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Sheldon Adelson: Don’t Risk Israel’s Security on Obama’s Words

October 11, 2012 8:28 am 38 comments

“Americans who support Israel should take the president at his word,” wrote Haim Saban recently in the New York Times, claiming President Barack Obama is fully committed to the Jewish state.

But is that true? Should we take him at his word?

No, not when Israel confronts the threat of nuclear annihilation by Iran.

Time and again President Obama has signaled a lack of sympathy—or even outright hostility—toward Israel. Not long ago he was caught on an open microphone agreeing with French President Sarkozy’s slurring of the Israeli prime minister. And then there was his public snubbing of the Israeli leader’s request to discuss Iran during a recent U.S. visit, a measure Reuters termed “a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally.”

Even more worrying, last month former U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who attended several of Obama’s meetings with Netanyahu, admitted “there are serious differences between our interests and Israel’s own security interests.”

All this certainly raises questions about Obama’s sincerity when he publicly says he’ll “always have Israel’s back.”

Nor are these the only times the president has left American voters wondering where he really stands on foreign relations.

Remember, earlier this year, when he was inadvertently recorded asking former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for “space” until his reelection, when he’d have more “flexibility” on missile defense? What did he mean? Obama was clearly not being forthright with the American people.

What else hasn’t he told us?

Think about Obama’s anti-Israel friends and mentors—radicals like Rashid Khalidi, Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright, or the late Edward Said, the virulently anti-Israel professor under whom Obama studied. Has he made anti-Israel promises to them? Is Obama’s campaign rhetoric in support of Israel only creating “space” till after the election?

These questions cause genuine worry in Israel.

Even some liberals now complain the president has lost so much Israeli trust that, in the words of Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, “there is almost no chance of progress [for peace] if Obama wins re-election.”

Given that Obama’s public expressions are not something Israelis can rely upon, we need to take seriously the question: What are his second term plans when he no longer needs the Jewish vote?

Obama’s supporters tell us there’s nothing to worry about. He can be trusted, they say, because of his record of military aid to Israel and his support for sanctions against Iran.

But the aid was committed in programs that began decades before his presidency under previous administrations. He cannot rightly take credit for this aid in the sense of initiating it, just as he cannot take credit for merely signing pro-Israel legislation that had bipartisan congressional support.

Moreover, Obama’s campaign never mentions that in the past few years his budgets have proposed significant cuts in US-Israel missile defense funds—from $121.7mil to $99.8mil, a substantial slash. And just ask Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Poland’s Lech Walesa about Obama’s reliability because of past military aid.

Even worse, the Iranian sanctions contain loopholes that, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, “you could drive a warhead through.” All 20 of Iran’s major trading partners enjoy sanction exemptions. They won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program.

Let’s also not forget, when Obama took office, he admitted his administration sought to put “daylight” between America and Israel. He lectured that the Jewish state needed “to engage in serious self-reflection” about peace—as if tiny Israel has not spent decades pursuing peace with its belligerent neighbors. And unbelievably, in his 2009 address to the Muslim world, he implied a moral equivalence between the Holocaust and Palestinian dislocation.

With a second term the president won’t have fears of electoral accountability and will act upon his true feelings toward Israel.

This is worrying—especially at a time when the Jewish state as well as Americans sorely need a president whose words and policies they can rely on.

Not since 1967 has Israel’s safety been more precarious. Iran is now racing for a nuclear bomb while bragging they only need “24 hours and an excuse” to destroy the Jewish state. Egypt is lost to the Muslim Brotherhood. Hezbollah is armed to the teeth in Lebanon. Turkey’s government is more foe than friend. The Gulf States use enormous petroleum wealth to fund global anti-Israel propaganda. The “Arab Spring” continues to usher extremists into power. And Hamas rules Gaza.

All the while, the United Nations never misses a chance to denounce the Jewish state; Western universities support boycotts of Israel; and a sizable portion of the Democratic Party protests the inclusion of Jerusalem in their party platform. The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, can’t even name Israel’s capital.

In these times of unrest and violence, it is necessary to elect a commander-in-chief whose words we can trust. Mitt Romney, to my mind, is a much safer choice. Unlike Obama, he not only understands Israel’s predicament, he actually likes the country.

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.

So keep in mind Obama’s open microphone comments next time someone says you must take the president at his word. And ask yourself: Should we risk Israel’s security on his campaign rhetoric?

For Obama, the issue is only political; for Israel, it’s existential—a matter of survival.

