Anti-Defamation League


100+ racial, economic, and social justice organizations have issued an open letter encouraging community institutions to rethink their relationships to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The letter comes in response to the ADL’s history of targeting and co-opting movements for justice—particularly those led by communities of color—and advancing Islamophobia, policing, and global militarism while projecting a false badge of progressivism.

If we do not distinguish between valid critiques of the policies of the Israeli state and anti-Semitism, we are allowing rightwing forces to weaponize anti-Semitism, suppressing freedom of speech and open debate, and making the term anti-Semitism meaningless at a time when it is critical to identify and oppose it.

When Peter Beinart said that Republicans like Israel because it’s an “ethnic democracy,” ADL Deputy Director Ken Jacobson pounced, saying that he was delegitimizing Israel as a “racist state,” and fostering the victimization of Jews. Beinart responded that Israel isn’t racist. Jonathan Ofir urges him to acknowledge the reality of what Israel has become.

Anti-Defamation League CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt. Credit: ADL.

A sobering number of progressive individuals, organizations, human resources departments, and media outlets have partnered with the ADL, because they do not know of its history of promoting racist practices. Nada Elia writes, “If there is to be ‘no place for hate’ in our communities, there should be no place for the ADL.”

That ‘NYT’ cartoon showing Netanyahu as a dachshund leading blind Trump in a skullcap caused the Times to apologize again and again for bigotry. But two former ‘NYT’ reporters say the cartoon could have run in Israeli papers without uproar, apparently because it’s not so bad to criticize your own. And the Times has been indifferent to its anti-Palestinian racism.

Black Panther, King of Wakanda, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.

“Israel has the most extraordinary asset in its hands, the support of American Jewry. This is a natural resource that is more precious and more unique– it’s like vibranium that you can only mine in Wakanda. And it has more value than Bitcoin or erethreum, but it is a natural resource that you will squander and you will suboptimize and that won’t always be there if you don’t manage it well.” Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL.