In Sheldon Adelson, Far Right Israel Hits the Jackpot

He bet millions on Trump and now his every wish is fulfilled–at the expense of Middle East peace.


A bet on Donald Trump for president may have seemed risky two years ago. But for billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the payout has been spectacular.

The 85-year-old and his wife Miriam gave $82 million to Republicans and candidate Trump in 2016, and within two years watched their man execute two major Adelson asks: moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

This was accomplished in consultation with Adelson comprador John Bolton, who in December 2016 promised members of the American Friends of Beit El that Trump would not only move the embassy—declaring Jerusalem the true capital of Israel—but that he would not oppose any Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank territories. Adelson is also credited with opening the door for Bolton’s appointment to national security adviser in March.

Meanwhile, Adelson has enjoyed a direct line to Trump, speaking with him in person and on the phone at least once a month. Most recently Adelson was able to convince the president to cut off U.S. aid to Palestinian refugees living in crowded, dirty, and unrelentingly hopeless refugee camps outside Israel. Around the same time, Trump withdrew $25 million in assistance from impoverished East Jerusalem hospitals that also serve Palestinian cancer patients allowed in from the West Bank and Gaza for treatment.

Of course, Adelson’s pro-Zionist agenda, which includes expanding the settlements as far as they can go—most recently pouring his money into a huge new Israeli medical university on one of those settlements—is in sync with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. It’s been a great year for all involved.

And why not? For the first time in recent presidential history, there is no pretense of peace with the Arabs. Trump’s endorsement of a two-state solution at the recent United Nations General Assembly in September may have appeared hopeful, but it was as lame as it was patronizing. “I like [a] two-state solution,” Trump offered spontaneously, posing for smiling photographs with Netanyahu. “That’s what I think works best. That’s my feeling.”

For someone who supposedly has a “peace plan” but hasn’t announced it after two years in office, his “feelings” are as worthless as poker chips outside a casino. Maybe that’s why Bibi didn’t offer much of a response. After declaring he would consider Trump’s non-existent plan “with a keen and open mind,” Netanyahu reiterated that any Palestinian state endorsed by Israel will be an unarmed one. So not really a state at all. …


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