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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘ADL’

Saban, ADL’s Greenblatt: Ellison Clearly an Anti-Semite

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Movie mogul and major Democratic party donor Haim Saban on Friday night at a Brookings Institution dinner attacked Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a leading candidate in the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, calling him an anti-Semite.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean dropped out of the DNC race on Friday, urging Democrats to elect only a full-time chairman, implying Ellison would not make an effective party leader because of his Congressional commitments. Speaking on Friday to state party chairs in Denver, Ellison said that if he’s elected chairman, he’d consider leaving Congress to devote his attention to rebuilding the party.

The fact that Ellison may be the next Democratic party decision maker stirred up Saban’s harsh response.

Speaking from his table at the dinner, Saban said: “I would just like to clarify something about Keith Ellison and him running for head of the DNC. […] I think it’s important for this audience to know. First, The fact that Keith Ellison is a Muslim is a non-issue at all. That is not an issue. With that out of the way, if you listen to Keith Ellison today and you see his statements, he’s more of a Zionist than Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Begin combined. I mean, really, it’s amazing, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Then Saban delivered his punch line: “[But] if you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted – he is clearly an anti-Semite, an anti-Israel individual. Words matter, and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party. Now I’ve said what I had to say.”

On Thursday, ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, not a rightwinger in anyone’s book, issued an almost identical statement, albeit in a less blunt style:

“When Rep. Ellison’s candidacy to be chair of the Democratic National Committee was first reported, ADL did not rush to judgment.  Instead, we took a hard look at the totality of his record on key issues on our agenda. We spoke to numerous leaders in the community and to Mr. Ellison himself. ADL’s subsequent statement on his candidacy appreciated his contrition on some matters, acknowledged areas of commonality but clearly expressed real concern where Rep. Ellison held divergent policy views, particularly related to Israel’s security.

“New information recently has come to light that raises serious concerns about whether Rep. Ellison faithfully could represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel. In a speech recorded in 2010 to a group of supporters, Rep. Ellison is heard suggesting that American foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by Israel, saying: “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes.”

“Rep. Ellison’s remarks are both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.  His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests. Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S. These comments sharply contrast with the Democratic National Committee platform position, which states: “A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.”

It appears that with or without Ellison at the Helm, rank and file Democrats are abandoning their party’s traditional relationship with the Jewish State. Israeli born Prof. Shibley Telhami, introduced a survey of “American attitudes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” at the at the Brookings Institute Saban Forum 2016, using 1,528 panelists with a 2.5% margin of error, that included the question: “Is Israel an ally or a burden to the United States?”

Most respondents, 76%, across party lines, agreed that Israel is a strategic asset to the U.S. But a majority of Democrats (55%), say that Israel is also a burden.

The breakdown by age of respondents across the lines regarding the notion that Israel is a burden: 61% of people 55 years of age or older disagree that Israel is a burden to the U.S., while 31% agree that it is a burden.

51% of 35 to 54 year olds disagree with the notion of Israel being a burden. But only 49% of 18 to 34 year olds disagree with it.

JNi.Media

ADL, Families, Rebuke Jewish Teens for Decorating Birthday Cupcake with Swastika

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Guests at a Jewish teen’s birthday party in Paradise Valley, Arizona, on Nov. 20, decorated their cupcakes with swastikas. Images of the Nazi influenced topping have been infesting social media after the teen’s mother posted her account of the event on her Facebook page (she has removed the post since).

The mother wrote she was hoping her own shocking revelation it would be used as a teaching moment for parents. The girls told the mother they created the Nazi cupcakes because they wanted to “be funny,” after having attended a Holocaust class before the party.

Holocaust jokes are widely considered to be a defense mechanism. In fact, in 2014, Yad Vashem published in book form (It Kept Us Alive: Humor in the Holocaust) the Ph.D. thesis by Tel Aviv University philosophy major Chaya Ostrower titled, “Humor as a defense mechanism in the Holocaust.” Ostrower interviewed 84 Holocaust survivors, finding that Jewish death camp inmates told Holocaust jokes as “Defense Mechanism, including its sub types – Self-humor and Gallows humor.”

But the mother was not amused by the girls’ creative coping mechanism exercised under her roof. Neither was Carlos Galindo-Elvira, Director of the Arizona Anti-Defamation League, who told local TV station 12News that “when you joke with symbols like the swastika you begin to normalize them and make it very casual within our society.”

