Miriam and Sheldon Adelson are Donald Trump’s largest supporters. Together they gave more than $177 million to Trump’s campaign in 2016 and Republican causes in 2016-2018. Dr. Adelson then was given the presidential medal of freedom last year, in recognition in part of her work on drug addiction.
The 73-year-old spelled out her worldview at the Israeli American Council conference last month, and stated that she and her husband alongside her share those views: Jews are unsafe in the west, Israel makes Jews everywhere safe and proud, so all the criticism of Israel is just masked anti-Semitism. Therefore, protecting Israel is their “mission in life,” Dr. Adelson said; and American Democrats must join them in supporting Israel.
Here are excerpts of Dr. Adelson’s remarks followed by comments from Sheldon Adelson, who made his fortune off casinos.
When I met Sheldon he was telling me about the anti-semitism that he suffered in Boston. I want to tell you that I’ve never in my life suffered one personal case of anti-semitism. I grew up a proud Jew in Israel. Proud Israeli in Israel. And when I went to the States later on in my life, I’ve never been exposed to anti-semitism.
I see all what’s going on here, the anti-Israel, the anti-semitism. They mask like anti-Israel, but it’s anti-semitism. So that made me feel that my mission in life is to protect my family, my people, Jewish people and the state of Israel….
We have to spread [the IAC] across America because this organization is going to strengthen the state of Israel… We are here together. As I said when I presented Vice President Pence. No matter whether we are left or right, we have to be strong together. We are like one hand. But we should work separately. We should [unintelligible] together and be strong to protect our homeland.
Moderator Shawn Evenhaim, an LA real estate mogul, said that the Israeli American Council, IAC, is not a rightwing organization, because “Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi wouldn’t be on the stage if this is a rightwing organization, and Haim Saban [Democratic megadonor] wouldn’t be here if it was a rightwing organization.” (Here they are.) Dr. Adelson echoed him:
From the beginning, Sheldon said, that this organization should not be political. Otherwise we will lose half of the Israelis. And we repeat it and repeat it all the time, Please make it even…. We respect each others’ opinions. So we are not a political organization. We are an organization that is pro-Israel, pro the Jewish world. Yes I said it again and again, whatever you are you are welcome, as long as you support the state of Israel. So here and there people are trying to say, it’s right, or it’s left. Or why this left person came, or why this right person. So I want you to be together, as I said, one hand. And we are all together, whatever we say, whatever we think, we are together to protect the state of Israel. We know how important it is. We see the anti-semitism that is happening. And I talked with some holocaust survivor who said, this period reminds them, before the Holocaust, when nobody fought it. So we have to be strong and united. United is the name of it– united and strong. So please stick do it and don’t think that we are any political organization. No matter whether we are right or left. We should work separately but together. We should work together to protect our homeland.
When she introduced Mike Pence, Dr. Adelson thanked him and the Trump administration for doing what she cared about most: trashing the Iran deal, stopping funding for Palestinians, and moving the embassy to Jerusalem, even as the whole world is “ganging up against Israel.” Again she said that Israel protects all Jews, and criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism.
Israel’s fate is that of the entire Jewish people. An attack on Israel is an attack on all Jews. And anti-semitism anywhere only proves the need for .. Israel Jewish homeland… The IAC stands for the principle that regardless of our political difference, we must almost come out to defend the Jewish people and the Jewish state… And doing so also promotes US interests. Right wing or left wing, conservative or liberal, we are all unified in this most important of causes for Jewish survival, American foreign policy, and western civilization.
For his part, Sheldon Adelson said on the panel below that he had two legacies in life, medical research and strengthening the Jewish people and Israel.
My legacy will have nothing to do with any of my businesses. My legacy will have to do with two things. One medical research and how many findings we achieve… we have fundamentally changed the way medical research is conducted… Equally as important is the Jewish people and the state of Israel.
Adelson went on to suggest that intermarriage and assimilation are sapping the Jewish people, far more than anti-Semitism.
We were ten million people at the time of Christ. Today we’re only 14 million. What happened to all of us in between? Beside the pogroms and the expulsions?
We should have been equal to Catholicism, to Islamists– we should have been a billion and a half people. So it’s only 14 million people if you count it the way the ultra-orthodox count it. If you count them the way the state of Israel counts [Jewish] people for right of return then there’s 23 million people. That’s not a lot. And the 6 million people we have here, 6 million Jews, is almost equal to the same number of Jews that we have in Israel.
This is surely why he supports Birthright, which seeks to create Jewish inmarriages by sending young Jews for free to Israel.
One remarkable thing about the Adelsons is that they escape scrutiny. Their views should be exposed widely so that folks understand why Donald Trump, who voiced detached views of Israel during the campaign, has been such a “perfect little puppet” for Adelson’s agenda, as Trump formerly mocked Marco Rubio’s slavishness to Adelson. To his credit, Timothy Egan of the NYT recently described Adelson as having more power than the Secretary of State, in “controlling” foreign policy in the Middle East. But the press tends to avoid hard coverage of the Adelsons and their agenda.