Mr. Sheldon G. Adelson is an internationally renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the world’s leading private donor to Jewish education, the Birthright Israel program, and Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Editor’s note: Sheldon Adelson owns Israel Hayom, the largest-circulation daily newspaper in Israel. is the U.S. distributor for Israel Hayom’s English-language content. This op-ed was written exclusively for


  • Perhaps. But Romney may not even be able to gauge the urge to get involved by his own ‘Christian’ base of support-even when it comes to Christians ..let alone Jews.
    Romney is forgetting..or just doesn’t know..but the Christians in this country will not follow his lead on this.
    The Christian Syrians,there are millions of them,back Assad wholeheartedly.About 20% of Assads officer corps is Christian and Christian officered units have been prominent in actions against of Assad’s Chief of Staff was a Christian.
    Success of the rebellion will put those millions of Syrian Christians at risk of a brutal retaliation.Something I do not believe American Christians are prepared for or would accept.
    There are hundreds of thousands Americans of Syrian descent in America..many came through Lebanon and were considered as Lebanese..Mitch Daniels the Republican Governor of Indiana is of Syrian ancestry.

    • In any event it shows that neither Romney nor his advisors have a true grasp of the complexities or are once again just pandering for votes.
      Sort of like his swinging back and forth on abortion first to get the Conservative religios right and then a brief foray to the center…I feel that his temporal support for Israel is as fleeting as political expediency.
      Reminds me of an ad of fifty or so years ago-“Pronise her anything-but give her Arpege”.Romney has the buzz words down down pat.
      Reminds me of the time they asked Sarah Palin her opinion of JEWS -she said “I love Israel”.That wasn’t the question Sarah.

      • Judy Silver-Shapiro

        During these past 4 years the US has endured and been plagued with the most hostile-sitting US Pres in history.
        obama aka
        Son-Of-Islam is America’s first bi-racial president, born a muslim.
        From his early speech in Cairo where the violent
        Muslim Brotherhood were his invited guests to his lackluster performance at the UN 2 short weeks ago, he continually self-evidences as
        PRO MUSLIM
        From the Fort Hood massacre that left 19 children with one less parent to this past 9/11 wanton murders of 4 American diplomats, including the US Ambassador to Libya and 2 NAVY SEAL heros, to the continuing
        demonstrations throughout the world, this sitting US Pres has constantly refused to correctly identify the perpetrators of the slaughter and violence as muslim TERRORISTs.
        He does not, never has and will not ever ‘have Israel’s back’.
        Rather, he will continue to mercilessly throw ISRAEL under the bus, as he has the American people for 4 long years.
        Judy Silver-Shapiro

    • I wonder which side of the fence you’re on Jerry? As if I need to ask. I’m not completely happy with Romney, but almost anyone would be a better choice for President of America during this third World War–for we are indeed in a war, than the very thinly disguised muslim occupying the White House. Oh, I know “He’s a Christian”, high time that nonsense was realized for the lie it is.

      Of course Christians will back Assad, Syria is one of only two countries in the Mid. East where they are not slaughtered, the other being Israel, of course. Forget Lebanon; ask Brigitte Gabriel. And stop your leftist ‘dumping’ on Sarah Palin; she’s no dummy, and has more common sense in her little finger than the devious thugs you appear to support.

      Romney may not have all the answers–who does? But at least he’s a successful businessman, a great organizer, the Olympics showed that; has a “sane” foreign policy, i.e. he knows who our friends are and wouldn’t stab them in the back. By contrast, what about your man Obama? Never even had a real job. Enough said.

      • Peter as for Sarah Palin and her beloved Alaska Independence Party these were the very same folks who, as the neo-nazis they are,gave us They closed the last loophole of escape- Alaska,as a territory,was excluded from many restrictions.Ernest Gruening,a Jew,became territorial governor of Alaska in 1939…this caused a spate of anti-Semitic rhetoric from the AIP..a theme carried forth to this day..An American First organization -and Jews are not considered real true Americans

        • The AIP is basically a father-to-next generation group of xenophobes..the only new members are a few fringe-nuts and some nominal member Alaska “newbies” who think the bumper stickers are ‘cool’…not being ones to get into history they accept the now David Dukish (politcally more correct) rhetoric that is still in essence the philosophy of exlusion, prejudice and hate

