American-Jewish billionaire blasts Obama over negotiations with Tehran; says US should show Iran nuclear capabilities.
NEW YORK – During a panel at Yeshiva University on Tuesday evening, Sheldon Adelson, noted businessman and owner of the newspaper*Israel Hayom, suggested that the US should use nuclear weapons on Iran to impose its demands from a position of strength.Asked by moderator Rabbi Shmuley Boteach whether the US should negotiate with Iran if it were to cease its uranium enrichment program, Adelson retorted, “What are we going to negotiate about?”
Adelson then imagined what might happen if an American official were to call up an Iranian official, say “watch this,” and subsequently drop a nuclear bomb in the middle of the Iranian desert."Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes’," Adelson said.“So a tremendous demonstration of American strength?” Boteach clarified. “So that they would get the message?”“It’s the only thing they understand,” Adelson said.“And do you see the current negotiations as a sign of weakness?” Boteach asked.“Absolutely,” Adelson said.Adelson, who donated tens of millions of dollars to defeated Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the most recent campaign, criticized the Obama administration's willingness to engage the Iranians diplomatically."[It's] the worst negotiating tactic I could ever imagine, my entire life," he said."Because you can’t get anything. He’s not saying to them, Roll back your entire program and show that you’re willing to be peaceful. So, roll it all back… and we’ll roll back the sanctions…. What is that, a game of chicken, who’s going to blink first?"In response to Adelson's comments, Boteach said whether the remarks were regarded as serious or an exaggeration to exemplify the extreme measures that the US must take to thwart Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the international community often employs double standards on Israeli issues.“When I heard Sheldon make his remark, my initial thought was that his purpose was to goad his more liberal critics into attacking the policy so that their double standards on nuclear threats against Israel could be exposed,” said Rabbi Boteach in a statement.“I would hope that those who seem alarmed by Sheldon’s overstatement on the extent to which the United States should go to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon will at least protest that much more loudly against its actual development,” he added.
Sands: Hacking went further than email, websites
Associated Press*ByHANNAH DREIERFeb 18, 2014 5:44 PMLAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. said Tuesday that hacking into their websites and internal systems last week went deeper than the company had previously known.All of the Las Vegas-based company's sites were down for six days after hackers posted images apparently condemning comments CEO Sheldon Adelson made about using nuclear weapons on Iran.
Sands said hackers crashed its email system and stole employees' Social Security numbers.But a video posted online appears to catalog stolen information that goes much further.Sands spokesman Ron Reese said the company is reviewing the 11-minute video that appears to show dozens of administrator passwords, including passwords for slot machine systems and player information at Sands' Bethlehem, Pennsylvania casino. It also shows employee files and a diagram of the company's internal networks. He said the company did not know about the additional incursions until it started investigating the video.
"We have now determined that the hackers reached at least some of the company's internal drives in the US containing some office productivity information made up largely of documents and spreadsheets," he said in a statement. "We are reviewing the video to determine what, if any, customer or employee data may have been accessed."The FBI, Secret Service and Nevada Gaming Control Board are investigating the hacking. Neither of the federal agencies would comment on the matter, and Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett also declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the video.A person using the name Zhao Anderson sent the video to The Associated Press on Monday by email, and it was also posted on YouTube by a person using the same name. The AP could not verify the person's identity, or the information contained in the email.
Reese declined to say whether Sands had changed its administrative passwords in response to the hacking.The hacking affected Sands' corporate website, as well as the sites for casinos in Las Vegas, China, Singapore, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Sands restored the websites Monday afternoon, though not exactly as they were before the attack.Adelson is an outspoken supporter of Israel and a generous donor to U.S. Republican Party campaigns. He spoke in October about dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran, saying strength was the only thing the country understands.The hackers at one point referred to themselves as the "Anti WMD Team." Cybersecurity experts say it could have taken several months for so-called "hacktivists" to complete an attack on Sands' networks.
Sands, which is the world's largest casino company in terms of revenue, also owns the world's largest casino, in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. The company's net income was $2.31 billion last year.Sands has not said what effect the hacking attack has had on the company's bottom line. Sands has said it has been able to continue booking visitors by telephone.Since the hacking became public last Tuesday, Sands stock has risen about 3.7 percent to $80.69.
___Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier
Governors Christie, Walker and Kasich woo billionaire Sheldon Adelson at Vegas event
By Philip Rucker,*Published: MARCH 29, 7:43 PM ET*E-mail the writer
LAS VEGAS — To New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Republicans must“stop killing each other.”*Start focusing on winning elections, he thundered, or keep arguing and “form a university.”To Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the GOP ought to quit being the party that cuts programs and takes goodies away from people. “We can’t be the accountant party,” he said. “We’ve got to be the party of more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity.”And to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Republicans should prove to middle-class voters that they under*stand their problems by seizing the “moral high ground” and guiding those who are struggling to make ends meet out of the shadows.
Three of the nation’s most prominent governors, all touted as potential Republican presidential candidates in 2016, presented advice here Saturday about how their divided and demoralized party should refocus to reclaim the White House.Under the watchful eyes of a few hundred powerful Jewish donors — none more heavily courted than billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson — Christie, Walker and Kasich also emphasized their support for Israel and advocated a muscular foreign policy.“We cannot have a world where our friends are unsure of whether we’ll be with them and our enemies are unsure of whether we’ll be against them,” Christie said. “In New Jersey, no one has to wonder whether I’m for them or against them.”The three seemed less confident speaking about foreign affairs than they were about domestic policy. Christie drew murmurs when he referred to the “occupied territories,” a phrasing some in the audience said was a gaffe.Officially, the governors were in Las Vegas to address the spring leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has long promoted a staunchly pro-Israel and interventionist foreign policy. But their political objective was to build relationships with potential benefactors who could bankroll future campaigns.The biggest draw was Adelson, who hosted the conference at the Venetian, his sprawling and flashy casino hotel. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, spent more than $93*million in the 2012 elections and have signaled they will spend heavily in the next presidential campaign.
Adelson was not present for Walker’s speech, but he arrived a few minutes into Christie’s remarks and took a seat in the front row. He later ate lunch next to Kasich. Although there were a few hundred people seated in the ballroom, the Ohio governor frequently directed his remarks to “Sheldon” in his speech, as if he were having a one-on-one chat.Concluding his speech, Kasich said: “In Ohio, we’re no longer fly-over [country], Sheldon. We want you to invest. We want you to get to know us.”Christie, Walker and Kasich — as well as*former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who addressed a smaller dinner of the most active donors Thursday night — each met privately with Adelson in what some political observers have dubbed*“the Sheldon Primary.”
Andy Abboud, Adelson’s top political adviser and the senior vice president for governmental relations at Las Vegas Sands Corp., described the meetings as casual. He said Adelson is familiar with the governors’ positions on Israel and online gaming — two issues that motivate his political giving — and that they did not make formal presentations or lay out policy agendas.“It’s literally Diet Cokes, coffee and water,” Abboud said. “It’s not about your positions and what you’ll do about it, but about everything — your families, your trips. It’s important to Sheldon to know what makes people tick and to establish a comfort level.”Abboud said Adelson is keeping an open mind about whom to back in 2016, although he favors those seen as most likely to appeal to broad demographics and to prevail in the general election.“People are waiting for us to have puffs of smoke coming from the Venetian, looking to see who the candidate will be,” Abboud said. “It’s a very open field as to who they’re considering, and it’s way too premature to figure out who the favorite is.”Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is aggressively preparing for a presidential campaign, did not attend the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering. But he was the subject of implicit criticism by some who were there. Several speakers here decried the GOP’s growing noninterventionist strain in what was interpreted in part as a shot at Paul.John R. Bolton, a hawkish Republican and a former ambassador to the United Nations, said he fears the “rising tide of neo-isolationism within the Republican Party.”
The potential presidential candidates, none of whom is Jewish, found creative ways to emphasize their strong support for Israel and Jewish traditions.Walker talked about his father’s first pilgrimage to Israel in the 1980s. The governor said that at home during the holidays, he displays both a Christmas tree and a menorah. And he said that he had named his first son Matthew, which is translated in Hebrew as “gift of God.”Christie spoke at length about a recent trip he took to Israel with his family. He said he was taken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “strength and *resolve.” When he met Israeli President Shimon Peres, Christie said, “I felt like he had walked out of a history book.”Christie also quipped that he likes traveling to Israel because, he said, the country is “about the same size as New Jersey.”
RJC Spring Leadership Meeting 2014, March 28-30, 2014
Join us for a terrific weekend of poker, politics, and policy at the fabulous*Venetian Resort and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada!March 28-30, 2014(*Supplemental programming and Board activities, including Golf Tournament, begin March 27.)- See more at:
Our Terrific Lineup of Speaker Includes:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Ohio Governor John Kasich
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Vice President Dick Cheney*will be the keynote speaker at the Gala Dinner!
Israeli*Ambassador Ron Dermerand*Ambassador John Bolton*-
Don’t miss this great weekend of special events, which includes:
RJC Golf Tournament
RJC Poker Tournament
RJC Business Meeting
Special Shabbat Dinner VIP Luncheon Hosted by the National Women’s Committee
Special Afternoon Programming Gala DinnerSunday Morning Session
This meeting is exclusively for members of the RJC National Leadership.
National Leadership opportunities start at the $1,000 contribution level.*
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin
Scott Walker goes broad on foreign policy
By*KENNETH P. VOGEL*| 3/29/14 2:36 PM EDT*Updated: 3/30/14 1:42 PM EDTLAS VEGAS – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a Saturday morning speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition offered broad, but vague support for a muscular foreign policy and support for Israel, stopping short of the level of specificity craved by his audience.The speech, to a gathering of influential Jewish donors and activists well-schooled in Middle Eastern affairs, would seem to offer little to skeptics who see foreign policy as a weakness for a potential Walker 2016 presidential run.
The speech, to a gathering of influential Jewish donors and activists well-schooled in Middle Eastern affairs, would seem to offer little to skeptics who see foreign policy as a weakness for a potential Walker 2016 presidential run.Walker chided the Obama administration as weak on national defense, specifically citing diminishing troop levels, and asserted “Israel should have an ally in the United States.” And while he conceded that foreign policy is “not an area that governors typically look at,” he mentioned that he was commander in chief of the Wisconsin National Guard, before shifting gears to domestic policy, a subject on which he was more animated.He did reach for cultural common ground with his audience by explaining that he lights a menorah at the governor’s mansion during Hannukah and named his son “Matthew” – which means “gift from God” in Hebrew.Walker’s speech stood in stark contrast to that which preceded it, from former Ambassador John Bolton, who offered a specific critique of American foreign policy in hot spots around the world, and even took an oblique swipe at the GOP’s libertarian wing. “Unfortunately, we see within our own party, a rising tide of what can only be called isolationism,” he said.The RJC conference has become a cattle call of sorts for prospective GOP presidential candidates, featuring speeches from prospective GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich.Walker brushed off a question from RJC executive director Matt Brooks about 2016, saying he’s focused on his own reelection this fall.“Any Republican who is talking about anything other than 2014 is doing a disservice to not only the party, but the country,” he said.
Governor John Kasich of Ohio
Kasich's Las Vegas speech encourages investment in Ohio
By*Joe VardonThe Columbus Dispatch**•**Saturday March 29, 2014 6:30 PMComments: 2**3**84**125LAS VEGAS – Gov. John Kasich finished his speech today to about 300 mostly wealthy, Jewish Republican donors from all across the United States with “in Ohio, we’re no longer a flyover, Sheldon.”*The “Sheldon” he addressed several times during his speech here is casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose Venetian hotel and casino is hosting the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual spring conference. The event could have implications for the 2016 Republican presidential primary, observers say, because of the $93 million Adelson gave to Republican-leaning causes during the 2012 election.*“We do want you to come. We want you to invest,” Kasich said in closing and apparently speaking again to Adelson. “We want you to get to know us. Because Ohio really is the heart of it all.”*The conference drew national media attention not only because of Adelson, but also because of the others who spoke. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — two names often mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2016 — also spoke today, as did former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke Thursday night at a private dinner in an airport hangar.*If, as some had speculated, the speakers were here jockeying for Adelson’s support for a hypothetical presidential campaign, Kasich’s tack was far different from the others'. Kasich, who is up for re-election this year and has said repeatedly that keeping his governorship is his only goal, delivered a speech identical in concept to dozens he has given throughout Ohio in the past few months.*
The conference drew national media attention not only because of Adelson, but also because of the others who spoke. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — two names often mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2016 — also spoke today, as did former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke Thursday night at a private dinner in an airport hangar.*
If, as some had speculated, the speakers were here jockeying for Adelson’s support for a hypothetical presidential campaign, Kasich’s tack was far different from the others'. Kasich, who is up for re-election this year and has said repeatedly that keeping his governorship is his only goal, delivered a speech identical in concept to dozens he has given throughout Ohio in the past few months.*
Kasich spoke of balancing budgets and job creation; he talked about expanding Medicaid without mentioning the words*Medicaid*orexpansion; and touched on topics that generally draw people’s attention but rarely elicit applause, such as reforming education, battling prescription-drug abuse and “helping people in the shadows.”*
Perhaps the lone difference between this speech and those he has given across Ohio was that Kasich repeatedly inserted Adelson’s name, as if speaking directly to him.*“It’s a nothingburger,” Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks said of Kasich’s Adelson references, downplaying them. “People were listening to the substance of the speech.”*
Adelson, who contributed about $11,400 to the Republican Governors Association's Ohio fund for Kasich in 2010, sat next to Kasich at lunch before his speech.*Adelson also walked into the room just as Christie began his speech but didn’t attend Walker’s or Bolton’s talks.*While Kasich made no mention of anything related to foreign policy until he was asked about it in a question-and-answer session, the other speakers focused on it.*
“We cannot have a world where our friends are unsure if we will be with them and our enemies unsure if we are going to be against them,” Christie said. “In New Jersey, no one needs to wonder if I am for them or against them.”*Walker said in his speech that foreign policy is “not an area governors typically look at,” but he said that Ronald Reagan’s breaking of the air-traffic-controllers’ union in 1981 “sent a message around the world.”*It “sent an even more powerful message to our adversaries that if you mess with the United States of America, there will be swift and certain action, and I believe we ought to be strong like that,” Walker said.*Former Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to address the conference at dinner tonight.