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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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In Vegas, GOP Jews Focus On Israel, Possible 2016 Presidential Contenders

Gov. Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie

LAS VEGAS – The GOP Jewish faithful descended in force on Las Vegas, last weekend, turning out in record numbers and striking a feisty, combative tone at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual conference.

According to organizers, some 400 people attended the gathering, where they were feted with poker and golf tournaments, and wooed by presidential hopefuls.

“In Jewish crowds, I’m tired of keeping my political views quiet,” said Barry Sobel, an asset manager from College Park, Ga. “It’s nice to be in a room of like-minded people.”

Jewish Republicans make up a distinct minority of American Jewry – President Obama won 69 percent of Jewish votes in the 2012 elections, according to exit polls – and a tiny proportion of the national electorate.

However, they wield a political clout that far exceeds their numbers, in large part because Jewish Republicans are some of the GOP’s most important donors. And no donor is more important than the host of this year’s conference, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

The conference was held in the Adelson-owned Venetian hotel and casino, and his presence loomed large over the gathering.

National media dubbed this year’s conference the “Sheldon Primary,” in recognition of the many potential Republican presidential candidates who arrived not only to address the crowds but for private sit-downs with Adelson, who spent a reported $93 million on the 2012 presidential election and has announced he will spend much more on 2016. He also is backing an effort to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Las Vegas.

Along with a Shabbat dinner address by Israel’s U.S. ambassador, Ron Dermer, and a scotch-tasting with Israeli venture capitalist Jonathan Medved, this year’s conference featured a cattle call of sorts for GOP presidential hopefuls. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush spoke to an exclusive dinner held at Adelson’s private airplane hangar while Govs. Chris Christie, Scott Walker and John Kasich, as well as John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, addressed attendees.

As they gathered beneath the Venetian glass chandeliers, painted ceilings and gold leaf ornaments of the hotel’s palatial surroundings, conference-goers echoed many of the hot-button concerns that have recently dominated the GOP discourse, but one issue consistently stood out: Israel.

Conferees could be overheard sharing tales of Democrats’ fecklessness toward the Jewish state, and it was invocations of Israel that drew the loudest applause during the speeches.

Adelson, too, has long declared that Israel is his top political issue, above even banning online gambling.

Sensitivities surrounding Israel landed Christie in a bit of hot water during his otherwise well-received speech. The New Jersey governor was holding his audience spellbound with a rapturous description of his recent trip to Israel when he tripped a rhetorical landmine.

“I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across, and just felt, personally, how extraordinary that was to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day,” Christie told the crowd.

Although Christie received a standing ovation at the end of his speech, his use of the phrase “occupied territories” upset some attendees who felt that such wording casts aspersions on Israel’s claim to the West Bank.

“Chris Christie either does not understand the issues affecting Israel or he’s not a friend of Israel,” said Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America.

Klein said he brought up the remarks with Adelson, and Politico subsequently reported that Christie had later apologized to Adelson in a private meeting.

The RJC’s executive director, Matthew Brooks, dismissed Christie’s remark as “a slip of the tongue.”

“I have every confidence that Governor Christie is an unabashed, unequivocal supporter of Israel,” Brooks said.

Christie was not the only candidate making an effort to connect with the crowd on a Judaic level. Walker spoke of how his son’s name, Matthew, translates from the Hebrew as “a gift from God,” and of lighting menorah candles at the Wisconsin governor’s mansion. Kasich described his effort to build a Holocaust memorial on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse.

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14 Responses to “In Vegas, GOP Jews Focus On Israel, Possible 2016 Presidential Contenders”

  1. Moishe Sachs says:

    None of them are as knowledgeable about America, Israel, the western world, & their problems as is Rand Paul. Since when does the best candidate have to be perfect? Ted Cruze, like Obomber, isn't eligible to be President, as I believe he isn't a natural born citizen. This will only matter regarding a Republican.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't think Christie is a friend of Israel. He has shown he sides with the Muslims in his State.

  3. Edward Lobel says:

    I do not know if what you say about chrstie and Muslims are true or not, but I do know for sure christie is no friend of Israel.

