For Once, Sheldon Adelson Needs Donald Trump More Than Trump Needs Adelson
Netanyahu and Adelson now desperately need Trump's blessing for annexation of Jordan Valley, freeing Trump to make a deal with Iran
Today in an unprecedented show of autonomy, Donald Trump fired the firebreathing national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton was gifted to the Trump administration in 2018 by Sheldon Adelson, Trump’s biggest donor, and Trump duly ended the Iran deal once Bolton came aboard.
Now Trump has fired Bolton, thereby signalling that he is open to renegotiating the Iran deal. And Trump’s Defense Department has all but criticized Israel for its drone war in Iraq and Syria that is threatening Americans and American proxies.
Trump is showing more independence of the rightwing Israel lobby than he has his entire administration. After three years of doing everything for Israel that the rightwing lobby wanted, from Jerusalem to the Golan to UNRWA.
The simple explanation for Trump’s conduct is that he at last has the upper hand in his relationship with Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson.
Benjamin Netanyahu desperately needs Trump to deliver on a huge deliverable, greenlighting the annexation of the Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley, a historic achievement of Zionists in completely colonizing the land of Palestine– “forever,” as Netanyahu promised today in his own desperate announcement of his intentions. In that speech, Netanyahu pleaded with Israeli voters to vote for him not Benny Gantz, because Netanyahu would be able to “recruit” Donald Trump in this plan in the weeks to come, in conjunction with Trump’s deal of the century, yet to be announced.
No one else can deal with Trump as I can, Netanyahu said. No one else can “recruit” Trump.
Netanyahu’s Hail Mary should be seen for what it looks like: a sincere moment of Flop Sweat. Now he really needs Donald Trump to come through. We have a historic opportunity here, Netanyahu said, to go forward on annexation. I.e., to kill the idea of a Palestinian state, “forever.”
Does that opportunity really exist? Trump knows that Netanyahu’s future rides on his next gesture. The rightwing annexationist program rides on Trump’s signals in the next few days.
Whatever Sheldon Adelson’s differences with Netanyahu, Sheldon Adelson’s own agenda, of ending the idea of a Palestinian state, and establishing Jewish sovereignty throughout the ancient biblical land of Israel, is on the line here.
If Gantz and Yair Lapid and Blue/White get into the prime minister’s office, they are not likely to proceed with annexation. Blue/White need to satisfy their center-left base, much of which still believes in a Palestinian state. Netanyahu has been running away from any idea of a Palestinian state (Just yesterday Likud leaped to object when Naftali Bennett said that some in Likud support a Palestinian state).
All eyes are on Trump. After doing anything for Adelson’s $170 million over the last three years, after being Sheldon Adelson’s “perfect little puppet” as Trump warned us Marco Rubio would be —
Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015
Trump is finally free. For a few weeks anyway, the hammer is in his hand. All those Adelson millions are ancient history, and 2020 might as well be the next century.
Who is king now? Adelson is the humble petitioner.
All Netanyahu’s marbles are on the line, his freedom too. And Donald Trump has warmed to the haggling by cutting off Adelson’s proxy: John Bolton.
The deal is likely to be just what was predicted last month. Netanyahu will win on West Bank annexation. Donald Trump will do his part, signing off on apartheid forever, telling Palestinians they are subhuman. Telling Israelis that he and Netanyahu are peers. Netanyahu’s only hope to hold on to the premiereship.
Trump will deliver for Netanyahu, but he will extract a price. He will gain autonomy to deal with Iran; Netanyahu will lose on Iran.
And P.S. the biggest victor in all this process will be…
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Europe will totally be on board. A movement smeared as anti-Semitic by US legislatures and Bari Weiss and the New York Times and all the Israel lobby groups will emerge as the only real opposition to apartheid.