By Ali Abunimah
"Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife, has donated $10 million dollars in recent weeks to Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, has said that he wishes he had served in the Israeli army instead of the US military and that he wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.”
Gingrich himself has also doubled down on anti-Palestinian comments, asserting during a CNN debate last night that they were “invented” in the 1970s.
Adelson’s explosive comments are reported this morning by NBC’s Michael Isikoff:
Adelson owns a newspaper in Israel, ‘Israel HaYom,’ that backs conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and adamantly opposes any peace settlement with the Palestinians.
But while Adelson and Gingrich have bonded on the issue of a hawkish Mideast policy, especially over the threat of a nuclear Iran, some of the casino mogul’s comments could prove embarrassing.
In a talk to an Israeli group in July, 2010, Adelson said he wished he had served in the Israeli Army rather the U.S. military–and that he hoped his young son will come back to Israel and “be a sniper for the IDF,” a reference to the Israel Defense Forces. (YouTube video of speech)
“I am not Israeli. The uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform. It was an American uniform, although my wife was in the IDF and one of my daughters was in the IDF … our two little boys, one of whom will be bar mitzvahed tomorrow, hopefully he’ll come back– his hobby is shooting – and he’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF,” Adelson said at the event.
“All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart,” he said toward the end of his talk......"