November 9, 2014, 6:45pm By Nathan Guttman for The Forward
Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson / Getty Images Related
Jerusalem Post (and JTA)
Major figures in US-Jewish community Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban join together in Washington, DC for first IAC National Conference.
and Saban, 70, have gained enormous political power in the new era of super PACs and unlimited contributions, and both made it clear during a rare joint appearance Sunday before an audience of several hundred Israeli Americans that they intend to assert that power during the next presidential campaign and beyond with policy demands for their candidates. In particular, they vowed to press both sides for a more hawkish approach to the Middle East.
before a new group called the Israeli American Council, both men issued a call for unity when it comes to support for the Jewish state, reminding all prospective presidential candidates of the primacy of the US-Israel relationship. And they agreed that Obama and his administration have not been tough enough in protecting Israel’s interests.
That has fed a perception, he said, that Obama has not been a friend to Israel, although Saban said he thinks that, in reality, “there’s never been this level of cooperation with any previous president.”
Adelson replied before appearing on stage to agree on every point with the demands made by Saban about issues such as Iran, and the need to always put Israel’s interests first.
public remarks, Saban and Adelson found common ground in their disdain for Iran, and their fear for the danger they say that regime poses for Israel. They expressed concern about US negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
The candidates will be flooded with money from these pro-Israel extremists. ALTERNET.ORG November 13, 2014 |On November 9, the ugly face of America’s money-saturated election process was put on full display.
Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, two billionaires with right-wing, pro-Israel agendas, took the stage at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. They fantasized about bombing Iran and about buying the New York Times because they said it’s biased against Israel. Both are bound to play an outsized role in the 2016 presidential elections by flooding the campaign with money to support their favored candidates. In a post-Citizens United world, Adelson and Saban are kings, and Israel will be the beneficiary of their largesse if the donors have the ear of a future president.
Saban and Adelson are on opposite ends of the mainstream (and narrow) political spectrum. Adelson is a casino mogul who bankrolled the 2012 presidential campaigns of GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Saban is in the entertainment business and is a major Democratic Party donor. But when it comes to U.S. foreign policy and Israel, Saban and Adelson take many of the the same positions, displaying an eagerness for war with Iran and a desire to keep the U.S. alliance with Israel rock-solid.
“There’s no right or left when it comes to Israel,” Saban said in what news reports called a joking reference to the moguls’ seating positions at the conference where they spoke.
But the quip was more than just a joke. It was a nod to how the Democratic and Republican parties are united in singing Israel’s praise, backing its military actions and voting to give the country $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid annually. If Adelson’s and Saban’s chosen candidates in 2016 get their way, that unity will shine through during the presidential campaign, with the debate being reduced to who would support Israel the most.
Saban, an Israeli-American famous for producing the TV show Power Rangers, is currently the CEO of the Saban Capital Group, which invests in media companies around the world. A 2010 New Yorker profile of Saban by Connie Bruck paints a portrait of a man who is heavily influential, charming and hawkish. “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” he told the New York Times in 2004.
At the the event with Adelson, Saban had a crude prescription for what Israel should do about Iran. “I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.” The answer came during a discussion of what Saban would do if he were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and thought a nuclear deal with Iran was a threat to Israel.
His chosen candidate is Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. As Bruck reported in the New Yorker, Saban has given millions of dollars to the Clintons in the form of donations to Bill Clinton’s presidential library and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Speaking about Clinton to the Washington Post at the conference, Saban said, “I have told her and everybody who’s asked me, ‘Whatever it takes, we’re going to be there…’ She would be a fantastic president for the United States, an incredible world leader and one under whom I believe — deeply — the relationship with the U.S. and Israel will be significantly reinforced.”
Clinton has given backers like Saban ample reason for thinking of her as the perfect candidate for Israel. During the 2008 presidential election, Clinton was asked by ABC’s “Good Morning America” what she would do if Iran used a nuclear weapon on Israel. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,” she said. This year, in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, she doubled down on her pro-Israel agenda. “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security [in the West Bank],” she said.
GOP donor Adelson’s choice for who to back in the 2016 race is trickier. The leading GOP candidates include people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, two politicians with divergent views on U.S. foreign policy, though Paul has been moving towards a more hawkish position in recent months. What is more clear is that Adelson’s impact, no matter who he backs, will be large. After the GOP losses in 2012, Adelson promised he would “double” his donations to the party. That means Adelson is prepared to spend as much as $300 million on Republican candidates.
