Who can speak for American Jews against anti-Semitism? Not the ADL, by Jonathan S. Tobin
As we've pointed out many times in the past, the ADL is not performing the mission it originally set out to perform. The organization, especially now, under Jonathan Greenblatt, has found other, more pressing issues. Anti-Semitism, especially when coming from the Left and from Islamic sources, don't seem to be much of a concern to Greenblatt.
Jonathan Tobin has also noticed something:
To its credit, the ADL has been all over the problem of anti-Semitism on the far-right. Even on that score, however, it has staked out ground that makes it hard to be a unifying factor. Greenblatt’s unrelenting animus for President Donald Trump and his efforts to blame him for anti-Semitism have failed to properly credit the U.S. administration as the most pro-Israel in history.
Anti-Semitic trends that couldn’t be connected to Trump by even the most rabid liberal were swept under the rug. Its belated response to the targeting of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn by African-Americans has been too little and too late, and bespoke more of a group that is addicted to playing politics than a national defense organization.
Just as bad is the fact that under Greenblatt, ADL has been slow to recognize the threat from the left as basically uninterested in it. That’s hardly surprising given Greenblatt’s role in an Obama administration that helped normalize anti-Israel sentiment within the Democratic Party. Whereas under his predecessor one of ADL’s prime functions was to defend Israel, now it is generally found among the Jewish state’s critics on a variety of issues, often going out of its way to demonstrate solidarity with liberal foes of Israeli policy, whether or not it has anything to do with ADL’s anti-hate brief. That has helped to mute its voice when dealing with BDS advocates who target American Jewry far more than Israel.
It’s also a function of the way Greenblatt has helped transform ADL into a partisan organization—not merely supporting liberal values, but by intervening on issues like Supreme Court nominations in order to mollify left-wing donors eager to keep the organization aligned with Democratic Party priorities.
While there are Jewish organizations that do still battle anti-Semitism, it is up to all of us to call it out when we see it and to take action against it.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.