The Anti-Defamation League Shifts Left

Despite the fact that Black Lives Matter formally endorsed the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, and accused Israel of genocide, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has refused to cut its ties with the organization. Similarly, when a congressman referred to Jews living in the West Bank as “termites,” the ADL mustered only a weak response. Isi Leibler takes these and other instances as evidence that Jonathan Greenblatt—a former White House staffer who assumed leadership of the ADL last year—has lost sight of its mission:

Greenblatt . . . has behaved as though he ‎remained employed by the Obama administration. He was entirely out of line in his ‎condemnation of the Republican platform as “anti-Zionist” for omitting reference to a two-‎state solution. One can disagree about a two-state policy. But for an American Jewish ‎organization, which must remain bipartisan and should be concentrating on anti-Semitism, to ‎issue such a statement breaches all conventions. It is totally beyond the ADL’s mandate to ‎involve itself in such partisan political issues.‎

Greenblatt is clearly obsessed with the subject of being “open-minded” and tolerant of anti-‎Israeli groups. He made the extraordinary statement that, while disagreeing with the boycott, ‎divestment, and sanctions groups that promote anti-Semitism, he considers that they ‎are “animated by a desire for justice” and we should “acknowledge the earnestness of their ‎motives.” One is tempted to remind him that Islamic fundamentalists are also sincere in their ‎beliefs and equally animated by their perverted concept of justice.‎ . . .

The ADL’s central mandate must be to combat anti-Semitism, which is today largely manifested ‎in the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. If it elects to abandon this objective, it ‎does not warrant Jewish communal support.‎

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, BDS, Black Lives Matter, Israel & Zionism, U.S. Politics

Israel Can’t Stake Its Fate on “Ironclad” Promises from Allies

Israeli tanks reportedly reached the center of the Gazan city of Rafah yesterday, suggesting that the campaign there is progressing swiftly. And despite repeatedly warning Jerusalem not to undertake an operation in Rafah, Washington has not indicated any displeasure, nor is it following through on its threat to withhold arms. Even after an IDF airstrike led to the deaths of Gazan civilians on Sunday night, the White House refrained from outright condemnation.

What caused this apparent American change of heart is unclear. But the temporary suspension of arms shipments, the threat of a complete embargo if Israel continued the war, and comments like the president’s assertion in February that the Israeli military response has been “over the top” all call into question the reliability of Joe Biden’s earlier promises of an “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security. Douglas Feith and Ze’ev Jabotinsky write:

There’s a lesson here: the promises of foreign officials are never entirely trustworthy. Moreover, those officials cannot always be counted on to protect even their own country’s interests, let alone those of others.

Israelis, like Americans, often have excessive faith in the trustworthiness of promises from abroad. This applies to arms-control and peacekeeping arrangements, diplomatic accords, mutual-defense agreements, and membership in multilateral organizations. There can be value in such things—and countries do have interests in their reputations for reliability—but one should be realistic. Commitments from foreign powers are never “ironclad.”

Israel should, of course, maintain and cultivate connections with the United States and other powers. But Zionism is, in essence, about the Jewish people taking responsibility for their own fate.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship