After Foxman OKs surveillance of American Muslims, John Lewis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and EJ Dionne attend his gala

Israel/Palestine

It’s amazing how mainstream the Anti-Defamation League is, even when it comes out with stupendously Islamophobic statements.

On Monday, for instance, Congressman John Lewis and E.J. Dionne of Brookings addressed the organization’s 100th-anniversary gala– as did Fred Lawrence, president of Brandeis, and Nadine Strossen, the NYU Law professor.

But the day before Abe Foxman, the ADL’s director, gave an interview to Haaretz in which he described Islamophobia as a “natural response” to Muslims and refused to condemn the idea of surveilling the entire Muslim community in the supposed interest of US security!

Chemi Shalev: You don’t think that “Muslim-baiting” is much more acceptable in the mainstream media than, say, “Jew-baiting”? There is a Congressman now who is calling for the authorities to keep track of the entire Muslim community.

Foxman: I don’t think that’s Muslim-baiting. It’s a natural response. It may be wise or unwise. But I think America’s got an issue now, and not only America. You look at France, you look at London, you look at Amsterdam—most of these incidents have come from Muslim communities that have been brought in and are not assimilating. Just like after 9/11, America is now questioning where the balance is between security and freedom of expression: Should we follow the ethnic communities? Should we be monitoring mosques? This isn’t Muslim-baiting—it’s driven by fear, by a desire for safety and security.

And the same day as that news broke, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ann Lewis spoke at the ADL gala. Liberal Democrats.

Foxman perpetuates the fiction that infiltrating and spying on mosques will somehow make the U.S. safer. But that ignores the fact that most U.S. mosques are institutions that support American values, as this study shows. The Daily Beast’s Ali Gharib has more on why Foxman’s answer is so problematic: 

That Foxman doesn’t balk at the premise of the question—politicians calling for all Muslims to be tracked—might be less galling if not for the fact that there are already programs for blanket spying on the basis of religion by the New York Police Department’s Intel Division. The efforts were revealed in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series by the Associated Press. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg maintained that only direct leads were followed, but that’s impossible to reconcile with an AP report that the NYPD recommended its investigators spy on Shia mosques for no reason other than the fact that most Iranians are Shia. Another investigative report last year by the New York Review of Books chronicled the work of NYPD Intel Division, and found cases of likely entrapment (that is, actual laying bait for Muslims). After much of the AP series had already been published, the ADL gave the head Intel Division an award for—this will sound familiar—”dedication to the safety and security of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan populations.”

Foxman’s intolerant views are reflected in ADL’s track record. According to federal filings, the ADL Foundation gave $2,500 to the Islam-bashing organization Middle East Forum in 2006.

Daniel Pipes, the head of the Middle East Forum, suggested that Obama is a Muslim and has issued warnings about Muslim immigration:

The growing Muslim immigration to the West raises a host of disturbing issues-cultural this time, not military-especially in Western Europe.

All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has had harsh words for Pipes and the Middle East Forum, saying he’s part of “a tiny, organized cadre of American anti-Muslim activists that is almost singlehandedly responsible for engineering an artificial national panic – at least, among the gullible – over the supposed threat of Islamic jihadists.”

But Foxman has been standing up for Daniel Pipes for a long time– since 2003.
And even though Foxman’s organization condemned Islamophobic remarks made by Geert Wilders, who calls himself an “anti-Islam campaigner” and friend of the National Front in Europe…
Daniel Pipes’s organization helped pay Wilders’s legal bills. Gushes Wilders:
Thank you, MEF’s Legal Project, on behalf of myself and all freedom-loving people in the Netherlands.
Looking through its federal filings, ADL has also given $11,200 to StandWithUs, the rightwing Zionist group in the US; $1000 to the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces; $4,000 to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is building a “museum of tolerance” on a historic Muslim graveyard in Jerusalem; and $1000 to the settler-supporting Zionist Organization of America. 
 
Stand With Us, ZOA and the Simon Wiesenthal Center really underscore ADL’s right-wing Israel activism. Not a huge surprise. But then what are EJ Dionne and John Lewis and Fred Lawrence and Debbie Wasserman Schultz doing at its gala?
 

P.S. Last night CSPAN featured a panel on global terrorism at the Gala at which an Israeli Major General spoke and then Judy Miller, Elliott Abrams and Benjamin Wittes held forth. Why did I turn to ESPN?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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16 Responses

  1. Rusty Pipes
    May 1, 2013, 1:46 pm

    Wasserman Schultz and Lewis are fundraising for their ongoing legislative campaigns through good relations with the Israel Lobby. The question is not why Dionne is attending an ADL gala, but why he is still working for Brookings, which is now solidly part of the Israel Lobby — the takeover began first, through instituting the Saban Center, then through promoting WINEP’s Indyk from Saban to Brookings vice-President of Foreign Policy.

  2. Justpassingby
    May 1, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Despicable comments but not surprising.
    Another proof who push islamophobia in our society, of course, if you point that out, you would be called antisemtic.

    Lets look what Abe said in principle:

    ‘Muslims cant assimilate’
    ‘There is no racism against muslims
    ‘We are victims of Muslims’

    Where have we heard this rhetoric earlier in history? Go figure.

    • Donald
      May 1, 2013, 4:10 pm

      “Where have we heard this rhetoric earlier in history? Go figure.”

      Yeah, exactly. Any anti-semite might have said something similar 100 years ago.

  3. Cliff
    May 1, 2013, 2:24 pm

    Foxman is really like any other Zionist today. His ADL is a Zionist organization FIRST and FOREMOST.

    His statements here and in the past on issues like the Armenian genocide.

    His associations with other far-right Zionist organizations, each with their own hate-mongering tactics, lies and propaganda, etc.

    These things really cement the truth about the agenda of the ADL and people like him.

  4. ritzl
    May 1, 2013, 2:43 pm

    How in the hell can you assimilate when you are singled out and persecuted? Foxman’s views seem pretty self-fulfilling. And from a Jew, no less. Disgusting.

  5. American
    May 1, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Do this…google Abe Foxman + infected.
    You will get Foxman statements and rants going back all his life constantly saying 80% of non Jews, Hispanics, Blacks, Catholics. etc.,etc, are ‘infected’ with anti semitism, infected seems to be his favorite word….that this ‘infection’ is a underlying fever that can’t be cured, it must be ‘cut off’ like a rotten limb…..and other assorted sick language and descriptions of non Jews of every ethnic and religion.and nationality.
    In his latest interview he really bashed Hispanics and Blacks….I hope the hispanics and blacks notice what he said.
    It’s an Orwell world these people like Foxman inhabit……they are blind to their own hatred of all others and their own filthy bigotry.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    May 1, 2013, 5:05 pm

    RE: Abe Foxman, the ADL’s director, gave an interview to Haaretz in which he described Islamophobia as a “natural response” to Muslims and refused to condemn the idea of surveilling the entire Muslim community in the supposed interest of US security! ~ Weiss

    IN OTHER WORDS: Abe Foxman, the ADL’s director, refused to condemn the idea of violating the U.S. Constitution (by surveilling the entire Muslim community) in the supposed interest of US security! Foxman and the ADL are essentially saying “the U.S. Constitution be damned”! After all, it’s just a piece of paper, as George W. Bush is wont to say.

    P.S. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

  7. Nevada Ned
    May 1, 2013, 5:43 pm

    One irritating habit of the mainstream media is referring to the ADL as a “civil rights” organization. When it was founded (ca. 1915), it really was a civil rights organization, but in recent decades it has been just another part of the Israel Lobby. The ADL is solely concerned with foreign policy, and the ADL supports everything Israel does uncritically.

  8. Ecru
    May 2, 2013, 1:49 am

    …Muslim communities that have been brought in and are not assimilating.

    WHAT?

    You know I’ve heard this comment again and again from Jewish bigots. Do these morons not have mirrors because what IS the history of Jews if it isn’t the history of refusing to assimilate? With ANYONE? Even the very mention of assimilation is met by the usual howls of “oh the antisemitism” “oh the holocaust.” And frankly I’m sick of it.

    If Foxman and his repugnant ilk don’t want to assimilate – fine. SHIP THEM OFF TO THEIR PRECIOUS GHETTO-STATE.

    • Citizen
      May 2, 2013, 7:03 am

      If you google “silent holocaust” you will meet a strain in the Jewish Establishment in America that beomoans assimilation, most especially regarding intermarriage. And recall one of Sheldon Adelson’s pet funding projects, the adventure of Birth Right Israel, the one that gives young Jewish Americans, age 18-25, a free trip to Israel to absorb the wonders of the Jewish homeland in the company of equally young (and selectively sexy) IDF members?

  9. Citizen
    May 2, 2013, 7:33 am

    Seems Jews who’ve immigrated from Russia to the USA in recent decade plus are not very assimilated to being American: link to jpost.com

  10. Ellen
    May 2, 2013, 9:10 am

    From an elected official in Tennessee: “How to wink at a Muslim.”

    “I’m prejudiced against anyone who’s trying to tear down this country, Muslims, Mexicans, anybody,” ….

    link to thinkprogress.org

    Where is the ADL on that one? Even after the burning of a mosque in TN? Right, you know the “other” does not matter.

  11. TomAmitaiUSA
    May 2, 2013, 7:08 pm

    If refusing to assimilate into American secular society is a basis for worrying that a community of religious believers are potential terrorists, then shouldn’t we be watching out for the Amish?

  12. Daniel Rich
    May 3, 2013, 4:25 pm

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