The Loss of Sheldon Adelson Means More Than You Might Think

The Loss of Sheldon Adelson Means More Than You Might Think
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

On Monday, the Conservative movement lost a great friend.

Billionaire, philanthopist, and Conservative Sheldon Adelson has passed away at age 87, in his Malibu, California, home. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

Adelson founded and served as chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world’s largest gaming corporation, from its inception in 1988. He had been on medical leave from the company since Thursday to resume his fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which he had battled since 2019.

In a statement, the company said Adelson died from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

As I mentioned, that he was a major player in Republican political circles is indisputable. By the numbers, Adelson was a hefty piece of the donor puzzle for the Grand Old Party’s nominee in at least the past two presidential cycles — including for President Donald Trump. Israeli newpaper The JTA reports that “[h]e was the largest donor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid at $25 million, as well as the nation’s biggest giver in the 2012 election at nearly $93 million.”

It added that:

Adelson also contributed enormously to pro-Israel causes. He donated $127 million to the Jewish identity-building program Birthright Israel since 2007, according to IRS filings cited by the Center for Public Integrity. He was a major backer of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Republican Jewish Coalition. And he was a significant funder of the Israel lobby AIPAC until he shifted his giving to more conservative pro-Israel organizations.

But there was more to Sheldon Adelson than just what he did in the political world — much more. I’ll get to that in a moment.

As a major supporter of the GOP and our ally, the state of Israel, Adelson was villified unceasingly as a malevolent force by the leftists and their media allies, when the truth is he was the exact opposite. I’m sure many readers can appreciate what that feels like. Certainly, Pres. Trump can, as the majority-Democrat House of Representatives impeached him yet again today.

To best illustrate what I mean, here’s a Twitter thread Israeli tech columnist for the Jerusalem Post and video blogger, Hillel Fuld, felt compelled to share about Adelson with his followers. It begins with a personal grief, one he’s understandably still coming to terms with; it’s for his brother Ari, who was both an American and an Israeli.

According to the Times of Israel, 47-year-old Ari Fuld was mortally wounded in mid-September 2018, when a 17-year-old Palestinian assailant stabbed him outside a West Bank mall. Before Ari was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, he managed to run after the man and shoot at him, wounding him in the process. For his actions and life, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed him as a hero and an “advocate for Israel.”

Here’s how his brother Hillel tied Ari and Sheldon together. He writes:

I gotta share something with you. It’s a bit heavy so forgive me for that. But it’s important and I felt I need to share it today.

After Ari (My older brother) was murdered, there were countless tweets and FB posts from really really horrible people celebrating his murder. Why? Because they disagreed with his politics. Can you imagine what that felt like for me to read?

Each tweet and post like that felt like a dagger to my heart. I realize that they were sick people who wrote them but it still hurt like hell. It is not normal or moral behavior to celebrate the death of anyone with very few exceptions.

Hillel continues:

Sheldon Adelson died today. He was a father, a husband, a philanthropist, and much more. He donated millions to so many great causes and yes, to political candidates too. The amount of hatred on the internet right now is so beyond vile.

The man has a wife, kids, a family. And there are so many tweets celebrating his death. It makes me physically ill. Literally. Please, whoever you are, whatever your opinions are, think what damage your words can do.

Ari’s death left four children without a father, also.

And while his brother (rightly) admits he’s probably “hit…harder” by the vile attacks against Adelson because of the similarities to how Ari was treated, decent human beings can agree that no one should be trashed in the wake of their death because of political differences. He writes:

Anyway, I’m sure these tweets hit me harder because of Ari but either way, think, people, think. Words are very powerful. The man is dead. Let him Rest In Peace.

But as I said, politics weren’t the sum of the man. A comment on Hillel’s thread serves as the perfect transition to unveiling that facet of his life.

It reads:

My mom worked at the Venetian in Las Vegas for many years and just recently retired. Mr Adelson paid the salaries of his employees while his hotel was shit [sic] down, he paid 40hr work weeks for those who worked 24 after re-opening. Very generous man and good family. RIP

No surprise, the Venetian made a gracious reply:

The R-J newspaper, which Adelson owned, shared the remarkable details: (emphasis added)

Adelson also was unfailingly loyal to the thousands of people he employed.

After the coronavirus pandemic forced Nevada casinos to shutter in March, Adelson continued providing full pay and benefits to all 10,000 Las Vegas Sands Corp. employees and the 1,200 employees working in the resorts’ 14 independently operated restaurants throughout the closure.

“As the son of hardworking, low-income, immigrant parents, I grew up with the same anxiety people across the nation are feeling right now,” he wrote in a New York Post column about his decision to keep paying his employees.

“… I recall one of the most important lessons I learned from my father. He would come home from work — when he could find work, that is — and put loose change in the family pushke (charity box). When I asked why he would give to others when we had so little, he would say, ‘There is always someone whose need is greater than ours.’ ”

On a personal note, I previously lived in Las Vegas for 10 years. And one of the last jobs I held before I left in 2007 was indirectly because of Adelson. I worked for about six months as a temp in the Venetian’s Banquets Department. My favorite memory of the experience was of the moment when Mr. Adelson stepped into our offices unannounced and invited us all to enjoy some of the food his friend Wolfgang Puck — who was standing right next to him — just made. Apparently, it was meant for a fancy Breakfast event, which had to be cancelled last-minute.

May this great and good man rest in peace, and may his memory be a blessing to his family and friends.

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