Foxman plays Holocaust card

Middle East
on 22 Comments

Joe Klein says Abe Foxman should be fired now, and points to Foxman’s long disgraceful record, including calling Klein anti-Semitic for saying that Jewish neocons had pushed the Iraq war (and now Iran war) without disclosing their true concern. 

During the high-tide of anti-semitism, and then again during the civil-rights movement, and often since, the Anti-Defamation League transcended its Jewish origins to stand as a courageous American voice against prejudice. But now, it’s making a mockery of its original mission and, in the process, it has sullied American Judaism’s intense tradition of tolerance and inclusion.

Klein’s memory is a little short. Let’s don’t forget that the ADL spied on Americans who were critical of Israel more than a decade ago, and sought to blacklist Tony Judt, causing the Polish Consulate to cancel a speech of his about the Israel lobby 4 years back.
Now Foxman ups the ante. I can’t follow his logic, but I know it aint cricket. From AP:

Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, defended his position. In a phone interview, he compared the idea of a mosque near ground zero to the Roman Catholic Carmelite nuns who had a convent at the Auschwitz death camp. In 1993, Pope John Paul II responded to Jewish protests by ordering the nuns to move.

"We’re saying if your purpose is to heal differences, it’s the wrong place," Foxman said of the mosque. "Don’t do it. The symbolism is wrong." 

22 Responses

  1. Gellian
    July 31, 2010, 3:03 pm

    Foxman has functionally redefined the ADL. It’s now the Arab Defamation League. And everyone knows that it does a hell of a lot more defamation than it does anti-defamation work. Because some animals are more equal.

    • MRW
      July 31, 2010, 6:02 pm

      Arab Defamation League. Good point. At least, it keeps Foxman employed, which is the only thing he’s concerned about.

  2. Citizen
    July 31, 2010, 3:49 pm

    In Poland, assistance to Jews was a crime punishable by death. The nuns of more than 300 institutions sheltered Jews in convents and schools.

    At the end of the war many tributes were made to these heroic priests and nuns by Jewish organizations. There were many other heroic priests and nuns who have been honored by the Yad Vashem. But the symbolism was wrong when nuns were convent-living at Auschwitz? No basis for healing
    in such symbolic juxtiposition? And ditto for a Muslim place of worship by the 9/11 location? Why does Abe Foxman apparently hate the two principle Gentile religions?

    • Citizen
      July 31, 2010, 4:02 pm

      It appears the Pople capitulated due to the power of the Jewish press in Poland and one fanatic Jew who attacked the nunnery building which was being renovated; it was near the camp where an awful lot of Poles were murdered too–there was less than a dozen nuns at that nunnery. link to

      When the nuns left a big cross was erected; that too has been a subject of
      frenzied debate–I’m not sure if its still there. Smaller crosses were removed.

      • potsherd
        July 31, 2010, 4:54 pm

        A strong sign of Holocaust idolatry in that incident – the possessiveness, the sense of ownership and exclusive privilege.

        There is also the repulsive spectacle of the annual pilgrimages of Israel high school students, wrapped in their flags, come to be indoctrinated that it’s all about Jewish victimization. A monument to other victims, evidence of the presence of the Righteous, is heretical.

    • eljay
      July 31, 2010, 6:18 pm

      >> But the symbolism was wrong when nuns were convent-living at Auschwitz?

      I think it’s a matter of “Holocaust envy”: Jews have the Holocaust (“the bestest damned genocide of ’em all!”), Auschwitz (“the wickedest damned death camp of ’em all!”) numerous museums and countless movies and books. Everyone else gets…what? Second-rate mass slaughters, a few pamphlets and, if they’re lucky, a TV “movie of the week”. It’s easy to see why they’re all upset.

    • demize
      July 31, 2010, 10:21 pm

      There was a Roman Catholic Polish Priest who was executed in Auschwitz. He was Canonized. I don’t know his name but I saw an Iconic illustration of him. He was arrested for harboring Jews.

