At Huffpo, Alan Dershowitz says of Sheldon Adelson: “His generosity has helped repair the world.” That’s the first time I’ve heard the Jewish concept of social justice, Tikkun Olam, invoked to describe the work of a casino mogul who is being investigated for ties to Chinese organized crime and illegal prostitution….
Dershowitz is attacking the National Jewish Democratic Council for trying to get Romney to give back money Sheldon Adelson is giving him. The NJDC is obviously trying to save Obama’s brand as a pro-Israel candidate by painting Adelson as outside the pale.
But Dershowitz doesn’t want Adelson politicized. He is trying to keep the Israel lobby unified and nonpartisan. He says that Adelson is beloved by Democratic Party Jews. This is his way of pushing Obama right on Israel. Dershowitz seems to want the Jewish vote to divide between parties, so that Obama feels rightwing pressure the whole campaign. I predict Dershowitz will win this battle. The casino mogul who believes that Palestinians are an “invented people” will not become politicized in this campaign; Obama will be afraid to alienate Adelson’s neocon crowd, which bleeds right into the Jewish donor crowd. That’s why Dershowitz gets access to the White House even after he called Obama “Neville Chamberlain.”
Until the Jewish community splits forcefully and openly, the political Establishment is going to continue to defer to the lobby, the right wing Jewish organizations (one lesson of the Presbyterian vote this week, when J Street and Peace Now kept the monolith a monolith and the Presbyterians deferred). Dersh on Adelson:
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…. 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.