Adelson, who made his fortune in the casino business, is one of the richest people in the world. He has used his largesse to shower pro-Israel groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America with millions of dollars. In 2012, it was Adelson who prolonged the GOP primary by boosting Newt Gingrich, who famously proclaimed, in line with Adelson’s views, that the Palestinian people were “invented,” that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. When Gingrich finally dropped out, Adelson gave $30 million to a pro-Mitt Romney super-PAC.
His influence in the Republican Party was made clear in March of this year. Chris Christie and other potential presidential candidates flew out to speak to the Adelson-backed Republican Jewish Coalition. But Christie tripped up when he used the term “occupied territories” to refer to the West Bank and Gaza. While the Palestinian territories are indeed under occupation–a term used even by the U.S. State Department–Adelson and his ilk reject that view. The audience at the RJC event in March was no fan of the “occupied” remark, and Christie later apologized to Adelson.
The casino mogul apparently believes Israel should hold onto the West Bank forever, even at the cost of democracy in the area. “I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy,” Adelson said on November 9. “God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”
Adelson also said that the U.S. should “not just talk [with Iran]. I would take action.” Last year, Adelson made waves when he suggested that President Obama should launch a nuclear weapon at Iran to send a message to the country’s leaders. Saban’s and Adelson’s tough talk on Iran comes as a deadline to reach a final nuclear agreement with Iran approaches. Many Democrats and Republicans are deeply skeptical of reaching any deal with Iran.
The 2016 election campaign will likely feature the GOP and Democratic candidates slugging it out on issues like climate change, inequality and immigration. But when it comes to Israel and Iran, the two candidates, backed by people like Saban and Adelson, will have many of the same prescriptions: ramp up pressure on Iran and back Israel no matter what. The only debate will be on how far to take those positions. Think of it as a battle between the Saban position of bombing the “sons of bitches” vs. the Adelson position of nuking Iran.
Michael Collins Piper writes in THE NEW BABYLON:
However, he has since set up a new daily publication in Israel—a free newspaper—entitled HaYom. Reflecting his immense interest in Israel, he also made an unsuccessful attempt to buy a controlling interest in Israel’s prominent Maariv newspaper. Likewise, Adelson is another major financier behind Birthright Israel which provides for young persons of the Jewish faith to travel to occupied Palestine. Adelson’s political inclinations are also reflected by the fact that he has funded a group called Freedom’s Watch which supports the hard-line neo-conservative stands pursued by the corrupt administration of George W. Bush. (The New Babylon–Those Who Reign Supreme, Michael Collins Piper, 2009)
How kosher is Jewish money?Israelis have the most to lose from the destructive potential of donations from the likes of Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson.
HAARETZ By Anshel Pfeffer | Nov. 14, 2014 | 1:07 AM
It was like a scene out of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Two immensely wealthy Jews, key financiers of the main political parties of the world’s superpower, discussing how to wage war on the enemies of the Jews, and control the media and presidents. Only, instead of taking place at the dead of night in a Jewish cemetery in Prague, they were sitting on stage in a Washington, D.C. hotel conference room, in full view and making no attempt to hide their intentions.
If the Czarist secret police officers who published the original edition of “Protocols” at the start of the 20th century had been at the Hilton, or just reading the reported dialogue between Power Rangers impresario Haim Saban and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, they would have had little need for the embellishment, plagiarism and forgery they used to concoct their best seller.
If you haven’t yet read the musings of these two gentlemen on the best way to confront Iran (bombing “the daylight out of these sons of bitches” is an option), the shortcomings of Barack Obama’s presidency, the need (or lack of) for Israel to be a democracy, the best way to take over The New York Times, and how to ensure a sufficient supply of latkes at the White House Hanukkah party, then you really should. It would be no exaggeration to call it a historic event.
The joint appearance of the two billionaires at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference last weekend was the moment that Jewish benefactors, who have always preferred to use financial influence on behalf of their brethren as far behind-the-scenes as possible, chose to do so out in the open.
Not that they had anything to be ashamed of. Jewish financiers using their fortunes to protect and promote a small scattered nation, persecuted for much of its history by vastly superior forces, is an honorable tradition. Only, it was always a tradition considered to be much more effective when carried out discreetly. Why give the haters more ammunition to incite with?
