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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sheldon Adelson’

Bibi, Sheldon, Doing Traif Italian Lunch After UN Assembly Speech

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Republished from Jewish Business News.

After telling the UN General Assembly on Monday, or, rather, educating them about the strong similarities between the Hamas and ISIS (although Hamas is not known for chopping off as many heads – they prefer to execute their victims lying down on the ground), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for a much deserved lunch in Midtown Manhattan, at Fresco by Scotto, accompanied by thirty, count them, 30 security guards, The NY Post reported.

The Post’s Page Six says Bibi, and his small army, attended a small lunch hosted by Las Vegas and Macao casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Only five people actually dined, but the restaurant was turned into a high security bastion against terrorism, as “every single customer at the restaurant had to go through a metal detector,” while Netanyahu and his Israeli and American guards looked on.

Sheldon Adelson has been Netanyahu’s sugar daddy for years, and even started a daily newspaper in Israel devoted mostly to supporting the prime minister, no matter what. Adelson has invested enough in the daily, Israel Today, to push out of the way all the rest of Israel’s dailies. Mostly because he gives away the paper for free.

With this much unconditional love, Sheldon certainly deserved to have lunch with his fair haired boy when he’s in town.

“The entire block was closed,” a source told the Post, adding, “There were even Secret Service men on the roof.”

Netanyahu had the veal chop.

If you’re a fan of kosher dining, you’d probably be better off waiting on the sidewalk with the gorillas (who are vegetarian, we’re told). The first item on the Fresco by Scotto lunch menu is their delightful meat & cheese antipasto, which adds the sin of prosciutto di parma to the mortadella, mozzarella, sweet and spicy sausage, provolone and capicola. The whole thing for $37, recommended for two or more.

OK, so now you know, the king of Israel eats traif. But really good, traif.

Antitrust Authority Approves Sale of Makor Rishon

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Antitrust Authority has approved the sale of the Makor Rishon newspaper and the NRG news website to billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom company.

The Authority on Wednesday also approved the sale of the Hebrew-language Maariv to The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Makor Rishon had been in danger of closing if a decision on selling the religious-Zionist newspaper had not been made this week.

Israel Hayom, a free daily distributed throughout Israel, began operating in 2007 and has the highest daily circulation of any Israeli newspaper.

Adelson, who made his fortune in casinos, is a major supporter of of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Republican candidates in the United States.

Israeli businessman Shlomo Ben Tzvi and his family put Makor Rishon and NRG on the selling block after poor sales led to the combined company owing about $1 million to creditors and employees.

The Jerusalem District Court approved the $4.9 million sale to Adelson but conditioned the transaction on the approval of the antitrust commissioner, Haaretz reported. The court applied the same condition on the $1.2 million bid for Maariv by Jerusalem Post owner Eli Azur.

Former Supreme Court Judge Goes to Bat for Makkor Rishon

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, who now heads the Israeli Council of Journalists, has called on the powers-to-be to prevent the closure of the bankrupt national religious newspaper Makkor Rishon that American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson wants to buy.

Adelson also owns the highly successful freebie Israel HaYom newspaper, which staunchly supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party.

“Freedom in journalism is expressed in the variety in Israeli communications that is offered the widest range of opinions that is possible,” Dorner stated. She called Makkor Rishon a ”constructive” a voice for the national religious community and that it must not be allowed to close.

The judicial system has given Adelson the green light to buy the newspaper, which fell into heavy debts after its owner bought the Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper, but anti-trust officials have blocked the purchase, without outright opposing it.

Its failure to decide, while the newspaper is barely operating, is considered in most quarters a tactic to choke the newspaper to death so that Adelson will not have more influence in Israel

Several so-called “liberal” Knesset Members have come up with a curve ball to force Adelson out of the country by proposing legislation that would prevent foreigners from owning free newspapers.

Precisely to Whom is Gov. Chris Christie Pandering?

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Pundits have written about Governor Chris Christie’s recent faux pas at the Republican Jewish Coalition conclave in Las Vegas. The Governor mistakenly called the territories that Israel was forced to conquer in its defensive wars of 1967 and 1973, “occupied.” The fact is that the Palestinians have consistently refused to negotiate in good faith,  refusing to even verbally acknowledge of the existence of a Jewish state.

The reason that the term “occupied territories” is offensive to some is that those facts seem to be glaringly omitted by that particular phraseology.

Certainly, Governor Christie should have been better briefed. It appears that Christie later apologized for the use of the term to Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish philanthropist, major humanitarian, and political benefactor, at whose Las Vegas hotel the event was held.

After the apology, the enlightened oracles of the media began alluding to the fact that the only reason that the governor apologized for the wording was to pander to Mr. Adelson because of his wealth and generosity to political campaigns.

The most odious comment came from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who compared Adelson to Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khamenei saying they had, “…one thing in common — they are both trying to destroy Israel. Adelson is doing it by loving Israel to death. Khomeini is doing it by hating it to death.”

Not agreeing with a policy for making peace with those who daily demonstrate that they are clearly not ready for peace, by inciting children to blow themselves up in pizza restaurants by teaching them that one day all of Israel will someday be theirs, does not equate with “trying to destroy Israel.”

If Mr. Friedman had spent time speaking to the parents of some of the Israeli children who have been killed by the terrorists lionized by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, he would understand a bit more of just what the Jewish state is really up against, and how out of touch he is with the reality on the ground.

What the talking heads failed to report is a much more significant remark made in that same speech. This remark indicated whom the governor really panders to, and frankly is a more serious issue for America’s national security interests.

When asked about those who raised questions in their writings about Governor Christie’s support on issues related to Sharia law, he replied by focusing solely on Sohail Mohammed, an immigration attorney. He described Mohammed’s touching history as an immigrant and naturalized citizen before adding:

“Sohail Mohammed knows as much about jihad as I do, being an Irish-American kid from Newark, New Jersey,” Christie said of the Indian-American judge who immigrated to America as a child. “It is ridiculous and insulting, that because I nominated Sohail Mohammed — that people somehow think that means I’m for Sharia Law. It’s crap,” he said to applause. “And I will not ever apologize for making him a judge — in fact, I’m proud of it.”

Almost every American can relate to that beautiful “American dream” and “rags to riches” saga. We are a nation of immigrants, and all of our ancestors came here to make a better life for their children.  But Christie’s description conveniently omits certain facts.

Sohail Mohammad is on the board of the American Muslim Union (AMU), and serves as its attorney. The AMU was founded by a former executive of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sohail Mohammad’s practice has focused on defending suspected terrorists from deportation.

New Jersey is home to a very large mosque, the Islamic Center of Passaic County, (ICPC), which was founded by Mohammad El-Mezain, who in 2008, was convicted for fundraising for Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation.  It is now led by Imam Mohammad Qatanani. The ICPC and the AMU share multiple directors and leaders.

Adelson Donates $16.4 Million for Israeli Launch to the Moon

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The Sheldon Adelson Family Foundation has contributed $16.4 million to the Israel Lunar Project to build the world smallest spacecraft that SpaceIL hopes to land on the moon.

The donation is nearly half of the project’s budget, estimated at $36 million.

SpaceIL is an Israeli non-profit founded at the end of 2010 by three young engineers with the dream of landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon. They entered the Google Lunar X Prize (GLPX) competition, and SpaceIL now has a full-time staff of 20 people, more than 250 volunteers and a network of hundreds of renowned academics, business leaders, and industry experts.

SpaceIL hopes its technological breakthroughs spur a new wave of commercial space-related industries in Israel.

“Sheldon and I are very excited to be supporting SpaceIL in an effort to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. As an Israeli-born physician and scientist, I am especially proud of the positive impact the pursuit of this goal will have on the next generation of young Israelis, and frankly all young people, as it serves an important example of the role science and technology continue to play in our everyday lives and across the world,” said Dr. Miriam Adelson.

Yanki Margalit, Chairman of SpaceIL Public Board, remarked that, “We will be able to significantly expand our impact and create the first blue and white moment of the 21st century.”

SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman added, “SpaceIL intends to expand its educational program and invest the needed resources in building the spacecraft. We only get one chance to succeed, so we intend to do all we can to increase our odds.”

A Response to Thomas Friedman: We Need More Sheldon Adelsons

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

In Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Thomas Friedman wrote a scathing column against Israel’s foremost supporters and lovers. Friedman’s column is a hit piece meant to serve as fodder for some of the NY Times’ anti-Israel and left-wing readership. But instead of delving into the author’s motives for writing the piece, I’d like to examine the various claims he makes.

The thesis of his column is that Sheldon Adelson’s “loving Israel to death” serves Iran’s interests and makes Adelson “Iran’s Best Friend.” What an absolutely pathetic and fallacious claim.

I have the great privilege of knowing Sheldon Adelson personally. There is nobody in the philanthropic arm of the Jewish community that has been a more vocal opponent of Khameini and Iran than Sheldon.

We in the Jewish community know that there are few things Khameini and his ilk hate more than the idea of promoting Jewish continuity and preserving the memory of the Holocaust. On that note, there is nobody who has invested more dollars into both of these initiatives than have Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

When it comes to promoting Jewish continuity, the Adelsons have served as the principal supporters of Birthright Israel – thereby responsible for sending over 350,000 young Jews from across the world to experience their birthright firsthand. Surely we can agree that Khameini and his adherents seek more than just the delegitimization and destruction of Israel; but also the destruction of the Jewish people.

Then there is the Adelsons’ investment of tens of millions of dollars toward preserving the memory of the Holocaust. They have done this to not only ensure that members of my generation never forget about the slaughtering of 6 million Jews, but to also educate the senseless and intellectually dishonest Jew-haters about the Holocaust, many of whom are found in the Iranian leadership.

It’s no secret that Rouhani is a Holocaust denier. Perhaps Mr. Friedman could please explain how Mr. Adelson’s gift of $25 million to Yad Vashem, the largest in the museum’s history, makes Adelson “Iran’s best friend.” I would instead posit that these two major philanthropic endeavors that the Adelsons have proudly taken upon themselves make Khameini and Rouhani cringe – as they should.

Friedman goes on to talk about the so called “occupied territories” and how the continuation of such a policy under the auspices of the Israeli government is what is truly responsible for the BDS campaign and the world’s increased hostility toward Israel. This is evidence that what Mr. Friedman needs more than anything else is a history lesson.

The West Bank or Judea and Samaria were not lands that Israel conquered through a war of its own choosing. Instead, Israel captured these lands from the actual illegal occupiers of it, the Jordanians, the ones who attacked Israel and forced her into battle there in 1967. The term “occupied territories” is therefore a farce, one designed to delegitimize Israel, much like the BDS campaign and its proponents.

Perhaps Friedman should reassess which team he belongs to; is it the Adelson camp? One that supports and loves Israel to the point of courageously standing against its enemies even when it means being subjected to the wrath of some in the mainstream press. Or instead, does Friedman belong to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign camp, a camp that does not include supporters of Israel? Should Friedman be counted amongst those working vociferously to delegitimize Israel by continuing to harp on the fallacious claim that the Israelis are “occupiers?”

Mr. Friedman, as a current student of your Alma Mater, Brandeis University, I can tell you with full confidence that the BDS campaign has little to do with the reality of life in the so-called “occupied territories” and is instead rooted in pure Jew hatred. I urge you to visit some college campuses next year during Israel Apartheid Week so that you can witness this first-hand. The folks behind the BDS effort aren’t looking for peace. They are merely anti-Semites trying to conceal their genuine motives through a campaign that folks of your stature have deemed to be, and thereby appear to make, credible.

Christie ‘Apologizes’ for Using Term ‘Occupied Territories’

Monday, March 31st, 2014

At a Republican Jewish Coalition event held over the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, many of the party’s potential contenders for the top of the ticket in 2016 were on display.

Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush paid a visit, Ohio Governor John Kasich was there, as was Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. But there was plenty of buzz around someone who, just a few months ago, would have certainly been considered one of the leading contenders for political and financial backing from the high rollers in the crowd.

Chris Christie came in to this year’s RJC spring leadership meeting with a bit of tarnish on his previously teflon siding. The scandal known as “Bridgegate,” in which members of his inner circle were discovered to have inflicted serious damage on Fort Lee, New Jersey’s (Democratic) mayor for not backing Christie in the election. The revelation that traffic onto the George Washington Bridge was purposefully jammed with unnecessary lane closures just to spite the mayor, led to weeks of humiliation and a shadow over Christie’s hopes for a bigger political future.

Nonetheless, Christie’s gregariousness seemed to smooth over lingering concerns. Until the Big Gaffe.

Christie was describing a 2012 trip he took to Israel, an obvious topic of interest to the Jewish crowd.

“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 said.

That’s right. In just about any other setting, no one would have blinked, but Christie was speaking at a Republican Jewish Coalition event. And one of America’s biggest donors to Zionist causes, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, was present.

Of course, the territories to which Christie was referring are not “occupied,” no matter how often and how many people insist they are. The area properly known as Judea and Samaria may legitimately be referred to as “disputed territories,” but there can be no occupation, under international law, for several reasons, the most prominent of which is that there was no sovereign nation in control of the land when Israel conquered it in a defensive war against Jordan during the 1967 War.

According to several reports there was a serious intake of breath when Christie uttered the words “occupied territories.”

An aide to Adelson told CNN that Christie explained that he “misspoke,” when he used the term, and that he “didn’t believe” the land is “occupied by Israel.”

CNN reported that a senior member of Adelson’s company said his boss was “satisfied” with Christie’s explanation.

 

 

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