Donald Trump (L) and Sheldon Adelson.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sheldon Adelson has turned to Republican Jewish leaders and asked them to back Donald Trump.
The Associated Press obtained an email Adelson sent to more than 50 members of the Republican Jewish Coalition in which he asks them to support Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Adelson, a casino magnate and major backer of pro-Israel causes, said he is convinced Trump will be a “tremendous president when it comes to the safety and security of Israel,” the AP reports.
“Like many of you, I do not agree with him on every issue,” Adelson wrote. “However, I will not sit idly by and let Hillary Clinton become the next president.
The consequences to our country, and Israel, are far too great to take that risk.”
Adelson attached to the email an op-ed endorsing Trump he wrote last week for The Washington Post.
It was reported over the weekend that he told Trump he would be willing to spend more than $100 million to help get him elected.
Sheldon’s efforts come amid an apparent rift within the Republican Jewish community, a small but significant demographic in key swing states in the general election.
In a statement released earlier this month, the Republican Jewish Coalition declined to praise or endorse Trump – while vowing to work toward Clinton’s defeat.
“The Republican Jewish Coalition congratulates Donald Trump on being the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party,” the group said upon his critical victory in the Indiana primary.
“Secretary Clinton has proven time again through her record and her policies that her candidacy will compromise our national security, weaken our economy and further strain our relationship with our greatest ally, Israel.”
Some of the RJC’s prominent members and supporters expressed themselves on Twitter shortly thereafter, split between accepting Trump as their nominee and absolutely rejecting the prospect.
“There’s a lot about Donald Trump that I don’t like, but I’ll vote for Trump over Hillary any day,” said Ari Fleischer, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration.
One prominent conservative writer, Jennifer Rubin from The Washington Post, said the RJC would be “dead to me” if it embraced Trump or worked to secure his election.
In presidential election years, roughly 70 percent of Jewish Americans vote Democratic nationwide.
The billionaire real estate magnate’s insurgent campaign has alienated much of the Republican establishment, as well as the party’s Jewish donors, in part because of his rhetoric on Muslims, Hispanics and women. Jews also have been unsettled by his peregrinations on Israel, at times saying he will be neutral when dealing with the country, at other times embracing rightwing pro-Israel talking points.
Trump has mostly self-financed his campaign until now, but has said he will seek broader support as he heads into an expensive general election against Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.