By Morton A. Klein/JNS.org
The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) recent statements essentially criticizing the election victory by Donald Trump and Mike Pence are inappropriate and harmful.
The front page of the ADL’s website features a blurb and link to an ADL blog post entitled “White Supremacists Celebrate Trump’s Victory” (Nov. 10) that deceptively seems to tie President-elect Trump to former KKK leader David Duke and Jew-hating neo-Nazis—while never mentioning Trump’s repeated repudiations of David Duke and neo-Nazis. The ADL post also never mentions that the Trump/Pence platform is the most pro-Israel platform in decades, and is dedicated to combating the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and protecting Jewish students on American college campuses.
The front page of the ADL’s website also features a blurb and link to the ADL’s Nov. 10 press release entitled, “ADL Provides Guide for Educators and Families to Help Young People Process Election 2016.” The release, along with the ADL’s accompanying resource guide, engages in fear-mongering tactics including advising parents and teachers to “Tell [young people] you will protect and fight for them”—presumably against supposed “evils” of President-elect Trump. Similar to the ADL’s “white supremacist” blog, the organization’s “help young people” press release and the resource guide never mention any of the positive truths about the Trump/Pence platform.
The ADL resource guide also tells parents and teachers to “encourage activism” against injustice (presumably against supposed “injustice” of a Trump/Pence administration). The resource guide then links to the ADL’s “Ways Youth Can Engage in Activism,” which encourages young people to demonstrate in the streets, saying, “Demonstrate: Marching in the streets enables students to express themselves while meeting and connecting with other people who feel passionate about the same issues. Demonstrations and protests can be uplifting and empowering and can help students feel like they are part of a larger movement….”
Instead of encouraging young people to demonstrate against the president-elect, it would be far wiser for the ADL to warn young people about the violence, lawlessness, and obscene rantings at many anti-Trump demonstrations, and about the virulent anti-Israel sentiment that appears to be instigating and supporting many anti-Trump demonstrations.
Anti-Trump demonstrations have sometimes turned into violent riots. Demonstrators have set buildings and trucks on fire; piled debris onto streets; smashed car and shop windows while ignoring local business owners’ pleas to leave them alone; thrown glass bottles; ignited fireworks; blocked streets and major highways; defaced a memorial in New Orleans with spray-painted epithets including, “Die Whites Die,” “F— Trump” and “F— White People”, and “Rape Melania;” and attacked innocent white people.
Notably, hordes of demonstrators in cities throughout the country are carrying professionally printed signs stating that they are from “AnswerCoalition.org,” an anti-Israel organization that is apparently fomenting and sponsoring the anti-Trump demonstrations. “AnswerCoalition.org” is the very same group that has sponsored vicious anti-Israel demonstrations, including during the wars in Gaza.
This is even confirmed by ADL’s own archives, which explained in 2011, “Under the guise of an anti-imperialist and anti-war agenda, the Far-Left International Action Center (IAC) and its affiliate, the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, have been at the forefront of injecting anti-Israel fervor and support for terrorism into the anti-war movement….IAC and ANSWER have sponsored and organized numerous anti-Israel events, rallies and demonstrations in the United States. ANSWER in particular has positioned itself as the leading organizer of the large rallies against Israel that usually take place during periods of heightened tension…These protests, often co-sponsored by other anti-Israel organizations, regularly featured anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, expressions of support for terror and offensive Holocaust imagery likening Jews and Israelis to Nazis. ANSWER and IAC have both repeatedly expressed support for terrorist groups determined to dismantle the state of Israel, including Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as ‘resistance’ groups fighting U.S. forces abroad….”
It has also been reported that the vicious anti-Israel billionaire and supporter of Hilary Clinton has been funding these rallies. When one sees ads to hire organizers for these rallies, one questions if they’re truly spontaneous.
It’s clear that the Trump/Pence administration may very well become the most pro-Israel administration in history and a champion of the fight against anti-Semitism. The Trump/Pence administration has pledged to take strong legislative and diplomatic actions to combat anti-Semitic BDS and labeling campaigns; has pledged to have the Justice Department investigate the coordinated intimidation of Jewish and pro-Israel students on college campuses; rejects the anti-Semitic notion that Israel is an “occupier” of Arab lands; is committed to cutting funding to United Nations organizations that persistently slander the Jewish state; will end the Obama administration’s unconstitutional limitations on congressional defense aid to Israel; and is committed to pressuring the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop promoting hatred and violence against Jews in PA schools, media, and speeches. The Trump/Pence administration has also pledged to finally move the American embassy in Israel to Israel’s capital—Jerusalem.
In recent years, Israel and Jews throughout the world have experienced more anti-Semitic attacks and defamation than they have at any time since the 1930s. A pro-Israel U.S. administration dedicated to combating this Jew-hating, Israel-bashing onslaught is what we desperately need. It’s time for the ADL to acknowledge who our friends are and to stop wrongly, even if subtly, condemning them.
Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America.