Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA calls upon former Democratic National Chair Howard Dean to retract and apologize to President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon for absurdly and disgracefully calling Mr. Bannon a “Nazi,” anti-Semitic and other untrue epithets on CNN-Canada on Sunday, November 20, 2016. When challenged by the CNN moderator about his use of the word “Nazi,” Howard Dean doubled down on his outrageous name-calling, saying: “It’s a big word and I don’t usually use it unless someone is really anti-Semitic, really misogynistic, really anti-Black.”
As ZOA and numerous others previously documented, there is no truth to Howard Dean’s accusations. See “ZOA Criticizes ADL for Falsely Alleging Trump Advisor Bannon is Anti-Semitic,” Nov. 14, 2016. ZOA President Morton Klein – a child of Holocaust survivors – explained on Fox News that Bannon helped ZOA combat anti-Semitism at City University, and is a strong supporter of Israel, and that the ADL’s anti-Semitism allegations against Bannon constituted character assassination. See Video “Zionist Organization of America defends Steve Bannon.” Orthodox Jewish writer Joel B. Pollak, who worked with Mr. Bannon for six years, wrote that Mr. Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.” Also see “Liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz Defends Bannon,” Nov. 15, 2016; and “Dennis Prager: Claims of Antisemitism Against Bannon Are ‘Libel’,” Nov. 17, 2016.
Notably, by November 17, 2016, the ADL backed away its earlier false anti-Semitism accusations against Bannon, saying “We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.” See “Anti-Defamation League Backs Down,” Nov. 17, 2016. Yet three days later, Howard Dean libeled Mr. Bannon as a “Nazi” and anti-Semite, etc.
Moreover, ZOA urges the ADL to join the ZOA in demanding an apology and retraction from Howard Dean.
The ADL has a long history (under its previous leader) of demanding apologies from those who call people “Nazis” or who use “Nazi” references or analogies, due to the unique horror of the Nazis’ cold-blooded murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children. For example, ADL told actress Susan Sarandon that her differences with the pope were “no excuse for throwing around Nazi analogies. Such words are hateful, vindictive and only serve to diminish the true history and meaning of the Holocaust.” (See “ADL Says Susan Sarandon Should Apologize For Referring To Pope Benedict XVI As ‘A Nazi,’” Oct. 17, 2011.)
For further examples, see the following ADL press releases: “ADL Calls On Ohio Board of Education President to Apologize For Invoking Nazi Dictator in Gun Control Message,” Jan. 22, 2013; “Once Again, [Ted] Turner Makes Offensive Nazi Comments – and Then Apologizes to ADL,” Oct. 24, 1996; “ADL Calls on Russian World Cup Director to Apologize for Nazi Analogy,” Aug. 14, 2013; “ADL Condemns [State Senator] Campfield’s Nazi Analogy,” May 6, 2014; “ADL To Celebrity Chef Mario Batali: Apology Accepted” [regarding comparing bankers to Hitler] Nov. 10, 2011; and “ADL ‘Outraged and Dismayed’ at Rep. Allen West’s Comparison of Democratic Party to Goebbels,” [the analogy actually concerned propaganda machines], Dec. 16, 2011.)
ADL has also condemned the use of Nazi analogies to express sincerely held religious beliefs regarding abortion and sincerely held beliefs about animal cruelty. (See, e.g., ADL press releases: “Outrageous Comparison Of Abortion To Holocaust Not A First For New York State Sen. Ruben Diaz,” May 2, 2012; and “ADL Denounces Peta for its “Holocaust On Your Plate” Campaign,” May 5, 2005.)
ADL also even demanded an apology when a company inadvertently included in an ad a photograph of a concentration camp’s fence and guard tower, obtained from a vendor of stock photos – despite the fact that the company did not know that the photo was from a concentration camp. (See “Consulting Firm Apologizes to ADL for Ad Depicting Concentration Camp Birkenau,” Aug. 7, 2013.)
So where is the ADL now? Has political left-wing partisanship so overtaken the ADL under its new leader, Jonathan Greenblatt (a former Obama official) that it is willing to countenance former Democratic National Chair Howard Dean calling a patriotic pro-Israel American such as Mr. Bannon a “Nazi” – and remain silent while Cong. Keith Ellison, a vicious critic of Israel, supporter of BDS, former employee of anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, fighter against funding the Iron Dome, and promoter that Israel is an apartheid state, is being supported as the next chair of the powerful Democratic National Committee!