AS ATTACKS AGAINST JEWS IN NY INCREASE IN VIOLENCE AND NUMBER, ADL FAILS TO NAME THOSE GROUPS BEHIND THE ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS
AND…ADL HAS NOW PROVIDED COVER TO ANTI-ISRAEL, EXTREMIST CONGRESSWOMAN RASHIDA TLAIB BY ENDORSING HER EVENT AND APPEARING WITH HER IN DEARBORN, MICHIGAN EVENT
August 29, 2019 — This past weekend brought another series of dangerous assaults against Jews in Brooklyn, first in Crown Heights and later in Williamsburg. The attacks came on the heels of an already accelerated pace of violent attacks targeting Jews in the New York City area. Police reports indicate that anti-Semitic assaults are up 55% this year, which is atop an already increased rate from the previous years.
All evidence indicates that the bulk of the New York City attacks are coming from members of the Black, Hispanic, and Muslim community. Perhaps that is why the national ADL, under the new leadership of Jonathan Greenblatt, has been relatively silent in identifying and bringing to light these individuals, in contrast to its vociferous and specific condemnation when the perpetrators are labeled by the ADL “right-wing” or “white” individuals. Further, there have been attacks recently against rabbis and others in Berlin, severe physical attacks, by those speaking Arabic or those chanting Allahu Akhbar.
We understand that condemning perpetrators from minority groups that have expressed hostility to Jews is an uncomfortable endeavor for the ADL given its on-going political alliance with many of the leaders of these groups. Acknowledgment of anti-Semitism within these groups runs counter to the ADL template. Nevertheless, the national ADL must be honest and fair by equally spotlighting and condemning perpetrators no matter what their background.
Public condemnation is a vital mechanism in focusing leaders of groups on ostracizing violent members and denouncing bigoted attitudes within their respective community. Ignoring realities and not holding people accountable allows the prejudice to remain. Having a lower level regional ADL office express alarm or focus simply on hate and intolerance is woefully inadequate, especially now that anti-Semitism coming from prominent segments of those groups has reached a tipping point.
Now, the ADL has endorsed an August 29, 2019 event “against hate” (see flyer below) at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, knowing full well that many of the participants – including Rashida Tlaib — and groups are notoriously anti-Israel and have expressed anti-Jewish feelings. The ADL was willing to partner with these groups in behalf of what it considers a greater concern, namely condemning what it labels hateful to Islamic groups.
Conference of Jewish Affairs believes that the purpose of the ADL, with its budget of over $65 million*, should be, as was its historic mission, to prioritize the safety and security of Jews. Indeed, many groups the ADL calls minorities are no longer minorities in relation to a shrinking Jewish community, which now, population-wise, is far smaller than those groups. Fighting general bigotry and intolerance is very worthwhile, but cannot supersede what should be the ADL’s foremost mission of defending Jews, no matter who their attackers.