Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

A Sad Day for the Anti-Defamation League

with 2 comments

by Weiner

Good shabbos everyone, and welcome to another edition of Jewish stupidity. Today’s installment concerns the famed Anti-Defamation League, that venerable institution that has been fighting antisemitism, and all others forms of bigotry since 1913. Well, I guess the good people at the ADL feel like they’ve had a good run, because, as the New York Times reports, they’ve decided to oppose the building of mosque near the site of the September 11 attacks.

As Paul Krugman correctly notes, this is “bad for the Jews.” Greg Sargent is right on the money here too.

The ADL, founded in 1913, has had its hiccups in the past: as Stuart Svonkin’s Jews Against Prejudice: American Jews and the Fight for Civil Liberties chronicles, the ADL, like the American Jewish Committee, unethically purged its membership of Communist sympathizers during the McCarthyite Red Scare of the 1950s. More recently, the ADL’s director, Abe Foxman, has made numerous stupid and offensive statements in the past.

This one, however, really takes the cake. As the ADL statement recognizes, Muslims have every right, according to American law, to build their center there. What’s more, to tar all the world’s Muslims with the “terrorist-Islamist-Al Queda” brush is out and out bigotry. As Matt Yglesias notes, several Muslims died in the 9/11 attacks.

The ADL, despite those hiccups mentioned earlier, has done a lot of good work fighting antisemitism, racism and other forms of intolerance in the past. That work, in addition to being right, was good for the Jews, helping to secure their place in America. For the ADL to side with bigotry is harmful to Jews, Muslims and all Americans. It is damaging in the present and tarnishes their proud tradition of fighting  prejudice.

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Written by David Weinfeld

July 31, 2010 at 08:59

2 Responses

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  1. […] Here’s one final thought on the Cordoba House mosque by Ground Zero and the American Jews of the Anti-Defamation League who oppose it. […]

  2. […] already voiced my support for the project on this blog here and here, and my friend Josh Barro has done so even more effectively here. I don’t think this […]


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