Greenblatt, Are You Kidding?
A number of high-profile Democrats and Left-leaning individuals, in addition to the usual Jew haters and Islamists, have raised their voices in support of Rashida Tlaib and her anti-Semitic rewriting of history. One of the voices trying to find that middle ground between condemnation of her hate and excusing her hate, belongs to the current CEO of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt.
It has been less than a month since the attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, but already anti-Semitism is back in the headlines. This time, it is related to the whirlwind generated by Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments on a podcast and the reaction that followed. There are multiple insights from this unfortunate incident.
Tlaib said that Jews were given “safe haven” in British Mandate Palestine after the Holocaust. For the record, this is not true. Arabs who lived in British Mandate Palestine did not welcome Jews who fled to their historic homeland before, during and after the Holocaust. In fact, the local Arab leadership worked to bar the entry of Jews to Mandate-era Palestine. After the historic United Nations decision in 1947 to split the land into Jewish and Arab states, Palestinian Arabs opposed that plan.
When any public figure makes comments about deeply sensitive issues that are inaccurate or misinterpreted, it is reasonable to expect them to clarify or correct the record. Rep. Tlaib should do so.
ADL strongly disagrees with the congresswoman's comments. However, they were not anti-Semitic. And it is disturbing to see how some elected leaders have taken those comments out of context and demonized her for political gain. As a result, she has been slandered online and vilified on talk shows in a highly partisan and prejudicial manner, all the while ignoring the more substantive problems with her words.
It is a sign of these ugly times that we are not surprised when some attack first and ask questions later. More than that, using anti-Semitism as a partisan weapon does not help the fight against this ancient scourge. Calling out anti-Semitism indiscriminately or for political gain numbs us all when there is actual anti-Semitism that needs to be called out.
In an environment of heightened fear, we need calmer heads to prevail. We cannot abide by the normalization or politicization of anti-Semitism. The dangers are real and the need for dialogue is more important than ever.
We really shouldn't expect this kind of waffling, weak-kneed, milquetoast analysis coming from the head of the ADL, but here we are. But I'm sure more dialogue will surely mitigate the dangers.