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Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson Discuss 2016 Election and Ensuring US Support for Israel

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Two billionaires – one aligned with the Democratic Party, one aligned with the Republican Party – had a surprisingly frank discussion Sunday before the Israeli-American Council. The billionaires, Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, support different parties but both agree that the US must be closely aligned with Israel and feel President Obama has not done enough.

Billionaire Haim Saban has been a major supporter of the Democratic Party and is expected to be one of Hillary Clinton’s patrons should she decide to run for president in 2016. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson is a major supporter of the Republican Party and played a significant role in the 2012 Republican Party presidential primary and is expected to do so again this cycle. Adelson also supports a neocon network of think tanks and media organizations.

Both said that Iran posed a threat to Israel and that Obama’s relationship with Israel needed to be repaired. Saban would say later in an interview that Hillary Clinton could repair the relationship.

Adelson, 81, and Saban, 70, have gained enormous political power in the new era of super PACs and unlimited contributions, and both made it clear during a rare joint appearance Sunday before an audience of several hundred Israeli Americans that they intend to assert that power during the next presidential campaign and beyond with policy demands for their candidates. In particular, they vowed to press both sides for a more hawkish approach to the Middle East.

Appearing before a new group called the Israeli American Council, both men issued a call for unity when it comes to support for the Jewish state, reminding all prospective presidential candidates of the primacy of the U.S.-Israel relationship. And they agreed that Obama and his administration have not been tough enough in protecting Israel’s interests.

Adelson’s views on Iran are no secret, he once claimed the US should drop an atomic bomb on Iran. Saban seemed to agree with the sentiment saying of Iran “I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.” Bipartisanship at last.

With plans already in the works by AIPAC and hawks in Congress to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal it would appear Saban and Adelson may be closer to their wish of military action. Of course, given their role in funding members of Congress’ campaigns and in bankrolling Super PACs it’s not as if there was ever a concern their views would not be considered. Money talks in DC and Saban and Adelson have quite a lot of it.

Another topic that came up for debate was Saban and Adelson agreeing that the US media was, for the most part, biased against Israel. The billionaires then discussed trying to buy the New York Times outright to get more favorable coverage for Israel and lamented missing the opportunity to buy the Washington Post. Though the Sulzberger family who owns the New York Times told Saban they were not interested in selling, Adelson countered that it was really a matter of money. What isn’t these days?

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.