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Has the Anti-Defamation League lost the plot?

by Isi Liebler posted Aug 28, 2016




This article first appeared in Yisrael Hayom and the Jerusalem  Post


I rubbed my eyes with incredulity when I read bizarre statements emanating from Jonathan Greenblatt the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most powerful American Jewish organizations whose principal mandate is to combat anti-Semitism.


A few months ago I was drawn into a heated dispute with Greenblatt after criticizing a kumbaya address he delivered to J Street students which included implicit criticisms of Israeli government policy and a failure to urge J Street to cease demonizing Israel and canvassing the US government to intensify pressure against the Jewish state.  Instead, he should have encouraged them to engage in the battle against the mushrooming anti-Semitism proliferating the campus. Greenblatt responded that he was “impressed” with these students and felt that they were “the future Jewish leaders of our community”.


But more recently, Greenblatt appears to have entirely lost the plot and behaving as though he remained employed by the Obama administration. He was entirely out of line in his condemnation of the Republican platform as “anti-Zionist” for omitting reference to a two state solution. One can disagree about a two state policy. But for an American Jewish organization which must remain bipartisan and should be concentrating on anti-Semitism, to issue such a statement breaches all conventions. It is totally beyond the ADL’s mandate to involve itself in such partisan political issues.

Greenblatt is clearly obsessed with the subject of being “open minded” and tolerant of anti-Israeli groups. He made the extraordinary statement that, whilst disagreeing with Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) groups which promote anti-Semitism, he considers that they are “animated by a desire for justice” and we should “acknowledge the earnestness of their motives”. One is tempted to remind him that Islamic fundamentalists are also sincere in their beliefs and equally animated by their perverted concept of justice.


But the final straw is Greenblatt’s deepening associationwith the “Black Lives Matter” (BLMmovement.


Jews have a long and proud tradition of direct engagement in the civil rights campaign, in the course of which some even sacrificed their lives, making it all the more regrettable that since 1967, many African American groups have been in the forefront of campaigns against Israel.


The ADL mandate is to combat all forms of racial discrimination and endorsing legitimate civil rights groups is commendable.


However, the recent manifesto released by Black Lives Matter has clear anti-Semitic overtones. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.  Last year, BLM endorsed a “Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine” which demonized Israel, accusing it of “ethnic cleansing”, “genocide”, apartheid etc. and called on all Black institutions to engage in BDS.Black Lives Matter are engaged in anti-Israeli demonstrations, teach-ins and other activities, even including visits to Israel to prote

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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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