Three years ago, it looked like Sheldon Adelson was going to support Senator Marco Rubio for president, and Donald Trump tweeted a lethal assessment:
Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
After that, of course, Trump blew Rubio away, and it was Trump who got $35 million from Adelson in the presidential race. The relationship hums along. Lately Adelson and his wife Miriam gave $55 million to Trump’s firewall against impeachment, Republican congressional campaigns.
And Trump’s shrewd assessment could not be more accurate. He is Adelson’s perfect little puppet.
All Trump’s major moves in the Middle East, from tearing up the Iran deal to moving the embassy to Jerusalem, to making the Foundation for Defense of Democracies his braintrust, to elevating John Bolton to national security adviser and throwing out realist Rex Tillerson at State, are moves that make Adelson happy. We can just be thankful that Trump has not checked off every box on Adelson’s wishlist, and nuked Iran.
Trump’s latest move, to defund UNRWA, the UN aid organization for Palestinian refugees, is completely in line with Adelson’s agenda. The 85-year-old casino mogul has long maintained there is no such thing as a Palestinian.
There’s no such thing as a Palestinian. Do you know what they are? The Palestinians call themselves southern Syrians. They were the Syrians who were left over from the district of Syria that was so named in the Ottoman Empire… There’s no such thing as a Palestinian people. They have fooled the world very successfully.
Trump is determined to take “off the table” the biggest issues of the so-called peace process, refugees and Jerusalem and borders. All in Israel’s favor.
His moves destroy any idea of an autonomous Palestinian state, and are completely consistent with Adelson’s other buddy Netanyahu’s promise in 2015 that he would never allow a Palestinian state on his watch.
Sheldon Adelson is very clear about that goal. He says allowing a Palestinian state is equivalent to giving Muslims a license to kill half the Jews:
I can imagine a meeting between an Israeli Jew and the Muslims. ‘Muslims, you want to kill 100 percent of the Jews. We don’t want you to kill anybody. So let’s compromise. We’ll surrender half the Jews so you can kill them. And the other half of the Jews will stay alive. So both of us get a compromise. You can’t get everything you want! But we get some of what we want!’ It’s ridiculous. These people espouse the destruction of the Jewish people worldwide and the state of Israel. When they talk about the little Satan and the big Satan, this is not conjecture… they really mean it.
The scary/remarkable thing about Adelson’s influence is that such a lunatic view of the world gets so little scrutiny in the mainstream media.
But Adelson has been influencing policy on these issues for 18 years without much attention. The last time a Republican was in the White House, Adelson gave tons of money and made sure that the Bush Administration was stocked with his friends. Adelson was alarmed that the Camp David discussions of 2000 led by Clinton had included the division of Jerusalem and he was determined to prevent that from happening. Doug Feith had helped start a Zionist group called One Jerusalem, and Adelson had funded it. Now Feith “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth” was installed at the Pentagon as an under secretary, and Elliott Abrams was in the White House, and the settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem grew without any opposition from the United States. When Condoleezza Rice tried at a late date to restart the peace process at Annapolis, Adelson protested in a meeting with the president, and Bush all but called Adelson an Israel-firster. “Bush put one arm around his [Adelson’s] shoulder and another around that of his wife, Miriam, who was born in Israel, and said to her, ‘You tell your Prime Minister that I need to know what’s right for your people—because at the end of the day it’s going to be my policy, not Condi’s. But I can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.’” (As Connie Bruck reported in the New Yorker.)
(Words Barack Obama would echo a decade later when he said it would be an “abrogation of my constitutional duty” to do what Netanyahu wanted him to do….)
The settlers’ expansion in the early 2000’s killed the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. There are now more than 600,000 settlers in the West Bank, most of them on strategic hilltops surrounding Palestinian population centers, creating islands of Palestinian life. This is the binational reality: there is really only one state between the river and the sea, and one state exercises sovereignty over those lands.
That was Sheldon Adelson’s agenda, and he has gotten his way. The move of the embassy to Jerusalem solidifies this reality. As does the effort to put pressure on Palestinian refugees to get out of the way.
George Bush’s suggestion that Netanyahu is Sheldon Adelson’s prime minister has been echoed by Adelson himself when he says he wished he’d served in the Israeli army, not the American one, and tells young American Jews whom he’s sent on a vacation to Israel that they have to be ambassadors for Israel because “We’re the only democracy in this entire section of the world.”
The idea that Sheldon Adelson cares more about Israel than the U.S. was bolstered by the suppressed/leaked Al Jazeera documentary which reported that the Israeli government regards the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies as an arm of its own diplomacy.
Not that anyone in the mainstream picks that up. The only reason this is not a scandal in the press is that the press is so pro-Israel that it doesn’t really see a problem here.
Jewish Insider just reported on a dinner in New York at which Trump officials unveiled their peace proposals to “influential leaders across the political spectrum.” And who was at that dinner? Paul Singer the neoconservative Republican donor, and Haim Saban the Democratic one. Along with a bunch of hard-core Israel supporters, from neocons like Elliott Abrams to Clintonites Mark Indyk and Gary Ginsberg (who wrote speeches for Netanyahu even as a media exec).
Attendees at Saban and Singer’s dinner included foreign policy experts Elliott Abrams and Martin Indyk, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, former Time Warner executive Gary Ginsberg, Start-Up Nation author Dan Senor, Israel Policy Forum leaders Charles Bronfman and Susie Gelman, Tikvah’s Roger Hertog, former New York Observer editor Ken Kurson, Guess Jeans’ Maurice Marciano, Ira Rennert, Bob Book, and former Conference of Presidents’ Chair Jim Tisch.
Nikki Haley was there, too. The UN ambassador with one agenda overall, defending Israel, is a hero of liberal Zionists and neoconservatives alike.
Haley is said to have presidential ambitions. No wonder she just did a star turn at the Adelson-funded shop Foundation for Defense of Democracies. One day she too wants to be Sheldon Adelson’s perfect little puppet.