Founded by B'nai B'rith in 1913, its stated mission is "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all," calling itself "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, (fighting) anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry...."
In fact, Abraham Foxman, its national director, uses high-mindedness and unfounded anti-semitism hysteria as cover for backing Jewish supremacy and the right of Israelis over Arabs, including by occupation and belligerently enforced apartheid.
One of the 52 listed Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization (CPMAJO) Zionist organizations, ADL disseminates pro-Israeli propaganda and conducts smear campaigns against Israeli critics, under the guise of fighting anti-semitism and supporting human rights equitably. Overall, in fact, its long history is disturbing.
In the late 1930s and 40s, it spied on suspected communist sympathizers, working with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), later called the House Committee on Internal Security until abolished in 1975, its functions transferred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Later in the 1980s, it engaged in private spying, the San Francisco Chronicle reporting that, in April 1993, police raided its offices, revealing a political spy operation aided by a corrupt police officer, Tom Gerard. Working with Roy Bullock, a political informant, files about thousands of Arab Americans and hundreds left-of-center northern California organizations were pilfered.
Among them were the National Lawyers Guild, ACLU, NAACP, the Rainbow Coalition, Greenpeace, the Nation of Islam, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Bay Area anti-Apartheid Network, Asian Law Caucus, CISPES, and 20 Bay area labor unions, none supporting hate or revolutionary activities.
Later it was revealed that ADL conducted similar operations nationally through its LEARN program (Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network), infiltrating local law enforcement agencies, bribing police officers, and securing non-public information illegally.
Its penchant for spying is now exposed, if not acknowledged, yet so far it's escaped prosecution and harsh class action suit judgments by admitting no wrongdoing, and agreeing to remove improperly obtained documents from its files. Henceforth, it promised:
-- to refrain from seeking non-public information;
-- contribute $25,000 to a Hate Crimes Fund;
-- another $25,000 for a public school course; and
-- $25,000 more to a fund for improving relations among Jews, Blacks, and other minorities.
After Israel's "War of Independence," its publication, "The Facts," called supporters of Palestinian justice anti-semites, including Barnard College Dean Virginia Gildersleve, Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of Theodore Roosevelt), and former American University of Beirut President Bayard Dodge. Its May 1948 publication charged:
"Their espousal of the Arab League cause and opposition to Zionism has been marked by the increasingly hostile attitude toward the Jewish people themselves. While anti-Zionism and sympathy for the Arab cause are not necessarily indications of anti-Semitic prejudice, there are many whose pro-Arab utterances and activities have contained sufficiently expressed or implied anti-Semitism to give cause for genuine alarm."
Thereafter, ADL used the same "guilt by association" and "guilt by juxtaposition" smears against other Israeli critics and pro-Palestinian supporters.
For example, in 1983, its handbook titled, "Pro-Arab propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices" listed university faculty and staff members, critical of Israel and Zionism, calling them anti-semites, extremists, and radicals seeking to abolish the state of Israel and incite prejudice against Jewish Americans. Charges were, in fact, smears based on lies, distortions, and half truths, censuring numerous anti-Israeli critics.
Along with AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, and other prominent CPMAJO-listed groups, the ADL exerts enormous influence in America. Working closely with Mossad, the FBI, CIA, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ADL fronts for Israel without registering as a foreign agent. Using pressure, cajoling, and smear threats, it also demands media compliance, assuring one-sided pro-Israeli coverage.
ADL's Top US Anti-Israeli Groups
In early October, ADL published its top 10 list, including one Jewish-led one, Abe Foxman announcing:
"While there are hundreds of groups that organize and participate in various anti-Israeli activities, we have identified the largest and most well-coordinated anti-Israeli groups. These groups are not promoting peace. They are spreading propaganda to assault Israel's legitimacy. We want Americans to know who (they) are and what it is they really stand for, which is to delegitimize the Jewish state."
"These groups demonize Israel through various public campaigns. Their messages are one-sided and fail to take the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into account. They unfairly attack israel while ignoring Palestinian terrorism and incitement. They apply a different standard to Israel than other countries, condemning it for implementing policies to protect its citizens."
The above statement reflects the last refuge of a scoundrel, blaming victims and their supporters, in this case, organizations for peace, equity and justice, unlike ADL and other pro-Israeli groups. Like all Jewish supremacists, they're for Israeli lawlessness, violence, aggressive wars, isolation, home demolitions, land theft, dispossessions, mass imprisonments, torture, targeted assassinations, and continued slow-motion genocide against millions of Palestinians, including besieged Gazans.
ADL's top 10 include:
(1) Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER)
Formed post-9/11, it's been activist against war, imperialism, bigotry, and represents other issues, including civil and human rights, and support for Palestinian equity and justice.
(2) Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
It's "committed to comprehensive public education on the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution of all their confiscated and destroyed property," according to international law.
(3) Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
In defending civil liberties, freedom of religion, diversity, tolerance, and democratic freedoms, it combats hate groups vilifying Islam and Muslims.
(4) Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA)
It "promotes awareness and understanding" of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict "through educational programs for North American Christians....FOSNA seeks reconciliation between people of the Holy Land in a vision of peace based on principles of a just peace," including "the urgency of ending US support for Israel's illegal military occupation."
(5) If Americans Knew (IAK)
Its mission is "to inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported in the American media." It believes conflict resolution and justice depends on revealing truths, ones major US media sources suppress, supporting the worst of Israeli lawlessness.
(6) International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
A Palestinian-led initiative, it's committed to resisting Israel's occupation, oppression, domination, and apartheid through nonviolent, direct-action methods.
(7) Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)
It seeks equity, peace, security, and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians alike, through "grassroots organizing, education, advocacy, and media." It's the only US Jewish organization providing a voice for Jews and their allies, who believe that Middle East peace is only possible "through justice and full equality" for Jews and Muslims alike.
(8) Muslim American Society (MAS)
As a religious, charitable, social, cultural, and educational group, its mission is to "move people to strive for God consciousness, liberty, and justice, and to convey Islam with utmost clarity."
(9) Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
By "visualiz(ing) the Palestinian struggle," it opposes apartheid and occupation through protests, memorials, and other ways, highlighting their plight against Israeli aggression and occupation.
(10) US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO)
It's a "diverse coalition working for freedom from occupation and equal rights for all by challenging US policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Based on human rights and international law, it seeks peace, justice, and conciliation by "chang(ing) the US role," the essential way to do it.
A Final Comment
The contrast between ADL and the above groups is stark and revealing. Claiming human rights credentials, ADL backs the worst of Israeli lawlessness. Organizations like its top 10 support the rule of law, self-determination, equity, nonviolence, conciliation, and the right of everyone in the region to co-exist peacefully - notions Israel and its acolytes won't tolerate, ADL prominent among them.
Asking Obama to take the lead in an October 19 Jerusalem Post interview, Foxman expressed disdain for Palestinian self-determination, saying:
"Now is the time to send a message to the Palestinians and Middle Eastern and European nations that the US will not tolerate and sanction" Palestinians' creating a state unilaterally. "It has to be made clear to the Palestinians that they have to give up this pipe dream that their Arab and European friends (which ones he didn't say) will give them a state without them having to make concessions or sacrifices."
From most people this comment would shock. From Foxman it reflects his advocacy for enforced apartheid, the harsher the better, demanding all, giving nothing, what he's supported throughout his entire professional life, masquerading as a human rights champion.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.