ADL’s New Bedfellows
By Caroline Glick
November 24, 2016
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was among
the first Arab leaders to welcome Trump’s victory.
In an interview this week with the Australian
media, Jordan’s King Abdullah became the latest Arab leader to express hope
that President- elect Donald Trump and his team will lead the world’s to date
failed fight against jihadist Islam.
Like his counterparts in Egypt and Saudi Arabia,
Abdullah effectively ruled out the possibility that President Barack Obama will
take any constructive steps to defeat the forces of global jihad in his last
months in power. Speaking of the humanitarian disaster in Aleppo for instance,
Abdullah said, “I don’t think there’s much we can do until the new
administration is in place and a strategy is formulated.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was among
the first Arab leaders to welcome Trump’s victory.
Sisi has been largely shunned by the Obama
President Barack Obama supported the Muslim
Brotherhood regime that Sisi and the Egyptian military overthrew in 2013.
Sisi was the first foreign leader to speak to
Trump after his victory was announced. He released a statement to the media
saying that he “looks forward to the presidency of president Donald Trump to
inject a new spirit into the trajectory of Egyptian-American relations.”
The support that the incoming Trump
administration is garnering in the Arab world stands in stark contrast to the
near wall-to-wall opposition to Trump expressed by the American Muslim
According to a survey of Muslim American opinion
taken in October by the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), 72% of
American Muslims supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump was
supported by a mere 4% of the Muslim community.
Muslim American activists played key roles in the
Clinton campaign. They were particularly active in swing states like Ohio and
Michigan where Trump won by narrow margins.
As The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday, since
the election, Muslim American leaders have expressed concern and hostility
toward the incoming Trump administration. Muslim Democrat activist James Zogby,
who also heads the Arab American Institute, published an op-ed in The Jordan
Times to this effect after the election. Zogby expressed concern that the Trump
administration would harm the civil rights of Arab Americans.
The gap between the Arab world’s support for
Trump and the Muslim American community’s opposition to him is particularly
notable because it reverberates strongly the growing cleavage between the
Israeli government and public and large swaths of the American Jewish community.
Led most prominently by the Anti-Defamation
League and its executive director Jonathan Greenblatt, in the wake of the
election, American Jews are at the forefront of efforts to delegitimize Trump
and his senior advisers. Unlike their Muslim American counterparts, who are
keeping their criticism of Arab regimes to themselves, Greenblatt, the ADL and
their allies on the Left have linked their opposition to Trump to legitimizing
opponents of Israel.
Before assuming his role at the ADL, Greenblatt
worked in Valerie Jarrett’s political influence shop in the Obama White House.
As ADL chief, Greenblatt has used his position as the head of a major Jewish
organization to support the Obama administration’s policies. To this end,
since the election, the ADL has worked to tar the incoming Trump administration
as antisemitic, focusing its fire on Trump’s senior strategist, former
Breitbart News CEO Stephen Bannon.
The ADL spearheaded the campaign to label Bannon
an antisemite. When its claims were shown to be entirely spurious, this week the
ADL quietly acknowledged that Bannon has actually never made any antisemitic
statements. But its quiet admission of spreading lies didn’t stop the ADL from
continuing to traffic in them. Even after it admitted that “we are not aware
of any antisemitic statements from Bannon,” the ADL continued to insist that
Breitbart has been a home for antisemites because some Jew-haters wrote
antisemitic responses to Breitbart articles.
The ADL’s smear campaign against Bannon is a
hard-sell because Breitbart is among the most pro-Israel websites in the US. But
this brings us to the second aspect of the ADL-led campaign against
President-elect Donald Trump and his team.
With each passing day, it becomes increasingly
clear that the ADL and its allies are using the Trump victory as a means to draw
a distinction between pro-Israel and Jew-friendly while arguing that antisemites
support Israel and that people who hate Israel are not antisemites. This was the
clear goal at the ADL’s summit on antisemitism last week.
As Daniel Greenfield reported Thursday in Front-
Page Magazine, the ADL used the conference to legitimize the so-called BDS
campaign to boycott Jewish Israeli products and divest from businesses that do
business with Jewish-owned Israeli businesses.
It similarly normalized the general argument that
there is nothing inherently antisemitic about opposing the Jewish state.
In a panel with the disturbing title, “Is
Delegitimization of Israel Antisemitism?” the ADL featured anti-Israel
activists Jill Jacobs and Jane Eisen. Both women argued that BDS is legitimate.
At the same time, they denounced fervent supporters of Israel like Bannon and
Center for Security President Frank Gaffney.
Greenfield reported that the ADL gave a prominent
platform at the conference supposedly dedicated to fighting antisemitism to Ford
Foundation CEO Darren Walker. The Ford Foundation is one of the leading
contributors to anti-Israel organizations in the US and to anti-Zionist
political front groups in Israel.
Other speakers explained that it isn’t that
Israel’s foes are antisemitic. It is just that Israelis and their supporters
have become “hypersensitive” to criticism.
All in all, Greenfield concluded, “Instead of
tackling antisemitism, the ADL was tackling Israel and pro-Israel Jews” and
“normalizing anti-Israel rhetoric and organizations.”
A few days after the conference, the ADL took the
next step toward normalizing hatred for Israel in America when it announced its
support for Rep.
Keith Ellison’s candidacy to serve as the next
chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Ellison became the first Muslim American elected
to the House of Representatives in 2006. In the decades that preceded his
election, Ellison built a long and documented history of membership in and
advocacy and employment for the antisemitic Nation of Islam. In his capacity as
a Nation of Islam spokesman, Ellison made antisemitic statements and promoted
anti-Jewish and anti-Israel positions and activists.
Since joining the House of Representatives,
Ellison has been one of the leading anti-Israel voices in Congress. He has
spearheaded multiple anti-Israel initiatives. He openly supports the boycott of
Israeli Jewish products and has castigated Israel as an apartheid state.
Together with James Zogby, last August Ellison
served as a member of the Democratic Party’s platform committee. The men
attempted to purge the platform of language in support of Israel.
Yet Wednesday the ADL released a statement
extolling Ellison as “a man of good character.” The ADL praised him as “an
ally in the fight against antisemitism and for civil rights.”
It even said that Ellison “has been on record
in support of Israel.”
ADL is supporting Ellison – and opposing Trump
and his pro-Israel advisers – because Greenblatt and his backers support
Obama’s policies in the Middle East and want to make it difficult for Trump to
Ellison and the leading American Muslim groups
oppose Trump for the same reason. The difference between the two groups is that
the ADL and its Jewish backers are acting in this manner because they support
the Left, which Obama leads. Ellison and his allies at CAIR, the Islamic Society
of North America, and the Arab American Institute and other groups oppose Trump
because they support the substance of Obama’s policies.
The chief characteristics of Obama’s Middle
East policies have been support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran against
Israel and the US’s Sunni allies.
Former FBI agent and counterterrorism expert John
Guandolo estimates that upward of 80% of Islamic centers and mosques in the US
are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The major American Muslim groups, including CAIR,
ISNA and the Islamic Circle of North America are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood in turn supports Iran.
During his year in power in Egypt, the Muslim
Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi permitted Iranian warships to travel through the
Suez Canal, hosted Iranian leaders and Hezbollah commanders in Cairo and took a
series of additional steps to embrace Iran.
Trump’s foreign policy adviser Walid Phares
gave an interview to Egyptian television after Trump’s election stating that
Trump will support a bill introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz to outlaw the Muslim
Brotherhood in the US as well as its offshoots CAIR, ISNA and others due to
their support for jihadist terrorist groups formed by Brotherhood members.
Al-Qaida, Hamas and a host of other jihadist groups have all been formed by
Muslim Brotherhood followers.
Trump’s national security adviser, Lt.-Gen.
(ret.) Mike Flynn; Rep. Mike Pompeo, whom Trump has selected to serve as his CIA
director; as well as Marine Gen. James Mattis, the leading contender to serve as
Trump’s defense secretary are all outspoken opponents of Obama’s nuclear
deal with Iran.
Given the stakes, then, it makes perfect sense
that the Arab American groups oppose Trump.
It also makes sense that Arab regimes threatened
by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran support Trump and eagerly await his
And it clearly makes sense for Israel to welcome
The only thing that makes no sense is the
American Jewish campaign to demonize Trump. The ADL’s leadership of the
campaign to smear Trump and his advisers while legitimizing BDS and supporting
Israel-bashers is antithetical to the interests of the American Jewish
In adopting these positions, Greenblatt and the
ADL along with their allies in J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, If Not Now,
The Forward, other far-left groups and mainstream groups that have lost their
way show through their actions that they have conflated their Judaism with their
support for the Left.
To the extent that the interests of the Jews of
America contradict the positions of the Left, the Jews of America are behaving
in an “antisemitic” way.
It is the responsibility of the segment of the
community that understands “Jewish” is not a synonym of “leftist” to
oppose the ADL and its backers. If they fail to do so, they will contribute to
the descent of the community into powerlessness and irrelevance, not only in the
era of Trump, but into the future.