The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has strayed a long distance from its stated mission “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” For years now, it has been essentially the Leftist Anti-Defamation League, espousing far-Left cause after far-Left cause, no matter how opposed these causes were to their supposed core mission of stopping anti-Semitism. And now the ADL has gotten even worse, turning a blind eye to naked Jew-hatred on the Left while targeting foes of the Palestinian jihad against Israel who stand against the Left’s increasingly open totalitarian agenda.
When Leftist ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would no longer sell ice cream in what it called “occupied Palestinian territory,” heedless of the fact that according to international law, no one has any claim on the land in question other than Israel, and there never was a Palestinian state to have had its land occupied in the first place, the ADL’s response was tepid, at best. “We are disappointed by this decision from @benandjerrys,” the ADL tweeted. “You can disagree with policies without feeding into dangerous campaigns that seek to undermine Israel.”
That was it. In response to Ben & Jerry’s boycott, the ADL didn’t call for a counter-boycott, or put pressure on Ben & Jerry’s to reverse its stance, or make any effort to educate the public on the salient issues, or even tell supporters of Israel to get their ice cream elsewhere. All it did was tweet.
This was similar to the ADL’s weak response to the repeated anti-Semitic statements from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu). As Pamela Geller put it, “Left-wing ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt uses his position to viciously attack and vilify the pro-Jewish President Trump. Yet the best that Greenblatt can do to respond to anti-Semitic attacks from Rep. Ilhan Omar is a light scold.”
But the ADL’s timidity before Omar as well as Ben & Jerry’s was understandable: maybe they were just short-handed. Maybe the ADL’s top dogs were likely with their new initiative. JTA reported Tuesday: “The Anti-Defamation League has joined with PayPal to research how extremists use financial platforms to fund criminal activity. The partnership will focus on ‘uncovering and disrupting the financial pipelines that support extremist and hate movements’ by targeting ‘actors and networks spreading and profiting from all forms of hate and bigotry,’ according to an ADL news release published Monday morning.”
That sounds like important work, until one realizes that the “extremists” that the ADL has in mind include the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller’s organization, which is dedicated to defending the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, the equality of rights of all people before the law, and individual rights. AFDI is also staunchly pro-Israel and is an unapologetic foe of Palestinian jihad terrorism, to which the ADL’s response has been, once again, decidedly tepid. The ADL has asked the Justice Department to review AFDI’s tax-exempt status, not because it has evidence of any wrongdoing, but because it hopes that Biden’s partisan Justice crew will turn up something that can be presented as wrongdoing.
And why has the ADL targeted AFDI? This is not the first time the ADL has gone after Pamela Geller, and its animus toward her is clearly rooted in its far-Left politics. The ADL is also apparently infuriated with her for calling out Islamic anti-Semitism, which the ADL apparently fears to do. According to Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, the ADL “admits in private that the biggest danger to Jews since WWII comes from Muslim Jew-hatred, but because it fears offending its liberal donors and being charged with ‘Islamophobia,’ the organization remains essentially silent on the issue. In a study of ADL press releases from 1995 to 2011– a good if not perfect indicator of ADL priorities – we found that only 3 percent of ADL’s press releases focus on Islamic extremism and Arab anti-Semitism.” In the ten years since the end of that span, the situation has only gotten worse.
So the ADL is letting the Ben & Jerry’s boycott, which in its demonization of Israel is an active manifestation of anti-Semitism that is damaging to Israel and to the Jewish people worldwide, pass with a tweet, and is working to destroy a pro-Israel organization that stands against the genuine anti-Semitism it fears to oppose.
It will likely work. The pathetic sheep who still think that the ADL is a civil rights organization will be taken in. Those who are more thoughtful will notice that something is very amiss. To say that the ADL had betrayed its mission would be an understatement. It is at this point one of the Left’s foremost smear-and-destroy machines, relying on the good will it built up in the days when it was true to its stated mission to hoodwink its supporters into buying its defamation, libel, and targeting of people whose political positions it dislikes. Rage, lies and hatred are all the Left has these days. How long will it continue to be taken seriously when it claims the moral high ground?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins―Revised and Expanded Edition. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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