Very few Americans know who Sheldon Adelson is and fewer still appreciate that, as America’s leading political donor, when he speaks the Republican Party listens. By virtue of his largesse, he has been able to direct GOP policy in the Middle East in favor of Israel, which might well be regarded as his true home while the United States exists more as a faithful friend that can be produced at intervals whenever Israel finds itself in need of a bit of cash or political cover.
Adelson’s recent successes in translating his political donations into policy favorable to Israel have included shifting the US Embassy to Jerusalem, cutting aid to Palestinians, ending the Iranian nuclear monitoring agreement and closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic office in Washington. All those Trump Administration measures were reportedly worked out privately by Adelson speaking directly with the president.
Adelson’s activities in buying politicians reflect what he believes, he reportedly having said that “there’s no such thing as a Palestinian.” Nor does his world view include much concern for the country that has sheltered him and made him wealthy. He served in the US Army in World War 2 and has said that he regrets having done so, as he would rather have worn an Israeli army uniform. He also expressed his desire that his son might become an Israeli Army sniper.
Adelson benefits from his exceptional access to the White House to the detriment of actual American interests. A New York Times article “Sheldon Adelson Sees a Lot to Like in Trump’s Washington,” states that he “enjoys a direct line to the president” and meets the president monthly “in private in-person meetings and phone conversations.” He has been delighted with the openly expressed threats emanating from the Administration’s key foreign and national security policy spokesmen regarding Iran. He would like to see the United States go to war with the Iranians to destroy their government and bring about some kind of regime change, and, judging from recent developments, he just might get what he seeks, which could easily have catastrophic consequences for the entire region and beyond.
Adelson is somewhat unhinged on the issue of Iran and has even called for dropping a nuclear bomb on a desert region of the country as a negotiating tactic to show “we mean business” so Washington could then “impose its demands [on Iran] from a position of strength.” If Iran continued to resist, Adelson would to drop the next one on Tehran. If Tehran were to be nuked millions of Iranians would die, which doesn’t bother Adelson one bit. Such a development would, in Adelson’s opinion, be good for Israel, which is his primary concern.
Adelson’s power over policy makers is also evident in what the White House does not do. Israeli snipers have shot dead at least 143 unarmed Arab demonstrators in Gaza without so much as a word of condemnation coming out of Washington. Indeed, the Donald Trump Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has gone out of his way to defend the killings and also to support the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
Adelson is also widely believed to have had a hand in personnel changes in the White House. He has used his money and influence to advance the careers of United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while also arranging the removal of H.R. McMaster and Rex Tillerson for “being anti-Israeli” and not sufficiently willing to go to war with Iran. Defense Secretary James Mattis, the only actual adult remaining in the room when foreign policy is discussed, is believed to be the next target for removal.
How does Adelson do it? Money talks. He is worth an estimated $35 billion. His fortune came from casinos both in the US and in China, which some might consider to be promotion of vice. To buy and maintain the Republican support for right wing Zionist policies he has donated what is for him pocket change, $55 million so far this year in support of GOP candidates in the Midterm elections. In 2016, he gave large sums to the Trump campaign and to other Republicans, donating $35 million to the former and $55 million to two top Republican PACs — the Congressional Leadership Fund and the Senate Leadership Fund.
In America’s corrupt political culture, a monster like Sheldon Adelson can buy both a White House and Congress on behalf of a foreign government for a paltry $150 million or so. It is a reasonable investment for him given his views, as through him Israel is able to control a large slice of American foreign policy while also receiving billions of dollars each year from the US Treasury. And for those who think it would be different if the Democrats were in charge, think again. The Democrats have their own Adelson. His name is Haim Saban, an Israeli-American media magnate who has said he is a “one issue guy and my issue is Israel.” He is also the largest individual contributor to the Democratic Party.