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February 9, 2016 / 30 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Adelson’

Is Sheldon Adelson Destroying Israel’s Newspapers?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

According to the Israeli financial website Globes, Sheldon Adelson is in advanced negotiations to purchase the Ha’aretz printing plant. The deal is believed to be in the order of $25 million dollars.

Over the past few months, Adelson’s free daily, Yisrael Hayom, has been searching for a new printing facility to replace the Ha’aretz plant where it currently prints its daily freesheet. Ha’aretz’s plant handles the printing for a number of different newspapers.

Adelson had recently been in negotiations with Nochi Dankner, a major shareholder and chairman of publicly traded IDB Group, Israel’s largest diversified business group with assets of more than $30 billion, to purchase Ma’ariv’s Levin Epstein Printing House. But that deal apparently fell through, striking a hard blow for Ma’ariv which is desperately strapped for cash. Ma’ariv has been looking to sell the printing plant and the land it sits on.

Many Israeli newspapers have been firing staff and “streamlining” these past few months. The right-wing Makor Rishon is one notable exception to the rule.

Globes reports that Ha’aretz announced it was firing 70 employees, some 32 from their own paper, and the rest from their financial daily, The Marker. Yediot Achronot will be firing dozens, many of them likely to be dropped from its website Ynet. Ma’ariv recently shut down its weekday print run, and fired 30 employees in June.

Yediot executives are blaming Adelson and Yisrael Hayom for destroying the Israeli newspaper industry, and more specifically, for destroying Ha’aretz and Yediot Achronot with the introduction of the free daily broadsheet.

Dershowitz: NJDC’s David Harris Must Go

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz told Breitbart News that David Harris, head of the National Jewish Democratic Council, must step down.

“David Harris and the National Jewish Democratic Council are a bunch of liars. I, Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat, am calling for David Harris to step down in the interests of the Democratic Party. He’s going to turn Jewish voters away from the Democratic Party. They’re going to vote for the Republicans because of what David Harris and the National Jewish Democratic Council are doing.”

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson has filed a $60 million libel suit against the National Jewish Democratic Council, Chairman Marc R. Stanley, and CEO David Harris. According to the suit, an article posted on the NJDC website and circulated via e-mail repeated allegations that Adelson condoned prostitution in his Chinese casinos. Dershowitz in the confirmed in the Breitbart News interview that Harris knew the allegations against Adelson were untrue when he wrote his article and email:

“I personally told Harris that the man who made the charges wrote in a contemporaneous e-mail that he didn’t believe them himself. Then the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also dropped the allegations against Adelson. In the face of these two pieces of hard evidence that these charges were a lie, Harris went ahead and knowingly published the lie. He knows it’s a lie.”

Dershowitz’s criticisms included NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley’s challenge to debate Sheldon Adelson, about which Dershowitz said: “It’s absurd. You don’t debate liars.”

Adelson Suing the National Jewish Democratic Council for Defamation

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s lawyers sent a warning letter to the NJDC and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week, after both groups had called on Republicans not to take money from Adelson following an allegation by a fired employee that the billionaire had approved of prostitution at his facilities in Macau, China.

The allegation first appeared in an Associated Press account of the lawsuit filed by Adelson’s former employee, Steven Jacobs, who had managed Adelson’s Macua business until being fired in 2010.

The DCCC apologized last week, but NJDC has refused to do so, and Adelson filed the lawsuit this week.

NJDC revealed the lawsuit in the following statement on its website:

“We will not be bullied into submission, and we will not be silenced by power. This is not Putin’s Russia, and in America, political speech regarding one of the most well-known public figures in our country is a fundamental right. One would think the person making greatest use of the Citizens United ruling would understand this. To be sure, referencing mainstream press accounts examining the conduct of a public figure and his business ventures—as we did—is wholly appropriate. Indeed, it is both an American and a Jewish obligation to ask hard questions of powerful individuals like Mr. Adelson, just as it is incumbent upon us to praise his wonderful philanthropic endeavors.

“We know that we were well within our rights, and we will defend ourselves against this SLAPP suit as far and as long as necessary. We simply will not be bullied, and we will not be silenced.”

“Referencing mainstream press accounts examining the conduct of a public figure and his business ventures – as we did – is wholly appropriate,” it said in a statement. “Indeed, it is both an American and a Jewish obligation to ask hard questions of powerful individuals like Mr. Adelson, just as it is incumbent upon us to praise his wonderful philanthropic endeavors.”

NJDC officials referred to Adelson’s suit as a “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” or SLAPP, a term used for legal maneuvers aimed not at obtaining justice but silence.

Adelson’s publicist, Ron Reese, had no immediate comment.

Back in July, NJDC Chair Marc R. Stanley and President and CEO David A. Harris issued the following statement, regarding their “Sheldon Adelson Petition”:

“Regarding our recent campaign surrounding Sheldon Adelson, we don’t believe we engaged in character assassination; we stand by everything we said, which was sourced from current, credible news accounts. Accusations against Mr. Adelson were made not by us, but by others, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Nonetheless, we regret the concern that this campaign has caused. And in the interest of shalom bayit (peace in our home / community), we are going to take down our petition today. Moving forward, we’ll continue to work hard to fight against the unique threat posed by the outsized influence of certain individual megadonors, which rightly concerns most Americans and most American Jews.”

Apparently, backtracking did not yield the desired “shalom bayit.”

Since the May, 2004 opening of the Sands Macao, Adelson’s personal wealth has grown from just under $2 billion to an estimated $24.9 billion as of March, 2012. However, Adelson’s company is reportedly under federal investigation over alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to payments made to a Macao lawyer.

JTA content was used in this report.

Passionate And Opinionated, Adelson Makes Waves In Presidential Race

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

WASHINGTON – Call it the Adelson conundrum: What happens when the guy who acts as if he owns the room really does?

In March at TribeFest, the annual gathering of young adults organized by the Jewish Federations of North America at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson walked in on a surrogate debate between Matt Brooks, who directs the Republican Jewish Coalition, and his counterpart at the National Jewish Democratic Council, David A. Harris.

Adelson, who owns the Venetian, was the first to ask a question. He went on to berate Harris for six minutes, describing President Obama as a “crybaby” who should be in diapers, according to several people in the room, including an organizer.

The organizer, speaking on background, said the time Adelson used and his tone were luxuries that would not have been afforded anyone else. The difference, as the organizer said, is that Adelson “owned the room, literally.”

That same sense of entitlement could be driving the 79-year-old Adelson’s conversations with Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

This week it was reported that Adelson was pressing Romney to speak out publicly in favor of the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, to commit to moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and to declare the Palestinians as unwilling to make peace. Romney, the report said, is resisting.

Through political action committees, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have funneled $10 million toward Romney’s election effort. Adelson has said he’s willing to spend up to $100 million to defeat Obama.

Those close to Adelson say politics are a small part of what makes him tick.

“He is passionately committed to Jewish life and living, and to Israel,” said Elliot Karp, the director of the Las Vegas Jewish Federation. “And he is no more or less polarizing than anyone else who gives his opinions.”

Adelson has given nearly $100 million to Birthright Israel, the program that brings Jews aged 18-26 to Israel for free. He revived the fortunes of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem with a $25 million gift in 2006. He has established a $4.5 million Jewish studies center in his name at the Shalem Center, a right-wing think tank in Jerusalem. His relatively smaller donations have helped bolster groups such as the Zionist Organization of America and The Israel Project.

“The true story is that the amount of money he spends on politics is dwarfed by what he gives to philanthropy,” said the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Brooks. “They are the single most important philanthropists in the Jewish community, in terms of Birthright, Yad Vashem and medical research,” he said of the Adelsons.

Adelson is the 15th richest man in the world, according to Forbes, with an estimated worth of $25 billion.

The confluence of Adelson’s three major interests – Jewish philanthropy, Republican politics and the casino business, which is how Adelson became one of the world’s richest men – has become one of the preeminent narratives of this election campaign.

Some frustrated Jewish Democrats believe the Jewish community is unduly influenced by its single largest donor.

