April 27, 2018
News Press Release

ZOA to ADL: Stop Attacks on Pro-Israel Groups/Leaders Who Combat Radical Islamists/Anti-Semites – Don’t Promote Groups Hostile to Israel

ADL Wrongly Defamed Canary Mission as “Islamophobic and Racist”- Promotes BlackLivesMatter & J Street

Zionist Organization of America President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:

Incredibly, in the space of a little over two weeks, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), headed by Jonathan Greenblatt, wrongly condemned and/or defamed three wonderful pro-Israel organizations and three fabulous pro-Israel individuals and political leaders who expose and/or combat radical Islamists and anti-Semites.  On April 24, ADL National falsely accused the Canary Mission of “antithetical and destructive” “Islamophobic & racist rhetoric,” and thanked University of Michigan students for writing a letter attacking Canary Mission.  

Canary Mission in fact provides an invaluable service exposing the virulent, hateful anti-Semitic statements and activities of anti-Israel “activists.”  (See, e.g., ADL: Exposing Muslim Anti-Semitism is Islamophobic,” by Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage Mag., Apr. 26, 2018; “Defamation by the Anti-Defamation League: The ADL Defames Canary Mission,” by David E. Bernstein, Volokh Conspiracy (Blog hosted by the Washington Post), Apr. 26, 2018; and “ADL Under Jonathan Greenblatt Is Defending Muslim Anti-Semites Instead of Jews,” by Avi Abelow, Israel Unwired, Apr. 26, 2018.)

Similarly, on April 10, ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt and Marvin Nathan wrote an 11-page, single-space letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attacking then-nominee-Secretary of State and strongly pro-Israel CIA Director Cong. Mike Pompeo for expressing concerns about radical Islamists and the need for Muslim leaders to condemn terror, and for associating with pro-Israel national security organizations that ADL also unjustly maligned.  

Under Jonathan Greenblatt’s leadership, ADL is attacking the groups and individuals who are doing exactly what ADL’s mission statement requires ADL to do. 

Specifically, the ADL/Jonathan Greenblatt letter to the Senate committee wrongly called the pro-Israel Center for Security Policy (CSP) an “Islamophobic organization”; wrongly accused CSP’s pro-Israel president Frank Gaffney (a ZOA Brandeis honoree whose group recently honored Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer and ZOA President Morton Klein) of “promot[ing] anti-Muslim conspiracy theories”; wrongly called pro-Israel national security group Act for America an “anti-Muslim organization,” and condemned its pro-Israel president Brigitte Gabriel for proposing monitoring of radical mosques.  (See ZOA Letter to Sen. Foreign Relations Committee Endorsing Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State,” Apr. 11, 2018, responding to the false allegations in ADL’s letter.)    

ADL’s attacks on dedicated pro-Israel individuals and groups that defend and fight for Israel and combat anti-Israel radical Islamist anti-Semitism are particularly confusing, disheartening and upsetting because the ADL states that the first plank of its mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people.” Nevertheless, under Jonathan Greenblatt’s leadership, ADL is attacking the groups and individuals who are doing exactly what ADL’s  mission statement requires ADL to do. 

In addition to ADL’s attacks on the Jewish people’s friends, it’s also upsetting thst ADL sometimes fails to speak up when it should do so.  For instance, when Fox commentator Geraldo Rivera recently stated that he should have backed Arafat’s terrorism intifada, which murdered 2000 Jews and maimed 10,000 more, ADL was deafeningly silent.  (See ZOA Action Alert: Fox News Must Fire Geraldo Rivera for His Supporting Massacre of Jews by Second Intifada,” Apr. 4, 2018  “Fox News Airs Geraldo Rivera’s Anti-Israel Disinformation,” by Myron Kaplan, JNS, Apr. 24, 2018. 

Yet ADL was deafeningly silent when Fox commentator Geraldo Rivera recently stated that he should have backed Arafat’s terrorism intifada, which murdered 2000 Jews and maimed 10,000 more.

It is also painful that ADL and its Director Greenblatt too often join forces with Israel haters, such as by promoting the Israel-bashing BDS group Black Lives Matter, (who accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing,) in speeches and ADL’s lesson plans; and signing join letters with CAIR (an unindicted conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, involved in funneling money to Hamas) and similar radical Islamist groups.  Jonathan Greenblatt also spoke at the hostile-to-Israel J Street, where Greenblatt praised J Street on their work for Israel, (ADL even voted for J Street in failed attempt to become member of Conference of Presidents) and said that “making sure that ‘Black Lives Matter’. . . . are the struggles of our time,” and attacked Israel and fellow Jews for, among other things, for denying the rights of “marginalized Palestinians” and failing to recognize the legitimacy of the “Palestinian narrative.”  As Jerusalem Post author Isi Leibler asked: “Is the ADL director unaware that the Palestinian narrative refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state?”   (See, e.g.,ZOA: ADL Supports/Promotes the Anti-Israel, Pro-BDS #BlackLivesMatter Group,” June 28, 2016; and ZOA Criticizes ADL Signing Joint Letter with Israel Haters,” June 15, 2017; “JPost: ADL Unconscionable, Inaccurate Attack on Israel at J Street Meeting,” May 19, 2016.)  

It makes no sense that when the pro-Israel group Canary Mission, exposed pro-BDS Israel bashers and radical Islamists’ virulent, hateful, anti-Semitic statements and violent threats, ADL wrongly attacks that group as “Islamophobic.”   And the statements that the Canary Mission exposes are indeed horrendous – and deserve to be outed and combated and condemned. Many of the Islamists’ statements exposed by Canary Mission promote genocide of the Jewish people.  Here’s a small sampling from the Canary Mission’s website and twitter page:

  • #Memphis student Mohammed Basma says “F**k the Jews’ mothers”; “May Allah never forgive the Jews”; and “Politics? It was the yahood [Jews] Economical probs? it was the yahood Sandstorm? It was definitely the yahood.”
  • #OhioState student Belal Daoud shared a video promoting the murder of “Zionists all over the world.” 
  • Is it safe to say that SJP Secretary Yasmeen Hammed engaged in anti-Semitism, or “just anti-Zionism”?   Yasmeen Hamad, SJP Secretary, John Jay College tweeted: “The fifth level of hell fire is for the Jews.”
  • .@SJPUChicago made this truly disturbing statement on their PUBLIC Twitter account: “The 3rd Intifada has to be a global Intifada” #SJPThreats
  • On October 14, 2015 SJP at the University of California Berkeley (Cal SJP), together with the campus Muslim Students Association (MSA) chapter, held a demonstration during an upsurge in violence across Israel known as the “Knife Intifada.”  Unis Barakat, a Cal SJP affiliate, led protesters in chanting: “Intifada, Intifada! We support the Intifada!” and “No Justice No Peace!”

It’s time for Jonathan Greenblatt and the ADL to (1) end their counterproductive, harmful attacks on the best friends and fighters for the safety of the Jewish, Israeli and American people; (2) spend more of their time and resources on focusing fighting for Israel and the Jewish people; (3) not place in a positive light those hostile to Israel like J Street and BlackLivesMatter; and (4) be careful not to carelessly use the term Islamophobia to those fighting radical Islamists and Jihadists, where it surely doesn’t apply.