In most countries where Jews live, discretion is still the norm. On the same day Adelson and Saban took to the stage in Washington, across the pond a British daily blazed the headline “Labour funding crisis: Jewish donors drop ‘toxic’ Ed Miliband” across its front page. The Independent on Sunday was referring to a shortfall in fund-raising for Britain’s main opposition party, due to concerns of Jewish donors that its embattled leader, Miliband (himself Jewish, of course), will, if elected prime minister next year, toughen his government’s policy toward Israel.
There are a number of troubling flaws to this story. Labour’s campaign machine relies, to a large degree, on funding from trade unions and is hardly beholden to private Jewish donors. Miliband is indeed in deep crisis, but that is due to his inability to project a credible image of being prime-minister-in-waiting and the constant sniping by his own senior party members, who fear he is leading them to five more years in the political wilderness.
The misgivings of the party’s Jewish donors over his foreign policy is really the least of his worries, and it is odd (or perhaps not) that The Independent on Sunday chose to make this relatively minor concern the main headline of its Remembrance Sunday issue. Especially as even the reporter admitted that it is not yet a problem – merely one that could emerge in the months leading to the election – and is dwarfed by the general reluctance of donors, not just Jewish ones, to contribute to Miliband’s campaign.
But by far the biggest flaw in the report, especially one that had been given such prominence, was that it did not include even one named source. None of Labour’s Jewish donors or fund-raisers had agreed to identify themselves by name, though some seem to have agreed to be quoted anonymously.
Difference between U.S. and British Jews
The interviewees’ reticence is not surprising. Whether or not they are satisfied with their party’s candidate, Jewish philanthropists do not voluntarily discuss in public their political donations.
This is probably all you need to know about the difference between American and British Jews. Both communities are phenomenally successful, and for the past few decades have enjoyed a disproportionate prominence in just about every walk of life – unparalleled since the Golden Age of the Jews in Middle-Ages Spain, perhaps even surpassing that. But while Jews in the United States routinely celebrate their extraordinary position of near-dominance in finance, the creative arts, media, and now also political influence, among British Jews there is still a prevailing anxiety, and even sense of shame, whenever the words “Jewish” and “money” are used in the same sentence. Whenever a politician or media commentator combines the two, there is an outcry of “anti-Semitism.”
There is ample historic justification for this defensiveness. “The Protocols” were not the first or last time the insidiousness of Jewish moneymen was a central plank of Judeophobia. And it’s still around. Even today, when you start typing “Jewish bankers” into the world’s most powerful search engine (founded by two Jews, of course), it automatically suggests “control the world.” But then, the Web is full of the most vile conspiracy theorists, and we can’t let them dominate our lives.
The influence and power of big money in capitalist democracies are a fact of life. You can try and legislate to close loopholes and create a more level playing field, but you can’t eliminate it. Unless, that is, you want to live in a country like Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where troublesome oligarchs are packed off to a penal colony in Siberia or forced to flee and live in permanent exile.
The best we can do is try and take the Internet – that wonderful tool our capitalist economies have created – away from the conspiracy theorists and use it to truthfully increase transparency, so we at least know who is using money to acquire influence.
And that is already happening. Every community, business sector, and lobby is using its financial clout to try and change policy, and safeguard its interests. Jews have no reason to be ashamed of having learned – out of bitter necessity – to play the game well, and they certainly have every right to lobby on behalf of the country where half of their people live. Accusing them of dual loyalties (and we all have multiple loyalties) is not only anti-Semitic, it is also a denial of their democratic rights to decide who and what they choose to support.
For all the vulgarity of the Saban-Adelson dialogue, we should commend them for holding it in the open. Especially since now we have heard Adelson publicly state that as far as he is concerned, “so what” if Israel is no longer a democracy, we know the ugly truth about the man who is our prime minister’s number one patron.
It doesn’t matter whether or not we supply the Israel-haters and Judeophobes with fodder. They will warp facts and invent lies, anyway. We will have to continue facing their poisonous propaganda, and we have never been in a better position to do so.
But we need to know whatever we can about how “pro-Israel” tycoons use their money and what they believe in, because they are now in a far more powerful position than any hostile newspaper or biased blogger to cause Israel untold harm.
Sheldon, king of Israel? Sheldon Adelson has been reported extensively as stating that there may be no need for Israel…
Adelson’s bomb: Apologize or face sanctions The deference accorded to Sheldon Adelson thanks to his largesse to Jewish causes must end after his ‘bombing Iran’ comments, which were obtuse, insensitive, and morally bankrupt, and harmful to Israel’s interests.
