Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman slammed Sheldon Adelson for his “disturbing” dismissal of democracy in Israel.
Foxman said the casino billionaire ignored Israel’s founders when he told a conference that God didn’t mandate democracy in Israel.
“Sheldon Adelson’s comment suggesting that it’s not so important that Israel remain a democracy is disturbing on many levels,” Foxman wrote in a statement to the Forward. “In fact, the founders of Israel got it exactly right when they emphasized the country being both a Jewish and democratic state. Any initiatives that move Israel away from either value would ill-serve the state and people of Israel.”
Foxman was responding to Adelson’s comments at a conference put on by the Israel American Council on November 9.
“God talked about all the good things in life,” Adelson said. “He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”
Adelson, among the leading American Jewish philanthropists and political donors in the world, is a major backer of the Israel American Council, among a bevy of other charities.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.