Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Blog

Ny Nicole Abi-Esber

2012 Summer Intern

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire who largely bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, has begun to donate large sums of money to GOP super-PACs.

Before he began to lend his support to the presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Adelson kept Gingrich’s failed bid for the nomination afloat (donating over $20 million), largely because of Gingrich’s hawkish stance on Israel/ Palestine. Regarding Gingrich, Adelson has said: ““There is not a better advocate for Israel.” And Adelson fervently endorsed Gingrich’s statement that “Palestinians are an invented people.”

Such controversial remarks regarding the Palestinians are right in line with Adelson’s Middle East ideology. He has previously remarked that “the two-state solution is a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” and has even gone so far as to publicly express remorse that he served in the United States military instead of the Israeli Defense Forces, saying in a speech that “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.” Adelson even broke with AIPAC in 2007 when the lobbying group supported economic aid to the Palestinians.

Support for Israel was certainly a big part of the reason Adelson endorsed Gingrich for as long as he did and Adelson’s perception that Obama is not pro-Israel enough is driving his pro-Romney funding. Adelson considers the 2012 presidential elections to be the most important presidential race in his lifetime. According to the New York Times, “no American is dedicating as much of his money to defeat President Obama as Sheldon Adelson.” This is partly because, according to Adelson, “Obama is ‘the worst president’ for Israel.”

And he’s putting his money where his mouth is. So far, Adelson has given $10 million to a Mitt Romney Super PAC. He has promised to give at least $10 million dollars to Karl Rove’s organization (Crossroads GPS) which sponsors attack ads against Obama and other Democrats. Sources say that at least another $10 million if not more will go to Republican Congressional super PACs and that another $10 million will probably go to an anti-Obama group founded by the Koch brothers. But these multi-million dollar contributions may well be just the tip of the iceberg; Adelson has been quoted as saying that further pro-Romney, anti-Obama donations could potentially be “limitless.” One can only hope that a single individual will not be able to influence the outcome of an entire presidential race, but the full impact of Adelson’s campaign contributions is yet to be seen.

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