RINOs at Neoconservatism, Inc Shindig

Conservative Inc POTUS candidates are prostrating in Vegas before the sugar daddy of Neoconservatism, Inc:

LAS VEGAS – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won hearty applause from major Jewish donors after a speech Saturday heavy on appeals for GOP unity and strong support for Israel.

Christie mostly avoided foreign policy specifics, but he enraptured the crowd gathered for the Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting with tales of his own trips to Israel, and criticism of the Obama administration’s foreign policy…

Christie was just one of the big-name Republican considered possible contenders for the Party’s 2016 presidential nomination to appear at the event, which also featured speeches from Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida.

Their trips to the desert were seen partly as efforts to court GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, whose casino hotels played host to the event, and who spent upwards of $100 million boosting various Republicans in 2012.

At this gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition, however, Gov. Christie made a serious faux pas:

Christie stepped on a fault line in highly fraught Middle East politics, when he referred to the “occupied territories,” a term Zionists eschew. But top GOP bundler Lew Eisenberg said after the speech that Christie proved “he understands the important of Israel and the interdependency of the United State and Israel.”

Morton Klein, president of the hawkish Zionist Organization of America, was less forgiving. He confronted Christie after his speech about his use of the term, telling POLITICO he explained to the New Jersey governor that it “at minimum you should call it disputed territories.”

Klein said he mentioned the issue to Adelson, who promised he’d raise it in private with Christie.

Little Christopher is about to get a serious ‘talking-to’ by Uncle Sheldon.

Adelson, a billionaire gambling magnate, is a man thoroughly obsessed with Israel. He sees virtually every international issue (and many domestic ones) through a singular prism of what is best for Israel. His $100 million per election cycle influence ensures Conservatism, Inc stays firmly neoconservative.

And nowadays you aren’t likely to find many mainstream conservative pundits and politicos (terrified of being called racist, anti-semitic, ad infinitum) bringing up the ‘dual loyalty’ conundrum. You can, however, reliably find liberal critiques of Adelson for his staunchy pro-Israel sentiments, with the deeper issue a bit closer to the surface for discussion.

During Adelson’s big 2012 shindig, for example, here was Time magazine’s Joe Klein with a piece entitled “Sheldon Adelson: All Israel, All the Time.”

Meanwhile, at the same time, here was the very liberal (and fellow Jewish ethnocentrist, albeit less overtly) Eric Alterman writing in The Nation:

If a Jew-hater somewhere, inspired perhaps by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, sought to invent an individual who symbolizes almost all the anti-Semitic clichés that have dogged the Jewish people throughout history, he could hardly come up with a character more perfect than Sheldon Adelson.

Think about it. Adelson, who likes to brag, “You know, I am the richest Jew in the world,” is a gambling magnate who is reported to be under criminal investigation for official bribery and has been accused of having widespread ties to organized crime, including the use of prostitution for his business interests. He is openly deploying his $22 billion fortune to pervert our democracy on behalf of what he believes to be the best interests of Israel, which he defines as an endless war by the Jewish state against its adversaries, with America offering its unquestioning support.

Nobody has noted—at least not in public—that the agenda in question happens to be the one to which Jews accused of “dual loyalty” or of being “Israel-firsters” are alleged to have dedicated themselves. How can it be that the self-proclaimed “richest Jew in the world” can buy the foreign policy of a major party’s potential presidential candidate on behalf of a vision of endless Israeli aggression—up to and including US support for yet another potentially disastrous pre-emptive attack—and the historically abused entity of “the Jews” has somehow escaped the blame?

Don’t get me wrong. While I lack sympathy for pretty much everything Adelson and Gingrich seek to accomplish, I am unabashedly thrilled that the bugaboo of anti-Semitic accusation is almost nowhere to be found. But given the near-complete disappearance of this once wholly respectable American prejudice, one must ask why so many organizations in the American Jewish community—along with their neoconservative allies in the media and policy world—remain so intently focused on this problem. Is it that the past has left them so psychologically invested in a now-discredited discourse that they lack the ability to see reality for what it is and devote themselves to more worthy causes? Or do at least some of them, as I implied in my last column, find the accusation so politically useful against Israel’s critics that they prefer to level this nefarious accusation rather than argue the merits of their position?


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