Irving Moskowitz, a major donor to Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, has given $1 million to the Karl Rove-linked Republican super PAC American Crossroads.
The donation, made in mid-February, was the subject of a lengthy Huffington Post report published April 12.
Moskowitz, 83, is best known for funding efforts to establish Jewish settlements in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. In January 2011 he ignited worldwide controversy by demolishing an iconic East Jerusalem hotel he owned in order to make way for Jewish housing.
Moskowitz made his fortune operating a casino and bingo hall in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. In 2004 he was the subject of a grand jury inquiry into allegations of business improprieties.
The American Crossroads donation is by far Moskowitz’s biggest political intervention in the United States. He has, however, been active as a Republican donor, and has been a supporter of Florida Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a prominent hawk on Middle East issues.
Moskowitz himself has kept a low profile in recent years. His wife Cherna Moskowitz appears to have taken the reins of his foundation.
American Crossroards has raised $22 million and spent $4 million in the current election cycle. Its ads have mostly targeted House Democrats, and the group began running television advertisements in swing states targeting President Obama early this week.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.