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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘ADL’

Muslim Group Appoints Jew as Philadelphia Director

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

The Council on American-Islamic Relations hired a Jewish filmmaker and interfaith activist as executive director of the group’s Philadelphia office.

Jacob Bender is the highest ranking non-Muslim in the Washington-based organization, and the first to lead one of its chapters, Religion News Service reported Thursday.

“Many Muslims face daily suspicion, not unlike other immigrant groups throughout history,” said Bender. “When one group of Americans is attacked, it lessens the quality of democracy for all of us.

“As part of a community that has historically faced persecution in Europe and the United States as well, I hope that I would bring a certain amount of sensitivity,” he told RNS.

Iftekhar Hussein, chairman of CAIR-Philadelphia’s board of directors, told the Jewish Daily Forward that Bender brought a minority’s sensibility to the job.

“The needs of the Muslim community are really the needs of any minority community in the United States,” he said. “Jacob, being Jewish, understands that from his own background.”

At CAIR, Bender said his work would focus on fighting civil rights violations, discrimination, and hate speech, and promoting relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

But several Jewish Americans greeted the move with caution, citing positions adopted by ICAR which they found unacceptable.

“The fact that he is Jewish does not indicate, necessarily, a change of attitude and activity at CAIR,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement. “Unfortunately, there are Jews who are anti-Jewish and anti-Israel. But we will wait and see.”

In a 2006 report, the ADL accused CAIR of associating with people who have supported terrorism, and of having extremist views on Israel.

Bender, who started Oct. 1 but whose appointment was announced on Oct. 15, the day Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha, dismissed charges of extremism.

“Those attacks on CAIR are totally unfounded,” said Bender. “Many people equate extremism with any criticism of Israel.”

Only the ADL Could Turn the ‘Redskins’ Name into a Jewish Issue

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

President Barack Obama finally has given Americans a fun issue to debate so they can take their minds off Iranian nukes, Syrian chemical weapons and the zillion dollar debt, but the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is playing party pooper by turning it into a Jewish issue.

If the Washington Redskins’ football club owner Dan Snyder were not Jewish, would the name “Redskins” make such a difference to the ADL?

Other teams have also come under fire, including the Cleveland Indians, whose hook-nosed, red-faced mascot Chief Wahoo has been called racist and offensive, the JTA reported. The Atlanta Braves baseball team also is in the same club of offending an ethnic group.

“Tradition matters, but tradition should not justify the perpetuation of such names and mascots,” said ADL national director Abraham Foxman. “A name change will not impact how a team fares on the field, or in the standings.”

Snyder is sticking to his guns, or bow and arrow, and the Washington Post reported that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “It would be a real mistake – a real mistake – to think that Dan, who is Jewish, has a lack of sensitivity regarding somebody’s feelings. I promise you that.”

President Obama has turned the issue into a national debate, not the most burning issue for the great American empire but at least one that is a bit lighter than all of the burdens Americans carry because of an increasingly deaf and dumb government.

“I’ve got to say that if I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team, even if it had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” President Barack Obama said.

Not to many years ago, any ethnic group would have been proud to have a baseball or football team named after them. The “Baltimore Jews” or the “Brooklyn Blacks” would not have been offensive. It would have been badge of honor.

Even today, Walt “Red Hawk” Brown, the chief of Virginia’s Cheroenhaka Nottoway Tribe that was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly in 2010 but is not federally recognized , told a Richmond, Virginia television station that it’s “a great honor” when Native American words are used in popular culture.

“Why would my president says [Redskins is] is offensive to him?” Brown asked. “What’s offensive to me is this: we have 11 state recognized tribes, and he hasn’t done one thing to get those tribes federally recognized.”

But his voice is drowned out by the Melting Pot culture that not too many decades ago decided that Negro was too close to “nigger” and had to be replaced with “black,” which was not ethnic enough and had to be replaced with “Afro-Americans.”

But a Jew still is a Jew.

Or as Tom Lehrer once sang, “During National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week, “It’s fun to eulogize/The people you despise… Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics/And the Catholics hate the Protestants/And the Hindus hate the Muslims/And everybody hates the Jews.”

Consider the recent poll that shows more and more Jews, especially those who might not be Jews according to Jewish law but like to consider themselves as Jewish, regard their religion as a culture. That way, maybe the Jews won’t be hated, except by God for rejecting the concept of The Chosen People, which is obvious racism to the politically correct.

A “stomach Jew” used to be one who did not observe much of the Torah but ate gefilte fish. Today a  “stomach Jew” is one who can eat shrimp while wearing an “I Love Israel” shirt.

If  the “Redskins” is so suggestive of racism, Obama and Foxman have the wrong reasons for being so sensitive. And where is  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when we need him to remind everyone of American history?

Doesn’t anyone remember that the  tiny U.S. government occupied the West Bank of the United States and put the Indians in refugee camps, called “reserves?”

There was no need for an Apartheid back then because the good Christian whites simply gunned down the Indians by the hundreds and by the thousands as part of the peace process.

Does pressing Snyder to bury the name “Redskins” cleanse the past and sterilize the present?

ADL Accepts Hobby Lobby Apology

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

The Anti-Defamation League accepted an apology from the retailer Hobby Lobby for an employee’s alleged comment that the store “doesn’t cater to you people.”

Hobby Lobby was mired in controversy after a blogger reported that the chain neglected to stock Hanukkah items. After calling a New Jersey Hobby Lobby store and inquiring about the Hannukah items, the blogger was reportedly told: “We don’t cater to you people here.”

In a statement published Oct. 3 on the ADL’s website, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green apologized for the alleged remark and indicated that his company has “deep respect for the Jewish faith.” The statement made clear that the owners “do not tolerate discrimination at the company or our stores.”

The ADL also issued a statement saying that the organization “has no reason to believe that Hobby Lobby has refused to stock Hanukkah items because of hostility to Jews or anti-Semitism.”

“A store choosing not to carry Hanukkah items does not violate anyone’s rights,” the organization added.

Facebook Neglects ‘Community Standards’ for Anti-Semitic Page

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Facebook is the world’s largest social media website, one with hundreds of millions of users in well over a hundred countries. Despite its size, however, Facebook is not an entirely public forum on which “anything goes.” Rather, it is a worldwide gathering place where certain forms of speech and certain kinds of images are not allowed.

On its community standards page, the site lists a variety of types of speech that are not allowed, including threats of violence, pornography, and spam. Among those prohibited is “hate speech,” about which the policy is as follows:

“Hate Speech: Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.” [Emphasis added.]

This has nothing to do with censorship (which is a government activity, and cannot be engaged in by a private individual or organization), but with maintaining a civil space for the exchange of ideas. Granted, that isn’t always the case, but that’s why Facebook makes provision for hate speech to be reported. One can disagree with the policy, but it is clear what sorts of speech are being curtailed.

I was recently pointed in the direction of a Facebook page entitled The Untold History, run by a group out of Sweden that calls itself the European Knights Project, a partner of the Institute for Historical Review. On its masthead, it proclaims in all-caps that it is a “HISTORICAL SITE NON-POLITICAL,” but this is a sham. It is, in fact, a Holocaust denial site that not only presents bogus and falsified history, but also traffics in the vilest sort of anti-Semitism.

Presented primarily in the form of graphics with messages, Photoshopped pictures, and cartoons, the page offers all of the anti-Semitic greatest hits: Jews control America and want to control the world; the Holocaust never happened; Jews exploit the Holocaust myth for money; the Allies did far worse to the Germans, Japanese, and Japanese-Americans than the Nazis did to the Jews; Hitler was a great guy who was just standing up for Christian civilization; Communism is a Jewish tool; Israel is the source of all evil in the world; 9/11 was a Mossad job; etc. In one graphic, a “quote” fabricated by the American evangelist Texe Marrs is put in the mouth of Menachem Begin:

“Our race is the ‘Master Race.’ We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects…. other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”

Once I had examined “The Untold History” for myself, I reported it to Facebook, and expected it to be quickly removed. Instead, I received this response from administrators:

“Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our community standard on hate speech.”

