotinsky.html

    • External links
    Lustick, Ian S. (2007). “Abandoning the Iron Wall: Israel and ‘The Middle Eastern Muck'”. Middle East Policy (Middle East Policy Council) (Fall 2007). – http://mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/abandoning-iron-wall-israel-and-middle-eastern-muck

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Wall_(essay)

    ENTIRE ‘IRON WALL’ ESSAY: “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm

  4. DICKERSON3870 on May 30, 2013, 4:45 pm

    RE: “People are talking about Jodi Rudoren’s report on a lunch with Sheldon Adelson at the Jerusalem convention center where he was honored and then went on a rant against Palestinians as murderous.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: “Down here” in “these here parts” people would call Sheldon Adelson a “mean, angry, old cuss” (a “cuss” being an odd or perverse person or creature)! ! !

    RICK PERLSTEIN TALKING ABOUT SHELDON ADELSON:
    “Why GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Is Mad, Bad and a Danger to the Republic”, By Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone, 4/10/12

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Adelson’s anti-union mania (I would argue) is the most important thing to know about him. For it reveals just how crazy, and how unscrupulous, the man is.
    Let’s start at the very beginning. Adelson remembers meeting Gingrich in Washington in 1995, when Gingrich was House Speaker and Adelson was lobbying to get the U.S. embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Other reports have them being introduced in 1996 by a far-right anti-union operative in Nevada who worked for Adelson. Details of the subsequent courtship are murky, although the huge favor Gingrich did for Adelson in 1996 by turning off a federal investigation of the gambling industry probably did a lot to cement their friendship.
    Two years later, Nevada conservatives sponsored a “Paycheck Protection” ballot initiative – the right-wing term for measures weakening unions by banning them from automatically deducting dues from members’ pay. Adelson was gung-ho for it – and “would spend any amount of money,” D. Taylor, secretary-treasurer of Las Vegas’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226, told me . . .
    . . . In 1999, Adelson closed one casino, the Sands, and completed work on a new one, the Venetian, stiffing so many contractors that there were at one time 366 liens against the property. Taylor, of the Culinary Workers, said he and his colleagues presumed that “like every other casino that had done that, workers in the [closed] hotel would be given priority when the [new] hotel was built.” Instead, Adelson refused even to talk. All this, in a union town like Vegas, was unprecedented. “Even when you’re having battles, you continue to have talks. Shit, we’re talking to the North Koreans right now!” he told me. “The Israelis talk to the Arabs. Talking doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but at least you understand the other guy’s position.” Adelson, not much interested in understanding the other guy’s position, proceeded to launch a campaign against the Culinary Workers that Taylor calls “beyond aggressive.”
    Right before the grand opening of the Venetian, in 1999, the Culinary Workers staged a demonstration on the public sidewalk out front. Adelson told the cops to start making arrests; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow. . .
    . . . Did I mention Adelson is nuts? But don’t take my word for it – it was George W. Bush who called him “some crazy Jewish billionaire.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/why-gop-mega-donor-sheldon-adelson-is-mad-bad-and-a-danger-to-the-republic-20120410

  5. DavidK on May 30, 2013, 4:56 pm

    Zionists like Adelson make me want to vomit. They’re totally devoid of any humanity and solely concerned with tribal interests. Like the comment he made about he wants his grandson to become a sniper in the IOF so presumably he could shoot women, children and other terrorists.

  6. just on May 30, 2013, 8:56 pm

    It is trash talk.

    The same trash that hasbara trolls peddle all over the web. Perhaps he funds and teaches them with his billions………and then writes it off on his taxes.

  7. Woody Tanaka on May 31, 2013, 9:01 am

    Zionism = Racism. If anyone needed yet another example. He’s a Jewish Klansman.

  8. ckg on May 31, 2013, 10:32 am

    It would have been nice if Edmund Saunders had informed his LA Times readers that Adelson is an ally and backer of potential LA Times buyers David and Charles Koch.

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