Washington Watch: Wake up Sheldon

In a letter to other rich Jews, Adelson said Trump would be “tremendous” for Israel. Not so, countered 50 leading Republican national security officials, many of them Jewish.

August 17, 2016 20:45
4 minute read.
Donald Trump (L) and Sheldon Adelson

Donald Trump (L) and Sheldon Adelson. (photo credit: REUTERS)

It’s time for Sheldon Adelson to wake up and smell the falafel, and revoke his offer to spend up to $100 million to elect Donald Trump.

There’s no love lost between the two billionaires. Adelson, number 15 on the Forbes 400 list at $26 billion and a successful casino operator, felt insulted when Trump, No. 121 at $4.5b. (not the $10b. he boasts about but can’t prove) and a failed casino operator, dissed wealthy Republican Jews at a meeting at Adelson’s casino calling them “hondlers” and telling them they couldn’t buy him because he didn’t need their money.

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But after the top two choices of Sheldon (Marco Rubio) and Miriam (Ted Cruz) Adelson fell away, they turned to Trump.

In a letter to other rich Jews, Adelson said Trump would be “tremendous” for Israel. Not so, countered 50 leading Republican national security officials, many of them Jewish.

A president Trump would be an unreliable and potentially dangerous ally of Israel, the experts told The Jerusalem Post. “If he’s willing to throw NATO under the bus, Israelis are foolish if they think he would ever come to Israel’s aid if Israel came under attack,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official.

“Whatever sympathetic noises Trump may currently make about Israel, it’s important to remember that he does not possess clear, steady political convictions,” said Aaron Friedberg, former top adviser to vice president Dick Cheney, and he could not be expected to stand by Israel or any other friend.

Adelson was unhappy with Trump until he was the last Republican standing and picked him because of his own GOP loyalties and loathing for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

They were unhappy with Trump, saying he’d be neutral in any Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, that he just wanted to cut a deal. Trump refused to oppose Palestinian statehood, move the US Embassy to Jerusalem or announce that he’d abrogate the Iran nuclear deal on Day One. He also has said that Israel and other recipients of foreign aid should reimburse the US Treasury.

Of course, all of Trump’s positions are in constant flux, so there’s no way of knowing where he really stands on Israel or anything else. I doubt he does himself.

That should worry Adelson.

It’s hard to see how Adelson, who has launched a major campaign to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses, could be unaware of Trump’s large and vocal following of white supremacists and anti-Semites, and how his candidacy has reenergized that ugly faction.

And if he knows about it, why does he ignore it? Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, told conservative radio host Charlie Sykes that the GOP candidate’s Muslim ban may extend to Christians and Jews, Huffington Post reported. Pence, who once called Trump’s proposal “offensive and unconstitutional,” now calls it “altogether fitting and appropriate.”

Even locked away in his penthouse suites at his casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore and Macao, Adelson can’t escape knowing how the unstable megalomaniac he is bankrolling reacts to the least provocation, even the most innocent or unintentional.

Sheldon, think how he’d respond if your pal Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said or did or said something that offended Trump. Do you think he’d shrug it off? Or would he lash out irrationally, explaining that he’s fighter who hits back harder than he was hit? Do you really think Trump would let him get away with some of the stuff Netanyahu pulled on Obama? Not even a crying baby or a Gold Star mother is immune to his ill-tempered outbursts, so why should the prime minister of Israel be? Did Adelson naively believe Trump when he said that six-pointed star over a pile of money in an anti-Clinton ad had no anti-Semitic message and was just a sheriff’s badge? Notwithstanding his daughter’s conversion, Trump shows a disturbing tolerance for anti-Semitism and an undisputed tendency toward racism and bigotry.

Sheldon, ask yourself, why is Trump so popular among white supremacists and anti-Semites? The head of the American Nazi Party, Rocky Suhayda, said Trump’s views are hugely popular among his followers. Rachel Pendergraft, a Ku Klux Klan standard- bearer, says Trump’s candidacy is a successful recruiting tool for white supremacists. Former KKK grand wizard David Duke, an outspoken anti-Semite, said the Republican standard-bearer’s “support comes from people who are more like me than he might like to admit.”

Trump may eventually reject their endorsements but he hasn’t changed the positions they admire.

Adelson and other right-wing Jews may like the GOP platform opposing Palestinian statehood and their candidate’s pro-settlement stance, but if they’re betting that Trump would deliver on that or any other promise the odds in one of Sheldon’s casinos would be at least 1,000,000 to 1.

Does Adelson really think a bigot who turns on immigrants, Mexicans, Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims and other minorities can’t just as easily turn on Jews? If Middle East policy is important to Trump, why does he put it in the hands of his bankruptcy lawyer and not a seasoned expert? It’s time for Adelson to join the Republican exodus leaving Trump. So far six sitting (plus four former) US senators, 11 members of the House, two governors and assorted other officials have declared their party’s nominee is unfit for the presidency.

Do you want to be remembered at Trump’s $100 million Jewish enabler?

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