The Washington Post has a long story today about “the Adelson primary:” the fact that Republicans who are considering a run for president are courting Sheldon Adelson as a preliminary to everything else they must do to prove their worthiness, like kissing babies in Iowa or formulating a position on jobs.
Shockingly, the story mentions Israel only three times, and not till the 24th paragraph (of about 30). It does not include Adelson’s October 2013 recommendation to Obama, that he nuke Iran. It does not even mention Iran, which was one of Adelson’s big issues in the last presidential race.
Here’s the Post’s setup:
former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich… will descend this week on Adelson’s luxury hotel in Las Vegas, the Venetian, for an important step in what some are calling the “Sheldon Primary.”
Officially, the potential 2016 candidates will be at the Venetian for the spring meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which begins Thursday with a golf outing, followed by a VIP dinner featuring Bush and hosted by the Adelsons in the private airplane hangar where Adelson keeps his fleet.
Now here are the first two references to Israel, way down in the story, as an afterthought:
Most of the prospective candidates have made a point of reaching out to Adelson with phone calls and personal visits when they come through town. The conversations are not overt pitches for financial backing yet, but rather solicitations of Adelson’s thoughts on the economy and Israel as well as strategy for the 2014 midterm elections, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Adelson, who is worth an estimated $37.9 billion, according to Bloomberg, is a staunch supporter of Israel. He has expressed little interest in some of the social issues that motivate the GOP base. But he is driven by what he has said he sees as Obama’s socialist agenda. He is a fierce opponent of organized labor and is currently embroiled in a fight to ban online gambling.
I’m gobsmacked in Gotham. Adelson has one overriding issue, Israel, and preventing the creation of a Palestinian state and the division of Jerusalem. In his uncensored remarks last fall, he didn’t talk about organized labor, no, he came off as a lunatic. He talked about Muslims wanting “to kill 100 percent of the Jews,” about the Palestinian state as a precursor to another Holocaust, about there not being any such thing as Palestinians.
“There’s no such thing as a Palestinian people. They have fooled the world very successfully.”
Here was his advice to Obama about Iran:
What are we going to negotiate about? I would say ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’ And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.’
The Post deprives us of any such intelligence. No wonder the American people are so ignorant. No wonder that the grassroots are on fire. This is a hugely unstable situation, discursively.
Thanks to Scott McConnell.