      • As for the Olympics it is a lot easier to coordinate in a monolithic Mormon/Republican state where many of the busnesses have mormon connections as well than in a state with diversity and competing agendas both of a po;oitical and business nature..Utah has unofficial quasi-ish feifdoms often arrived at not through the church but by the stratified social structure and its institutions.
        Occaisionally there is a political breakthrough
        Simon Bamberger ,a Jew,was governor of Utah 1917-21…this overlapped the governorship of Moses Alexander 1915-19..governor of Utah North(Idaho)

      • Brigitte Gabriel misremembers a lot-including the Christian militias massacres of Moslems beginning with Chamoun’s “Tigers” in 1978 and culminating with Haddad’s Southern Lebanon Army and the massacres at Sabra and Shatila in 1982.
        The Christian militia’s were in flux and alliances came and went.
        The Lebanese Christian community is not a singular entity-there are four major components..Maronite,Greek,Armenian,and Melchite..Israels closest contacts are with the maronite and Mechite communities..the Armenian and Greek communities have been distant.The Lebanese Armenian community has had a long history of anti-Semitism as is reflected in the Armenian and Arabic language blogs and occaisionally in French.
        The relatively small Sunni population base has,over the decades,been augmented by an upper middle class influx from the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt that was seeking a more tolerant(liberal) society.Perhaps 50,000 Iranian Shia..and some Sunnis moved into Beirut and it’s environs…many of these relative newcomers are apolitical and are rooted in economic concerns.
        Bottom line is that massacres occurred on all sides.

  • Fredric M. London

    There is no question that a vote for Obama is a vote against Israel. He has made his position abundantly clear. And I do believe that Romney might be a friend to Israel. However, every single other position of Romney is repugnant to people with consciences. Under Romney, the stock market will plummet, jobs will be increasingly ‘out sourced,’ wages will decline, and the economy will go full blast in the direction it was heading on January 20, 2009.

    No, I do not believe Obama. His actions speak too loudly against his words. But I do not trust Romney either. He has changed positions on so many issues, he is the ultimate chameleon. Unfortunately, though, Romney will owe full allegiance to the power of the GOP. And that party is so dedicated to destroying civil rights, stealing everything they can from the poor and the middle class, to give to the rich, destroying not only abortion rights, but birth control as well, and waging full scale war on women and workers, that a Romney administration will be a disaster to everyone except for the rich theocratic fascists. We already have the greatest discrepancy between rich and poor in US history. Do we need to widen the gap still further?

    This is a horrible election, with horrible choices. Both candidates are so repulsive to me, that I cannot vote for either. How far this country has fallen!

    • When I read such inflamatory rhetoric as you spout & spew about the GOP, I’m totally disgusted!! I’m a middle-class widow and life-long Republican (but now consider myself somewhat POST-Republican and leaning more in the Tea Party direction). You simply do NOT understand Americans who espouse less government and more individual initiative, who value freedom & individual liberty above all the entitlements in the world. Yes, this is a very divided country – one side that is collectivist, socialist & redistibutionist by nature and the other side that is more in line with the early pioneers and those who value making life choices closer to home. I detest that you called me a bigot and a thief!! How arrogant can one ignorant person be?!?!?

      But we do agree on one thing, however: Under Obama, you can count on US foreign policy not only NOT helping Israel, but being actually hostile to the Jewish State. That alone is why I would vote for Romney (Mr. Etch-a-Sketch, squishy RINO Romney!). Also, of course, it’s ABO this year for most of the Conservative base – i.e., get that Fraud-in-Chief packing back to Chicago or wherever else he wants to live, but NOT in the White House!!

  • Robert M. Soran

    We all know that honesty is not the business Sheldon Adelson is in. His business is taking to create dishonest, unreal and artificial dream worlds for just as long as it’s necessary to allow him to take his victim – us ALL – out, “transferring” their money into his, Romney’s and colonialist ultra-nationalist Israeli pockets …

    And let me say it loud: I’m convinced that he didn’t write one single sentence of this electoral pamphlet. He’s simply not able and capable to do it, his mind and intellect wasn’t prepared for for such a job.

    Voting for Obama is therefore also a vote against the worst in rabid turbo-capitalism and ethno-religious racism.

    • The booing at the Democratic convention tells the whole story…anti-Israel and anti Judeo-Christian God…that was the original platform approved by Obama, Axelrod, Jarrett et al…if that is who you are then vote for Obama…just remember when he looks at the fourth finger of his left hand he sees a ring that says THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH…

    • vinnie gambini

      Come out Come out wherever you are…..
      My little closet Jew haters.
      Romney will win, it proves the Obama crowd are closet anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish and they’re gonna lose.

