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Adelson told Jeb Bush that Baker’s speech to J St speech cost him ‘a lot of money’

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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.”
Baker did criticize Netanyahu in that speech. But is Adelson’s pressure why Baker came out against the Iran deal, ahead of the beauty pageant for Republicans that Adelson conducted last week in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC)?
National Review’s Eliana Johnson says that Bush “lost the Adelson primary,” but he hasn’t given up working the big money that is the Israel lobby:
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)

The truckling goes on. Jeb Bush went to the Ramaz School in New York to say the Iran deal is “naive”, while Rand Paul met Jewish day school leaders in Brooklyn. MSNBC

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.

Philip Weiss

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

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23 Responses

  1. pabelmont on April 29, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Wonder how the other oligarchs (big-banks, big-ag, big-defense, oil, coal, etc ad naus) will feel about the openness of this display of buying political favors. And how will voters feel if they learn (but will they learn? who will dare to tell them? Is Colbert still there?) about this buying-up of the Republican candidates in advance.

    There’s a civics lesson in there somewhere. Do they still teach “civics” in high school?

    • JLewisDickerson on April 29, 2015, 6:36 pm

      FROM JTA.ORG (By Ron Kampeas ~ Apr. 28, 2015):

      . . . Adelson won’t announce yet whom he will support, according to insiders here, because he regrets how his influx of funds into Newt Gingrich’s ultimately quixotic run helped hobble Mitt Romney, who failed in his 2012 bid to oust Obama.

      “Sheldon is all about Israel, but also all about winning,” one confidant says.

      According to the confidant, Adelson wants to give the candidates room to compete.

      “Sheldon knows that once he announces, his $100 million will end the race,” the confidant says.

      You can’t avoid Adelson, even if he is not present, because the Venetian is his imagined world: the gondoliers, the canal, the oppressive perpetual muted sunset over “St. Mark’s Square,” where you can be serenaded. . .

      SOURCE –

      • bryan on April 30, 2015, 3:42 am

        ““Sheldon knows that …. his $100 million will end the race,” the confidant says. Now why are the Sheldon camp spreading such antisemitic memes – I thought America was a democracy and the American people chose their president?

      • JLewisDickerson on May 2, 2015, 2:36 am

        P.S. In other words, Sheldon Adelson (and his $100 million) will decide who is going to be the Republican nominee for U.S. President. How’s that for “despotic control”* of the GOP?!?!


  2. W.Jones on April 29, 2015, 5:13 pm

    I can see that the super-Pro-Israeli groups may want to fund Jeb Bush less for Baker talking to a liberal, “pro-peace, pro-Israeli” group.
    To give an example, facebook is certainly an influential company nowadays.

    The meme of “standing with Israel” sounds much more conservative and uncompromising.

  3. marc b. on April 29, 2015, 6:24 pm

    More self-hating, anti-Semitic misreporting from Weiss. What Adelson really said was that Baker had cost Jeb his vote. This is all about jockeying for the crucial Jewish vote. Nothing to do with money.

    • lysias on April 29, 2015, 6:57 pm

      You’re saying National Review got it wrong about “a lot of money”?

      If Adelson wouldn’t vote for Jeb, why would he give him money?

      • marc b. on April 29, 2015, 7:13 pm

        Sorry, Lysias. My bad snark.

      • JLewisDickerson on April 29, 2015, 7:36 pm

        RE: “Sorry, Lysias. My bad snark.” ~ marc b

        MY REPLY: I did a double-take myself before realizing it was snark. “More self-hating, anti-Semitic misreporting from Weiss” is classic/primo hasbara!

      • lysias on April 30, 2015, 10:34 am

        Sorry, marc b. I guess I was being obtuse.

    • JWalters on April 29, 2015, 7:03 pm

      Correction: Weiss is a SELF-RESPECTING Jew. His reality-based self-respect gives him the inner strength to stand up to the enormous social pressures of the spineless parrots who are continually screeching “self-hating Jew! self-hating Jew!”

      The claim that this has nothing to do with money defies facts and logic (thanks lysias). But it may be comforting to those young, impressionable Jewish American zionists who read this page, who may be tempted to THINK for themselves, and thus desperately need some excuse to ignore all the facts, reason, and humane values that permeate Mondoweiss.

    • pabelmont on April 30, 2015, 10:00 am

      “Self-hating” as a trash-talk epithet to blacken the reputation of

      someone who disses something you want him to respect (at least if that thing is Israel or perhaps one of its often hard-right policies)

      is nothing new. It is devilishly marvellous in its idiocy. “Self-hating” (is anybody, anybody?, really self-hating?) is clearly a ridiculous description for anyone who proudly (and at some risk to his reputation) bucks a trend.

      I have never, not once, seen anyone who uses the “self-hating” epithet refer to any clinical or other evidence of such a psychological disturbance. Are all those Israeli post-Zionists “self-hating”? Or so regarded by some? By whom?

      What can we learn from people who (still) use the epithet any more? Maybe marc.b ‘s snarky use of “self-hating” is a way to say that that epithet has at last lost its usefulness. Let us hope so.

      • RoHa on April 30, 2015, 7:24 pm

        “I have never, not once, seen anyone who uses the “self-hating” epithet refer to any clinical or other evidence of such a psychological disturbance. ”

        Evidence? We don’t need no sti….

        We can call this sort of thing “psychological ad hominem“, and I see it frequently. The general format is:

        “Person X holds opinion Y for reason Z, where Z is a belief, desire, attitude, or other psychological feature of X and is irrelevant to the truth of Y”.

        There are two things wrong with psychological ad hominem.

        First, usually no evidence is provided for the claim that Z is a feature of X.

        Second, even if Z is a feature of X, and Z is the reason why X holds opinion Y (psychologists use the term “motivated belief” for this), the truth of Y does not depend on the reason why it is believed.

        X may still be holding a true opinion.

        Until we restore the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric to our education, we will not be rid of this nonsense. And perhaps not even then.

      • Mooser on May 1, 2015, 12:46 pm

        RoHa, I asked Hophmi the same question and he doubled right down, and said that deleterious effects of “Jewish self-hatred” are “supported by easily accessible sociological data”.

        So, the truth is out there, were a heartless society simply to open its eyes to the devastation wrought by this dysfunction.

        Unfortunately, this condition of Jewish self-hatred is very hard to study, since only other people get it. Never the person who is complaining about its symptoms.

  4. just on April 29, 2015, 6:41 pm

    Be still my heart!

    I can only hope that this emboldens the Dems to finally do something right wrt Israel. There will be dancing in the street and lines at the polls.

    Beinart’s column today was:

    “For the American right, Israel embodies the values that Obama’s U.S. no longer does”

  5. JWalters on April 29, 2015, 7:13 pm

    James Baker pushed back somewhat on Israel’s land theft (aka “settlements”) when he was Secretary of State. It was a temporary breath of fresh sanity. So to zionists, his mind is obviously “infected” with the anti-Semitism disease (perhaps a genetic condition and hence incurable). Therefore he cannot be allowed anywhere near the zionist party’s presidential candidate.

  6. Blownaway on April 29, 2015, 10:06 pm

    Ok I now know they all love Israel. I even know what they will do for Israel if elected….but what will they do for America or doesn’t that matter?

  7. Blownaway on April 29, 2015, 10:09 pm

    PS what’s sad is how they got Baker to grovel afterward and criticize the Iran deal, how much does his soul cost? Grow some stones Mr Baker wrap your self in the American flag and take a stand

  8. Boo on April 30, 2015, 8:31 am

    Gotta love it when a dipshit goes ripshit!

  9. CigarGod on April 30, 2015, 8:50 am

    So…it appears there is no alternative money source? How can you get these guys to drop Adelsons money…if you dont show him an equal or greater amount in yours?

  10. ckg on April 30, 2015, 11:38 am

    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?

    Yep. Dubya was paid $250K for his appearance.

  11. James Canning on May 1, 2015, 5:51 pm

    James Baker in 1991 wanted to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Sheldon Adelson wants Israel to keep the West Bank permanently. Adelson’s anger at Baker is a feather in Baker’s cap.

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