In a later post, this one still online while his story is being filed, the mother wrote: “I know many people are asking what happened after yesterday, so I hope this will suffice. I received wonderful feedback from each and every parent of the girls at the party fully underscoring that each family spoke at length with their daughters about the severity of the issue. My daughter spoke again with her friend who apologized profusely and told her she thought it was just “being funny” but understands that her actions weren’t humorous in the slightest.”

The mother added that she “spoke with the school and they will be reaching out to all the teachers to relay to their students that hateful speech/actions/insignias will not be tolerated or condoned. Opening this hurtful incident up to others to provide a teaching moment will hopefully stop others from promoting ideas of hate is all I ever wanted. Happy early Thanksgiving to you and yours.”

Finally, here’s a sample of Jewish gallows humor from Ostrower’s book:

Moshe and Chaim are being taken to be shot. The Executioner asks them, “Do you have a final wish?” to which Chaim answers, “No!” But Moshe says: “I can’t face the firing squad, please give me a blindfold.”

So Chaim turns to Moshe and says: “What are you making trouble for?”

JNi.Media

Greenblatt Headed Obama Admin Agency, Soros-Funded Initiative Before ADL

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

There may be more than one reason for the stance of New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Jonathan Greenblatt against former Breitbart News CEO Stephen Bannon than just his deep concern about possible anti-Semitism on behalf of the organization he now leads, according to critics.

The ADL condemned President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as senior adviser and chief strategist in the White House last Tuesday. Greenblatt wrote in a statement that was quoted by The Washington Post, “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’”

Greenblatt later walked back his statement, adding a qualifier that Bannon had not actually been found to have made any anti-Semitic statements “himself.”

But looking at Greenblatt’s resume, Aaron Klein of Breitbart discovered that the issue may be more one of politics rather than principle.

Greenblatt served as Director of the Impact Economy Initiative project at the Aspen Institute, which has been funded by George Soros through his Open Society Institute to the tune of a total of more than half a million dollars.

According to an article in the New Yorker quoted by Breitbart News, a ‘clandestine summit meeting’ held in August 2004 at Aspen by a group of Democrats included Soros and four other billionaires. The group all agreed to use their money to “engineer the defeat of President George W. Bush in the 2004 election.”

It was after that meeting and the defeat of John Kerry in that election that Soros founded the Democracy Alliance, or “DA.” Last week, Soros held a similar three-day meeting in Washington DC (Nov. 13-16) to strategize “resistance” against President-elect Trump in the first 100 days of his nascent administration. The closed door huddle was held at the tony Mandarin Oriental hotel under the auspices of the DA donor club founded by Soros.

Among the participants were House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, a Muslim lawmaker hand-picked by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to become Pelosi’s successor. Soros, who only attends meetings occasionally, himself appeared at the conference to speak on Tuesday morning. The meeting was held to build plans for full-fledged warfare against the new administration, using the generous funds provided by the “DA” — the Democracy Alliance.

Greenblatt followed up his tenure with the Soros-funded Aspen Institute, with employment under the Obama administration, where he served as head of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. That position just preceded his joining the Anti-Defamation League.

His CV reflects business experience, and some time in the nonprofit world as well, as the founder of the “All for Good” internet platform that linked volunteers with groups needing help. Greenblatt also lectured at UCLA, teaching social entrepreneurship, according to The Forward.

But it seems his experience in dealing with anti-Semitism and the alt-right was limited to jobs at the other end of the political spectrum.

Meanwhile, despite having walked back his original full-blast condemnation of Bannon, a long article entitled “Stephen Bannon: Five Things to Know” remains on the ADL blog, castigating the president-elect’s new chief strategist.

“Bannon has embraced the alt-right, a loose network of white nationalists and anti-Semites,” the subtitle proclaims.

After a long harangue about Bannon’s alleged numerous conservative sins, the article ends with a section headed by: “We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.” Even here, however, the ADL manages to end the section with a paragraph insisting that Bannon has “essentially has established himself as the chief curator for the alt right.”

This is not to say that the ADL is not serving an important function in the world. It is. Anti-Semitism is indeed, sadly, frighteningly, alive and well in the United States and around the world. The ADL monitors that phenomenon and keeps tabs on what’s happening. In fact, anti-Semitism was alive and happening long before Donald Trump came on the political scene, a fact that has been faithfully documented by the ADL. But from 2014 to 2015, it rose by one percent, from nine to ten percent of those surveyed in the United States.

The ADL’s Global 100 survey on Anti-Semitic Attitudes states that in 2015, there were an estimated 24 million individuals in the United States harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

Approximately 9 percent of American males and 10 percent of American females, 7 percent of those ages 18-34, 11 percent of those 35-49, and 11 percent of those ages 50 and older were found to have anti-Semitic attitudes. Nine percent of Christians and 9 percent of those who were non-affiliated or atheists were also found to be harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

To some it would appear that Greenblatt, the Soros crowd and numerous others would like to use that fact to insist that this is due to the appearance of Donald Trump and his unwillingness to spend his time scolding the alt-right, the neo-Nazis, the KKK, the white Supremacists, and all the other scum of the earth that have crawled out from beneath the rocks during this most scurrilous of campaigns in modern history.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton didn’t do much of that either, for that matter, but few noticed or mentioned that lapse, and few reprimanded her for calling Trump supporters “deplorables.” Nor was she taken to task when she declined to scold her “popular majority” after they took to the streets to protest the election results, some peacefully and others with violence, creating mayhem all around.

Incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama himself has declined to rein in the “protesters,” telling reporters overseas that he “wouldn’t advise them to be silent” because “that’s not how a democracy works.”

The ADL’s attacks on Steve Bannon are harming the ADL’s credibility, and that is a shame when it has important work to do in the fight against real anti-Semites.

Hana Levi Julian

ADL’s Greenblatt Steps Back on Bannon Accusations, Says Anti-Semitism Spiking in America

Friday, November 18th, 2016

The ADL, which planted itself right in the middle of the battle against former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, has taken a first step back and clarified that they “are unaware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.”

Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager called the initial accusations against Bannon “libel” and said that the ADL had damaged itself with the false claims.

The ADL’s remaining complaints against Bannon are primarily ideological and editorial, they are not happy with Breitbart giving a platform to right-wing authors such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, or that some of Breitbart’s headlines are sensationalist.

In opening remarks at the ‘Never Is Now’ Summit on Anti-Semitism held Thursday (Nov.17) in New York City, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who was formerly an aide to President Barak Obama, had a grim warning about a spike in anti-Semitism in America, and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Greenblatt commented that the organization had never before convened a summit “like this” on anti-Semitism, describing its presence under the surface of society “like a persistent and nagging ache,” chronic but still one that Americans knew about and simply tried to keep under control. This, he said, worked out.

“By and large, America and American life have been remarkably tolerant and welcoming,” he said, “And yet, today, I think all of us fear that something has changed. There are troubling signs. Now they may be subtle, they may go unnoticed by the vast majority of Americans, but we see them. We know.”

But Greenblatt then went on to say this year’s presidential election in the United States saw the kind of hate “unlike anything we have seen in recent history.” He added that the American Jewish community hasn’t seen “this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse” since the 1930s.

And he blamed the candidates; in particular, the winning candidate.

“This was an election where a presidential candidate criticized Israel in a manner that evoked a blood libel; where another unapologetically tweeted a sinister Star of David meme that had been created by white supremacists; it promoted a campaign slogan that evoked the phrase most associated with notorious Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh, and sponsored a closing television ad that echoed anti-Semitic conspiracies that have been used to justify anti-Jewish persecution for centuries,” Greenblatt claimed.

“During this political season, we saw white supremacists use a triple parentheses to target Jews online and simultaneously, relentlessly harass and intimidate Jewish journalists on social media with anti-Semitic tropes and horrific images of the Holocaust.”

Greenblatt alleged that the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump is planning the first steps of what appears to be an ethnic registration program targeting Muslim citizens of the United States. He used the claim, misquoting several campaign promises by then-candidate Donald Trump and demonizing the incoming Trump administration before it has even entered office, before it has taken any action at all.

“There recently have been reports that the new Administration plans to force Muslim-Americans to register for some sort of master government list. Look, Islamic extremism is a threat to us all. But as Jews, we know what it means to be registered and tagged, held out as different from our fellow citizens.

“As Jews, we know the righteous and just response. All of us have heard the story of the Danish king who said if his country’s Jews had to wear a gold star…all of Denmark would too.

“I pledge to you right here and now, because I care about the fight against anti-Semitism, that if one day in these United States, if one day Muslim-Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim. Because fighting prejudice against the marginalized is not just the fight of those minorities. It’s our fight. Just as the fight against anti-Semitism is not only the fight of us Jews. It’s everyone’s fight.”

The son-in-law and daughter of President-elect Donald Trump would undoubtedly agree: They are both observant, modern Orthodox Jews raising their children in American society. And despite claims to the contrary, new White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is also a strong advocate for Israel and Jews, according to Jewish journalists who have worked with him, and his own statemetns and actions in the past.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Writer Says Trump’s Appointee, Bannon ‘Doesn’t Have An Anti-Semitic Bone in His Body’

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

A writer on the Breitbart News site says that former CEO Stephen K. Bannon — newly-appointed chief strategist and senior adviser to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump — doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in his body, despite adamant fears to the contrary by liberal Jewish groups.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish National Democratic Council have both condemned Trump’s appointment of Bannon as his new chief strategist and senior adviser, even while praising the hiring of former GOP national committee chairman Reince Priebus as the new White House Chief of Staff.

