Follow The Money
At last night's Republican debates, Newt Gingrich repeated and defended his assertion that the Palestinians are an "invented people", who do not deserve a state of their own. As such he has staked out a controversial position that is to the right of the official Israeli government position. While this may be good politics, in that it appeals to the evangelical Christian Zionist's who are the heart of the Republican Party in Iowa, and to Jewish Republican's in Florida - both states being key early tests in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination - it seems this is not the whole story.
Turns out that one of Newt's largest financial backers is none other than the "richest Jew in America"*, Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is also a primary financial backer of Bibi Netanyahu, and his wholly owned Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom is fawningly pro Netanyahu. It is also the number one Israeli daily measured by average weekday circulation.
In 2010, Adelson donated $1,000,000 to Gingrich's American Solutions institute.
For the record, none of the other Republican candidates had the guts to refute Newt's claim, though several said it was undiplomatic and unwise to say so out load.
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* Adelson got this title in 2008 when he was also the 3rd richest person in America, coming in just after after Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. But the real estate collapse has hurt the casino mogul's ranking and as of Sept 2011 he is ranked "only" as the 8th richest person in American, in a virtual tie with George Soros. Adelson's net worth is estimated at 21.5 billion.