Anti-Defamation League Has Strayed from Its Charter

The Anti-Defamation League's original charter is simple, straightforward, and honorable:

The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.

Nowhere does this call for the ADL to shield Barack Obama from the consequences of his policies toward Israel and other allies of the United States.  The "National Pledge for Unity on Israel," which the ADL cosponsored with the American Jewish Committee, is but the most recent example of how this organization has lost touch with the very reason for its existence.

U.S.-Israel friendship should never be used as a political wedge issue. At a time when Israel is confronting new dangers and challenges in a fast changing Middle East, the United States must continue to project to the world the solid support of the American people and their elected representatives for Israel's rights and quest for peace and security.  U.S. leadership in the efforts to achieve an agreement resolving the conflict that results in two states--the Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peaceful coexistence--is more critical than ever.

The fact that "President Obama today [May 19] backed pre-1967 borders as the basis for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians on the contours of an eventual peace deal" encourages terroristic violence ranging from the slaughter of the Fogel family to acts of war including the launch of Grad rockets against Israel.  The statement that the pre-1967 borders are the basis for negotiations tells the Palestinians openly that they can kill as many civilians as they want, fire as many rockets and mortar shells as they want, and break as many truces as they want without the prospect of having land concessions taken off the table forever.

The Arabs' provocation or initiation of three wars while Israel was inside its 1967 borders proves meanwhile that Israel's "occupation" of Gaza, Samaria, and Judea is not and never was the root cause of the region's violence.  This Palestinian video that declares Tel Aviv part of "Palestine" reinforces this obvious conclusion.  The deluded idea that Israel's surrender of any of this territory will bring peace therefore underscores the disconnection from reality of those that promote it, including the ADL, as shown above.  This should indeed be a 2012 campaign issue that, especially in combination with similar behavior toward the United Kingdom, underscores Mr. Obama's lack of fitness for his job.

The infamous Zimmerman Telegram of the First World War encouraged Mexico to attack the United States only if the U.S. attacked Germany first.  The U.K. was in contrast not threatening to attack the United States when Mr. Obama said that it and Argentina should negotiate the future of the Falkland Islands.  This could conceivably encourage Argentina's next Leopoldo Galtieri to start another war with the United Kingdom.  Mr. Obama's encouragement of totalitarian aggression is therefore in no way limited to Palestinian terrorists.

The ADL, meanwhile, demolished its credibility years before its cynical "National Pledge for Unity on Israel," aka "Give Barack Obama a pass for stripping terroristic violence of meaningful consequences."  Abraham Foxman had this to say in 2007 about Turkey's genocide of about 1.5 million Armenians during the First World War: "The Turks and Armenians need to revisit their past. The Jewish community shouldn't be the arbiter of that history, nor should the U.S. Congress."

Foxman did not go so far as to deny that Armenians had been murdered, but he has nonetheless turned the ADL into an organization where the words "Never Again" are a meaningless slogan.  This was so repulsive that ADL Director Andrew Tarsy refused to support Foxman and was fired as a result.  Two ADL board members then resigned in disgust.

The ADL has also become a facilitator and enabler of the very hate-mongers it claims to oppose.  Mr. Foxman issued this joint statement on hate symbols with Al Sharpton, thus legitimizing this prominent racist and anti-Semite.  The actions of Mr. Sharpton and his National Action Network at Freddy's Fashion Mart speak for themselves, as do Mr. Sharpton's statements about the Crown Heights riots and his role in the Tawana Brawley scandal.  ADL then went even farther by attacking as "Islamophobic" people and organizations that expose anti-Semitism and similar hate-related activities against Christians under color of Islam.

The organization [Stop Islamization of America, SIOA], led by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, warns of the encroachment of Shari'a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the "falsity of Islam."

Adherents of this ideological Islamophobia view Islam as an existential threat to the world, and especially to the "West."

A phobia is an irrational fear of an imaginary danger.  Does the ADL contend that this video, which calls for the annihilation of Jews and proclaims that Islam will rule the word, was produced by people who do not call themselves Muslims?  Is the woman who calls for Jews to "go back to the ovens" in this video (3:20) an actress instead of a person who calls herself a Muslim?  Are these people who call for the bombing of Denmark and the taking of Danish women as war booty movie extras and not militant Muslims?  Is this Islamic cleric who called women who do not wear hijabs "uncovered meat" whom any man is free to rape a figment of Spencer's, Geller's, and our imaginations and therefore a phobia?  Will the ADL treat this massacre of Coptic Christians as an issue like the Armenian genocide, in which "Egyptians and Copts will have to revisit their past"?  Does the ADL deny that a self-appointed sharia court (aka lynch mob) in Spain sentenced a woman to death for "adultery," or that Islamic supremacists are trying to carve out sharia-compliant zones in Europe?  From where we sit, the ADL's condemnation of SIOA makes it a moral accomplice and accessory to all these outrages.

The ADL has also strayed from its charter by joining the American Jewish Committee and other groups in an attack on the Second Amendment, with the explicit statement that there is no individual right to possess firearms.  This puts the ADL and the others squarely on the side of dictators and racists whose first priority is to disarm those they might wish to exterminate or lynch later.  This underscores the ADL's appalling judgment even in the absence of the other issues, because taking either side in a controversy unrelated to its basic charter simply alienates people who might otherwise support it.

The ADL was once a fine organization, and it can become one again -- but until it changes its current orientation and behavior drastically, it does not deserve the support of any American.

William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.