The Anti-Defamation League’s Destructive New Partisanship

In 2015, Abe Foxman retired as the longtime director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and was replaced by Jonathan Greenblatt, who had previously worked as director of the Obama administration’s Office of Social Innovation. Since then, the organization—which has long been respected for its nonpartisanship and willingness to criticize anti-Semitism of both the far left and the far right—has increasingly acted like an extension of the Democratic party. Seth Mandel writes:

Greenblatt took three hallmarks of team Obama with him when he left [the White House]: a belief that liberalism and morality are synonymous; an obsession with Benjamin Netanyahu; and a rivalrous antagonism toward anyone to his right who called out anti-Semitism.

The liberalism part of that isn’t unique to Greenblatt—the ADL has long supported abortion rights, which is not a “Jewish issue” in any way. But there are two puzzling aspects to Greenblatt’s behavior. First, he makes it personal. Immediately after President Trump announced he would nominate to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh, [and before any accusations of sexual misconduct emerged], Greenblatt went on the attack, tweeting that Kavanaugh’s record “does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court.” Slandering a respected judge is so far beneath the ADL that Greenblatt’s behavior should’ve been a gut check for the group’s leadership. . . .

The second difference is an overt hostility to religious liberty—an absolutely dangerous gamble for a Jewish-rights group. [For instance], Greenblatt publicly lamented June’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Christian baker’s First Amendment rights. . . .

Greenblatt’s antipathy toward the elected Israeli government is perhaps even more [inappropriate]. In 2016, Prime Minister Netanyahu confronted the Palestinian demand that no Jews remain in a future Palestinian state, calling it “ethnic cleansing.” This is quite literally the definition of the phrase. But Greenblatt—again, it bears repeating, as the director of the Anti-Defamation League—took a long swing at Netanyahu with a full column in Foreign Policy magazine. Greenblatt wrote: “Like the term ‘genocide,’ the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ should be restricted to actually describing the atrocity it suggests—rather than distorted to suit political ends.” This is nonsensical. . . .

Every so often, Greenblatt’s ADL will rap a Democrat on the knuckles and claim partisan evenhandedness. But the larger problem is that Greenblatt sees right-wing bigotry as a crucial element of conservative ideology, while viewing any such transgressions on the left as isolated anomalies. But the mainstream Democratic party’s overt embrace of its left flank, which is the source of the nation’s most explicit anti-Israel rhetoric and ideas, has made such assumptions naïve to the point of professional malpractice for someone like Greenblatt.

Read more at Commentary

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Barack Obama, Democrats, Donald Trump, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Politics

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security