ADL releases list of Top 10 Anti-Israel groups, who use it to raise funds

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English: Neturei Karta members protest AIPAC c...

English: Neturei Karta members protest AIPAC conference at Washington DC convention center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ADL releases list of Top 10 Anti-Israel groups, who use it to raise funds

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which combats hate except in instances involving Arab political critics of the State of Israel, released it’s annual Top 10 list of anti-Israel groups in the United States.

In typical anti-Arab rhetoric, the ADL National Director Abe Foxman released the following statement in their press release dated Oct. 21, 2013:

“The Top 10 anti-Israel groups are the most significant players in the domestic anti-Israel movement today,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The groups are fixated on delegitimizing Israel and convincing the American public that Israel is an international villain that deserves to be ostracized and isolated.”

The release (published in its entirety below) also claimed:

Each of the selected groups, according to ADL’s research, is “fixated with delegitimizing Israel” and has demonstrated the ability to reach new segments of the American public with a hostile and misleading narrative about Israel.

I didn’t realize that “Delegitimizing” or challenging a foreign nation’s political policies was considered a hate crime by the ADL, which constantly issues statements promoting hate and libel against American Arabs who questions Israel’s foreign policies, including their illegal occupation of lands it occupied in 1967 and continue to oppress.

Here’s the ADL’s list. When you look at it, it is pretty lame. Most of the groups listed are notorious for using extremist rhetoric, but none are engaged in the promotion of hatred, anti-Semitism or bigotry, no more than the ADL.

The Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups, as identified by ADL, are:

  • ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
  • American Muslims for Palestine
  • CODEPINK
  • Friends of Sabeel-North America
  • If Americans Knew/Council for the National Interest
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Neturei Karta
  • Students for Justice in Palestine
  • U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

As I look over the list, there are several I would consider “extreme” but to lump them in as “hate” and “anti-Semitic” is a serious distortion, a twisting of the mandate the ADL claims.

I disagree, for example, with the policy of Jewish Voice for Peace to support the expanded boycott of not only the Occupied Territories but also Israel under the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. I think the boycott, which is a legitimate expression of free speech by most people in America and in the world, except in Israel, should be limited to products and illegal settlements in the West Bank, not against Israel.

The Neturei Karta as a well known and respected Jewish religious group that rejects, on the basis of their interpretation of the Torah and Judaic teachings, the creation of a secular State of Israel. And because they also criticize Israel’s military brutality against Israelis, they are suddenly “anti-Semitic.”

Students for Justice in Palestine is a national coalition. Most of the members legitimately challenge Israel’s policies, and the organization does include some fanatics and even some racist anti-Semites who hate Jews. But that’s not the organization’s mandate. If an individual or even a leader says something so obnoxious, maybe the ADL should do their job and single them out and build their case.

But, of course, the ADL does not.

There are far more groups out there that should be on the list, based on their openly anti-Semitic rhetoric and track record of vicious hatred. But the ADL is not targeting them for a very specific and strategic political reason. The ADL didn’t release this list to fight anti-Semitism or hate. They released this list to make a political attack against groups that they view as effective in challenging Israel, a foreign country.

All of the groups are American groups, too. Consisting of Americans. And whether I agree with their full range of public statements or not is irrelevant. They have the right to challenge Israel’s actions, especially since as American taxpayers we are paying Israel more than $5 billion a year in tax dollars that come right out of our hard work as Americans.

So instead of listing the neo-Nazi Party, Ikhras, and a handful of moronic hate groups or even to name some of the more notorious hate activists in this country, they instead single out these groups because the purpose is not to identify hate but to undermine a serious challenge against Israel’s often illegal policies.

Arab groups named use the list to fundraise

Two of the groups listed in the ADL’s Top 10 list brilliantly issued releases of their own (which are listed in full below). Having been put in the spotlight by the ADL, which is a powerful American Jewish bully pulpit, they figure why not use it to get across their own message.

As the British say “Brilliant!”

Jewish Voice for Peace release their own release, responding:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has done it again—placing JVP on its blacklist of top ten “anti-Israel” organizations.
Their goal is to stigmatize groups that strive to make Israel accountable to international law through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns.
The ADL report noted with alarm that we are adding a staff position of Campus Liaison to strengthen our efforts to support students. We have secured two thirds of the funding for this position.
 

American Muslims for Palestine, a suburban Chicago group which can be criticized for a lot of things like patronizing Christian Arabs and excluding moderate Arab voices from its activism, doesn’t deserve to be attacked for promoting hatred as an organization. Here’s what they said this in their response to being included on the ADL’s list:

The report says AMP is “the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations in the country.”
“In trying to defame us, the ADL actually is recognizing the impact of our work in educating the American public about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian people,” said Kristin Szremski, AMP’s national director of media and communications. “Of course we provide training about recognizing and exposing Zionist organizations, because Zionism is racist and has at its core the call for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine. The American public deserves to know the truth.” 

Good job ADL. Maybe when you have time, you might want to address the growing hatred that you are helping to promote with your ridiculous political attacks against organizations, most of which are dedicated to challenging Israel’s foreign policies.

Israel is, to most Americans, a foreign country. The priority for all Americans should be America, not Israel.

If you have an issue with one of their leaders using hate rhetoric — and there are some — point them out. But you might step out of your glass house before doing so.

It’s unbecoming of an organization that claims to champion civil rights and fight hatred. You have F-grades in both.

— RAY HANANIA

ADL’s Press Release:

ADL Lists Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America in 2013

New York, NY, October 21, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued a list of the Top 10 most influential and active anti-Israel groups in the United States. Each of the selected groups, according to ADL’s research, is “fixated with delegitimizing Israel” and has demonstrated the ability to reach new segments of the American public with a hostile and misleading narrative about Israel.
“The Top 10 anti-Israel groups are the most significant players in the domestic anti-Israel movement today,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The groups are fixated on delegitimizing Israel and convincing the American public that Israel is an international villain that deserves to be ostracized and isolated.”
The Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups, as identified by ADL, are:
  • ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)
  • American Muslims for Palestine
  • CODEPINK
  • Friends of Sabeel-North America
  • If Americans Knew/Council for the National Interest
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Neturei Karta
  • Students for Justice in Palestine
  • U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
In compiling the list, ADL considered various criteria, including the groups’ ability to organize, sponsor and endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel; their sponsorship of and participation in anti-Israel rallies, panel discussions or conferences; and their ability to pursue anti-Israel policy initiatives and lobbying efforts against Israel. Information on each of the groups, as well as a description of their tactics, is available in the full report on the League’s web site.
In addition to their national impact and influence, many of the groups included in the list are known to employ rhetoric that is extremely hostile to Israel, Zionists and/or Jews.  Examples of this include:
  • Allegations that Israel or Jews control the U.S. government or the media;
  • Offensive parallels to the Holocaust by comparing Israeli leaders to Nazis or describing Gaza as the “new Auschwitz;”
  • Calls for the dismantlement of the state of Israel;
  • Expressions of support for terrorist groups that seek Israel’s destruction.
“The list represents the worst of the worst anti-Israel groups,” said Mr. Foxman. “They lob any and every accusation against Israel, including charges of Nazi-like crimes, ‘apartheid’ policies, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and genocide. Their accusations are rarely, if ever, balanced with an acknowledgement of Israel’s repeated efforts to make peace with the Palestinians, or the legitimate terrorism concerns faced by Israeli citizens.”
ADL issued its first list of Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in 2010 in the wake of the 2008-2009 war in Gaza. Since then, major shifts in the Middle East, as well as more aggressive efforts to delegitimize Israel through the BDS campaign, have resulted in a significantly altered domestic anti-Israel movement.
New to ADL’s list of the Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups are American Muslims for Palestine, CODEPINK, Neturei Karta and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Despite MPAC’s positive role in the civil rights, counterterrorism and interfaith communities, the group’s involvement in anti-Israel campaigns and its leadership’s consistent use of anti-Israel rhetoric is extremely troubling.
Once again, the Jewish anti-Israel group “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) made the ADL list.  The group’s leaders and members of its Rabbinical Council are regularly invited to major anti-Israel events and conferences, and the group claims that its Jewish nature gives it a “particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view.”  ADL further noted in its report that JVP “intentionally exploits Jewish culture and rituals” in an effort to convince other Jews that opposition to Israel does not contradict, but is consistent with, Jewish values.
Anti-Israel groups no longer ranking in the Top 10 have, for various reasons, scaled down the type of activity that merited their inclusion in the original report. They include The International Solidarity Movement, Al-Awda, the Muslim American Society, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Jewish Voice for Peace statement in response to the ADL:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has done it again—placing JVP on its blacklist of top ten “anti-Israel” organizations.
Their goal is to stigmatize groups that strive to make Israel accountable to international law through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns.
The ADL report noted with alarm that we are adding a staff position of Campus Liaison to strengthen our efforts to support students. We have secured two thirds of the funding for this position.
Let’s show the ADL how out of touch they are.
 
Can you pitch in today to help us raise the last bit of funding we need to make this position possible?
The ADL criticized the fact that our rabbis, young people, and members are inspired by Jewish values.
 
But the ADL does not get to define Jewish values. In fact, we are proud that our work reflects a Jewish tradition that requires justice for all people.
The ADL did get one thing right. They described JVP as an organization with national impact that recruits grassroots supporters and influences the mainstream public debate about Israel.
And we do it with a fraction of the $55 million budget that the ADL has to try to bully the Jewish American community into toeing a line that does not reflect our community’s values.
 
Please consider making a donation now to help us fund our fulltime Campus Liaison.And if you do, we promise we’ll send a note of thanks to Abe Foxman for inspiring your generous gift!

Click here to give $18 or $36 and put our new Campus Liaison to work right away.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Vilkomerson
Executive Director
P.S. The momentum in the media has already turned our way. Publications like Salon, the Daily Beast and the Jewish Daily Forward have all published pieces critical of the ADL’s smear tactics.

American Muslims for Palestine Press release:

AMP hails inclusion in ADL’s “Top Ten” list
Naming is proof AMP’s work effective and hitting the mark
(Chicago 10/22/2013) — The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, yesterday was named as one of the “Top Ten anti-Israel organizations” in the United States by the Anti-Defamation League, a staunchly Zionist organization that works to stop any public debate or criticism about Israeli policies.
The report says AMP is “the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations in the country.”
“In trying to defame us, the ADL actually is recognizing the impact of our work in educating the American public about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian people,” said Kristin Szremski, AMP’s national director of media and communications. “Of course we provide training about recognizing and exposing Zionist organizations, because Zionism is racist and has at its core the call for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine. The American public deserves to know the truth.”
The ADL attacks AMP because we’re effective. And we’re effective because of YOU! Your generous suppport has allowed AMP to launch its Israel Apartheid ads in New York City, Washington DC and San Francisco.
You have helped AMP fight Zionists in San Francisco, who tried to get the City Council to sanction AMP and take down our ads. You helped us gain victories over the misuse of federal law to target Palestine solidarity students on campus. You have helped us bring our programs and materials to thousands of people at high schools, college campuses, churches, mosques, civic groups, members of Congress and journalists!
When you support AMP’s programs, you are right on the front lines of the cause with us! Will continue with us? Please donate TODAY so we can continue our mission to educate the public and change the national dialogue. Just $5,000 will help us bring the ad campaign to another major metropolitan area. Can we continue to count on you?
For more information on the ADL, read AMP’s investigative report: The Anti-Defamation League: Protector of Civil Rights or Silencer of Free Speech?
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This post has already been read 843 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
Ray Hanania