The Antidefamation League’s Leftward Slide Hasn’t Protected It from the Condemnation of Progressives

Aug. 20 2020

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.

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Read more at JNS

More about: ADL, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Cancel culture

Gaza’s Quiet Dissenters

Last year, the Dubai-based television channel Al-Arabiya, the Times of Israel, and several other media organizations worked together to conduct numerous interviews with residents of the Gaza Strip, taking great pains to protect their identities. The result is a video series titled Whispers in Gaza, which presents a picture of life under Hamas’s tyranny unlike anything that can be found in the press. Jeff Jacoby writes:

Through official intimidation or social pressure, Gazans may face intense pressure to show support for Hamas and its murderous policies. So when Hamas organizes gaudy street revels to celebrate a terrorist attack—like the fireworks and sweets it arranged after a gunman murdered seven Israelis outside a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night—it can be a challenge to remember that there are many Palestinians who don’t rejoice at the murder of innocent Jews.

In one [interview], “Fatima” describes the persecution endured by her brother, a humble vegetable seller, after he refused to pay protection money to Hamas. The police arrested him on a trumped-up drug charge and locked him in prison. “They beat him repeatedly to make him confess to things he had nothing to do with,” she says. Then they threatened to kill him. Eventually he fled the country, leaving behind a family devastated by his absence.

For those of us who detest Hamas no less than for those who defend it, it is powerful to hear the voices of Palestinians like “Layla,” who is sickened by the constant exaltation of war and “resistance” in the Palestinian media. “If you’re a Gazan citizen who opposes war and says, ‘I don’t want war,’ you’re branded a traitor,” she tells her interviewer. “It’s forbidden to say you don’t want war.” So people keep quiet, she explains, for fear of being tarred as disloyal.

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Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Palestinian dissidents, Palestinian public opinion