Oh my: Adelson and Saban team up to bash Obama
Republican kingmaker Sheldon Adelson (left) and Democratic kingmaker Haim Saban (right) have teamed up to bash President Hussein Obama's Middle East policies at the first conference of the Israeli American Council.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Saban described the president’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “like oil and water.” That has fed a perception, he said, that Obama has not been a friend to Israel, although Saban said he thinks that, in reality, “there’s never been this level of cooperation with any previous president.”
Still, Saban said that he thinks Clinton would repair the relationship and that he has told her he would spend “whatever it takes” to propel her into the White House. That includes giving millions of dollars to Priorities USA, a super PAC that helped Obama in 2012 and is revving up to aid Clinton in 2016.
“I have told her and everybody who’s asked me, ‘Whatever it takes, we’re going to be there,’ ” Saban said. “I think she would be a fantastic president for the United States, an incredible world leader and one under whom I believe — deeply — the relationship with the U.S. and Israel will be significantly reinforced.”
Asked if he would press his friend Adelson to give to the pro-Clinton super PAC, Saban said, “I’ve got chutzpah, but I’m not suicidal.”
In their public remarks, Saban and Adelson found common ground in their disdain for Iran, and their fear for the danger they say that regime poses for Israel. They expressed concern about U.S. negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Adelson said that Iranian fundamentalists are instructed by their religion to “wipe out all infidels” and that “wiping out the Jews would be a down payment on that.”
Referring to U.S. engagement with Iran, he said: “I would not just talk. I would take action.”
Saban said that fundamentalist Iranians represent a real threat. If necessary to defend Israel, and as a last resort, he added, “I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.”
Saban endorsed a bill from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who addressed the group on Saturday night, that would subject any Iranian nuclear deal to congressional approval. Saban said a system of checks and balances with the Obama administration on foreign policy is critical.
In their hour-long discussion, Saban and Adelson had few disagreements, but one concerned how Israel engages with Palestinians. Saban said Israel has no choice but to negotiate with the Palestinians, whose numbers in the region roughly equal those of Israeli Jews.
“What is Israel to do with these 6 million people?” Saban asked. “It is not about granting the Palestinian state. It’s about securing the future of a democratic Israel.”
But Adelson rejected the feasibility of a two-state solution.
“Newt Gingrich was right: The Palestinians are an invented people,” Adelson said, referring to a controversial statement made by the former Republican House speaker whose failed 2012 presidential campaign Adelson heavily funded.
Hmmm.Evenhaim asked the men whether they think the news media are biased against Israel. Saban said they are but cited two exceptions: Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal. He joked to Adelson that they should have bought The [Washington] Post together.