“The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commends President-elect Trump for appointing Reince Priebus White House Chief of Staff. Priebus has had a long career in politics and public life, and we wish him well in his new role,” wrote Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO.

“At the same time, the ADL strongly opposes the appointment of Steve Bannon as senior adviser and chief strategist in the White House. It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’

“We call on President-elect Trump to appoint and nominate Americans committed to the well-being of all our country’s people and who exemplify the values of pluralism and tolerance that make our country great,” wrote Greenblatt.

Jewish Democrats in particular are deeply disturbed with Bannon’s appointment.

On Monday, the National Jewish Democratic Council released a statement slamming the appointment, and calling for Bannon to “step down” before even formally taking the post.

“As CEO of Breitbart News, Bannon gave voice to white supremacists and the alt-right. His racism and anti-Semitism have no place in the White House, and he must step down,” the Council said in its statement.

“We fear, however, that Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon is just the first appointment of many individuals who have engaged in, or at least, tolerated anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.

“Our community must not adjust our standards in the face of the unprecedented nature of a Trump administration. Republican leaders like Bill Kristol and John Weaver have expressed their concern. We all have a responsibility to speak out,” the group wrote.

Bannon was once accused of anti-Semitism by his ex-wife during their contentious divorce.

While more recently the accusations began because Bannon gave a great deal of Breitbart website space to alt-right.

It has been argued that he did so, not because he personally is a white nationalist or an anti-Semite, but rather, because the alt-right movement was an effective weapon against the Left. Even if true, it’s a very problematic association and decision to give them a platform.

Though it could be compared to accusations of President Obama of being an anti-Semite, just because he was a friend and member of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s congregation for 20 years, listened to his speeches and even used one of Wright’s sermons as the source for a speech of his own.

A claim of anti-Semitism many would reject.

There are also Jews who personally know Bannon and say that he’s no anti-Semite. One is Joel Pollak, a writer who has worked with him at Breitbart.

Another is Jewish writer David Horowitz, who wrote in an article on the Breitbart News site on Monday, in response to all the outrage: “I have known Steve Bannon for many years. This is a good man. He does not have an anti-Semitic bone in his body.

“In his new position as Chief Strategist in the Trump White House, Bannon is the strongest assurance that people who love this country can have in America’s future, the strongest assurance that America is in the hands of people who will give this country a chance to restore itself and defend itself against its enemies at home and abroad.”

Hana Levi Julian

Call the ADL, Trump Unequivocally Defends Israel…

Monday, November 7th, 2016

…And look at all the applause his supporters give Trump when he defends Israel from the “nasty” question.

Video of the Day

Police Arrest Brothers Who Harassed Jewish Family in Connecticut Airport

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Police arrested two brothers, residents of Prospect, CT, late Thursday night for shouting anti-Semitic slurs at and threatening a Jewish family at Bradley International Airport, the Hartford Courant reported. According to reports, the head of the family was wearing a yarmulke. The two brothers, Nicholas and Anthony Diorio, 27 and 29 respectively, face charges of intimidation based on bigotry or bias, breach of peace and interfering with police. Both brothers had to post $10,000 bail and will be arraigned Nov. 9 at Superior Court in Enfield.

According to the Courant, airport State police were notified shortly after midnight Thursday about two men who were shouting slurs at and threatening the family, who kept away but took ample photos of the brothers, their car and their car license plate. State police later arrested the brothers in their Prospect home.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday strongly condemned the “verbal assault of a visibly identifiable Jewish traveler at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks, CT,” and applauded the Connecticut State Police for their “swift and appropriate response.”

“We have seen a recent spike in anti-Semitism around the state and country, and this act apparently fueled by bias is an unfortunate reminder that we have significant work still to do to combat anti-Semitism,” said ADL Connecticut Regional Director Steve Ginsburg. “When a victim is chosen because of his or her religion, the impact resonates beyond just the person targeted it can leave the entire community feeling vulnerable. This lack of civility, respect and kindness ignore our country’s shared value of religious diversity. We applaud the Connecticut State Police for their swift action and investigation.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-arrest-brothers-who-harassed-jewish-family-in-connecticut-airport/2016/10/29/

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