WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sheldon Adelson, a top backer of Republican and right-wing pro-Israel causes, advocated bombing Iran with a nuclear device as a means of negotiation.
“You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say ‘OK, let it go,’ and so there’s an atomic weapon goes over, ballistic missiles in the middle of the desert that doesn’t hurt a soul, maybe a couple of rattlesnakes and scorpions or whatever,” Adelson, a casino magnate, said in a rare public appearance on Oct. 22 at Yeshiva University in New York. “And then you say, ‘See? The next one is in the middle of Tehran.’ ”
Video of the event was posted on the Mondoweiss website.
Adelson, a lead backer of Republican candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign, was criticizing the Obama administration’s readiness to negotiate with Iran’s leaders toward undoing the country’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
“So, we mean business, you want to be wiped out? Go ahead, take a tough position and continue with nuclear development,” said Adelson, who owns a major Israeli newspaper considered close to the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“You want to be peaceful, just reverse it all and we will guarantee that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes,” he said.
Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are major contributors to the Birthright Israel program.