The ADL Keeps Failing to Identify Anti-Semitism on the Left

In January, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)—which was founded in 1910 for the explicit purpose of stopping “the defamation of the Jewish people,” among other things—hired a new outreach director, community organizer Tema Smith. In the aftermath of a series of attacks on religious Jews in New York, David Harsanyi documents, Smith declared that “the Jewish community’s reactions to anti-Semitism coming from Black people [are] inherently tied to (implicitly racist) fears of Black violence.” She also urged Jews to listen to Palestinians explain why they often resort to terrorism. These and other statements, Harsanyi argues, are part of what makes Smith “the perfect hire for the new ADL.”

The ADL, self-anointed arbiter of anti-Semitism, is useful in providing lazy journalists with quotes confirming preexisting notions about anti-Semitism being largely a right-wing phenomenon. There is the [occasional] condemnation of some leftist Jew baiting, but . . . in many ways, the ADL is now complicit in normalizing Jew hatred, by shielding from condemnation the progressive politicians who peddle it.

[T]he new ADL [is] a Democratic partisan outfit run by the former Barack Obama appointee Jonathan Greenblatt, who’s spent years degrading the group’s mission of fighting anti-Semitism and building its social-justice agenda. . . . Hiring Smith is just the latest example of this problem

Read more at National Review

More about: ADL, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Palestinian terror


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus