Sheldon Adelson is not a politician.
However he is no ordinary citizen either. He is one of the biggest contributors to the Republican party.
He is also very well connected in Israel.
So when Mr Adelson, one of prime minister Netanyahu’s closest American friends and owner of the biggest newspaper in Israel publicly suggests a nuclear strike against Iran, the Iranians are going to listen.
Are they going to be scared? I don’t think so.
If anything, such a statement is likely to strengthen the resolve of those in the regime who believe that Iran should build a nuclear bomb – for deterrence purposes. After all, an influential political financier has just called for a nuclear first strike against their country.
Sheldon Adelson is one of the biggest contributors to Jewish causes. Although I strongly disagree with his ultra hawkish views especially on Palestine and calls for war against Iran, I have heard from close friends who know him that he has nothing but love for the state of Israel and the Jewish people. And he puts his money where his mouth is, unlike some others.
He deserves respect for that.
Nevertheless, Mr Adelson: no one wants the Iranian regime to have a nuclear weapon. But you must remember that Iranians also listen to threats against them. Your statement helps justify the case for those in the regime who want a bomb. You hurt Israel’s cause.
This is in addition to the important fact that a nuclear first strike in order to “warn” the other side is deeply immoral and we in Israel do not want to have anything to do with it.