The Antidefamation League Makes Common Cause with a Notorious Anti-Semite

Last week, Jonathan Greenblatt, the director of the Antidefamation League (ADL) appeared on Al Sharpton’s political talk show to promote its participation in an initiative to ban “hate speech” from Facebook and other platforms. Sharpton, who is spearheading the initiative, has a long history of indulging in anti-Semitic rhetoric, and in the 1990s instigated acts of anti-Jewish violence that left several dead. To Jonathan Tobin, the campaign for social-media censorship is merely wrongheaded, but the embrace of Sharpton makes a mockery of the ADL’s mission:

Greenblatt’s predecessor Abe Foxman was a child survivor of the Holocaust, and he took the job of granting absolution to those who were guilty of anti-Semitism in the past seriously. . . . Greenblatt, however, hasn’t required Sharpton to confess his role as a race-baiting inciter of anti-Semitic violence. Instead, he treats Sharpton as a valuable political ally whose support for ADL’s ventures is a gift for which he is truly grateful.

To be fair to Greenblatt, he’s not alone in this respect. Last year, the Union of Reform Judaism played the same game with Sharpton when its Religious Action Center granted its seal of approval to him. That was particularly painful for many in Crown Heights and the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, whose adherents were the victims of [the 1991 Crown Heights] pogrom that Sharpton helped start. In that case, as with this one, both groups judged politics—in the form of an anti-Trump alliance—as having far greater importance than holding Sharpton accountable for his past.

Greenblatt, a veteran of the last two Democratic administrations, moved the group away from its nonpartisan stance into one in which it has become a faithful auxiliary of the Democratic party. That has been made painfully obvious repeatedly as Greenblatt has taken openly partisan stances on issues like Supreme Court nominations. . . . Greenblatt has already so trashed ADL’s reputation . . . that it may be hard to gin up much outrage about his embrace of a figure as disreputable as Sharpton. But it is no less outrageous for being so predictable and servile.

Read more at JNS

More about: ADL, Al Sharpton, Anti-Semitism, U.S. Politics


Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy