The other night at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach introduced Sheldon Adelson as having the ear of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Adelson said that he has met often with the prime minister, and that a recent Wall Street Journal column by fellow-panelist Bret Stephens saying that Netanyahu was not willing to attack Iran without US support was wrong. Adelson compared Netanyahu to the former prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
Adelson: Knowing both men, my conclusion is very simple. Olmert is a political person. He will– his wind blows in the direction of the polls. Bibi is not a political person. Bibi’s wind blows in the direction of his ideology, and his deep and unwavering support and love for the Jewish people and the state of Israel. I am absolutely convinced that Bibi says what he means, means what he says, and if he says that Iran is an existential threat, he would not live, not only as just prime minister, he would not live to face these issues without taking some type of action.
Boteach asks, He’d act on his own if the U.S. doesn’t act?
Under the threat of harm or damage to the Jewish people or the state of Israel, in my opinion…. I’ve purposely never discussed it with him….I don’t want to know. I don’t want him to tell me or say he can’t tell me… But knowing him as well as we do, I’d say if it involves the security and safety of the Jewish people worldwide, not only just in Israel, and the state of Israel, he’d be prepared to walk on his head from Israel to the United States and back. He will do whatever it takes.
Boteach: So Bret’s column is wrong.
Completely. Maybe not completely. 98 percent. Not that we don’t think that Olmert is not a patriot. He is a patriot. But his patriotism extends sort of modified by the political considerations.
Anti-Zionists long contented that a problem with Zionism is that it creates dual loyalty, and suspicions about Jews in the countries where they are citizens, because of its definition of a “Jewish people” that transcends borders. Adelson gave Romney’s presidential campaign $30 million last year, and millions to Newt Gingrich. What did he want from them?
P.S. Adelson served in the US army.