Flabbergasted by this response, I began contacting my Facebook friends, and urging them to report “The Untold History” for violating site standards. Dozens have done so, and all have received the same response. For some reason that is impossible to fathom, the administrators of Facebook seem completely incapable of recognizing anti-Semitism when it is staring them in the face, or see how it constitutes a violation of terms of use that ban hate speech.

In an effort to put pressure on Facebook to act, I have set up a page called Protest “The Untold History” and Other Anti-Semitic Pages. Oddly enough, this page seems to have a problem with disappearing posts. But you can still “like” it to send a message. I have also contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Anti-Defamation League to look into Facebook’s non-disapproval of hate speech directed at Jews. As the word gets out, hopefully the company will do some serious self-examination, and ask itself why it has such a difficult time seeing what is obvious to all but the most bigoted observer.

This article was written for JNS by David Fischler, an Evangelical Presbyterian pastor and writer who blogs religious and moral issues.

ADL: Russian Gays Treatment like Soviet Jews Treatment

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

The Anti-Defamation League called for a new version of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to pressure Russia to improve its treatment of gays.

Jackson-Vanik was a provision of the 1974 Trade Act that denied favored status to nations that restricted emigration. The amendment was used to pressure the Soviet Union to loosen its restrictive emigration policies.

“It is obvious that Russia is oppressing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in a manner similar to the ways in which the Soviet Union once oppressed the Jewish community,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote Friday in an article in the Huffington Post. “We need a new Jackson-Vanik to convince Russia that steps backward on this issue of basic human rights will be met with strong repercussions from the United States.”

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new anti-gay legislation that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations amongst minors,” including any gay-rights literature; banned gay-rights advocacy in general; and prohibited gay pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years.

Protests against the new law have met with violent retribution in recent months.

ADL: Anti-Semitism Up in NY and NJ but Down Nationwide

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The number of anti-Semitic incidents dropped 14 percent nationwide last year, but vandalism rose, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents that was released Monday. New York and New Jersey saw increases in anti-Semitic incidents.

Nationwide, the audit counted 927 anti-Semitic incidents reported during the 2012 calendar year, a 14 percent decline from the 1,080 incidents in 2011.

The 2012 figures included 17 physical assaults, 470 cases of harassment, threats and events, and 440 instances of vandalism.

The vandalism figure represented a 33 percent increase over the 330 incidents in 2011. While a majority of the vandalism took place on public property or individual homes, Jewish institutions were targeted in 13 percent of the incidents.

The ADL recorded 248 anti-Semitic incidents in New York in 2012, representing a 27 percent increase from the 195 incidents in 2011. New York City’s five boroughs had a total of 172 anti-Jewish acts, including incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism, compared to 127 in 2011.

“While the great majority of Jewish New Yorkers feel comfortable and safe in their respective communities, it is nevertheless disturbing that we saw almost a 30 percent uptick in the total number of anti-Semitic incidents across the state,” said Etzion Neuer, ADL’s acting New York regional director. “

The number of incidents dropped in other states with large Jewish population. California documented 185 incidents, down from 235; Florida reported 88 incidents, down from 111; Massachusetts logged 38 incidents, down from 72; and Pennsylvania recorded 37 incidents, down from 38.

Power’s Interventionism Thrills Pro-Israel Crowd Except on Israel

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Samantha Power brings to foreign policy an activist impulse that many in the pro-Israel community wish was more prevalent among American diplomats.

Except Power, a former White House national security council staffer nominated this week by President Obama to represent the United States at the United Nations, has at times directed her interventionist inclinations at Israel.

