Over the past week, the media has exposed several critical relationships between major GOP presidential candidates and their key Jewish donors, including Sen. Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. Though I didn’t coin this term, it’s apt to call these individuals “go-to” Jews; or in older parlance, they are the Court Jews who provide access for the pro-Israel community to the arenas of power.
Rubio has for years enjoyed the patronage of Norman Braman, a wealthy Miami auto-dealer. Braman has not only heavily financed the Senator’s campaigns for state and federal office, he’s employed both Rubio and his wife and engaged in an extensive set of financial relationships with them involving gifts, loans and other support.
But in just the past week or so, an even greater Jewish (blue and) white knight has emerged to bless Rubio’s candidacy: none other than Sheldon Adelson. It seems the self-made fat cat Jews who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps are enamored by Rubio’s life story of growing up poor as a Cuban immigrant and making something of his life in the contemporary version of the American Dream. The media report that Adelson has decided to go “all-in” with Rubio, as he did with Newt Gingrich in the last presidential campaign. Politico adds that Paul Singer, the Likudist hedge fund billionaire, is joining Rubio’s camp as well.
I’m wondering when Adelson’s involvement with the Chinese mob, including offering his blessing to Chinese triads engaged in gambling, prostitution and loansharking at his Macau casino, will catch up to him. GOP presidential candidates are delighted to take his $100-million (in the last election cycle–likely to rise to $200-million in the 2016 cycle). But when will the moment come when the public will realize how dirty Sheldon’s money is and severely penalize candidates who’ve availed themselves of it? This is a ticking bomb for Republicans. Adelson is a golden teat, till he isn’t.
Another disturbing issue involving Adelson’s patronage is his ultra-extremist views on Israel. How does a presidential candidate explain taking money from a man who denies the existence of Palestine and publicly supports “nuking” Iran? These are not abstract issues. If such a GOP candidate becomes president, he will not be able to wave away these positions with a bit of political hocus-pocus. Adelson’s quid pro quo for his money is unquestioning support for the most racist, genocidal policy in the Middle East. It is critical to keep this issue before the media and American people.
I was amused by this comment from John Weaver, a veteran GOP consultant and former McCain campaign operative:
“Hopefully, foreign policy discussions are not driven by a need to capture fundraising dollars,” Weaver said. “I’m skeptical about that, but hopefully that’s not the case.”
This guy is too smart and experienced not to know that what he’s saying is a crock. Everything that’s happening right now in the GOP camp regarding Israel is nothing but positioning for the maximum fundraising benefit. And Israel/Middle East policy is all that Jewish mega-donors care about.
— Matt Brooks (@Mbrooksrjc) May 11, 2015
Politico has profiled yet another wealthy GOP Jew , Larry Mizel, who’s paving the way for Scott Walker’s visit to the Holyland, where he will presumably make a pilgrimage to the Stations of the GOP pro-Israel cross. Those would include visits to the prime minister’s office, the IDF chief of staff, Yad Vashem, the Kotel, Masada (where hopefully he’s not asked to commit suicide if he loses the race), and some appropriately extremist settlement. Walker, having no previous pro-Israel credentials given his role as Wisconsin governor, is strongly in need of a pro-Israel heksher (kosher certification), which Mizel provides.
Among those Mizel has scheduled to meet Walker is Jewish Agency chair and neocon hero, Natan Sharansky (see tweet above).
All of these court Jews share one thing in common: they’re each either on the board of, or an active member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is a political country-club for the fat-cat set. Note the above tweet is from Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director (who earns over $500,000 annually).
The GOP is not alone in using Jewish power-brokers to act as gatekeepers and fundraisers for presidential candidates. Abe Feinberg is reputed to have been a key player in Lyndon Johnson’s career starting with his first, notoriously corrupt run for the Senate. Feinberg funneled wheelbarrows full of cash to all manner of Democratic candidates for many decades. Nor was he the only one.