Billionaire Casino owner Sheldon Adelson is not wracked by doubt. In Sheldon’s world there is no such thing as the Palestinian People, there was never anything to negotiate with Iran, and Israel’s Capitol is Jerusalem.

Sheldon has no trouble keeping things simple and no problem getting to the point.

In dealing with the Trump Campaign, Adelson was reluctant to come in big because, like everybody else, he didn’t think Trump could win. By late October, Adelson was sufficiently convinced that there was enough of a chance that Trump could surprise that it was better to be in than out.

So he came in to the tune of $30 Million to Trump with about 10 days to go and another $5 Million for the Trump Inaugural Committee. A total of $35 Million from a man with a net worth of $35 Billion…no strain, plenty of opportunity to gain.

Before that contribution was made I think we can safely assume that Trump and Adelson spent about 30 seconds talking about “good government” in general and a couple of hours talking about the particulars of Adelson’s latter life passion (since his marriage to his second wife, Israeli born Miriam, in 1991)…Israel.

I continue to be amazed at the number of people who know a lot about a lot and know almost nothing about Sheldon Adelson. Born into a relatively poor Jewish family in heavily Irish Catholic Dorchester, MA I’m sure he took his knocks but there is no doubt he came out with a formidable toughness and focus that have made him the most powerful private citizen in two countries…Israel and the United States.

In Israel, he helped defeat an Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, when Sheldon thought he was being too accommodative to the Palestinians and he has sustained and supported Netanyahu through his Newspaper, Israel Hayom, that has the widest circulation in Israel. Netanyahu and Adelson talk frequently…the October 17, 2017 Israel Times reported 117 telephone conversations between the two during a three year period, 2012-2015.

In the US the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) building in Washington is named after Sheldon Adelson because of his contribution to its funding. Sheldon has since separated himself from AIPAC because he thought they were becoming too soft on issues involving Palestinians. Now, he selectively funds hard right organizations that oppose concepts like “two-state” solutions and any initiative that would lead in any way towards normalization of relations with Iran.

Adelson’s power goes beyond his money and his willingness to spend it. It includes his brutal, and strangely endearing, simplicity in dealing with what the rest of the world views as “intractable” problems. When a questioner asked Sheldon a question about whether Israel (given the relative birth rates of the Jews and Palestinians) could be both Jewish and Democratic if there were not a two state solution Sheldon replied…”so it won’t be democratic”.

Speaking at Yeshiva University in New York in 2013 someone asked Sheldon a question about how the US should negotiate with Iran. His answer: “What’s there to negotiate? You take out your cellphone and call Nebraska…where we store the atom bombs…and you say send one over. It goes off in the Iranian desert and doesn’t hurt a soul…maybe a few scorpions and snakes…and you tell them the next one is in downtown Tehran.”

So, with this Iran Deal, Sheldon let a little time go by. He’s got time. He’s 84 but he’s a young 84. The law calls for the US President to Certify to the Congress every 90 days whether Iran is in compliance. Trump made the certification twice following the advice of his Defense Department and Allies…Germany, France and the UK who are also signatories to the deal.

Come early October Sheldon decided to remind Trump of their earlier conversations. Didn’t Trump say the Iran Deal was “the worst deal ever”? Do your part. Don’t certify compliance.

It would have been difficult to face down Adelson after taking $35 Million from him a year earlier.

Too tough for Trump.

He did what he was told.

Trump is a bit player in Sheldon Adelson’s Dream for a bigger, better, stronger Israel…a useful idiot available on the cheap.


Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.