Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Sheldon Adelson
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with supporter and publisher Sheldon Adelson. Photo by Tess Scheflan
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American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and owner of the Israeli daily Israel Hayom, has given $5 million to an independent group backing Newt Gingrich's presidential bid.

A person familiar with the situation said Adelson — founder and majority owner of Las Vegas-based company that owns Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem — made the contribution Friday to Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich super PAC. The person said Adelson would spend heavily to assist whichever candidate wins the Republican nomination.

Adelson is a longtime supporter of GOP candidates and has been a friend and backer of former House Speaker Gingrich for many years.
Gingrich's campaign has struggled since a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney spent $3 million on ads attacking him in Iowa.

Last month, Adelson said he agreed with Gingrich’s controversial remarks that the Palestinians are an invented people.

Gingrich’s "invented Palestinians" remarks to the Jewish Channel, a U.S. cable TV network, earlier this month were met with widespread criticism.

Addressing a Hanukkah celebration for hundreds of youths visiting Israel as part of the Taglit Birthright program on Sunday, Adelson said, “Read the history of those who call themselves Palestinians, and you will hear why [Newt] Gingrich said recently that the Palestinians are an invented people. There are a number of Palestinians who will recognize the truth of this statement.”