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Adelson has ‘more influence’ than Pompeo, ‘controlling’ State Dep’t on Israel, says ‘NYT’ columnist Egan

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Timothy Egan, a New York Times contributing opinion writer, has a column today defending the tradition of rich people having an outsize role in our politics, because that’s just reality. But he slipped in not one but two cracks at Sheldon Adelson.

An 85-year-old casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, now has more influence on American foreign policy than even the secretary of state, the Koch [Brothers] tool Mike Pompeo.

But the Kochs pay for politicians in order to enrich themselves and to gut regulations affecting the polluting industries that made them billionaires. Adelson got a similar tax windfall for the millions he put into electing Republicans, with the added benefit of controlling the State Department’s view of Israel.

Timothy Egan, NYT columnist

This is a verboten statement that Egan managed to salt away in this column. You aren’t supposed to speak about a Jewish donor having influence or “control” or ranking the country’s top diplomat; but the facts are hard to contest. “Follow the money: Three billionaires paved the way for Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal,” Lobelog reported, demonstrating the influence of Adelson, Bernard Marcus, and Paul Singer. Adelson and his wife Miriam gave $90 million to Republican causes in the 2016 cycle and another $87+ million in the midterms last year. Adelson, who called on Obama to nuke Iran, was paid off by Trump with the destruction of the Iran deal, the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, and the defunding of the UN refugee agency for Palestinians. If that’s not control, give me a better verb.

It seems to me that Egan is emboldened by the new climate of politicization of Israel support: two BDS supporters have entered the House of Representatives, polls show declining regard for Israel among progressives and Democrats along with greater esteem for Palestine, and progressives now like to blame Adelson for the Israel lobby, not the Democrats who also support Israel through thick or thin. If Adelson is the only way journalists can attack the lobby, so be it for now…

Philip Weiss

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

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5 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson on January 18, 2019, 4:55 pm

    RE: “An 85-year-old casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, now has more influence on American foreign policy than even the secretary of state, the Koch [Brothers] tool Mike Pompeo.” ~ Timothy Egan

    MY COMMENT: It’s not just American foreign policy he tries to influence!

    SEE: “Israel’s sugar daddy, Sheldon Adelson” | by Brad A. Greenberg | | June 27, 2008

    [EXCERPT] . . . Adelson’s reach hasn’t been limited to charity. In fact, some say he uses money to meddle in Israeli politics, pushing a right-wing vision void of a peace process through his connections with American politicians—Bush called the Republican donor “some crazy Jewish billionaire”—and his free daily newspaper, Israel Hayom, which observers criticize as being stuffed with propaganda for Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

    At a formal dinner attended by more than a hundred senior officials of various Israeli and Jewish organizations, guests were offered the opportunity to tell Peres what they considered the biggest challenge facing the Jewish people. Adelson, according to Ha’aretz, declared, “I think Jews should have lots of sex. That is the solution to our demographic problem.”

    After Adelson addressed the conference, Nahum Barnea wrote in his column in Yedioth Ahronoth, “I saw a gambling tycoon from Las Vegas who bought my country’s birthday with three million dollars. I thought with sorrow: Is the country worth so very little? Were the champagne, wine and sushi that were given out for free in the lobby—breaking convention for such events—worth the humiliation?” Barnea went on:

    Adelson is a Jew who loves Israel. Like some other Jews who live at a safe distance from here, his love is great, passionate, smothering. It is important to him that he influences the policies, decisions, and compositions of the Israeli governments. He is not alone in this, either; even back in the days of Baron Rothschild, wealthy Jews from the Diaspora felt that this country lay in their pocket, alongside their wallet.

    Regrettably, in the latest generation, we are being led by politicians who look at these millionaires with calf’s eyes.

    In Israel, where political, academic, and business leaders tend to be outspoken, there is a striking reticence at the mention of Sheldon Adelson. Even people who are diametrically opposed to his politics refuse to be interviewed. “There is a discernible amount of self-censorship going on,” the liberal Israeli-American writer Bernard Avishai said. “There is no ideological justification for what Sheldon is doing among the Israeli intelligentsia—and a revulsion at an American weighing in so heavily on Israeli politics, in such a crude, reactionary way. But they won’t speak.”

    INTERNET ARCHIVE (June 27, 2008) –

  2. Citizen on January 19, 2019, 9:30 pm

    He’s got more influence in America and Israel than the Pope anywhere.

  3. Citizen on January 20, 2019, 5:33 am

    But the times, they are a changing: @nytimes OP-ED: Message To Congress: Time to Break the Silence on #Palestine

  4. Ossinev on January 20, 2019, 9:50 am

    Yes have just read the article and the times certainly are a changing;
    Particularly impressed by:
    “Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism. They worry, as I once did, that their important social justice work will be compromised or discredited by smear campaigns.

    Similarly, many students are fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights because of the McCarthyite tactics of secret organizations like Canary Mission, which blacklists those who publicly dare to support boycotts against Israel, jeopardizing their employment prospects and future careers”

    A statement such as the above is arguably well within the bizarrezioworld IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism and yet there it is in black and white in the NYT !

    As for Slimy Sheldon see more at:

  5. Misterioso on July 23, 2019, 7:39 pm

    Sheldon Adelson, largest private financial contributor to Trump and the Republicans, and Haim Saban, top private contributor to the Democrats, are Zionist zealots and both have called for Iran to be bombed. Adelson has actually called for an attack “with an atomic bomb.”

    Sheldon Adelson:
    Short video, Oct. 25, 2013, discussion between rabid Zionists, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Sheldon Adelson.
    Adelson declares – “Attack Iran with an atomic bomb”

    Haim Saban:
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nov. 9/14
    WASHINGTON (JTA) — “Haim Saban, a top Democratic Party donor and backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton, slammed President Obama’s Iran strategy and advised Israel to bomb the ‘living daylights’ out of Iran if a nuclear deal with the major powers endangers Israel.

    “If Obama strikes a ‘bad deal’ with Iran in nuclear talks under way and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assesses it as a deal that would put Israel at risk, ‘I would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches,’ Saban said Sunday at the first conference of the Israeli American Council, an advocacy group he is helping to fund.”

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