The new American Jewish struggle over Israel: Hawks versus ultra-hawks. Both Hawks and ultra-hawks are challenging the U.S. Jewish establishment. J Street isn’t the only group challenging the American Jewish establishment. Sheldon Adelson is too.
The most important trend in American Jewish politics today is the collapse of the center. The American Jewish establishment isn’t only being challenged by left-leaning groups like J Street. It also faces a less widely recognized, but equally powerful, challenge from the right.
Consider this week’s spat between Sheldon Adelson and Abraham Foxman. At an event last Sunday, Adelson’s fellow oligarch, Chaim Saban, said Israel needed to support a Palestinian state if it wanted to remain a Jewish democracy. To which Adelson replied, “I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy. I think God didn’t say anything about democracy. God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”(…) Once upon a time, both liberals and conservatives watched Walter
Cronkite deliver the CBS Evening News. Today, the liberals watch MSNBC and the conservatives watch Fox. It’s the same with Jews. Once upon a time, Jews from across the political spectrum joined groups like AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League or the American Jewish Committee. Now the liberals are more likely to join J Street or even Jewish Voices for Peace and the conservatives are more likely to join the ZOA, the Republican Jewish Coalition or the Emergency Committee for Israel.
Sheldon Adelson’s Dismissal of Israeli Democracy Draws Silence From Groups He Backs Sheldon Adelson scoffed at the need for Israel to remain a democracy. The explosive opinion doesn’t seem to be a problem for groups funded by the casino billionaire’s river of cash.
Zionist tycoon Haim Saban vows to contribute “as much as needed” to a Hillary Clinton campaign Il s’agit d’abord pour lui d’empêcher la réélection d’Obama.
Sheldon Adelson Is a Philanthropist Like No Other Casino Billionaire Transforms Shape of Jewish Giving
Oligarchs for Israel When Pat Buchanan described the American Congress as « Israeli-occupied territory » in the run up to the first Gulf war, he clearly underestimated the problem. Although Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban didn’t mean to underscore and enlarge Buchanan’s point, this they surely did at the first national conference of a new pro-Israel lobbying group, the Israeli-American Council (IAC), where the two multi-billionaires appeared together on stage. It was an enlightening colloquy. Adelson, whose casinos have made him one of the richest people in the world, pumped $150 million into the Republican Party in 2012, and is expected to give at least as much in the 2016 campaign. Saban who made his fortune on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has given a comparable amount to the Democrats, including the money to build Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington: he has pledged to donate « whatever it takes » to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Sheldon Adelson to give $25m to Ariel University Adieu la liberté académique…
Médiats juifs anti-juifs? Le milliardaire juif ultrasioniste Sheldon Adelson est « tout droit sorti des pages des Protocoles des sages de Sion » selon Uri Avnery, ancien membre de la Knesset et correspondant dans de nombreux médiats israéliens
American-Jewish billionaires keeping Holocaust memory alive Steven Spielberg, Ronald Lauder and Haim Saban join organization of memorial ceremonies marking 70th anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau liberation.
Sparks Fly Tempers are wearing thin in Washington and Jerusalem over Iran — and the situation wasn’t helped by the recent Saban Forum where nasty sparks flew between leaders.
Weekend at Haim’s The annual Saban Forum brought together the highest ranking Israeli and American officials under one roof — but the event highlighted deep cracks in the relationship.
Netanyahu’s ‘un-American’ stink bomb begs the question: What was he thinking? White House fumes at PM’s ‘American values’ statement that echoes malicious rhetoric of birthers and other crazy Obama-haters. (…) And if you need to connect the dots, as they most certainly will in the president’s closest, most protective and possibly most paranoid surroundings, this the way it will go: That it is no coincidence that Netanyahu used the “un-American” analogy after hobnobbing so brazenly with Sheldon Adelson, arguably public enemy number one of the president’s Democratic Party.
Obama’s real problem with Netanyahu The White House views Netanyahu as a foot soldier in the service of the extreme-right branch of the Republican Party. They long ago came to the conclusion that Sheldon Adelson – the casino magnate who blew $100 million on his efforts to oust Obama – does not work for Netanyahu, but rather Netanyahu works for Adelson. (…) The problem is that Netanyahu has become a domestic political enemy of the president and his party. This is a misstep of historical proportions, as it places Israel outside of the American consensus for the first time since the 1950s. This is also a problem in practical terms. Supposing the Democrats hold on to Senate control – the White House will remember where the Israeli government had positioned itself in this battle. Supposing the Democrats cede control of the Senate – the president would lose his grip on domestic issues, and focus on foreign affairs, as many of his predecessors have done. Thus Israel would meet Obama again, this time as wounded president. After all, it has happened to us in the past, with a certain Jimmy Carter.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks he’s the leader of world Jewry and it’s us against the Western world. (…) Zionism in its current incarnation has created a distorted dependency on anti-Semitism — the ideological migration to Israel has been exhausted, as has the migration of persecuted and poor Jews. We are left with millions of obstinate Jews, who regardless of how many Birthright trips Sheldon Adelson gives them at his expense, still prefer life outside Israel to partaking in the project of the Jewish state.
