Palestinians say the policies Adelson championed will be felt for a long time

Palestinian political analysts said Tuesday that Sheldon Adelson’s support for “disruptive” policies in the United States and the Middle East will continue to be felt for years to come, as news spread of the death of the 87-year-old casino mogul.

A major financial backer and Political supporter Diana Bhutto, the Palestinian attorney and former consultant to the Palestinian negotiating team, said Adelson had had a major impact on the lives of Palestinians, from outgoing US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Adelson has championed many of the right-wing policies endorsed by Trump and Netanyahu, and was a staunch opponent of a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu also benefited from Adelson’s 2007 launch of Israel Hayom, a free daily newspaper that is now Israel’s most popular newspaper – and considered a strong support for the Israeli prime minister.

Bhutto told Al Jazeera: “Adelson was among the most disturbed individuals the Palestinians had ever encountered.”

She said, “His influence went beyond the settlements issue.” He was the person behind the right-wing Israel Hume newspaper. With that newspaper came some very fascist ideas. “

Settlements champion

Adelson Died Because of complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the Las Vegas Sands casino company, which was its president and CEO, said in a statement Tuesday.

At the time of his death, Forbes Rank He is ranked 19th in the richest people in the United States with an estimated net worth of $ 35 billion. “Adelson and his wife donated $ 123 million to Republican Campaigns and Political Action Committees in 2018,” Forbes said.

At the time the second intifada broke out in 2000, Adelson began allocating a large portion of his fortune to US presidential candidates who opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state.

It is also known for its strong support for illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Adelson Medical College, founded in the Ariel settlement in the occupied West Bank, is named after a media magnate.

Adelson even committed himself to tackling pro-Palestinian activism at American universities.

In 2015, I hosted a meeting in Las Vegas with major donors and pro-Israel activists to fund various means of combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on college campuses. The pro-Palestine movement was launched in 2005 to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands and grant its Palestinian citizens equal rights.

The meeting, which was supposed to remain a secret, took the handling of the Israeli boycott measures to a whole new level, The Forward reported at the time – and elevated them from an initiative taken directly by student groups to one backed by wealthy philanthropists.

Support right-wing groups

Adelson has been a strong supporter of the strong relationship between the United States and Israel.

He is an avid supporter of Jewish settler groups in Jerusalem, and has also provided millions of dollars to supporters of the Trump election campaign, an effort that secured him a seat at Trump’s inauguration nearly four years ago.

“His legacy will be a legacy that goes down in history as having played a very huge role in making politics in the United States and Israel much worse than it would otherwise be,” said Youssef Munir, a non-resident senior fellow at the Arab Center in Washington. Capital.

He has consistently created financial incentives for politicians to engage in Islamophobia and take the most extreme anti-Palestinian positions. He was one of the biggest financiers of right-wing Zionist organizations in the United States as well as in Israel. “

US embassy transfer

Adelson was also a force behind Trump’s destructive foreign policy toward Palestine, including his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which reflected Washington’s longstanding policy on the matter.

Trump promised to move the US embassy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during his election campaign. This had some momentum among evangelicals and far-right members of the US Congress, but Netanyahu, the Israeli right, and a few billionaires focused on Israel, like Adelson, were the driving force behind the decision.

“He has tirelessly called for the relocation of the United States embassy in Jerusalem, recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and its neighbors,” Trump said in a statement on Tuesday, mourning Adelson’s death.

We will feel the effects of Mr. Adelson’s work for many decades to come, and these will not be good effects, certainly not for the Palestinians.

Youssef Mounir Arab Center

In a tweet Tuesday, Netanyahu also expressed his “sorrow and heartbreak” over Adelson’s death, which dealt a blow to Israel’s longest-serving prime minister as he faces a corruption trial and pre-election in March – the fourth in two years.

Mounir continued: “He was a great supporter of Netanyahu, and his support for the Israeli media in particular gave Netanyahu forums that he would compete with in a very beneficial way that no other politician had.”

“We will feel the effects of Mr. Adelson’s work for many decades to come, and these will not be good effects, and certainly not for the Palestinians.”

Sheldon Adelson and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a 2017 ceremony for the School of Health and Medical Sciences building, named after Adelson, at Ariel University, in the Israeli settlement of Ariel [File: Amir Cohen/Reuters]

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