10 thoughts on “Israel as Adelson’s Venetian Casino Fantasy – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The Adelson’s were crowned as honorary citizens not because of the Israel Hayom newspaper, but because of their donation to institutions in Jerusalem and to the “Taglit” project.

    But what’s the difference between having this Israel-Hayom mouthpiece of a right-rightest to Ha’aretz which is owned by a post-Zionists, M. DuMont Schauberg and a Russian businessman – al of which dump money into a paper which is a mouthpiece, just as the Bibiton?

    1. @Nimrod:

      what’s the difference between having this Israel-Hayom mouthpiece of a right-rightest to Ha’aretz

      A huge difference: Adelson did not create Yisrael HaYom as a businessman or to make a profit. He created it, much as Sun Myung Moon created the Washington Times, as an ideological mouthpiece for his politics. The two Haaretz investors you named don’t own the paper nor did they found it. They are investors. They expect to earn a profit. Haaretz will not exist once it stops making a profit, which is why it teeters on the brink of existence. Yisrael HaYom has never earned a profit and never will.

      Nevzlin & Dumont-Schauberg did not invest because Haaretz will be their political/ideological mouthpiece. That’s what Adelson did.

      1. @Richard:
        I’ve been reading Ha’aretz for about about 10 years, and in the recent years it started leaning more to the left.
        Isn’t it possible that the investors who bought Ha’aretz did so not in order to make profit, but to influence Israeli public opinions, similar to what Adelson did?

        I don’t read Yisrael Hayaom, but I don’t see the problem with having another newspaper in Israel. It maybe biased, but so are the other newspapers in here.

  2. Interesting that — because of its size — tiny Israel has the (dis)honor to be the first, the very, very first, country to be (in essence) the wholly owned plaything of a single oligarch. The matter is more distributed in the other lands of oligarchic control — Russia, USA, China.

    But it is by no means clear that governance by a congeries of oligarchs — the very, very rich billionaires and CEOs of wealthy corporations who make up the “estabishment” and who control the USA — is to be prefered in every instance to control by one alone. Ohh, if only among all these oligarchs there were but one — even one alone — who/which recognized the threat to mankind of climate change and was willing to spend the big money needed to shake up the people, the government, and the state to respond to it! A benevolent oligarch, dictator, whatever, would be so preferable to the conscienceless, mindless, morality-lacking control by the TERRARISTS who are cheerfully making their last generation of obscene profits at the cost of the future of (human) life on earth, about which they appear to know nothing and care less.

    Will Israel seize back democratic governance from TheSheldon ™ ? Only Time (not Israel HaYom) will tell.

  3. We have 8 families in Israel who control 80% of the wealth – there is no single oligarch, but a few.

  4. This latest Adelson is beyond belief, a class by itself for vulgarity. Yet, it is a fitting tribute to a man and his state, both stretching the boundaries of tolerance and decency. But, Venetian courtiers singing Italian love songs? What is that? Why would this motif fit Israel? Makes the skin crawl.

  5. Venice was an independent city state and a law unto itself.
    Which really meant that the richest merchants ruled.
    Being a bit transparent, isn’t he?

  6. RE: “Israel as Adelson’s Venetian Casino Fantasy”

    MY COMMENT: Lookout Israel! ! !

    PERLSTEIN ON ADELSON: “Why GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Is Mad, Bad and a Danger to the Republic”, By Rick Perlstein, Rolling Stone, 4/10/12

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Adelson’s anti-union mania (I would argue) is the most important thing to know about him. For it reveals just how crazy, and how unscrupulous, the man is.
    Let’s start at the very beginning. Adelson remembers meeting Gingrich in Washington in 1995, when Gingrich was House Speaker and Adelson was lobbying to get the U.S. embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Other reports have them being introduced in 1996 by a far-right anti-union operative in Nevada who worked for Adelson. Details of the subsequent courtship are murky, although the huge favor Gingrich did for Adelson in 1996 by turning off a federal investigation of the gambling industry probably did a lot to cement their friendship.
    Two years later, Nevada conservatives sponsored a “Paycheck Protection” ballot initiative – the right-wing term for measures weakening unions by banning them from automatically deducting dues from members’ pay. Adelson was gung-ho for it – and “would spend any amount of money,” D. Taylor, secretary-treasurer of Las Vegas’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226, told me . . .
    . . . In 1999, Adelson closed one casino, the Sands, and completed work on a new one, the Venetian, stiffing so many contractors that there were at one time 366 liens against the property. Taylor, of the Culinary Workers, said he and his colleagues presumed that “like every other casino that had done that, workers in the [closed] hotel would be given priority when the [new] hotel was built.” Instead, Adelson refused even to talk. All this, in a union town like Vegas, was unprecedented. “Even when you’re having battles, you continue to have talks. S–t, we’re talking to the North Koreans right now!” he told me. “The Israelis talk to the Arabs. Talking doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but at least you understand the other guy’s position.” Adelson, not much interested in understanding the other guy’s position, proceeded to launch a campaign against the Culinary Workers that Taylor calls “beyond aggressive.”
    Right before the grand opening of the Venetian, in 1999, the Culinary Workers staged a demonstration on the public sidewalk out front. Adelson told the cops to start making arrests; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow. . .
    . . . Did I mention Adelson is nuts? But don’t take my word for it – it was George W. Bush who called him “some crazy Jewish billionaire.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/why-gop-mega-donor-sheldon-adelson-is-mad-bad-and-a-danger-to-the-republic-20120410

  7. We have to be vigilant in the US as well. E.G. the recent attempt by the Koch brothers to buy several newspapers (including the LA Times). It would be the demise of any paper to be owned by the Kochs, including the workers going on strike or leaving. That would also be a victory of sorts for them.
    David Koch has scored a victory and caused self censorship when he was on the board of public tv WNET in NY. A great documentary to be shown on WNET was squashed because of the money Koch gave to WNET. Finally Koch resigned but the documentary remains unaired.
    For more on this see the interview: Did Public Television Commit Self-Censorship to Appease Billionaire Funder David Koch?

    an excerpt:
    “Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal say plans for their new documentary to air on public television have been quashed after billionaire Republican David Koch complained about the PBS broadcast of another film critical of him, “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream,” by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Gibney. Lessin and Deal were in talks to broadcast their film, “Citizen Koch,” on PBS until their agreement with the Independent Television Service fell through. The New Yorker reports the dropping of “Citizen Koch” may have been influenced by Koch’s response to Gibney’s film, which aired on PBS stations, including WNET in New York late last year. “Citizen Koch” tells the story of the landmark Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that opened the door to unlimited campaign contributions from corporations. It focuses on the role of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity in backing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has pushed to slash union rights while at the same time supporting tax breaks for large corporations. The controversy over Koch’s influence on PBS comes as rallies were held in 12 cities Wednesday to protest the possible sale of the Tribune newspaper chain, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, to Koch Industries, run by David Koch and his brother Charles.”

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