    • Gellian
      August 1, 2010, 5:56 am

      There’s a strong element of self-loathing involved with this one. Foxman was himself saved from death and raised by Catholics, as a Catholic. He only found out later in life that he had been born a Jew and that his family had been killed. I assume he didn’t mention any of this in the press release announcing his victory over the Carmelites…

  3. traintosiberia
    July 31, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Foxman should come clean on the disclosure from Counterpunch by Christopher Ketcham Vol 14,no 3/4 in year 2007 , that he phoned FOX news to stop airing the expose by Carl Cameron on 911 and Israeli angle.

  4. lobewyper
    July 31, 2010, 4:00 pm

    Klein deserves credit for calling out Foxman in a major periodical.

  5. Avi
    July 31, 2010, 4:05 pm

    I won’t be waiting for alan dershowitz to go after the fox, the same way he went after professor Norman Finkelstein. dershowitz is a hypocrite and a bigot through and through.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    July 31, 2010, 4:42 pm

    RE: “Joe Klein says Abe Foxman should be fired now, and points to Foxman’s long disgraceful record” – Weiss
    FROM JIM LOBE, 07/30/10: …While I don’t always agree with J Street — in fact, I’ve been pretty disappointed with its conservatism — I have to commend its leadership for reacting so swiftly and strongly today to the ADL’s announcement. Its reaction is also worth quoting in full…
    …The contrast between Foxman’s tribalism and J Street’s universalism, on this issue at least, could not be starker.
    Incidentally, I highly recommend a video documentary about the ADL by Israeli film maker Yoav Shamir. What I can only understand as Foxman’s cynicism comes through quite clearly…
    SOURCE – link to
    MY COMMENT: “Defamation” (2008, 91 minutes) by Yoav Shamir is available at Netflix via streaming or DVD.
    NETFLIX – link to

  7. Citizen
    July 31, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Abe needs to listen to this? Or not?

    • Avi
      July 31, 2010, 5:08 pm

      Were those “Don’t Treat on Me” flags? I couldn’t tell.

      • Avi
        July 31, 2010, 5:08 pm


    • kylebisme
      July 31, 2010, 7:24 pm

      Nah, that’s just tea partyer fluff music. Abe needs to listen to this:

      • Citizen
        August 1, 2010, 2:03 pm


  8. mok
    August 1, 2010, 4:04 am

    “He compared the idea of a mosque near ground zero to the Roman Catholic Carmelite nuns who had a convent at the Auschwitz death camp.” Notice how Palestinian suffering must never invoke memories of Jewish suffering during the holocaust – David Cameron was slated by Israel recently for calling Gaza a Prison Camp (turns out “Prison Camp” is a trademark of Holocaust Industries Inc.) Why is Abe now using the holocaust analogy with 9/11? Is it a tactic to silence his critics or does he genuinely believe that American suffering on 9/11 is comparable to Jewish suffering during the holocaust?

    And can we stop using the term “holocaust card” please. It’s no longer a card, it’s a chip. Abe did not “play the holocaust card,” he bet the holocaust chip.

    “The symbolism is wrong.” He’s absolutely right here. The symbolism is 100% wrong… if you’re trying to placate bigots and facists that is (someone should remind Abe he’s in America, not Israel – perhaps he’s at that age where he tends to forget things). And notice how the term “Mosque” is used repeatedly to stir up tension. It’s not a mosque, it’s a community centre open to everyone.

    • lareineblanche
      August 1, 2010, 6:38 am

      And notice how the term “Mosque” is used repeatedly to stir up tension. It’s not a mosque, it’s a community centre open to everyone.

      Yes, exactly, I read that too. I’m sure it was a slip of the tongue, though, as most Americans are so indoctrinated that they cannot imagine that Muslims and Arabs are able to understand universal values of family and community, or erect a building for other purposes than being “religious fanatics”. Musilim = mosque. (= religious = hijacking planes = terrorists!).
      It’s like Disneyland orientalism.

      • VR
        August 1, 2010, 7:49 am

        With Foxman you have to watch out for anything, he could hide anything between those 26 chins and pull it out when it is least expected…

  9. Kathleen
    August 1, 2010, 9:12 am

    “American Judaism’s intense tradition of tolerance and inclusion.”

    Just am not aware of many examples of this. I guess during the civil rights era. But when and where else?

  10. Les
    August 1, 2010, 8:08 pm

    Given their histories, is Klein versus Foxman equivalent to a Stalinist versus a Maoist?

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