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August 10, 2012 7:19 pm

Jews Should Join Alan Dershowitz and Reject NJDC Adelson Accusation

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Dr. Miriam and Mr. Sheldon Edelson at the 2011 AIPAC "Better Together" policy Conference. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) should be ashamed of itself for adopting a holier than thou approach in refusing to apologize to Sheldon Adelson even after Alan Dershowitz, the highest profile Jewish democrat lawyer in the country has urged them to.

Adelson called for the apology after the NJDC accused the self-made billionaire of approving of and profiting from prostitution. They continue to maintain that the leveling of such strong charges is acceptable even though there is no known proof.

Using the largely liberal bully-pulpit of the media to slander Adelson, the NJDC left him with no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against them in an effort to clear his name.  As a PR firm owner, I know that any good public relations professional would have similarly advised him to fight these false claims in order to ensure that he is not permanently branded as a “pimp” who benefits from prostitution.

One wonders, in whose name exactly the NJDC is acting? Seemingly, neither Jews nor democrats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has already apologized for the same allegation, and acknowledged that they made “…unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson.” They added, “This was wrong. The statements were untrue and unfair, and we retract them.”  One can be sure that the DCCC wasn’t running to apologize – but they studied the facts and rightfully took responsibility for their actions.

So, is this organization representing “Jewish Democrats” attacking Adelson in the name of Jews? In an era in which assimilation and intermarriage are rampant, a “Jewish” organization is making unsubstantiated claims against a man who has given $100 Million to Birthright Israel, (which has brought 250,000 young American Jews to visit Israel) and is the largest private donor ever to Yad Vashem.

There is nothing “Jewish” behind the accusations of the NJDC, and the only message that the Jewish world should convey to Sheldon Adelson, whose foundation gives away more than two hundred million dollars annually to Jewish causes is “Thank You.”

Alan Dershowitz, a man who knows the law, and called out the NJDC for acting inappropriately says that they attacked Adelson

even though no evidence has been submitted to support it and no finding has been made by any court.” He added, “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. 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.

He concluded,”They are willfully spreading ‘lashon hora’ that they know to be false.”

Is there anyone in their right mind who thinks that the billionaire CEO of a publicly traded company would tolerate prostitution?  As Dershowitz said, “you can’t be saying this kind of thing about Sheldon Adelson…and after they knew it was false they persisted in it.”

Whether one supports Obama or Romney, it is clear to me that the Jewish community should universally reject this behavior.

But then again, maybe my entire approach is wrong – perhaps we should all encourage the NJDC to keep at it. Adelson will win the lawsuit and likely donate the $60 Million to more great Jewish causes, prompting us all to once again declare , “thank you Sheldon Adelson for caring so deeply about Israel and the Jewish people.”

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.  He is an active Jewish philanthropist who lives in NYC with his family.

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  • Response to observer

    Sheldon Adelson helps drugs addicts worldwide bc his wife is a medical doctor who works in helping addicts. One would imagine prostitutes are amongst them.

  • Tired Critique

    Have you or any of your readers been to Macau???? I actually find this entire thing really absurd. I have lived over here for 20 years.

    Of course prostitution is tolerated, it is a part of the Macau economy. Illegal in law but not in fact. It just means that guests at the hotel are open to being solicited, in the casino, lounges, etc., and can take prostitutes to their rooms. The sidewalks outside these Hotels and Casinos are littered with “business cards” (all in Chinese) that require no translation.

    So if you have a Hotel in Macau you “tolerate” prostitution. I chuckle to think if you were to try to be otherwise. 99% of the guests in these hotels are Asians, overwhelming majority I am sure are Chinese. They expect to be left alone in their activities. Whether the in-room massage is more than a massage, I don’t know, but the “spa” will be a 3rd party vendor.

    So both sides are right and wrong, Sheldon does “tolerate” prostitution in his hotel (“I am shocked — shocked— to find that [prostitution] is going on in here!”) but wrong to give the impression of a whore house atmosphere. Sheldon is right that there is no business relationship with the prostitution but wrong to act as though there is “no evidence” of tolerating prostitution. The allegation comes from his former GM of the Casino after all and no doubt he will be able to give specific examples of what he means (that’s why he’s alleged them in his pleadings)!

    I can assure you the Sands would take a huge hit to their profits if they were to implement even a cursory no-prostitution policy. (“no guests in room after 11pm, etc.).

    At the end of the day, I find Sheldon’s bullying much more distasteful than some political hardball. If he doesn’t like it, stay out of politics.

    They should defend the lawsuit as it has no merit as a matter of law, as a lawyer I find Alan’s comments rather disingenuous as he knows that so he is making a different point, which may be valid, but this is hardball politics.

  • Richard Wright

    Any jew who votes for hussein obama should be sent to an institution.

  • Jon Goldberg

    Great article…..!

  • Joy

    I’m a newly minted admirer of Alan Dershowitz, whose loyalty to and intelligent support of Israel transcends, IMHO, every other consideration. Years ago, when all I knew about him was that he was a liberal Jewish Democrat, I more or less dismissed him. But – esp. after 9/11, of course – he started speaking out about things I really cared about and, more often than not, found myself on his side on more than one occasion and in more than one public argument. May God bless him and Sheldon Adelson for their love & support of Israel and the Jewish people!!

  • The Observer

    I read that Adelson sponsors clinics for prostitutes at several locations and set up one in Macau for the local authorities. Why does he have a special interest in the health of prostitutes unless he has a working relationship with these women? I find it hard to believe he made this particular choice out of the goodness of his heart.