May 29, 2013, - 4:48 pm
Throughout 2012–before and AFTER the Presidential elections–I heard from many whiny anti-Semites on the right who blamed the Jews for Obama’s financing and re-election. I asked them if they were willing to give back the $100 million JEWISH casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gave to finance Mitt Romney’s campaign for President and those of many Congressional Republicans. And, of course, there usually wasn’t a response. Full disclosure: I’ve met and know Adelson, and he maxed out in donating to my campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives when I ran and lost by just one vote. He’s a very cool guy. So proud to be American and so proud to be Jewish, too. I don’t agree with him on everything (he’s socially more liberal than I am), but on the important business, national security, and Middle East issues, he’s spot on (except the “two-state” pollution business). And I think the son of a Lithuanian-born cab driver (and publisher of Israel’s most popular newspaper, Israel Hayom [Israel Today]) would have been a better candidate for office than Romney and many of that ilk. In case you haven’t read his interview in The New York Times and another in the Los Angeles Times, they are great stuff. I like him because he is willing to tell the stark, honest truth, whereas many American Jews of his stature and prominence are far too wimpy and politically correct to do so. Here are the important excerpts:
New York Times quotes Adelson . . .
He trashed the prospects for peace with the Palestinians. He tried to school American reporters on the history of the Middle East. . . .
Asked about Secretary of State John Kerry’s plan to infuse as much as $4 billion into the economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, much of it to build tourism, Mr. Adelson responded, “Why would I want to invest money with people who want to kill my people?”
“How can you move a ball forward when the Israelis legitimately want peace and the Palestinians want Israel piece by piece?” he said of Mr. Kerry’s broader effort to revive the stalemated peace process. “Have you ever heard any Palestinian say, ‘We have to give up our hope of destroying Israel in favor of living in peace.’ ?”
As for the Palestinians, Mr. Adelson said, “They teach their children that Jews are descended from swine and apes, pigs and monkeys.” Then he questioned their existence as a distinct ethnic group, saying they were “southern Syrians” or Egyptians until Yasir Arafat, who was leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, “came along with a pitcher of Kool-Aid and gave it to everybody to drink and sold them the idea of Palestinians.”
These ideas, staples of the far right, are deeply offensive to the Palestinians — perhaps partly the point.
So how would Mr. Adelson resolve the long-running conflict? “Put up a big fence around our territory and say to the guys over there, your trucks can’t go over our land if you carry weapons, your planes can’t go over our airspace if they carry weapons,” he said. “How do you recognize a partner for peace when all they want to do is kill you and your people?”
Los Angeles Times . . .
Casino billionaire and Israel supporter Sheldon Adelson said Tuesday that U.S. efforts to restart Mideast peace talks are doomed until Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state. Speaking during a break at the Jerusalem International Tourism Summit, Adelson, 80, also said he would not be investing any of his fortune in Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s new $4-billion private investment plan to develop the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
What do you think about what Secretary Kerry is doing? Is there any chance to move the ball forward on the peace process?
I won’t comment about Kerry. But I’ll ask you: How can you move the ball forward when the Israelis legitimately want peace and the Palestinians want Israel, piece by piece. I don’t know one Israeli that doesn’t want peace. It’s the other side that doesn’t want peace. When they teach their children that Jews are descended from swine and apes, pigs and monkeys, and their charter calls for the destruction of Israel … how are you going to have peace? I’m all in favor of peace. I don’t care if it’s [a] two-state solution or not. Everybody deserves to live in peace. But I don’t see the leadership from the so-called Palestinians that says to their people, “We have to prepare to give up our charter that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.” Have you heard any Palestinian say we have to give up our hope of destroying Israel in favor of living in peace?
I don’t think the destruction of Israel is in the minds of a lot of Palestinians.
Really? How naïve and how ignorant can you be? I don’t understand why they teach their children to hate and kill Jews.
A lot of Israeli Jews are concerned about what the lack of peace is doing to the Jewish, democratic state. Are you worried that if there is no two-state solution, it will threaten Israel?
That’s completely irrelevant and that’s propaganda-ish. It’s plain stupidity to recognize a partner that wants to kill you [in order to achieve] peace.
So what’s the solution?
Put a big fence around our country and say to the guys over there that the trucks can’t go over our land if they carry weapons, the planes can’t go over our airspace if they carry weapons. Period. [Tell them,] you want to have a state, go do it the way you want.
Kerry is proposing a $4-billion private investment plan for the Palestinian territories and says it’s important to coordinate the tourism industries of Israel, West Bank and Jordan. Would you want to participate in that?
Why would I want to invest money with people who want to kill me? Of course I won’t be part.
Spot on, baby.
Adelson, who is a very energetic 80 years old, says 80 is the new 60. And maybe he’s right. At least in his case.
Tags: Israel, Israel Hayom, Israel Today, Jews, Sheldon Adelson