Right Web

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

Republican Presidential Hopefuls Troop to “Sheldon Primary”

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

The millionaire pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Texas, John Hagee argues that U.S. support for Israel will play a “a pivotal role in the second coming” of Jesus. He has also risen to new prominence during the Trump administration.


Michael Gerson, an evangelical Christian who served as a chief aide and speechwriter in the George W. Bush White House, is a conservative columnist for the Washington Post and one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics on the right, calling him an “unhinged president.”


Robert Kagan, a cofounder of the Project for the New American Century, is a neoconservative policy pundit and historian based at the Brookings Institution.


Mira Ricardel, former weapons marketer for Boeing, is the deputy national security adviser under John Bolton. She is a well-known foreign policy hawk who has served in key positions in the administration of George W. Bush and, earlier, in the office of former Senator Robert Dole (R-KS).


Fred Fleitz left his role as chief of staff at the National Security Council under John Bolton to succeed notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

U.S. supporters of Israel are in a bind: public opinion is changing; there are more actors publicly challenging Israel; and the crude, heavy-handed tactics they have successfully used in the past to silence criticism now only aggravate the situation.


As the civilian death toll from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen grows and the backlash against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi’s murder escalates, former Sen. Norm Coleman’s control of Republican Party campaign purse strings positions him as a key influencer of Republican congressional action, or inaction, in curtailing the increasingly aggressive and reckless actions of Saudi Arabia.


Increasingly, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are positioned as rivals, each with pretensions to Middle Eastern influence or even hegemony. It’s not clear whether they can continue to coexist without one or the other—or both—backing down. This has made it more difficult for the United States to maintain its ties with both countries.


What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot.


The Donald Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge.


Eminent U.S. foreign policy expert Stephen Walt’s new book critique’s the “liberal hegemony” grand strategy that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.


(Lobelog)  Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told LobeLog he will remain on the board of the Gatestone Institute, a right-wing think tank that receives money from Trump megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer and disseminates anti-Muslim and anti-refugee conspiracy theories. Last week, LobeLog reported that Dershowitz received $120,000 from the Gatestone Institute in 2017 and…


RightWeb
share