Is Brett Kavanaugh Bad for the Jews?
Or is the ADL bad for the Jews? They do seem to have lost sight of their original mission.
When the Anti-Defamation League was established in 1913, its mission was clear: “To stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people.” The ADL’s credo has changed a bit since—it now aspires to an “ever-more just society”—but it still presents itself as the nation’s primary watchdog against anti-Semitism. With nearly 2,000 hate crimes against Jews last year, the most in more than two decades, the group could—sadly—still have its hands full with the challenges of its original mission.
Which is why it was so dismaying to see the ADL release a statement denouncing Judge Brett Kavanaugh minutes after President Trump announced his nomination to the Supreme Court. The ADL complained of Judge Kavanaugh’s “demonstrated hostility to reproductive freedom” and worried that his “judicial record does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court.”
Why would a group dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism engage in this sort of partisan warfare? The answer lies with the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, who succeeded Abe Foxman in 2015. A former junior aide in the Clinton White House and special assistant to President Obama, Mr. Greenblatt has frequently steered the ADL into the murky waters of party politics.
In March 2017, when hundreds of Jewish communal institutions received bomb threats, the ADL found a culprit in the Trump administration’s supposed embrace of the far right. “We’re in unprecedented times,” Oren Segal, director of the league’s Center on Extremism, said at a press conference convened to discuss the bomb threats. “White supremacists in this country feel more emboldened than they ever have before because of the public discourse and divisive rhetoric.”
That’s true enough, but the threats turned out to be the work of a mentally unwell Israeli teenager. Far from chastened, Mr. Greenblatt doubled down on partisanship. “The impact is still the same,” he said. “The emergence of the ‘alt right’ and the rising levels of abuse they perpetrated during the campaign against Jews and other minorities is despicable.”
You might be able to read the entire article at the Wall Street Journal. I was stopped by a paywall.
To be fair, (and we at MJAC are always fair) here is an article disputing some of what Leibovitz says in his article.