Commentary Magazine


Adelson on What Adelson Wants

Several months ago, the New York Times editorial column ran a piece headlined “What Sheldon Adelson Wants” (which is sort of like Russia Today running a story on “What the National Endowment for Democracy Wants”). The Times’s answers ranged from money, to ending a Justice Department investigation, to Adelson’s supposed opposition to a two-state solution.

“He is even further to the right than the main pro-Israeli lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,” the editorial board wrote breathlessly. Today, Adelson finally weighed in with a column for the JNS wire service.

He writes that his support for Romney is based on his opinion that Romney would be more supportive of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Adelson’s concerns seem to hew closely to the concerns voiced by Democratic critics of Obama’s Israel record. He cites Obama’s rejection of a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu last month, his support for “daylight,” and his foot-dragging on sanctions, among many other issues.

Adelson also pushed back against the duel-loyalty charges that have colored some of the news coverage of him:

To be sure, no one should argue that Jews must support Romney just because he is more reliable on Israel. But neither should they dismiss him because they don’t agree with his every position. When the Jewish homeland is at stake, we must not let ourselves be fooled by Obama’s oration skills. Nor can we afford to ignore his troubling track record on Israel.

Those who support Obama are asking the rest of us to trust a president who has yet to recognize Israel’s ancient capital, a promise he made in the last election.

This wasn’t a fire-breathing, right-wing critique of Obama’s Israel policy. It was a fairly moderate one, which may surprise many of Adelson’s critics.