Gingrich and Netanyahu backer, Sheldon Adelson, forge strong alliance

The Forward reports: In the battle for the Republican pro-Israel vote, Newt Gingrich lacks Mitt Romney’s broad base of prominent Jewish donors. But he has something potentially more powerful: the support of one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s most significant American backers, and a relationship with the Israeli prime minister himself that stretches back decades.

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, one of the wealthiest men in the world and a major donor to Jewish and conservative causes, is widely known as a Netanyahu stalwart. Less well known are his equally close ties to Gingrich, to whom he has been a major giver in recent years.

Adelson’s faith in Gingrich hasn’t been particularly contagious. High-profile Jewish supporters of Gingrich remain tough to find, even as Gingrich has rocketed into the GOP lead in national polling. Still, the former House speaker’s ties to Adelson, his relationship with Netanyahu and a foreign policy team packed with neoconservatives leave him well situated in the competition for pro-Israel voters.

Neither a spokesman for Adelson nor for the Gingrich campaign responded to repeated requests for comment for this story. But the alliance of Adelson and Gingrich is famous in Jewish Republican circles.

“They have been tremendous fans and supporters of Newt from day one,” Fred Zeidman, a Texas oil executive and prominent Republican Jewish supporter of Romney, said of Adelson and his wife, Miriam.

Adelson, who ranked eighth in Forbes’s 2011 list of the richest Americans, is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns casinos in Las Vegas and Macau, China. He has been a major funder of Taglit-Birthright Israel, which sends young Diaspora Jews on free trips to Israel, and has been among the most significant American supporters of Netanyahu.

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3 thoughts on “Gingrich and Netanyahu backer, Sheldon Adelson, forge strong alliance

  1. dickerson3870

    RE: “Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson…is widely known as a Netanyahu stalwart. Less well known are his equally close ties to Gingrich, to whom he has been a major giver in recent years.” ~ Forward article

    SEE: Is the Twice-Divorced Newt Gingrich Converting to Catholicism for a 2012 Run? ~ by Max Blumenthal, 03/31/09

    (excerpt)…With this act and Gingrich’s subsequent conversion, [Deal] Hudson [a leading Catholic conservative] said Gingrich has ratified his devotion to the “theocon” agenda. “Newt’s conversion represents about as radical a rejection of secularism and relativism as you can make,” Hudson told me.
    With more than $5 million from right-wing casino baron Sheldon Adelson, Gingrich recently founded a conservative nonprofit called Renewing American Leadership. Among the group’s planned activities, which appear coordinated with a who’s who of the Christian right, are a series of “tea party”-style protests against Obama’s economic plan, and the production of a film about Pope John Paul II’s role in bringing down the Soviet Union.
    According to Hudson, Gingrich’s outrage over Obama’s speech at Notre Dame was his first act as a Catholic politician. “When I learned he was about to convert, I understood his concern,” Hudson said. “He was worried about the Church he was about to enter.”
    With his sins officially expunged, Gingrich appears poised to play a decisive role in the 2012 Republican presidential sweepstakes…


  2. Norman

    Spread the money around. Gingrich has proven his contempt for the American way, or at least the 99 % of it, so to see he is willing to be a lap-dog stooge for the Israeli leadership, tells the tale.

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