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


While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy