Since 2015, when Jonathan Greenblatt, a veteran of the Obama administration, took over the helm of the Antidefamation League (ADL), the organization has increasingly aligned itself with the Democratic party and has made a habit of displaying its progressive bona fides. Yet a coalition of hard-left and anti-Israel organizations has launched a coordinated campaign against the ADL, based in part on the libelous claim that it is somehow responsible for the killing George Floyd. Jonathan Tobin comments on the ADL’s response:
You would think a well-funded mainstream liberal Jewish organization like the ADL would . . . dismiss [these] smears . . . with contempt. . . . Instead, the ADL’s response [has been] defensive in nature. It seems to be as worried about being labeled as insufficiently “progressive” to be considered a worthy ally for left-wing groups as it is eager to fire back at those who have singled it out for opprobrium.
The episode is an interesting commentary on why cancel culture, which has become a dominant force in American public life . . . is such an effective tool. . . . Conservatives and moderates don’t care about the imprecations of extremists. . . . The most vulnerable targets for canceling are liberals who crave the good opinion of their tormentors.
[T]he ADL understands that there is a price to be paid for being judged as not woke enough to pass muster in the bizarro universe of the contemporary left, where intersectional myths about Zionism being aligned with Jim Crow racism are accepted as truths.
That doesn’t mean Jews shouldn’t join in condemning the anti-ADL effort. The campaign should be viewed as an effort to silence all Jews and supporters of the Jewish state. But this is also an object lesson about the futility of liberal attempts to appease radicals. No matter how much the ADL attacks President Trump and Republicans, it will never be enough for the intersectional left to grant it a pass for not completely disavowing Israel.