Deifying the American President: Miriam Adelson Doubles Down on 'Book of Trump'

Israeli-American megadonor uses media platforms to tout the ‘platinum anniversary’ being celebrated by the two countries and to decry the president’s lack of ‘sweeping support’ at home

U.S. President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to physician Miriam Adelson, wife of Sheldon Adelson, during an East Room ceremony,  in Washington, DC., on November 16, 2018.
ALEX WONG / AFP

Donald Trump’s presidency represents “a time of miracles” for Israel, the United States and the world, and perhaps someday a chapter of the Bible — a “Book of Trump” — should be written celebrating his accomplishments.

Such was the suggestion of Israeli-American megadonor Miriam Adelson, as set out in a praise-laden article published in the two newspapers she owns in both countries. 

The piece, which appeared this weekend in the Las Vegas Review Journal, after running in the free newspaper Israel Hayom, enumerated what Adelson views as Trump’s gifts to Israel, and bemoaned the fact that he doesn’t receive the support among American Jews that she believes he deserves.

“Scholars of the Bible will no doubt note the heroes, sages and prophets of antiquity who were similarly spurned by the very people they came to raise up,” Adelson wrote. “Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a 'Book of Trump,' much like it has a 'Book of Esther,' celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?”

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Adelson’s words echoed a common refrain among U.S. evangelical circles and Trump advisers, comparing the president to various biblical figures, particularly with respect to his policies regarding Israel. After his 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump has repeatedly been compared by evangelicals and Jews on the religious right to Persia’s King Cyrus II, who allowed the Jews to return to their land and rebuild their Temple, with some even suggesting that Trump was, in fact, Cyrus reincarnated. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to that comparison himself, telling Trump he would be remembered for his declaration concerning Jerusalem much as King Cyrus himself had been. 

For his part, U.S. ambassador David Friedman, speaking at the AIPAC policy conference earlier this year, compared Trump to King David, noting that the legendary Jewish leader “recognized that Israel’s enemies would seek to undermine the centrality of Jerusalem to the State of Israel and to mischaracterize and vilify the Jewish state. He sought God’s intervention for something simple and basic that we not fall for it, that we continue to see the holiness, the beauty, the sanctity of life, and, yes, the good in Jerusalem. I’d like to think that God has blessed the Trump administration in this very manner.”

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But more recently, the rather odd connection between Trump and Queen Esther — which Adelson points to — has become popular in evangelical circles. In late March, a Christian broadcaster asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo whether “President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?” Pompeo replied: “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.”

In her article, Adelson compared the U.S.-Israel relationship to a long marriage — like that of hers and casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson. She acknowledges that the two countries have gone through “rough patches” in the past, but thanks to Trump they are now celebrating a “platinum” anniversary. Among the reasons, she cited his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, his decision to move the U.S. Embassy there, his declaration of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. 

Adelson praised the way in which “Trump and his senior staff have also purged the sewer that was a so-called peace process, silted by dishonesty and hypocrisy. Their administration has made clear that the Middle East must come to terms with an Israel that is proudly permanent in the Land of Zion — an Israel whose Jewish roots run deepest and whose ancestral, sovereign claims are without equal.”

With all he has done for Israel, she said, striking a note of regret, “by rights, Trump should enjoy sweeping support among U.S. Jews, just as he does among Israelis. That this has not been the case (so far — the 2020 election still beckons) is an oddity that will long be pondered by historians.” 

The articles by Adelson, who was recently named Israel’s wealthiest citizen, came at the close of a month-long sojourn in Israel, during which she feted former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and joined Friedman, Trump Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and Prime Minister Netanyahu's wife Sara at a ceremony inaugurating “Pilgrimage Road” underneath the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, organized by the settler organization Elad.