A former journalist and Harvard-educated lawyer known for her work on human rights and genocide, Power presents a rare and polarizing dilemma for the pro-Israel community: Enthusiastically embrace her proclivity for tough U.S. intervention and hope it never manifests in her dealings with Israel? Or block her?

Two conservative Jewish groups, the Zionist Organization of America and Emet, have taken the latter approach. In urging the Senate to kill Power’s nomination, they have cited a 2002 video in which Power appears to advocate transferring U.S. assistance from Israel to the Palestinians and deploying an interventionary force to protect the Palestinians, among other statements.

“The overwhelming evidence of her entire record causes us great fear and concern,” the ZOA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, an array of Jewish groups — including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly — have endorsed her unreservedly.

The ADL and the Rabbinical Assembly, in separate releases, each used the phrase “champion of human rights” to describe Power, who first came to wide public attention with the publication of her 2002 book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” which considered American inaction in the face of various genocides.

Notably, two groups that maintain a regular U.N. presence, the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith International, had no comment. B’nai B’rith’s said it was withholding approval of Power’s nomination until she addressed her earlier remarks under oath during Senate confirmation hearings.

“Israel has few real friends at the United Nations and at the top of the list is the United States, and it is really incumbent on the representative to be prepared, willing and able to rebuff and repel that kind of language,” said the group’s executive vice president, Daniel Mariaschin.

A similar dichotomy is playing out among Republican senators, with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a leading critic of what he sees as Obama’s gun-shy foreign policy, saying he would support her, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Tea Party favorite, expressing deep skepticism at the choice.

On Friday afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a pro-Israel leader in the body, strongly endorsed her on Twitter. “As United Nations Ambassador, Samantha Power will aggressively represent the United States interests in an increasingly hostile body,” he said on one Tweet, and then immediately: “Power will also be a strong supporter of our close friend and ally Israel.”

The difference was pronounced this week even among Republican Jews, with the Republican Jewish Coalition urging senators to ask Power hard questions about past statements and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whose failed candidacy last year for the U.S. House of Representatives was heavily touted by the RJC, singing her praises.

“I take my yarmulke off to President Obama for one of the most impressive actions of his presidency, namely, the nomination of Samantha Power to the post of American Ambassador to the United Nations,” Boteach wrote in the Huffington Post.

Power, 42, was born in Ireland, but moved to Pittsburgh as a child. Her coverage of the Balkan wars for a number of American media outlets in the 1990s led to an interest in human rights law. Her 2002 book drew strong reviews and attracted the attention of Barack Obama, who was then contemplating a Senate run. Power joined his 2008 presidential campaign as an adviser and later the Obama White House, where she worked on on multilateral organizations.

Central to critiques of Power is a chat she had with a University of California-Berkeley professor, Harry Kreisler, in 2002, when she headed Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights. Kreisler, hosting Power on his public access program, framed a question about U.S. intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “thought experiment” and asked Power what she would do if “one party or another” seemed ready to commit genocide. At the time, Israelis and Palestinians were mired in the Second Intifada.

Which Jews Choose (Samantha) Power, Which Won’t

Friday, June 7th, 2013

At least three leading pro-Israel American organizations have come out early and with vigor against the nomination of Samantha Power to become the next United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

The non-partisan Washington D.C.-based Endowment for Middle East Truth, a self-described think tank and policy shop, issued a statement deploring the nomination on Tuesday, June 4,  the same day that the Republican Jewish Coalition did.  The Zionist Organization of America, the oldest Zionist organization in America, was the first out of the starting gate with its long, detailed, public opposition to Power’s nomination on Monday June 3.

And on the other side of the ring we have perhaps the most famous and famously wealthy Jewish organization, the Anti-Defamation League, Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz and rabbi to the Stars and former congressional candidate Shmuley Boteach, all of whom are publicly placing their heckshers on Powers.

