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Samantha Power’s advocate in Jewish community is Sheldon Adelson’s man

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I’ve been focusing a lot on Shmuley Boteach, the rabbi who is vouching to the Jewish community on behalf of Samantha Power, Obama’s choice to be ambassador to the United Nations. Even the liberal Forward is quoting Boteach saying that Power should get the job because she supports Israel. 

Well, according to the Federal Election Commission, when Boteach ran for Congress last year in New Jersey (and lost), Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam gave him $10,000. 

As you may remember, Adelson and his wife also spent $30 million in a losing cause on Mitt Romney’s campaign, trying to defeat Barack Obama. All Adelson cares about is Israel, and Romney piped Adelson’s tune on Israel. Adelson said that a Palestinian state “is a stepping stone to the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” and Romney trashed the idea of a two-state solution during the campaign. Adelson is a giant supporter of One Jerusalem. Romney said that Jerusalem is forever the capital of Israel.

What do these connections matter? Well, once again, you’d think that the Obama administration would want nothing to do with a rightwing Republican favorite of Sheldon Adelson, who tried to defeat Obama. You’d think that Samantha Power would say No thanks to the support of Boteach, who makes vicious comments about Palestinians and supports Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

But she won’t because in order to get her job, she needs the lobby, and the lobby is a party above partisan politics when it comes to American foreign policy, and Boteach/Adelson represent the lobby. So Power invited Boteach to the White House in 2011. And Obama voted at the U.N. to support settlements, and he was livid when Democrats failed to include Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel in the party platform last year.

Really there isn’t much difference between Adelson and Obama on this issue. And Shmuley Boteach is now working hard for Samantha Power, to make sure of that.

Philip Weiss

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

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8 Responses

  1. Nevada Ned on June 20, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Dunno if I’d say that Sheldon Adelson is the Lobby.

    Adelson is so right wing that he gives to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) instead of AIPAC. The ZOA is not very effective, while AIPAC is very powerful inside the Washington Beltway.

    In the most (2012) recent election, Adelson spent $100 M, and nearly all* of his candidates lost, including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Shmuley Boteach. That’s not the track record of a political kingmaker. I wouldn’t claim that “nearly all of the AIPAC-endorsed candidates lost” in 2012.

    *The one winning 2012 candidate that Adelson supported was Dean Heller, now US Senator from Nevada. Heller edged (former Congresswoman) Shelley Berkley in a very close race. Berkley is a long-time Israeli fanatic, and Heller is a very conservative Mormon. Berkley actually had stronger Israeli credentials than Heller. Berkley used to be an attorney for Adelson, but the two had a bitter falling out over the issue of unions, which Berkley supports and Adelson wants to destroy.

    • Little_Shih_Tzu on June 20, 2013, 3:20 pm

      Well, I hope that jihadists decide to unionize – just to drive two daggers – just figuratively, of course – through Adelson’s heart.

      BTW, given Shelly’s poor track record of backing losing political horses, mght we refer to him as Brain-Adelson? Free use of the term for anyone who can make it work and bug the wrecthed old likudidt.

  2. Krauss on June 21, 2013, 2:59 am

    It’s actually hilarious – and sad at the same time – that Samantha Power is even seen as a ‘moral person’.

    She’s a moral midget who sold her soul for power. Her comments about I/P and her mild words of a “domestic constituency of enormous politicla and economic importance'(meaning, the lobby) were probably genuine.

    But unlike many others on the left, she never felt that morality should be a hindrance to her quest for power.

  3. Citizen on June 21, 2013, 7:11 am

    Power’s most famous book is all about genocide. She dredges up every possible example of it. She never mentions Israel. Just prior to Bush Jr’s attack on Iran Chris Matthews asked her repeatedly if that was a just war. She evaded his question repeatedly.

    • piotr on June 24, 2013, 6:28 pm

      I think that Power skipped quite a few possible examples. Number one, Agent Orange. Imagine that someone sprays your community with a lawn weed-killer at the dose 10-100 times larger than safe. Now imagine that the actual chemical was never allowed for civilian use — and contains a very durable and very mutagenic poison. And the stuff is applied on 12% of the territory, with millions of affected individuals, hundreds of thousands of birth defects etc.

      The topic of Agent Orange was a subject of trials in USA, and the courts decided that at the time of application it was not known to be a poison, and that the government has immunity. This opens fascinating legal and moral issues: if you spray people with chemicals, is it criminal not to check them first for being safe, or not? And how massive catastrophe has to be to trump the doctrine of sovereign immunity?

      The second groups of atrocities would be those that were assisted by CIA, like in Central America and Indonesia. One of the most recent is the support given to those folks: “After his death, his brother Buteur Metayer swore vengeance against those he felt responsible for Amiot’s death—namely, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Buteur took charge of the Cannibal Army and promptly renamed it the National Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Haiti.”

      A flexible foreign policy that strives to support cannibals in one place and to get an international consensus for a humanitarian intervention in another place is not as effective as it is promoted to be.

  4. Citizen on June 21, 2013, 7:28 am

    From Frontpage Magazine, back in ’09:

    “Samantha Power, Obama’s closest advisor on foreign policy, is a self-professed human rights activist with a long record of antipathy towards Israel. She would push the Jewish state under the bus for the sake of showing the Muslim world how much we are taking their concerns seriously.
    Power attended the 2001 Durban anti-Semitic hatefest, yet was indifferent to the disastrous outcome of that conference. Just months later, during a 2002 interview with Harry Kreisler, the director of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley, Ms. Power said that even if it meant “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import” (i.e., Jewish Americans) the United States should stop investing “billions of dollars” in “servicing Israel’s military” and invest the money instead “in the new state of Palestine.”
    These were not old isolated remarks taken out of context, as Ms. Power and her supporters have claimed. In her 2004 review of a book by the radical leftist Noam Chomsky, Ms. Power agreed with many of his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy and expressed her own concerns about what she called the “sins of our allies in the war on terror”, lumping Israel with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, and Uzbekistan.

    In 2007, while she was Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Power gave an interview concerning the Iraq war during which she took a swipe at our special relationship with Israel. She said that our relationship with Israel “has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics….” In her view, we have brought terrorist attacks upon ourselves by aping Israel’s tactics in contravention of human rights. The interview is posted on the school’s website.”

  5. piotr on June 23, 2013, 9:54 am

    “All Adelson cares about is Israel…”

    Some commentators darkly referred to “hidden agenda”, which in the case of Adelson would not make sense if it was about Israel.

    The best conspiracy theory I have found, but I did not store the link, was on a website with title “Online gamer” or something close to it. A suspicion was raised that all Adelson cares about is outlawing online poker, hence his enormous political donations, and it was left implicit that all that noise about Israel is merely a cover story. Actually, it was a nice article with a very good innuendo style, like “there is no proof, but the current law gives enormous influence to super rich donors with hidden agendas” and getting some hints that Adelson is indeed a sinister figure, an enemy of online gamers.

    Much less colorful were theories that Adelson detested unions and “socialized medicine”, and one case in point is the only political campaign that had outcome well related to Adelson’s money, for the Senate seat in Nevada. The defeated Democrat was a “perfectly Zionist” Jew, but she supported hotel unions in a dispute with Adelson some few years earlier. Campaign ads had nothing to do with Israel, or unions, or healthcare, it was simply a negative campaign.

    My private theory is that people often spend a lot of money to impress their peers. It can be a flashy car, fishing boat, Italian suit or tchotchkes that you can show to your guests in the living room. What tchotchkes would befit the status of a super mogul? Say, Perelman School of Medicine drops a little hint that Perelmans are not hoi polloi. How about your very own Israeli minister? That can be very nicely topped with Prime Minister. You cannot formally endow a chair of “Sheldon Adelson Prime Minister of Israel”, but Adelson came as close to it as legally possible. The ultimate mantelpiece, showing to all moguls that Adelson is more mogully than anyone (“mirror, mirror on the wall…”) would be “Sheldon Adelson President of the United States of America”, complete with a joint photo bearing an effusive autograph and a scrapbook of news stories how Adelson was essential in the election of that person. I dare to say, even Chinese tycoons would be thoroughly impressed, be them Communist or from Triad.

  6. piotr on June 23, 2013, 2:03 pm

    If you see the Wiki entry for “United States Senate election Nevada 2012” you could think that the defeated Shelly Berkley was “the Zionist” candidate in the race, as there is a list of donations for both candidates classified by “industries”. Industry number two on Berkley list is “Pro-Israel $384,580”.

    But the real money were “independent spending” which cannot be easily tabulated or attributed to industries like “Sheldon Adelson”.

    Boteach was running for Congress, which is cheaper than Senate, but even so 10,000 represent a minuscule amount, merely the “maxing out” of the direct contribution of Adelsons to his campaign. To be called “Adelson’s man”, Boteach should get something like 100,000 (perhaps he did).

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