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In a Dangerous Climate, ADL Offers More Problems Than Solutions

March 17, 2009

In a recent letter to potential supporters, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, writes:

As I write, disturbing reports are flowing into the ADL from all over the world about violence against Jewish institutions and individuals provoked by the situation in Gaza.

The anti-Semitic backlash against Israels military operation to end the terrorism of Hamas rockets and suicide bombers is the worst weve seen in decades. We are working round the clock to defuse it with fact-based information and outreach that provide both balance and perspective. Our materials are available at www.adl.org.

For us, the bottom line is that the rightful actions of the government of Israel to protect its people should not become cause for threatening the security of the Jewish people worldwide. Yet, that is whats happening.

The targets include synagogues firebombed in France, Belgium, Sweden and England, a Jewish teenager beaten in Paris by thugs who said they were avenging the Palestinians, and an Israeli basketball team chased off the court in Turkey by a crowd chanting, Killers! and Death to Jews! Here in the U.S., anti-Semitic graffiti was scrawled on the walls of five Jewish institutions in Chicago.

Thankfully, in America so far we are only dealing with hateful words. But as the Jewish people know better than anyone and as the global news reports prove hate-filled words lead to hate-filled deeds.

That is our challenge today to stop this dangerous upsurge of anti-Semitism by appeals to reason and conscience. That has been the ADLs cause for nearly a century and the effectiveness of our work is undeniable.

In this current climate, however, the involvement of every caring and concerned person is critically important. I urge you to help ADL now when our most vigorous intervention really matters.

The enclosed letter describes how ADL works and everything we do to end anti-Semitism and ensure the safety of the Jewish people. After you read it, I urge you to take this opportunity to become an ADL supporter.

Our comment:

Foxman characterizes the ADLs work now in defending the State of Israel as a continuation of its work in fighting anti-Semitism for nearly a century. But defending a particular action taken by certain Jews is not the same as defending Jews against racial hatred and prejudice. The ADL has changed its course.

The problem faced by Jews today is summed up nicely in Foxmans own words: Actions of the government of Israel to protect its people should not become cause for threatening the security of the Jewish people worldwide. But Foxman reacts by calling those actions rightful and by spreading fact-based information and outreach to justify that opinion.

At a time when billions of people around the world are deeply angered by the actions taken by the Zionist state, how can the ADL call the operation rightful and then expect the world not to target Jews in revenge for what the Zionist state has done? The ADL is simply reinforcing the misconception, held by those who carry out violent attacks, that world Jewry and the State of Israel are all the same and one can be held responsible for the other. If we want security for the Jewish people worldwide, we have to focus on defending Jews, not defending the Zionist state. The ADL does not seem to understand this.

Reading through the history of the ADL that accompanies Foxmans letter, we see that the ADL was indeed founded in 1913, long before the State of Israel came into existence. Its earliest battles included getting objectionable and vulgar references to Jews out of American newspapers, exposing the Ku Klux Klan and confronting those who circulated the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In the 1950s they fought anti-Semitic quotas at colleges and in the 1960s they joined the civil rights battle against school segregation.

But in the 1970s, we suddenly find that ADL intensifies its ongoing Middle East interpretation program by vigilantly correcting anti-Israel propaganda and keeping America informed of the facts. Since then, the ADL has placed much of its focus on defending the Zionist state from those who defame it.

Read for example the ADLs recent call to write Congress in protest against a United Nations statement:

We are particularly outraged that the UN Security Council, in an act of sheer hypocrisy, issued a statement suggesting an "equivalency" between Hamas' terrorism and Israel's attempts to eliminate that terrorism. The Security Council statement ignores Israel's fundamental right and responsibility to protect its people. Israel needs your support now. Send Congress a message now

To write to your congressional delegation in support of Israel:
1. Complete the form below.
2. Review the message on the right.
3. Click the "Send Your Message" button.

The ADLs new agenda has nothing to do with defending Jews against anti-Semitism, and it will actually lead to more danger for Jews. The ADLs own surveys have shown that a growing number of non-Jewish Americans (currently over 30%) believe that Jews are more loyal to the State of Israel than to America. The ADLs letter-writing campaigns and branding of criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism can only reinforce that dangerous stereotype.

For decades, we Jews have invested in the ADL as an organization that would provide us with legal defense against anti-Semites. Without notice, the ADL has left us in the lurch and become a different organization. New, Zionist-oriented leaders have taken over the ADL and used its good name to push their ideology, at American Jews expense. Its not only that they have stolen our investment; they use our guns against us. They use our money to endanger Jews, not protect them. ADL today is actually a political lobby for the Zionist state, not unlike AIPAC and a host of other Zionist lobbies.

Whatever one thinks of Zionism, one thing is certain: Zionisms chief goal is to create and maintain a Jewish state, not to protect Jewish lives around the world. During the Second World War, Zionists turned a blind eye to what was happening to European Jewry and instead focused on establishing the groundwork for their state. They even sabotaged all efforts to get Jews out of Europe, except, of course, when their destination was Palestine. This is known to anyone familiar with the history of Zionism.

Prominent Orthodox rabbis such Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (in 1961) and Rabbi Avigdor Miller (in 1973) warned that the Zionists are continuing in the same path today, endangering American Jewry for the sake of their state. In Rabbi Millers words, The proponents of the State of Israel attempt to kindle a fire under the Jews in all lands in order to make their position untenable so that they emigrate to augment the population of the new state.

For the sake of Jews and G-d, let us take action and raise an outcry now to get back the old ADL!

This article has been sponsored by Jewish Response, an organization dedicated to: improving Jewish-gentile relations by spreading the truth about Judaism and rebutting the lies spread by anti-Semites; and to making sure that the Jewish people is represented by Jews with the Jewish peoples best interest in mind, not organizations with agendas of their own.

To read more about Jewish Response and take part in this effort to regain the old ADL, go to: