In Attacking Mike Pompeo, the ADL Risks Its Own Credibility

April 23, 2018 | Sohrab Ahmari
About the author: Sohrab Ahmari is the op-ed editor of the New York Post and author of The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos.

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.

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