      Calling Israel ethno-religious racism is the same as saying YOU DON’T LIKE JEWS, or JEW DON’T DESERVE A HOMELAND- Israel should go back to 1967..etc, etc,

    • Stephen Tencer

      Mr. Soran has got it right. Adelson is literally a casino capitalist, saying “Come right in, I’ll show you a good time and encourage you to dream big. Just leave your money here and forget that you are playing against odds set by the house. Mr. Romney has applied this principle to Bain Capital and to his presidential campaign.

      Mr. Adelson is a leader among those who are buying election votes in America and Israel. They believe might is right, and might comes from accumulating billions of dollars, no matter how they were acquired. He has bought a major newspaper, the title of columnist, the title of major Jewish philanthropist, and the power to influence the heads of state of Israel and possibly of the United States to pursue his destructive dreams for both countries. My son took a Birthright trip this spring. He loved it and Israel, but came back with a mistaken view of Israel’s situation and positions.

      When did we lose respect for learning, the truth, and menschlichkite, in favor of mere wealth. Read Kohelet.

      Mr. Adelson, didn’t you pay Newt Gingrich to say that Romney was totally unqualified to be president. Did you since buy Romney over to your side? After all, he’s only worth a paltry quarter-billion dollars. It’s nice of you to help the poor boy out.

  • Words are cheap. But there is an old saying:

    “If he walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and acts like a duck …. chances are good that he’s a duck”.

  • Life requires balance, and unbalanced is what we see in Iran, as in the omni present terror of potential use of nuclear war heads against Israel. Unbalanced is the recent terrible attempted murder of a young girl who only wanted to fight for the right to an education, being female, in her country. She might yet die. Unbalanced is the lack of remorse in acts of genocide, and individual acts of unspeakable brutality, as just happened to this young girl. And even worse, if there could be worse, is a vow to get her next time.

    So what’s going on here. And who is hearing words of peace, of equality, words that attempt to bear witness to what’s wrong , with holes in the siding of this House, the earth, and who sides with whom, and who sidles up to whom, a kind of eternal simmering mess.

    If Romney is so wonderful, then welcome to him, but I don’t see it. I see a man whose is very clear about certain issues that are about humane ways of being, and I don’t like it. So is this a One issue campaign, as in, who seems the most sympathetic to Israel, or is it something more, that should impel us all to look inward, to see what counts, and who should be counted as humanitarian, as in promoting a diversity of love? A hard question, when people all seem to gravitate to the issues that seem to be, most important on their particular agendas. And sadly, all politicians move with the wind, and often have very conflicting ways of being, even within one party, be it Democratic or, Republican.

    Do we always have to pick up the pieces, whoever is elected, afterwards, and say, I could have told you so…

    It seems to me, to view the whole picture is often very difficult when we believe our lives, or the lives of Israelis lie in the balance. So who does one, blame? The world is a truly remarkably beautiful and at the same time, remarkably cruel place. And so I wonder… when will this change?

  • I don’t particularly care for the way Adelson is interfering with the American political system, spreading large quantities of money around like manure on a freshly plowed field. It’s his money, and he can obviously do as he pleases with it, but such interference is unhealthy for Jewish Americans and Israel in my opinion. Sure, there are those who say Jews should stop having a diaspora mentality, pulling their punches on political issues, but America has been the greatest country Jews have had to live in during their diaspora, and we should think very carefully before taking actions that antagonize large segments of this county’s populace. Having said that, I find myself (unfortunately) agreeing with too many of Mr. Adelson’s comments in this opinion piece. I cannot possibly vote for Mr. Romney given the Republican party’s stance on economic issues, but cannot vote for Mr. Obama since I don’t trust his sense of concern about Israel, and don’t want to have a guilty conscience about having voted for him when he takes future actions that may stab Israel in the back. So for the first time in my adult life, I’ll not vote for the Presidency of the U.S. in the coming election.

  • Also, the article should note that Adelson is heavily invested in the Romney campaign. Let’s be honest here.

  • “Edward Said, the virulently anti-Israel professor under whom Obama studied.”

    Lie. There is no evidence Obama studied under Said when he was at Columbia.

    • Not a lie. In his biography of Obama, New Yorker Editor David Remnick writes about how Obama took a modern fiction class with Edward Said. Remnick isn’t some Republican hack either. He’s a well-respected writer and big-time Obama supporter. Obama is also BFFs with Said’s protege Rashid Khalidi who is now the Edward Said chair of Arab Studies at Columbia.

    • There’s no evidence that Obama was even at Columbia never mind studied under Said. Where are his academic records? Where are the class members and professors who even remember him as Barry Sotero or whatever name he went under at the time? And as far as David Rennick, the hack editor of a left leaning publication called the New Yorker – was he even at Columbia when Obama was supposedly in attendance? Or is his article, like much of the BS he writes – part fiction?

  • Michelle Eder

    Thanks For the wake up call article
    Adelson is a big zionist who care for Israel unlike many American Jews
    Who forgot Israel exist or an ally of the US

  • More Neocon BS… Face it.. Obama will be president for another 4 years!
    And.. “Frank Marschall Davis” Really???????????? Is this the best you can come up with Mr. Adelson???
    You should move to Israel and enjoy life, leave real patriotic Americans alone.

    • Ah, only “patriotic Americans” think like you? Classy.

    • leonard glass

      I am a very patriotic American (combat vet-Vietnmam). It is extreme liberals like this person who, along with the un American sounding President, represent the threats to not only Israel but the entire Western World (look what’s happening to France). Thank God for Mr. Adelson for his proactive thoughts and philanthropy. L.Glass

    • For all any of us know, Frank Marshall Davis was O’s REAL (birth) father – not the African student that Ann Dunham met in a Russian class at U of HI and conned into being “the beard” in this case. Of course, all of that is conjecture, but Davis WAS an important mentor and “father figure,” if you will, to Obama in his teens in HI.

      Frankly, I don’t like anything about Obama – his politics, his narcissism, his phoney “connecting” with others – purely for political gain, and all his socialist/marxist/leftist buddies from an early age. I come from such a “different” America that I simply do not relate and have NEVER really considered him “my” President. He’s sort of like an aberation that happened when we weren’t paying any attention…

  • Home run for Adelson. He’s absolutely correct. Obama hasn’t even lived up to his campaign promises to Israel from 2008. Why should we believe him now?

  • Gavin McDougald

    Obama is the president of the entire united states, not just the Jewish vote.

    There are many Americans who believe that the blank check support of Israel should be up for debate considering the ongoing apartheid that they are perpetrating on the Palestinian people.

    It’s great to have a democratic ally in the middle east to be sure, but one that acts against UN edicts does not necessarily deserve a carte blanche.

    It seems to me Obama is being responsible, and the current PM of Israel is sabre rattling and inserting himself into the American election, something many would consider not only illegal but immoral.

    And Bibi’s got billionaire lackeys like Sheldon here to carry his water for him, and to pay for the election of his his boy, Romney.

    It’s creepy to say the least.

    • Amen! Well written.

    • Gavin, your comment perfectly illustrates the trouble with the current ideology of the Democratic Party. To say Israel is perpetrating an “apartheid” against the Palestinians is a moral inversion of the facts.

      Don’t forget, Palestinians elected Hamas–a jihadist organization who are not only responsible for suicide bombing and rocket fire into Israel proper, they formally reject Israel’s right to exist at all. To survive, Israelis must separate themselves.

      Also… if there is any “apartheid” going on, it’s the 50+ Muslim countries who refuse to accept one small little Jewish country.

      Not to be able to see that, Gavin, is creepy to say the least.

    • The Palestinians are occupying Israel they need to get out and go to Jordan.
      Apartheid exists for the Israelis, they cannot go into an Arab area in Israel.
      get the facts right.

  • Surely Romney is a man to be trusted! – No, not really.

    • MIriam Shoshana

      Alex P. Maybe you should read more. Bibi and Mitt are long-time ACTUAL dear friends in real life, outside of politics. Obama is THE ONLY POTUS that has NOT VISITED ISRAEL DURING HIS TERM IN OFFICE.

      • Dear Miriam, George W Bush didn’t visit Israel until his final year in office. RONALD REAGAN NEVER visited Israel! Please do your homework.

  • In full agreement.

    Recall, even in 1967 we couldn’t get the US to give us its back when the Tripartite Agreement, assuring Israel’s rights of passage, couldn’t be found (?) by the State Dept. or when Kissinger had Israel “bleed a little” before providing supplies. We should expect more than this from Obama?

    • Every American president has worked to protect Israel. It is foolish to think Obama is an exception. Romney, a master salesman who will say anything, and does, is more trustworthy? I don’t think so.

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