by Ari Lieberman
In his anti-Trump, pro-left zeal, Greenblatt has championed various extremist causes and has done so to the detriment of the organization he purports to represent.
It would be an understatement to characterize the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt as one of Trump’s shrillest critics. The ADL’s chief executive officer and Obama crony has distinguished himself in this category. In his anti-Trump, pro-left zeal, Greenblatt has championed various extremist causes and has done so to the detriment of the organization he purports to represent.
The ADL’s primary mission is to combat anti-Semitism and xenophobia but under Greenblatt’s stewardship, the ADL has lost its way and transformed itself into a partisan bastion of radical activism. The ADL can most effectively carry out its mission when it acts in a non-partisan manner and no one understood this concept better than Greenblatt’s predecessor, Abe Foxman. Greenblatt, however, has demonstrated nothing but contempt for this principle. Worse yet, Greenblatt has advocated positions harmful to Jewry and actually endorsed or quasi-endorsed entities and individuals whose entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bona fides are well known and a matter of public record.
Despite his close association with the rabidly anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, and viscerally anti-Israel congressional voting record, Greenblatt shockingly endorsed Representative Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) bid to lead the Democratic National Committee and referred to him as a “man of good character.” The ADL was later forced to retract its endorsement following the revelation of an embarrassing audio in which Ellison was heard endorsing a common anti-Semitic trope (often repeated by the hard right and hard left) about Jewish influence over American politics. But even in the absence of that damning audio, Ellison’s anti-Semitic credentials were so evident and so glaring that all but the most myopic or most dishonest acknowledged his entrenched bigotry.
The latest example of Greenblatt’s misguided political agenda was his shameful support for Linda Sarsour, a rancid Jew-hater of the first order and a poster child for “new anti-Semitism,” or anti-Semitism associated with the hard left. According to Sarsour, there is “nothing creepier than Zionism” and Zionism and feminism are incompatible, a bizarre belief considering that Israel is a recognized leader in women’s rights whereas the Muslim world is deeply misogynistic and mired in medieval backwardness.
Sarsour is also a proponent of Sharia (which requires four men to witness a rape to sustain a conviction) and is on record praising Saudi Arabia (which executes gays). Her views on free speech are even more odious. Her twitter feed was laced with various incriminating comments (which have been deleted in an effort to rebrand her image) but the one that stands out most was her public desire to rip out the vaginas of women with whom she disagreed. One of those women happened to have been a victim of female genital mutilation, a fact known to Sarsour.
Despite her deeply anti-Semitic views (and lack of public health credentials) Sarsour was inexplicably invited to give the commencement address at the City University of New York’s School of Public Health. Jewish leaders voiced their strong opposition to Sarsour and a group of approximately 100 Holocaust survivors wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to rescind the invitation. But Greenblatt, ever the contrarian, supported Sarsour, framing the issue as one of First Amendment Rights and free speech. I doubt he would have exhibited the same level of magnanimity toward former KKK leader David Duke.
Greenblatt’s acerbic record in combatting anti-Semitism emanating from the hard left has caught the attention of prominent individuals who rightfully believe that his deleterious advocacy on behalf of anti-Semitic personalities and causes has caused immeasurable harm. Alex VanNess, director of the Middle East Peace & Security Project at The Center for Security Policy, noted that Greenblatt’s partisanship “is turning the ADL into a shell of its former self; if it goes on much longer, the group’s credibility may never recover.” FrontPageMagazine’s Daniel Greenfield went one step further noting that “the ADL [under Greenblatt] is no longer just whitewashing anti-Semitism. It’s giving it a platform and a voice.”
The latest observer to note the ADL’s destructive policies under Greenblatt is Tablet’s James Kirchick. In a lengthy but illuminating piece appropriately titled “On Linda Sarsour’s Politics of Hate and the Pathos of Her Jewish Enablers,” Kirchick subjects Greenblatt to scathing criticism. He points out that while Sarsour certainly had a First Amendment right to spew her hate, the “ADL was under no obligation to defend a Jew-baiting, demagogic, foul-mouthed, sectarian bully.”
Kirchick’s stinging rebuke proved too much to bear for Greenblatt who issued a rebuttal just two days later where he somewhat pathetically tried to trump up his pro-Jewish bona fides and advocacy. If that was in fact his aim, he failed miserably. Perhaps cognizant of his botched effort, Greenblatt gave it a second go, publishing an article in Time Magazine where he warns us that anti-Semitism is creeping into progressivism and segments of the political left. How prescient of him to acknowledge a fact that most of us recognized decades ago. With the likes of Keith Ellison and Linda Sarsour at the helm, today’s progressive left is infected with Jew-hate from head to toe, and Greenblatt’s miraculous epiphany is simply a case of too little, too late.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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