June 25, 2012 · 0 Comments
Above: Sheldon Adelson
By Philip Weiss:
There is a beautiful editorial in the New York Times [yesterday] called, “What Sheldon Adelson Wants.” It is beautiful because this has been a crushing political issue for our country since 2000 at the very least, when Adelson, one of the richest men in the world, set out to scuttle the Camp David “peace process” and pack the next administration with neoconservatives, and achieved both ends; and for years our journalists have avoided the question, but now they’re not avoiding it. The Times says Adelson’s Israel agenda is “wildly at odds with” the country’s needs. Bravo:
No American is dedicating as much of his money to defeat President Obama as Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who also happens to have made more money in the last three years than any other American. He is the perfect illustration of the squalid state of political money, spending sums greater than any political donation in history to advance his personal, ideological and financial agenda, which is wildly at odds with the nation’s needs….
[What does he want?] The first answer is clearly his disgust for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supported by President Obama and most Israelis. He considers a Palestinian state “a steppingstone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” and has called the Palestinian prime minister a terrorist. He is even further to the right than the main pro-Israeli lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which he broke with in 2007 when it supported economic aid to the Palestinians.
Mr. Romney is only slightly better, saying the Israelis want a two-state solution but the Palestinians do not, accusing them of wanting to eliminate Israel. The eight-figure checks are not paying for a more enlightened answer.
Writes a wise friend:
I think this editorial in today’s NYT about Sheldon Adelson is powerful evidence of the extent to which the discourse on Israel is changing. The fact that they say he is having a major influence on the campaign — probably more than any other individual — and that his main concern is Israel is quite amazing. And, they are also subtly making the point: it’s really all about money.
I don’t know whether my mind is playing tricks on me or what, but I am struck these days by how out of touch with reality Israel’s staunchest defenders seem to be and how rational-legal its critics appear. I read stuff by Foxman and Dershowitz and I just shake my head. They seem delusional. And contrast Robert Wright with Jeffrey Goldberg. One operates in our world; the other outside it. And it is not because I agree with Wright and disagree with Goldberg on most issues; no, Goldberg is operating in another universe. I can’t help but think lots of people understand this, as reflected in the transformation of Sullivan’s and Wright’s thinking over time.
So, three cheers for the Times. The newspaper also speaks of Adelson’s financial interests in a Republican regime but emphasizes his Israel agenda. I don’t find the financial interest significant because a, this guy is going to make money regardless, and b, he is a dual loyalty case who says he regrets wearing an American uniformand wants his son to be an Israeli sniper. I.e., he’s a zealot. And now the Times is opening the door on his motivation.
Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.