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American Jewish billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson told Forbes magazine in an interview that his financial backing of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is based on more than just Gingrich's staunch support for Israel.
Adelson is a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is the owner of the Israeli daily Israel Hayom.
Adelson has reportedly given $11 million to Gingrich's super PAC, Winning Our Future, and is expected to donate $10 million more.
Responding to his critics, Adelson told Forbes, "Those people are either jealous or professional critics. They like to trash other people. It's unfair that I've been treated unfair - but it doesn''t stop me. I might give $10 million or $100 million to Gingrich."
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.
His latest resurrection comes at the same hand that seemingly defeated him in Iowa. There, but for the grace of a super PAC, would have gone Gingrich. [...] But solidifying his debate gains are the millions of dollars spent by a super PAC that has reversed the spending disparity that hit Gingrich so hard in Iowa.
A tide is flowing through American politics: a tide of money unleashed by a supreme court decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on advertising by so-called "super pacs" – political action committees loosely affiliated with individual candidates.