The Republican Jewish Coalition said Power “has a record of statements that are very troubling to Americans who support Israel.”

“In 2008, as an academic who taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Samantha Power suggested  that the U.S. should invade Israel militarily to impose a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and protect “a new state of Palestine.” Her writing and public appearances reflected her views that special-interest lobbies in this country (read, the “Israel lobby”) have too great an impact on our foreign policy in the Middle East,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a written statement. “She must respond to the strong doubts about her views raised by that record. Senators should also examine her tenure as head of the President’s Atrocity Prevention Board to see what results, if any, came out of her time there.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is deeply concerned about and opposed to the nomination of Samantha Power as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. The overwhelming evidence of her entire record causes us great fear and concern as to her appropriateness for this post. Ms. Power’s record clearly shows that she is viscerally hostile to Israel, regards it as a major human rights abuser, even committing war crimes, and would like to see the weight of American military and financial power go to supporting the Palestinian Authority, not Israel. In contrast, she has spoken of Iran as though it scarcely poses a problem. She also strongly suggested that the U.S. cease worrying about alleged Jewish power and money which allegedly forces the U.S. to support Israel and which allegedly is not in the national interest.

“Samantha Power is clearly the wrong choice for UN Ambassador, particularly at this sensitive juncture in history,” EMET’s President and Founder Sarah Stern wrote in a press release.

“Considering  Power’s openly hostile positions  on Israel as well as her deep seated resentment for the United States, and her biases in favor of the Palestinians despite their continued incitement to hate and to kill Israelis, our one true democratic  ally in the region,  and on the Iranian nuclear program, “she continued, “this appointment shows supporters of Israel that the Obama Administration’s worst instincts are coming to the fore in its second term. It’s deeply distressing.  We  oppose her nomination in the strongest terms possible.”

There are those in the public eye who are frequently considered to have strongly Jewish, pro-Israel positions, who have expressed support for Power.Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the prolific author once known as the “rabbi to the stars” because of his close-relationship with singer Michael Jackson, was won over by Power during a closed meeting between her and “40 Jewish leaders held in the offices of Jewish philanthropist Michael Steinhardt.

Boteach described that meeting and his conversion to Power-lover and defender of Power in an article published in the Huffington Post:

Typical of her erudition and brilliance, Samantha presented a sweeping view of American policy in the world’s most dangerous region. Then, she directly addressed the accusations that she harbored animus toward Israel. And in the presence of the leaders of our community, she suddenly became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her.

Tears streamed down her cheeks and I think it fair to say that there was no one in the room who wasn’t deeply moved by this incredible display of pain and emotion.

And the ADL’s national director Abraham Foxman and Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, had this to say:

As the world is sickened by the images of slaughter in Syria and as Israel faces an ever more volatile Middle East, we are heartened that the U.S. will be represented by an individual whose moral resolve and fierce pragmatism will serve our country well.

Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, strongly recommended confirming Powers’ nomination, but the words he chose and the way he used them are worth parsing carefully.  He wrote:

      To be sure, Samantha has said some things she now regrets — about Hillary Clinton, about Israel and about other controversial matters. She says what she thinks when she thinks it.
As the United States representative to the United Nations, she will articulate the policy of the Obama Administration.        She will have to be more diplomatic than she was while in private life. I am confident that she will make our country proud.
I have discussed the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Samantha on many occasions. As a strong supporter of Israel’s security, I have a high level of confidence that she will do and say the right things.
Indeed, because of her sometimes critical attitude toward certain Israeli policies — some of which I agree with, others of which I do not — she will bring added credibility to her positions at the most anti-Israel location in the world other than perhaps, Tehran.

In other words, she has a loose mouth, she’s said things she shouldn’t have, she will need to learn to be a diplomat, but she will be the voice of the Obama administration at the United Nations.  And by the way, her being perceived as anti-Israel is really kinda good for the Jews, right?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/which-jews-choose-samantha-power-which-wont/2013/06/07/

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