Jerusalem soccer team purchase reportedly falls through

(JTA) — The purchase of a Jerusalem soccer team by two American Jews reportedly fell through.

Ynet, an Israeli news website, reported Thursday that the sale of the Beitar Jerusalem team seems to have fallen apart. According to Ynet, a planned $400,000 transfer from would-be owners Dan Adler and Adam Levin never went through to seller Arcadi Gaydamak.

Ynet posted a facsimile of a letter from lawyers for Gaydamak to lawyers for Levin and Adler saying that the failure to transfer the funds constituted a "serious breach of the agreement" and that the deal was off.

According to Ynet, Adler and Levin were concerned about legal challenges to the deal pending in the Israeli courts and wanted to change terms of the purchase, but the sides failed to arrive at a new agreement.

Adler, a Californian and the founder of a media-consulting firm, has served on the board of directors of the Israel Policy Forum, a nonprofit organization that promotes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gaydamak, a Russian Israeli who was tried in absentia in France on arms-running charges and was indicted on money-laundering charges in Israel, has owned the team since 2005.

Fans of Beitar Jerusalem, which plays in Israel’s Premier League, are known for their right-wing hooliganism. In recent years, Beitar has been penalized by the league for fans’ anti-Arab slurs toward opposing players.

Adler had previously garnered headlines with a longshot run for the United States Congress. The Californian received only 285 votes in his 2011 Democratic congressional primary but drew national media attention for a comical advertisement featuring an elderly Korean woman witth a thick accent who asked, "What’s a mensch?” Critics accused Adler, who is married to Korean woman, of promoting stereotypes of Asians.

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