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The ADL Takes Sides against Benjamin Netanyahu

Sept. 16 2016

In an English-language video posted last week, the Israeli prime minister pointed out that the Palestinian demand for sovereignty over a territory from which Jews would be excluded amounts to advocacy of ethnic cleansing. Responding in Foreign Affairs, Jonathan Greenblatt, the new head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a former staffer for both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, roundly condemned Netanyahu’s statement (as, not coincidentally, did the White House). Jonathan Tobin remarks:

[Even] leaving aside the merits of Netanyahu’s assertion, . . . for Greenblatt to re-position the ADL from its former centrist position as a mainstream address for pro-Israel activism to one that is now in open opposition to the democratically elected government of Israel is a sea change of enormous importance. From now on, the ADL must be viewed as an ally of J Street and others on the left who make no secret of their partisanship in the context of both Israeli politics and the tense relations between Israel and the United States. This is a betrayal of the ADL’s long and honorable legacy as a group that sought to speak for the interests of the Jewish community as a whole and respected the right of Israel’s people and their leaders to make their own decisions about security.

It is equally outrageous for Greenblatt to use his newly inherited mantle, as the man who can pose as the arbiter of what is or is not anti-Semitism, to attack Israel’s government. . . . Enough Jewish blood has been shed by Palestinians driven by hate to understand the stakes in that conflict. Whatever one’s opinions about settlements, the ADL has no business weighing in on this subject in a manner that effectively gives the Palestinian culture of hate a pass. Doing so also undermines the ADL’s credibility in the fight against the forces threaten both Israel and world Jewry.

Read more at Commentary

More about: ADL, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton, Israel & Zionism

Toward an Iran Policy That Looks at the Big Picture

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech outlining a new U.S. approach to the Islamic Republic. Ray Takeyh and Mark Dubowitz explain why it constitutes an important and much-needed rejection of past errors:

For too long, a peculiar consensus has suggested that it is possible to isolate the nuclear issue from all other areas of contention and resolve it in a satisfactory manner. The subsidiary [assumption] embedded in this logic is that despite the bluster of Iran’s rulers, it is governed by cautious men, who if offered sufficient incentives and soothing language would respond with pragmatism. No one embraced this notion more ardently than the former secretary of state, John Kerry, who crafted an accord whose deficiencies are apparent to all but the most hardened partisans. . . .

A regime as dangerous as the Iranian one requires no less than a comprehensive strategy to counter it. This means exploiting all of its vulnerabilities, increasing the costs of its foreign adventures, draining its economy, and aiding our allies. Most importantly, the United States must find a way of connecting itself to domestic opposition that continuously haunts the mullahs.

Washington should no longer settle for an arms-control agreement that paves Iran’s path to a bomb but rather a restrictive accord that ends its nuclear aspirations. The United States should not implore its allies to share the Middle East with Iran, as Barack Obama did, but partner with them in defeating the clerical imperialists. And most importantly, the United States should never forget that its most indispensable ally is the Iranian people.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Mike Pompeo, U.S. Foreign policy