I wrote yesterday about the National Jewish Democratic Council’s self-destructive attack on Sheldon Adelson’s “dirty money.” Since then, it appears that some responsible figures have sat down with the NJDC and gently explained why this campaign was a terrible move. The Jewish Democratic group posted a quasi-mea culpa on its website late yesterday, effectively ending its anti-Adelson campaign (h/t JTA):
Regarding our recent campaign surrounding Sheldon Adelson, we don’t believe we engaged in character assassination; we stand by everything we said, which was sourced from current, credible news accounts. Accusations against Mr. Adelson were made not by us, but by others, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Nonetheless, we regret the concern that this campaign has caused. And in the interest of shalom bayit (peace in our home/community), we are going to take down our petition today. Moving forward, we’ll continue to work hard to fight against the unique threat posed by the outsized influence of certain individual megadonors, which rightly concerns most Americans and most American Jews.
As embarrassing as it is for the NJDC to walk the campaign back, it’s better for them than letting it drag on. Remember, this was the same group that claimed any criticism of Obama’s Israel record amounted to using Israel as a “partisan wedge issue.” Unless the NJDC was willing to publicly call on Alan Dershowitz, the Anti-Defamation League, the Birthright Israel program, AIPAC, and Yad Vashem to cut ties with Adelson, they had no standing to demand Mitt Romney and Republicans to stop taking his donations.