  4. Edward Lobel says:

    Moishe Sacks, you are so full of hate that you are blinded by it. President Obama was indeed born in the Untied States and just because you think he was not, does not make your right or make you look like you have any intelligence.

    Anyone who believes that randal paul knows anything about foreign policy is a low informed ignorant idiot. randal simply makes up what he thinks sounds right and that people want to hear! He is an isolationist and wants to remove our military from around the world. He does not care nor want the US to help maintain world peace by having a military presence outside the mainland of the Untied States. He is against spending money on anything with the possible exception of a small military force to protect the homeland and to maintain public roads. Aside from that, you have to pay your own way for everything. He probably could not find Israel on a world map, he is simply that ignorant. He is a confirmed liar and cheat and is not fit to be the President of the United States.

  5. Moishe Sachs says:

    Edward Lobel You spew hate & malign me falsely as a hater. There is no evidence that Obomber was born in the United States. I've followed the case since the Philly Democrat, Phil Berg, brought it up in 2007 or 8.
    This isn't the forum to go over it, but I'll post the press conference held with the results of an intensive investigation by professionals, law & document experts.

  6. Moishe Sachs says:

    Edward Lobel You spew hate & malign me falsely as a hater. There is no evidence that Obomber was born in the United States. I've followed the case since the Philly Democrat, Phil Berg, brought it up in 2007 or 8.
    This isn't the forum to go over it, but I'll post the press conference held with the results of an intensive investigation by professionals, law & document experts.
    And, Rand Paul is far more qualified than you.
    I agree that we don't need to pay to have Americans hanging around doing nothing, which is exactly what they're doing.
    And, if you think for a moment that 230 trillion in total unfunded mandates is better than Libertarianism or at least Conservatism, you're incorrect.

  7. Edward Lobel says:

    Moishe Sachs When you try to defend your lunacy you go further to show how ignorant you are.

    You can believe anything you want and offer a link to any sight you want but they are ultra right wing nut sights. You say there is no proof that President Obama was born in the United States because you do not believe the birth certificate or the newspaper articles announcing his birth, but you choose to believe the hatred that your and you other right wing nuts spew!

    Randal paul is an idiot who knows nothing about foreign policy and that's a fact. Just because you misunderstand what he says and have no understanding of what a libertarian is does not make you correct, it makes you stupid and to keep defending it allows everyone to know just how ignorant and low informed you are. God forbid he is elected, let's see how much you like it when he ends social security and Medicare and leaves you with no income or health care. You will have no one but youself to blame this on because you did not understand what kind of low life lying person randal is!

  8. Moishe Sachs says:

    Edward Lobel Caring less about facts & hiding behind ignorance & hatred don't make you correct or good. You refuse to know, spew hatred, spew misinformation, refuse to apologize, dig-in further, & are a partisan imbecile; and you're worried about me?
    Social Security didn't have enough income from today's workers, it's only income, in 2010. It had to dip into the general fund in order to pay the balance owed to 2010's recipients. All that is in the Soc. Sec. fund is IOU's.
    Since you do not even begin to understand basic economics, history, or the advantages of liberty over the Liberalism that's all but destroyed the USA over the last 110 years, & so much more that I know you don't know, & so much you do know that isn't true, I won't continue to engage with you because you're a waste product.

  9. Moishe Sachs says:

    Oh, one more thing, Obomber's long form birth cert. cannot possibly be authentic. And, Hawaii's problem with making birth announcements on the word of a relative, as well, the state's policy of that, etc. mean that, had you cared enough about your country to do your homework about this issue, you'd know have been a huge problem for many decades, you're ad hominems not withstanding.

  10. Edward Lobel says:

    A very famous Jewish man said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. He was describing you perfectly!
    No matter how many times you repeat something does not make it correct. Republicans use the Hitler big lie, "Lie to them often enough, make it outrageous enough and the will believe it" You repeat lies that you have heard over and over again and you believe them to be the truth!
    Anyone who believes President Obama was not born in the United States proves he is an ignorant fool. He is so full of hate that is one way he can say he is not legitimate. He was elected to the Presidency twice and the second time in an electoral land slide, yet you insist he was not allowed to be elected. You simply cannot accept the truth.

