Israel-Firster Sheldon Adelson regrets serving in U.S. instead of Israeli military

NBC reports Newt Gingrich’s leading backer, Sheldon Adelson, speaking in Israel in 2010, said:

I am not Israeli, the uniform that I wore in the military unfortunately was not an Israeli uniform, it was an American uniform, although my wife was in the IDF, and one of my daughters was in the IDF, and my two little boys — our two little boys one of whom will be bar mitzvahed tomorrow… hopefully he’ll come back [to Israel], his hobby is shooting and he’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF.

“All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart,” he said toward the end of his talk.

Sig Rogich, a veteran Republican operative who serves as Adelson’s government affairs consultant, when asked about Adelson’s comments said: “No one could possibly ever think that he is anything but a loyal American. He’s shown that time and time again.”
(H/t Ali Abunimah)

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6 thoughts on “Israel-Firster Sheldon Adelson regrets serving in U.S. instead of Israeli military

  1. delia ruhe

    I take it that Adelson would not agree with those other Zionists, who claim that Israel’s and America’s interests are identical — in which case it wouldn’t matter which uniform one wears.

    The fact of the matter is that Zionism is in real trouble. Israel has betrayed Zionist principles in its panic over demographic “facts on the ground.” Among which facts is that Jewish emigration, low Jewish birthrates, along with other factors (not to mention fudging census numbers), have practically cancelled out immigration, and the migration balance hovers near zero. Projects like Adelson’s support for the highly unsuitable Gingrich is only one among a mountain of panicky strategies to keep at bay an anachronistic Zionism and severely weakened support for Israel among Diaspora Jews.

    I often think that America’s “rock solid support of Israel’s security” has more to do with who’s soon gonna be in charge of those 200 Israeli nukes — religious fanatics and settler extremists — than it does with any altruistic sense of loyalty to an ally.

  2. Norman

    Mr Adelson should then do the right thing, renounce his American citizenship, forfeit every $$$$$ he’s made at the expense of the people of the U.S. and move to Israel permanently. Of course, then he’d be just another insignificant mouth to feed.

  3. Tom Hall

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a parent confide- before what amounts to a global audience- that his fondest wish for his young son is that the boy become a sniper. And when he adds that the youth would quite enjoy operating Predator drones, I have to say- without knowing anything of the son- that the father is a moral barbarian. This really is a new low in the annals of American Zionism.

  4. breid

    sheldon my boy, it’s not to late. with your money my guess the hebrews would trip over themselves to let you. again, with your money you could be some kind of a flunky general, somewhere over there. please don’t the door hit you on the way out. breid

  5. DE Teodoru

    The ambiguity exhibited by Adelson in this video shows his mental eggbeater at work muddling himself as well as others. It raised lots of questions about how such a “flow of consciousness” got so rich. Well, there was a time when he was a hard worker and he was smart enough to hire smart people to make him rich. There’s no need for mysteries about that. He’s not the first and won’t be the last.
    But the real issue is how he muddles “Israeli” and “American” nationality, both for himself and for his family. This kind of mindless chutzpah feeds anti-Semitism and it may well turn on him long before his son gets to be an IDF sniper. Whatever muddle goes through his mind is his right to express, but he should remember that a lot of Jews that are as American as apple pie– and with no such muddle in their minds as to what they are– may well suffer the consequences of his muddle. Worst still, that muddle is made public AFTER he intervened financially with $millions in American politics, despite being unsure whether he’s an American or an Israeli.
    I can only say that if we had better studied what drove Germans to the Holocaust– most of it having nothing to do with most European Jews and the millions of Holocaust victims– we will find that in bad times, exploiters of people’s last dollar like this guy (gambling is always where the poor go in desperation to risk their last dollar) who nevertheless insult the nation that they get rich in by being so unsure in public of their nationality, make scapegoats of people who he identifies with Zionism while being a cash interventionist in American politics, though swearing loyalty to another country.
    Gingrich is not out to be president; somehow, as he did after being Speaker of the House, he has come to believe that he can make money failing to be elected. I would suggest that by putting together Gingrich’s antiUS policy and denunciation of America’s Middle East policy, while a paid comedy act for Adelson, makes a lot of Jews vulnerable and– WHILE WE SHOULD ALL KEEP IN MIND THAT IF YOU LOCK SIX JEWS IN A ROOM YOU GET ETERNAL DEBATE BETWEEN SEVEN OPINIONS– Zionists have tried as “neocons” to insist that they speak FOR American Jewry, it being solidly behind them. The neocons, having gotten us into losing wars, still want to get us into yet another with Iran. Though the neocons have denounced any non-Jew who criticized them as an anti-Semite and any Jew who doesn’t stand with them a “self-hating Jew,” they know that they don’t speak for most Jews. And so they try to make a posh living pretending they do by blithering out extremist Zionist opinions publicly. We just went through eight years of war during which they tried to pretend that they are Bush’s brain. Now, as the Iran issue is about to split us with Israel, such videos os that of Adelson, rather than make everyone docile and compliant, will stir enough crazies in this democracy to create can atmosphere where there will be no more democracy. We saw what happened to the German democracy, fallen on hard times. Mr. Adelson&Co ought to be more responsible. So I would say: “Mr. Adelson, play the Las Vegas rather than Tel Aviv Zionist in public– the Zionist who doesn’t know whether he’s Israeli or American– or be the Republican money bag. But don’t do both as you are playing with fire. You and your wife can risk your skins if you want, but 6 million American Jews, I think, would say in outrage, SCHMUCK, SHUT YOUR WALLET OR YOUR MOUTH!”

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