Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Republican Presidential Hopefuls Troop to “Sheldon Primary”

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates are already courting casino magnate and ‘pro-Israel’ mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LobeLog

Sheldon Adelson, the multi-billionaire casino mogul, is back in the political news with a front-page article in the Washington Post, a timely reminder of the degree to which top Republican candidates feel compelled to kiss his ring and presumably commit themselves to unswerving devotion to the security of Israel as defined by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The occasion is a convention of the Likudist and Adelson-chaired Republican Jewish Coalition at Adelson’s hotel in Las Vegas, aptly named by the Post’s headline, “Sheldon Primary.”

Worth noting in the article, which reports that Adelson’s net worth is currently estimated at $37.9 billion, is the penultimate paragraph listing some of the other RJC board members who will presumably be in attendance, all of them major donors, including Lewis Eisenberg, Paul Singer, Wayne Berman, and former (Bush-appointed) ambassadors, Sam Fox and Mel Sembler. Honored guests will include Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. (Marsha Cohen had a scoop about this event last week.)

While the Post article cites Adelson’s strong feelings about Israel, it doesn’t really put that fervor into perspective, a perspective that hopefully the weekend’s supplicants will store some where in the back of their minds when they get a one-one with the man. So, for their sake, let’s recap a couple anecdotes indicative of his devotion. First, there’s the case of Newt Gingrich, whose 2012 primary campaign was paid for almost entirely by Adelson’s largess. Asked what motivated his benefactor, Gingrich was quite clear:

He knows I’m very pro Israel. That’s the central value of his life. I mean, he’s very worried that Israel is going to not survive.

And then there’s Adelson’s own words. Speaking to a group in Israel in July 2010, he was video-taped telling his audience:

“I am not Israeli. The uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform.  It was an American uniform, although my wife was in the IDF and one of my daughters was in the IDF … our two little boys, one of whom will be bar mitzvahed tomorrow, hopefully he’ll come back– his hobby is shooting — and he’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF,” Adelson said at the event….“All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart.”

Thus, it is the blessing (and financing) of this man that is being sought this weekend by the Republicans who hope to be inaugurated as President of the United States in January 2017.

Jim Lobe blogs about foreign policy at www.lobelog.com.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share