Zionist Casino Donor pops another 10 million into dead dog Newt campaign
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s faltering campaign is about to get another shot in the arm, CBS News has learned.
Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (More on him below) plans to give another $10 million to the outside group backing the former Georgia lawmaker who is running behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, a source close to Adelson told CBS News.
Adleson and his family have already given $11 million to “Winning our Future,” the super PAC backing Gingrich. The group, which bombarded the airwaves in South Carolina last month ahead of the primary there, is largely credited with helping Gingrich win in the Palmetto state.
The latest $10 million cash injection would raise the Adelson family’s contribution to $21 million, and a different source close to Adelson said he is prepared to drop another $4 million for a total of $25 million. The Huffington Post calculated that the billionaire casino owner earns about $3.3 million an hour.
The donation is expected to arrive at “Winning Our Future” within days, the source said, but still too late to make deadline for the scheduled release of donations on February 20th. The donation details are expected to be revealed in the March 20th filing with the Federal Election Commission.
Adelson has previously indicated his support for Gingrich is based on their shared commitment to Israel. But the billionaire has also indicated that despite his ongoing support for Gingrich, he will maintain a commitment to whoever becomes the Republican nominee.
A “Winning Our Future” spokesman declined comment.
In 2007, Adelson made an unsuccessful bid to purchase the Israeli newspaper Maariv. When this failed, he proceeded with parallel plans to publish a free daily newspaper to compete with Israeli, a newspaper he had co-founded in 2006 but had left. The first edition of the new newspaper, Israel HaYom, was published on July 30, 2007.
According to Target Group Index(TGI) survey published in July 2011, Israel HaYom, which unlike all other Israeli newspapers is distributed for free, became the number one daily newspaper (on weekdays) four years after its inception.This survey found that Israel HaYom has a 39.3% weekday readership exposure, Yedioth Ahronoth 37%, Maariv 12.1%, and Haaretz 5.8%. The Yedioth Ahronoth weekend edition is still leading with 44.3% readership exposure, compared to 31% for the Israel HaYom weekend edition, 14.9% for Maariv, and 6.8% for Haaretz. This trend was already observed by a TGI survey in July 2010.
In 2006 Adelson contributed $25 million to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.Since 2007, the Adelson Family Foundation has made contributions totaling $100 million to Birthright Israel, which finances Jewish youth trips to Israel.
In 2010, Adelson donated $1 million to American Solutions for Winning the Future, a political action committee (PAC) supporting Republican former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. In December 2011, during Gingrich’s bid for the U.S. presidency, Adelson spoke favorably of controversial remarks Gingrich had made about Palestinians, saying “read the history of those who call themselves Palestinians, and you will hear why Gingrich said recently that the Palestinians are an invented people.”
Should a Dual citizen like Adelson be able to single-handedly support a candidate for POTUS?
Critics have said Adelson’s backing of Gingrich ushers in a dangerous new world where America’s wealthiest people might feel able to single-handedly sponsor a major candidate’s bid for the White House.
It is not just the American right that is Adelson’s great political passion. There is also Israel. Always proud of his Jewish heritage, Adelson’s activism took a pronounced leap when he married his second wife, Miriam, in 1991. She was an Israeli citizen who had been working in New York. The Adelsons are friends of Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and Adelson purchased a Hebrew-language newspaper to support him.
Adelson is an impassioned opponent of an independent Palestine. He has given at least $60m to the charity Taglit-Birthright, which brings young Jewish Americans on trips to Israel. He has established a thinktank in Jerusalem and given large sums of cash to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust research centre. In the US he has donated to the lobbying group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, helping fund the trips of Republican congressmen to Israel.
All of this dovetails with Gingrich’s policies on Israel. Gingrich has vowed that on the very first day of his administration he would order America’s Israeli embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has called for regime change in Iran and repeatedly denied that Palestinians are a real people, saying instead they have been “invented”.
*Abraham Foxman, the amiably chatty director of the Jewish civil rights group, the Anti-Defamation League, has a story to tell about his friend, the 78-year-old multi-billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
BIGGER THAN AIPAC?
As the Washington Post article points out, Adelson and his Israeli-born wife, Miriam, have spent time and money lobbying for a bill to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Gingrich has promised that his first executive order as president would be the embassy move.
Adelson is an ardent Zionist. Since 2007 the Adelson Family Foundation has made contributions totaling $100 million to Birthright Israel, which finances Jewish youth trips to Israel, Adelson is such a hard-line Zionist that he even stopped supporting AIPAC when it appeared to support a 2007 peace initiative championed by Olmert, President Bush, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
In 2009, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which is a hard-line Zionist group that wants Israel to retain the occupied territories and expand the Jewish settlements, presented Adelson its most distinguished and historic award, the Theodor Herzl Gold Medallion for outstanding achievement in Zionism. His wife received the Louis D. Brandeis Award. The couple now have their names on one of ZOA’s major awards, the Dr. Miriam & Sheldon Adelson Defender of Israel Award.
Adelson is intimately involved in Israeli politics. Since 2007, Adelson has owned a daily newspaper in Israel called Israel Hayom, which distributed free of charge, has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the country. The newspaper is ultra-supportive of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to whom Adelson is a close ideological ally and personal friend. The newspaper also has been doing much to promote Gingrich.
Like most American conservatives, Gingrich purports to identify with the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, but catering to a person with a view such as Adelson’s puts Gingrich in a position completely opposite to that of George Washington, who, in his Farewell Address of 1796, warned Americans of the grave danger of those who had a “passionate attachment” to a foreign country.
When the Republicans presidential candidates (Ron Paul being the exception) have talked about foreign policy, it often seems that they are running for the top spot in the Israeli Likud Party, rather than President of the United States of America. Consequently, it is difficult for any candidate to outdo his competitors. However, Sheldon Adelson’s financial backing of Gingrich would seem to indicate that he is the best candidate from the standpoint of the Israeli Right. And Gingrich might go a little farther than his competitors since he even suggests clemency for Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.
Sheldon Adelson,saying he “unfortunately” wore the uniform of the American military not the Israeli army, and that he wants his son to be a sniper for the Israeli army (4:45 on). “All we care about is being good citizens of Israel.”