“It’s very intimidating,” said Steve Rabinowitz, a leading public relations consultant to Jewish and Democratic causes, speaking of Adelson’s influence. “Where he’s given money, he’s given extraordinary amounts of money, and I’ve seen it firsthand.”

For his part, Adelson is unapologetic about using his money to influence policy.

“I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections,” he told Forbes in February. “But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it. Because I know that guys like Soros have been doing it for years, if not decades,” he said, referring to the left-wing financier George Soros, who also is Jewish.

The admixture of Adelson’s politics and charitable giving is not new. In December, addressing a Chanukah gathering in Israel of hundreds of Birthright participants, Adelson championed Newt Gingrich after the then-Republican candidate for president said the Palestinians were an “invented people.” At the time, Adelson was the single biggest backer of Gingrich; he and his wife gave $16.5 million to the ex-House of Representatives speaker’s effort.

In 2007, Adelson broke with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee over its support for a congressional letter calling for a massive increase in funding for the Palestinian Authority. Adelson previously had been one of AIPAC’s major backers, helping to fund its new Washington headquarters.

NJDC Removes Adelson Petition

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The National Jewish Democratic Council, citing peace among Jewish groups, has taken down a petition calling on Republicans not to accept money from Sheldon Adelson.

“Regarding our recent campaign surrounding Sheldon Adelson, we don’t believe we engaged in character assassination; we stand by everything we said, which was sourced from current, credible news accounts. Accusations against Mr. Adelson were made not by us, but by others, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Nonetheless, we regret the concern that this campaign has caused. And in the interest of shalom bayit (peace in our home / community), we are going to take down our petition today. Moving forward, we’ll continue to work hard to fight against the unique threat posed by the outsized influence of certain individual megadonors, which rightly concerns most Americans and most American Jews.”

The petition based the call on allegations by a former employee suing Adelson for firing him that Adelson agreed to allow prostituion at his casinos in Macau, China; on the claim by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that Adelson, with the tens of millions of dollars he has infused into the Republican side of this year’s elections, was effectively introducing Chinese money into the campaign; and on federal investigations into allegations that Adelson has paid bribes in China.

A number of Jewish groups and figures, including the Jewish Federations of North America, the Anti-Defamation League, the Republican Jewish Coalition and Alan Dershowitz called the allegations unconscionable, noting that all had yet to be proven.

Adelson is a major giver to Jewish causes, especially the Birthright program bringing young people to Israel and Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, and has given to causes associated with or favored by those who defended him in this case.

“Accusations against Mr. Adelson were made not by us, but by others, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ),” Harris and Stanley said. “Nonetheless, we regret the concern that this campaign has caused. And in the interest of shalom bayit (peace in our home / community), we are going to take down our petition today. Moving forward, we’ll continue to work hard to fight against the unique threat posed by the outsized influence of certain individual megadonors, which rightly concerns most Americans and most American Jews.”

A Curious Gambit

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

We were struck by a petition drive launched by the National Jewish Democratic Council demanding that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican Party reject contributions from billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson.

The NJDC claims Mr. Adelson’s money is tainted, based on unproven allegations in a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled former employee as well as other claims that Mr. Adelson was personally aware of and condoned unsavory conduct in several of his companies. Coming at a time when the media are reporting problems with President Obama’s reelection fund-raising efforts and, in contrast, a flourishing money drive by Mr. Romney, we can’t help but detect a sense of panic. This is especially so since Mr. Adelson has announced plans for huge infusions in contributions to Republican coffers in the run-up to the November election. But the outcry over Mr. Adelson may end up being a Pandora’s Box for the president.

As noted, the NJDC campaign invokes unproven charges against Mr. Adelson. Yet major Democratic contributor George Soros was convicted in 2002 by a French court of insider trading and fined some 2.2 million Euros. No similar calls have been made to reject or return his contributions. The NJDC effort is also likely to resurrect the controversy over President Obama’s refusal to return a million-dollar contribution from comedian Bill Maher following his outrageous derogatory public references to Sarah Palin and other prominent Republican women.

And then there are the very public embraces of the racial arsonist Al Sharpton by the president and his attorney general, Eric Holder. That’s the Reverend Al Sharpton of Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights and Freddie’s Fashion Mart fame. Most recently, Mr. Sharpton stretched to find a racial dimension to the congressional vote holding Mr. Holder in contempt for failure to turn over requested documents:

As I marched this past Sunday with tens of thousands in New York in opposition to the abhorrent practice of stop & frisk, I couldn’t help but think of our attorney general. Tattered down and publicly humiliated, AG Holder has been mishandled just like the young Black and Latino men (and women) who are demonized on our streets everyday….

From the president on down, Democrats have ignored these notorious actions, which are matters of public knowledge. If Mr. Adelson is a fitting target for rebuke, why not those from the Democratic side? And a word or two about the NJDC’s reliance on mere allegations might also be in order.

Alan Dershowitz: National Jewish Democratic Council Doesn’t Speak for Me on Adelson

Monday, July 9th, 2012

David Harris, the President of the National Jewish Democratic Council, has asked Jewish Democrats to sign a petition demanding that Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican Party stop taking campaign contributions from Sheldon Adelson, and return those already received. They claim his money is “tainted.” This absurd allegation comes from a highly questionable, if not totally discredited, source—namely a former employee who was fired and is suing Adelson. He claims that Adelson approved of prostitution in his Macau casinos. Harris has apparently credited this claim even though no evidence has been submitted to support it and no finding has been made by any court. Has he never heard of “due process” or the “presumption of innocence?”

I know Sheldon Adelson and I have worked with him on several matters relating to Israel and the Jewish community. I have spoken on behalf of the wonderful school he has built in Las Vegas. And have had the pleasure of teaching one of the brilliant graduates of that school. Adelson was deeply involved in the creation of the Birthright Israel Program, which has had extraordinary success in exposing young Jews to Israel. It’s hard to find anyone who has done as much for the Jewish community as Sheldon Adelson. Adelson grew up in Boston in near poverty and is a shining example of the American dream. He is a self-made multibillionaire who has contributed significantly to the world of modern technology and to the economic growth of Las Vegas and other areas. His generosity has helped repair the world.

I am a Democrat and do not agree with many of Adelson’s political views, but I think it’s outrageous for the National Jewish Democratic Council to level unfounded allegations against Adelson. They do not speak for me, and for the many other Jews who admire Adelson’s contributions to the world, to America, to Israel and to the Jewish community. I don’t know who Harris purports to speak for as President of the National Jewish Democratic Council, but his partisan gamesmanship is an embarrassment to many Jewish Democrats. The attack comes with particular ill grace from a Jewish organization, considering all that Adelson has done for Jewish causes, and considering the fact that there is nothing uniquely “Jewish” about the questionable allegations against him.

Moreover, the demand that Mitt Romney return Adelson’s contributions is absurd. If all candidates had to return the contributions of every businessman against whom questionable allegations were made in a vengeful lawsuit, millions of dollars would have to be returned by hundreds of candidates all around the country. Consider just one highly publicized example: the million dollars given by comedian Bill Maher to a super PAC supporting Barack Obama. I single out Maher, whose comedy I generally like, because he said that he “decided to become the Sheldon Adelson of the Obama campaign,” and because extremists on the right have similarly demanded that the Super PAC return Maher’s contribution, claiming it is tainted by his misogynistic rants against female Republicans such as Sarah Palin, against whom he has used vile, sexist language. This is how the Christian Science Monitor delicately characterized Maher’s remarks: “[H]e has said some very bad things about Sarah Palin and other Republican women. He’s started with “bimbo” and then moved on into derogatory gynecological references that are too obscene for us to repeat.”

I’m sure that if the Democrats were to apply David Harris’ “Adelson test” to all the contributions they have received from Hollywood moguls and other wealthy business people, they wouldn’t like the results.

So let extremists in both parties stop this nonsense about returning “tainted” contributions and focus on the real issues that separate the Democrats from the Republicans.
Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/alan-dershowitz-national-jewish-democratic-council-doesnt-speak-for-me-on-adelson/2012/07/09/

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