Democrats withdraw appeal to GOP to give back Adelson cash

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

Sheldon Adelson (right) with then-President George W. Bush and Israeli President Shimon Peres in May 2008 photo/jta-flash90-nati shohat

Jewish Democrats had called on Mitt Romney and Republicans to refuse Adelson’s money because of allegations that the casino magnate approved of prostitution at his properties in China.

“This week, reports surfaced that Adelson ‘personally approved’ of prostitution in his Macau casinos,” David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council, wrote in an appeal to NJDC supporters to sign a petition making the call.

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

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

He is also a major funder of the Republican Jewish Coalition. — jta