Sheldon’s Folly Outsized Role: Sheldon Adelson spent tens of millions of dollars on the 2012 election. EDITORIAL: Sheldon Adelson and other Jewish mega-donors spend millions on political races. A new book explains they have failed miserably to win over hearts and minds — so far.
‘Kosher Sex’ Rabbi Shmuley’s over-the-top gala Sean Penn shines, while Chris Christie tries to placate Sheldon Adelson for saying ‘occupied territories.’
What do Rick Perry, Sean Penn, Sheldon Adelson and Chris Christie have in common? They all came together to honor and be honored at a gala benefit for Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who describes himself as “America’s Rabbi.”
Netanyahu is exposing his nationalist face to the public « nationaliste »? Le mot est faible!
‘Iran is your enemy,’ Netanyahu tells Americans on Face the Nation The prime minister noted that the Iranian leader had recently called for Israel’s destruction.
Pro-Israel or Pro-Obama?
Sur ce blog:
Médiats juifs anti-juifs? Le milliardaire juif ultrasioniste Sheldon Adelson est « tout droit sorti des pages des Protocoles des sages de Sion » selon Uri Avnery, ancien membre de la Knesset et correspondant dans de nombreux médiats israéliens
Dans ses mémoires intitulées « Diary of a Foreign Minister », l’ancien ministre australien des affaires étrangères, Bob Carr, dénonce la domination malsaine du lobby juif sioniste international sur les affaires étrangères
Un « new Israel » au Texas? Pourquoi pas?Sterling vante sa communauté en dévoilant un secret de leur succès: les institutions communautaires juives de prêt sans intérêtWillam Kristol, fauteur de guerre juif, roi du PNAC néocon, appelle à « défier l’idole de la fatigue de guerre » en se préparant et en se mobilisant pour la guerre
L’homme le plus puissant à Washington DC, le juif orthodoxe Eric Cantor, (bien que récemment détrôné) accuse les États-Unis de tarder à réagir à la menace iranienne comme ils ont tardé à réagir à la « menace nazie » et failli à éviter l’Holocauste des juifs…
Un milliardaire à la tête de l’empire médiatique de Rupert Murdoch (NewsCorp) met en garde contre la « nuit de cristal » qui vient par la gauche: le mouvement Occupy, parce qu’il s’en prend au 1% des plus riches du monde, lui rappelle « les persécutions nazies envers les juifs »
L’accord iranien est « Munich » et « Obama est Chamberlain », selon l’Organisation sioniste américaine (ZOA). Netanyahou s’époumonne désespérément, hurle au complot américano-iranien contre Israël; Obama l’invite à prendre une petite pause-santé. Netanyahou: fou dangereux qui pourrait envisager un deuxième 11 septembre nucléaire contre les États-Unis…
juifs antijuifs? Pour l’Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, même les
médiats Rothschild doivent des excuses à Israël pour avoir attiré
l’attention sur le lobby juif et son rôle dans l’impasse des relations
une fois… comment le B’nai Brith peut-il parler d’une montée sans
précédent de l’antisémitisme alors que personne ne critique le fait que
le nouveau vice-président de la Fed est un ancien de la banque centrale
Scheinermann, dit « Sharon », en enfer après plusieurs années de
retard… Couvert de malédictions kabbalistiques, associé au légendaire
ennemi des juifs Amalek, tout comme Kissinger et d’autres juifs
américanisés… Même lui n’aura pu satisfaire les colons israéliens qui
l’attaquèrent pour avoir « bloqué » l’expansion des colonies illégales
groupe Stern (Lehi) a tenté d’assassiner le président Truman; selon
Victor Ostrovsky le Mossad a déjà tenté de tuer le président George
Bush, qui disait « Je ne suis qu’un petit homme isolé qui se bat contre
la puissance politique d’un millier de lobbyistes du Capitole »