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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘NJDC’

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.

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.

NJDC Calls on Romney to Return ‘Adelson’s Tainted Money Immediately’

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Jewish Democrats called on Mitt Romney and Republicans not to accept money from Sheldon Adelson because of allegations that the casino magnate approved of prostitution at his China properties.

National Jewish Democratic Council President David Harris appealed to NJDC supporters to sign on to a petition to “Tell Romney to Reject Adelson’s Dirty Money.”

Harris wrote:

“As you saw during the Republican primaries, GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson dumped millions of dollars into supporting Newt Gingrich’s feckless campaign. Now he’s doing the same for Mitt Romney – with no plans to stop. But perhaps the most alarming aspect of Adelson’s potentially unlimited contributions is where the money comes from.

“It’s well known that Adelson makes tremendous sums of money through his casinos in China  which – according to 2008 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (AZ) – means that Chinese ‘foreign money’ (to quote McCain) is flooding our political system. But this week, reports surfaced that in addition to his anti-union and allegedly corrupt business practices, Adelson ‘personally approved’ of prostitution in his Macau casinos.

“Given these reports, Romney and the rest of the Republican Party must cease accepting Adelson’s tainted money immediately.”

Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, told JTA the call was “disgusting” because it was based on allegations in a lawsuit filed by Steven Jacobs, a casino executive who was fired by Adelson in 2010.

“Setting aside their partisan agenda, the NJDC should be ashamed of itself for attacking someone who has done more for the Jewish community and Jewish philanthropy than anyone in recent history,” Brooks said, citing Adelson’s major contributions to the Birthright Israel program, which brings Jewish youth to Israel, and to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum.

“If this is proven to be nothing more than rantings of an employee in legal battle, NJDC is going to have a lot of egg on its face,” Brooks said. “If they were truly mensches about it, they would wait until it is adjudicated.”

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have given tens of millions of dollars this year to political committees supporting Republicans in general and Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, in particular, although it is not clear if the Adelsons have given directly to Romney.

Adelson is also a major funder of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Adelson has clashed repeatedly with unions at his Las Vegas properties. Earlier this year it was reported that federal authorities are investigating allegations that he bribed Chinese officials to advance his interests there.

JTA content was used in this report.

Jewish Democrats Malign Newt Gingrich

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

“South Carolina Winner Newt Gingrich: A Closer Look” was the headline on the NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council) website last week. The article declared that the Republicans has “yet another candidate whose positions and behavior stand in direct opposition to the values of the vast majority of American Jews.”

But in reading the NJDC complaints against Gingrich, it is clear that the “values of the vast majority of American Jews” have little to do with Judaism, proving the remark that the Reform movement is “the left-wing of the Democratic Party – with holidays.”

Among their complaints: Gingrich is anti-abortion, which is actually far closer to the traditional Jewish position. For people who really practice Judaism (follow the Halacha in their daily lives), abortion is forbidden except in specific cases where the mother’s life is in danger. But for the NJDC “anti-choice” is a “Jewish value.” The conclusion – in the NJDC’s view, ultra-liberalism is the real religion of “the vast majority of American Jews.”

But as long as liberalism is equated with Jewish values, it is reasonable, if not accurate, to view Mr. Gingrich’s position on the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, on Obamacare, on rejecting a blind acceptance of “global warming” theory, on the hyper-activist Supreme Court overstepping the bounds of its Constitutional purview, and even on gay marriage, as being opposed to the values of the “vast majority of American Jews.”

In fact the only point one can say that actually relates to “Jewish values” is the Israel-related issue. Mr. Gingrich, the NJDC claims, “appears to have adopted far-right policies towards Israel that place him at odds with the democratically-elected government of Israel.” And how? He “urged Congress to condemn the President for articulating the vision of a two state solution based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon land swaps as a starting point for negotiations—a formula that has been the basis of talks for decades, through both Republican and Democratic administrations.” The truth is a bit different.

Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected President Obama’s call for Israel to pull back to the pre-1967 lines, or 1949 armistice lines. He called those lines militarily “indefensible”, which is polite in comparison to Abba Eban description as “the Auschwitz borders.”

In fact, President Obama surprised both Washington and Jerusalem by endorsing the Palestinian position demanding the borders of a Palestinian State be based on the pre-1967 lines. Obama broke with longstanding US policy, including the official 2004 letter from President Bush to Prime Minister Sharon. The Israeli position is, as was the US position until Obama arrived, that the borders of any future Palestinian state would be determined through negotiations.

The NJDC also decided that Gingrich’s description of the Palestinians as an “invented people” “delegitimized the Palestinians” and is a position “that is against US and Israeli policies. Since Gingrich has never opposed the two-state solution pushed by Obama and accepted by Netanyahu, his historically accurate remarks only suggest that in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel has a better case, and the US should not be pushing the Palestinian position. But for some unfathomable reason, the NJDC believes this conception is detrimental for the Jews .

The NJDC’s perception of Gingrich’s positions as not those of the “vast majority of American Jews” is logical if one accepts that many American Jews seem to worship liberalism. Judaism to these Jews is not a lifestyle priorities. According to the National Jewish Population Survey, only 27% of American Jews attend synagogue even once a month and only 59% fast on Yom Kippur. So traditional Jewish values, or even Israel, do not influence their political choices.

But the polls in recent months belie the “vast majority” the NJDC wants to claim are still loyal to Mr. Obama in light of his three year record on Israel. The Fall polls of both Gallup and the AJC indicate that while Mr. Obama can expect a majority of Jewish voters, it will be far below the 78% of 2008.

According to the NJDC Mr. Obama can do no wrong, but as the old saying goes, the definition of a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. So too, more and more American Jews feel “mugged” by Obama’s Mideast policies, and it will show in their voting and financial support, to the chagrin of the NJDC.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/jewish-democrats-malign-newt-gingrich/2012/01/31/

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