Some of Adelson’s Favorite Beneficiaries

by Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton

Following on David’s post about Sheldon Adelson’s nuclear strategy for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, it might be useful to recall some of the casino magnate’s favorite Israel-related organizational beneficiaries. Perhaps they should be asked if they, too, believe that Tehran and its inhabitants should be nuked if Iran doesn’t bow to the demands of Bibi Netanyahu (another beneficiary of Adelson’s largesse) after a demonstration bombing in the middle of some Iranian desert. Eli has compiled a list of recent contributions by both the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Charitable Trust, the Adelson Family Foundation, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Charitable Trust,and Sheldon Adelson himself, based on U.S. government tax records. While these two channels may not be the only ones Adelson uses to supply funding for his favored organizations, they are the most transparent.

It turns out that the biggest beneficiary over the last six or seven years has been the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which has received a total of $1.704 million, followed closely by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), at $1.510 million between 2008 and 2011.

Next on the list is the American Israel Education Fund, the arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that sponsors tours for U.S. lawmakers and other influential elites to Israel. It received $1.048 million in 2007.

Two organizations received $1 million each: the One Jerusalem Charitable and Educational Fund in 2007, and the Friends of Israel Initiative, which was founded in 2010, is headed by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and did almost nothing, so far as I can tell, in 2012. John Bolton, however, is one of its charter members.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) received $530,000 between 2001 and 2007, while the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) received $500,000 between 2007 and 2012, according to the tax records.

Close behind was the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), which received $400,000 during that same period of time.

Lesser beneficiaries included the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America ($321,000 in 2007-08); the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces ($236,000 between 2007 and 2012); and the American Islamic Congress ($195,500) in 2008-09. These channels also provided token amounts to Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), and the American Friends of UN Watch. Adelson is currently chairman of the board of the RJC, for example, and one has to doubt whether he would have risen to such a position on the strength of his $20,000 contribution in 2001. (Incidentally, the RJC today called on the Senate to move “aggressively to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran” in advance of the next round of talks which, if we are to believe that Adelson played some role in determining that position, suggests that RJC is much more interested in bombing than negotiations.)

(A spreadsheet detailing all of these grants can be viewed here.)

Again, given the fact that Adelson spent at least $98 million on the 2012 election cycle, and given his oft-stated devotion to Israel, I suspect this represents a fraction of his actual pro-Israel-related philanthropy. But we do know that he has given significant amounts of funding to these groups whose leaders will hopefully clarify whether they share Adelson’s rejection of sincere negotiations with Iran and his possibly genocidal strategy for dealing with its nuclear program.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. So Jim? Conclusion? Adelson is evil because his beliefs are different that yours? I’ve dialogued with you and as an Iranian, half of the stuff you presume to write about Iran is utter nonsense and yet I don’t go around making you out to be some kind of evil force in the universe! What is wrong with you Americans? Why are you always SOOO aggressive and angry? What have you got to be angry about? Or is it that you’re all…EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU is an entitled and spoiled self-congratulatory expert on the planet…from YOU to Adelson…you’re both cut from the same cloth!

  2. A round about way to get the American public to support Israeli causes. Gambling, I believe they call it. Interesting how when one looks at who control the money in the U.S., just who they are. Goodness, if the American Public didn’t spend on entertainment, movies, gambling, MSMedia, support the Wall Street Boys, bribe Congress, play favorites, put the load on the tax payer[s], etc. etc. etc., where would all those people go? Funny, how they demand that the U.S. should tighten the screws/bomb Iran, but they live safely here in the U.S. Duel citizenship should be banned here, along with those who support Israel or any other country before the U.S.

  3. Banafsheh,

    You claim to be Iranian. Adelson wants to NUKE Iran.

    Do you want to see your country and all the people who live there, annihilated?

  4. There’s no way this crazy lady called Banafsheh could be Iranian. It’s time the world stands up to Israel and it’s aggressive polices in the Middle East and now these folks are talking about attacking Iran? WTF. As an Iranian I am outraged and disgusted by these people. Why give these killers any platform in America? Isn’t America a peaceful country? Do you standup for peace and prosperity?

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