Three Republican senators particularly beholden to the campaign largesse of Sheldon Adelson have jointly offered a glorious New Year’s present to the Las Vegas gambling magnate. Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Dean Heller have proposed the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act, which would direct the move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
While the news about the bill is being reported, no media outlets have noted the reason for it. Sheldon Adelson is by far the largest GOP donor. With a fortune of over $20-billion, he routinely invests $100-million or more during presidential election cycles. He was Trump’s largest donor by far giving $25-million to SuperPACs and $11-million of his own personal funds.
This bill is a gift to Adelson, signed, sealed and delivered by powerful Republican senators whose political future is tied to the gambling titan’s purse strings. Cruz and Rubio both competed for Adelson’s favor during the last Republican primary, with Rubio winning that battle. Both are anticipating Trump will implode over the next four years and possibly drop out of the running in 2020. They want to be waiting in the wings in case that happens and will need Adelson to fuel their campaigns.
The third senator, Dean Heller, represents Nevada, where Adelson lives and his Sands Hotel conglomerate is based. Adelson poured millions into Heller’s last senate campaign against Democrat Shelly Berkley, who the former detests.
Most of the media and Middle East specialists are scratching their heads about what the next four years will offer in the way of Trump’s policy toward the region. There is much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth especially from liberal Zionists who are seeing their illusions and pipe dreams disappear like smoke.
But I take a different approach: though I don’t welcome the chaos and nihilism promised by four years of Trump-Netanyahu nexus, in the longer-term it may offer promise. If two states are dead and liberal Zionism is dying; what better way to seal their fate than by giving the far-right precisely what it wants? They will certainly engineer an utter disaster. One that promises to be far worse than anything a moderate government like Clinton or Israeli Labor would offer. Why not let the world see the far-right fully empowered, watch it fail utterly and then be left to pick up the pieces?
I have little hope that the Israeli electorate will respond constructively. But the U.S. and world community will be forced to admit that the far-right approach failed. They will need another approach. One that is radically different. These are the conditions in which the Bernie Sanders of the world find their calling.