Anti-Defamation equals “Don’t mess with Israel”

The Anti-Defamation League’s website says its purpose is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Apparently this includes supporting any Israeli expansion—like the plan announced this week to build 1600 new houses in East Jerusalem—and opposing any criticism of Israel by the U.S. government.

Thus, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement yesterday (March 12):

We are shocked and stunned at the Administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem.   We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.  One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table.

It is especially troubling that this harsh statement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly and privately explained to Vice President Biden the bureaucratic nature in making the announcement of proposed new building in Jerusalem, and Biden accepted the prime minister’s apology for it.  Therefore, to raise the issue again in this way is a gross overreaction to a point of policy difference among friends.

The Administration should have confidence and trust in Israel whose tireless pursuit for peace is repeatedly rebuffed by the Palestinians and whose interests remain in line with the United States.

What was the shocking language that so upset the ADL? This statement by Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley at yesterdays daily press briefing.

Secretary Clinton also spoke this morning with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to reiterate the United States’ strong objections to Tuesday’s announcement, not just in terms of timing, but also in its substance; to make clear that the United States considers the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship – and counter to the spirit of the Vice President’s trip; and to reinforce that this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America’s interests. The Secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security. And she made clear that the Israeli Government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process.

When the ADL says it’s for “secure justice and fair treatment to all,” could they mean Jews only?


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2 Responses to “Anti-Defamation equals “Don’t mess with Israel””

  1. Ed Stern Says:

    Bob, You have much good work to your credit. Therefore, people who like you and respect you should tell you when you have gone too far. When you said: “When the ADL says it’s for ‘secure justice and fair treatment to all,’ could they mean Jews only?” you have indeed gone to far.
    1. ADL has a long and respectable record of fighting against discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation–see their website. For you to say “could they mean Jews only” suggests that you are poorly informed. That is hard to believe. It is easier to believe that you wrote in anger.
    2. ADL expicitly criticized Israel for embarrassing the Vice President. It is on their website.
    3. You should not hesitate to criticize Israel or the ADL when you disagree with them. But you should avoid demeaning the people you disagree with.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    Well, I did write in anger, anger at ADL’s over-the-top criticism of the Administration’s correct and measured–in my view–response to yet another action by Israel to erode the possibility of ever making peace. I haven’t seen ADL’s criticism of Israel. I couldn’t find it on their website, but embarrassing the VP isn’t the issue: the issue is their blatant attempt to associate the US with Israel’s expansionist–I’m tempted to say lebensraum–policy.
    I’ll be happy to endorse the ADL whenever I see them take a stand to recognize the humanity of the Palestinians.

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