Mr. Bannon’s ability to hang on as Mr. Trump’s in-house populist is in part because of his connections to a handful of ultrarich political patrons, including Sheldon G. Adelson, the pro-Israel casino magnate who is based in Las Vegas.As executive chairman of Breitbart News before joining the Trump campaign, Bannon transformed the right-wing outlet into what he described as the “the platform for the alt-right” – the collection of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and racists who have been the renewed focus of outrage since their violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.
Israel’s silenceBannon is widely viewed as the champion of the white supremacists – some of whom were openly parading with Nazi flags – and the reason why Trump did not explicitly condemn them immediately after one of their number, allegedly James Alex Fields, 20, rammed his car into counterdemonstrators killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen others.
Hence the renewed pressure on Trump to fire Bannon. But if Bannon supports the white supremacist and clearly anti-Semitic far-right, why does he enjoy the backing of Adelson?
The Las Vegas billionaire, as is well known, is a major financier of the US Republican Party and one of the biggest donors to pro-Israel organizations in the United States. Adelson has said he regrets serving in the US army, instead of Israel’s.
He is also a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and that’s where the answer can be found.
Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu, have been conspicuously silent about Nazis rampaging in Charlottesville – all the more strange since Israel is usually quick to exploit international events to its advantage. (After three days of silence, Netanyahu finally, on Tuesday, tweeted a general condemnation of “anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism” without specifically mentioning Charlottesville.)
Why is the “Jewish state” apparently so reluctant to speak out against Nazis?
Israel’s anti-Semitic alliancesWhile Israel purports to be the protector of Jews all over the world, Zionists historically made alliances with the world’s most lethal anti-Semites. Zionists and anti-Semites, after all, shared the analysis that Jews do not belong in Europe, so why not cooperate to transport them somewhere else – Palestine.
This odious alliance continues in updated form, as journalist Max Blumenthal observed:
A cornerstone of Israel’s policy today is to cement ties with other ultra-nationalist, racist and Islamophobic forces around the world – even if they are also anti-Semitic.