Adelson Strikes a Belligerent Tone With the JTA

By Eli Clifton

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has continued his high-profile return to the public sphere in an interview with the Jewish Telegraph Agency’s Jacob Berkman.

The interview is worth a read and has some amusing parts. Particularly of interest are the portions in which he repeatedly claims to have no involvement in politics, says he doesn’t know if he contributes to AIPAC, and repeatedly denies that Israel HaYom—an Israeli newspaper he owns—is politically biased or favors Adelson’s “social friend” Benjamin Netanyahu.

It’s pretty clear that the interview was supposed to focus on Adelson’s philanthropy, but Berkman strays into Adelson’s political activities more than Adelson or his wife–who actually has to step in at one point and move the discussion away from politics—would like.

Adelson’s self-proclaimed rejection of politics must be relatively new. Until the end of 2008 he was the primary funder of the pro-Republican, pro-Iraq War and pro-Bush administration Freedom’s Watch advocacy group.

All that can really be taken away from the interview is that Adelson comes off as quite smug and strikes a belligerent tone in pretty much every topic that Berkman touches on.

Read the full interview here.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.