    It is you who are ignorant about economics and Social Security. Ronald Reagan stole the money that was in the Social Security trust fund and moved it into the general fund in an attempt to balance the budget and to pay for a tax cut. He promised to pay it back and he did not nor to this day have the republicans allowed the money to be transferred back to the trust fund. All Social Security is now paid out of the general fund from tax collections! That is why there is very little money to pay benefits. Had Reagan not stole the money or republicans would pay it back there would be plenty of money to pay benefits for a long time. These facts are easy to look up, but you choose to continue to be ignorant and pass on the lies that have been told to you because you are easy to fool. Republicans and fox have simply duped you into believe the lies they tell!

    It is ignorant people like you who do not understand that the should be thankful for Liberal as they are responsible for every benefit that you have. From Social Security, to Medicare and Medicaid, to 5 day, 40 hour work weeks, to vacation and sick time, to health benefits, to so many other benefits. The Liberals are responsible for stopping child labor and no more 7 day work weeks (Jews included.) You simply do not understand that this is history and thank goodness for Liberals.

    I was born in Coney Island and have a college degree with several credits towards advance degrees. The little bit about my country and its history that I may have forgotten is more than you will ever know.

    As for the Brilliant Jew who would think you are insane, his name was Albert Einstein!

  11. Moishe Sachs says:

    Edward Lobel You're an example of a mind being a terrible thing to waste. All you have is Libtard talking points, all easily disputed. It is you who must watch all of the discredited loser Libtard stations & all of their hate & lies.
    You know almost nothing, and what you do know is nonsense, lies, twisted, evil, & is destroying this country.
    Go ahead, fool, have the last word, which you Libtards have to have because the only thing you're more full of than crap is your brain dead selves.

  12. Alan Cornet says:

    It really is too bad that other Republican leaders such as Senator Ted
    Cruz, Gov.Mike Huckabee, & Senator Rubio, were not present. As far as I am concerned Gov. Huckabee would make a super Presidential Candidate and his support for the State of Israel is outstanding.

  13. Edward Lobel says:

    He is an evangelical, he loves Israel but HATES JEWS!
    In order for his version of the rapture to happen all the Jews must be in Israel. Then they will be forced to convert or will go directly to hell for eternity.
    Still think he is such a good guy?

  14. Edward Lobel says:

    Moishe Sachs, you continue to show how ignorant you are by refusing to believe anything but your own hateful thoughts. Despite the good things in your life that have been brought to you by Liberals, you still hate them. You do not want to understand that Liberals are good for you and our society and conservatives are extremely bad especially for Jews. The conservatives want to go back to a feudal society where the rich kings rule and every one else works for them. You are very foolish to keep thinking that conservatives care about you they do not. You do not care about me, but I care about you and that is why I spend time responding to you.
    The real issue is you are so ignorant that you believe everything liberal is evil and it is not! You really do not have one single intelligent argument that you can prove with facts, that make Liberals bad and evil. You have been duped and played just like the ignorant people in Nazi Germany. If you think what happened their cannot happen here just keep your crazy thought and see what happens. The conservatives are moving more and more towards rule by the big corporations and in order to do that they have to get low informed ignorant people like you to vote for them. You are what is wrong with this country, every single vote for a conservative is a vote towards doing away with freedom and protected rights. Just yesterday the conservative supreme court said that rich people have no limits to the amount of money they can give to candidates and if you do not think that some people like the Koch brothers do not want to own the government so they can do what they want, you are greatly mistaken.

    Unless you can prove a damned lie you say, do not say anything. Saying that Obama was not born in the United States is not true, even though you think it is and simply your saying there is no proof he was born in the United States is not any kind of proof, nor is you ignorant statements that his birth certificate is not real is also not proof because everyone including other ignorant fools like you who have actually examined the record, say it is real.

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