In Attacking Mike Pompeo, the ADL Risks Its Own Credibility

April 23 2018

In a letter to the Senate Foreign-Relations Committee, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has accused the CIA director Mike Pompeo—now nominated to be secretary of state—of Islamophobia. Carefully comparing Pompeo’s suspect statements with those made by the ADL, Sohrab Ahmari shows that the former’s entirely reasonable concerns about radical Islam are no different from the latter’s:

When the Anti-Defamation League tapped Jonathan Greenblatt to serve as its CEO in 2015, there were concerns that the Obama White House alumnus would turn the venerable civil-rights group into an arm of the Democratic party. Alas, those concerns have proved well founded. Witness Greenblatt’s letter this week opposing Mike Pompeo . . . for the flimsiest of reasons. Running to more than 5,000 words, the letter accuses the CIA director of fanning bigotry with irresponsible statements about radical Islam. Greenblatt goes so far as to suggest that Pompeo’s attitudes are redolent of classic anti-Semitism. That’s a serious charge. It is also utterly baseless.

If Pompeo is “Islamophobic,” then so is the ADL. As it turns out, the secretary of state-designate and the ADL have remarkably similar views on the nature of the Islamist threat. . . .

To summarize Pompeo’s views: he believes, first, that there are radical Islamic networks that operate in the American heartland, and, second, that the Islamist threat is not a geographic one but an ideological and globe-spanning challenge to Western security. Well, the ADL has long suggested the same things, sometimes in nearly identical language. . . . If Pompeo’s remarks are beyond the pale, so are the ADL’s positions. Senators weighing Pompeo’s fitness to serve as America’s top diplomat can be forgiven for dismissing this cheap attempt at sliming him. It is the ADL’s donors and supporters who should be asking tough questions—of Greenblatt.

Read more at Commentary

More about: ADL, Islamism, Islamophobia, Mike Pompeo, Politics & Current Affairs


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount