Sheldon Adelson’s support for “disruptive” policies in the United States and the Middle East will be felt for years to come, Palestinian political analysts said on Tuesday, as news of the 87-year-old casino mogul died. , exploded.
An essential funder and political supporter outgoing US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Adelson has had a disproportionate impact on the lives of Palestinians, said Diana Buttu, Palestinian lawyer and former advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team.
Adelson defended many right-wing policies backed by Trump and Netanyahu, and was a staunch opponent of the two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Netanyahu also profited from Adelson’s 2007 launch of Israel Hayom, a free daily that is now Israel’s most widely distributed newspaper – and is seen as firmly in favor of the Israeli prime minister.
“Adelson was among the most disruptive individuals the Palestinians have ever faced,” Buttu told Al Jazeera.
“Its scope went beyond the issue of settlements,” she said. “He was the person behind Israel Hayom, a right-wing newspaper. With this newspaper came some very fascist ideas.
Adelson deceased due to complications from treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, casino company Las Vegas Sands, of which he was chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement Tuesday.
At the time of his death, Forbes classroom him the 19th richest person in the United States with an estimated net worth of $ 35 billion. “Adelson and his wife donated $ 123 million to Republican campaigns and political action committees in 2018,” Forbes said.
Around the time the Second Intifada erupted in 2000, Adelson began to devote a significant portion of his wealth to presidential candidates of the United States who opposed the creation of a Palestinian state.
He was also known for his unwavering support for illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Adelson School of Medicine, which was founded in the Ariel settlement in the occupied West Bank, was named after the media mogul.
Adelson even pledged to fight pro-Palestinian activism on American campuses.
In 2015, he organized a meeting in Las Vegas with major donors and pro-Israel activists to fund various means of countering the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on college campuses. The pro-Palestine movement was launched in 2005 to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands and to grant its Palestinian citizens equal rights.
The meeting, which was to be kept under wraps, took the fight against Israel’s boycott measures to a whole new level, The Forward reported at the time – shifting it from an initiative taken squarely by groups of Israelis. students at an initiative supported by wealthy philanthropists.
Support for right-wing groups
Adelson was one of the biggest supporters of the strong US-Israel relationship.
A staunch supporter of Jewish settler groups in Jerusalem, he also gave millions of dollars to supporters of Trump’s election campaign, a business that secured him a seat during Trump’s inauguration nearly four years ago.
“His legacy will be one that has been recorded in history as having played a massively disproportionate role in making the politics of the United States and Israel much worse than it would otherwise be,” said Yousef Munayyer, senior researcher non-resident at the Arab Center in Washington, DC.
“He has constantly created financial incentives for politicians to engage in Islamophobia and take the most extreme anti-Palestinian positions possible. He was one of the biggest funders of right-wing Zionist organizations in the United States as well as in Israel.
Relocation of the American Embassy
Adelson was also a force behind Trump’s destructive foreign policy on Palestine, including his decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which reversed Washington’s long-standing policy on the matter. .
Trump has vowed to move the U.S. embassy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during his election campaign. It has had some influence among evangelicals and far-right members of the US Congress, but it was Netanyahu, the Israeli right-wing and a few billionaires focused on Israel, such as Adelson, who were the driving force behind the decision.
“He has advocated tirelessly for the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the search for peace between Israel and its neighbors,” Trump said in a statement. Tuesday, mourning the death of Adelson.
We will feel the effects of Mr. Adelson’s work for many decades to come and it will not be good effects, certainly not for the Palestinians.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Netanyahu also expressed “sadness and sorrow” over the death of Adelson, which dealt a blow to Israel’s longest-serving prime minister as he faces trial over allegations of corruption and ahead of an election in March – the fourth in two years.
“He was a massive supporter of Netanyahu and his support for the Israeli media in particular gave Netanyahu forums with which to compete in a very advantageous way that no other politician had,” continued Munayyer.
“We will feel the effects of Mr. Adelson’s work for many decades to come and it will not be good effects, certainly not for the Palestinians.”