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When Newt Gingrich told an interviewer last month that the Palestinians were an "invented people," his remark drew almost universal rebuke.
A few weeks later, at a Hanukkah event welcoming American students visiting Israel as part of the Birthright program, which he helps fund, Adelson, the multibillionaire casino magnate, declared that Gingrich had it right.
Last weekend, Adelson made good on a commitment to begin pumping massive sums of cash into Gingrich's campaign -- or at least into a super PAC backing him.
The $5 million check that made its way to the super PAC, Winning Our Future, immediately helped make possible a dire and highly produced TV spot assailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for his work in private equity.
As Nathan Guttman and Josh Nathan-Kazis documented in a recent report in the Jewish Daily Forward, Adelson identified Gingrich as someone who shared his vision for Israel policy years ago.
Romney may have boasted that he would make his first trip as president to Israel, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum that he would support a unilateral Israeli strike against Iran. But Gingrich says all that, plus adds that he would begin by considering the release of Jonathan Pollard, the convicted Israeli who spied on America, and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem on his first day in office.
Both Adelson and Gingrich have been openly disdainful of the Palestinians, whom they both describe as bent on destroying Israel and offering nothing toward a peace process. Both agree that the two-state solution, since it means Israel must give up parts of the West Bank, is dead.
Lately, Adelson has also expanded his Gingrich boosting effort to another arena: the Israeli media.
Since 2007, Adelson has owned a daily newspaper called Israel Hayom, which is distributed free of charge -- chiefly on Adelson's dime -- to the largest audience of any paper in the country.
The paper was so positive toward Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of Adelson's, both personally and ideologically, that many people believed it had been founded simply to help him return to the premiership.
Dr Miriam Adelson, wife of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has donated $5 million to a pro-Newt Gingrich 'super PAC', providing a boost to the Republican presidential aspirant's campaign a week ahead of the Florida primary.
Adelson is an ardent Zionist. Since 2007 the Adelson Family Foundation has made contributions totaling $100 million to Birthright Israel, which finances Jewish youth trips to Israel, Adelson is such a hard-line Zionist that he even stopped supporting AIPAC when it appeared to support a 2007 peace initiative championed by Olmert, President Bush, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
In 2009, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which is a hard-line Zionist group that wants Israel to retain the occupied territories and expand the Jewish settlements, presented Adelson its most distinguished and historic award, the Theodor Herzl Gold Medallion for outstanding achievement in Zionism. His wife received the Louis D. Brandeis Award. The couple now have their names on one of ZOA’s major awards, the Dr. Miriam & Sheldon Adelson Defender of Israel Award.
Adelson donated over $25 million to the The Adelson Educational Campus in Las Vegas to build a high school. In 2005, Adelson and his wife contributed $250,000 each (thus the total contribution from the couple was $500,000) to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.
Adelson lost $24 billion in 2008, more than any other American billionaire. In Forbes 2009 world billionaires list, his ranking dropped to #178 with a net worth of $3.4 billion, but in 2011 he was ranked as the world's 16th richest man with a fortune amounting to $23.3 billion.