Jew-hating Jews, and a good deed by the ADL

Note to Adelson & Co.: hating liberal Jews means hating most Jews.

Bradley Burson, writing in Ha-Aretz about what was intended as an anti-J Street propaganda flick, makes a point I hadn’t seen articulated before. The right-wing Jewish leadership, which routinely attacks Jews who vote Democratic or fail to hew to the Netanyahu party line as “self-hating” or “anti-Semitic,” speaks only for a small (though powerful and wealthy) minority of the community. That minority, when it expresses its intense hatred and contempt for those of us who disagree with them, is saying to the majority of American Jews, “You’re stupid. We hate you.”

So: which camp can fairly be described as hating Jews? J Street, or Sheldon Adelson and his friends?

At times it has seemed to me that the Anti-Defamation League has leaned too heavily toward the Adelson side of the divide. So I was delighted to see a blast email from Abraham Foxman asking me to sign an ADL petition to Congress in support of the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2014.

Of course a Republican Party that controls the House of Representatives and depends on voter suppression to maintain its power in the face of changing demographics would never allow that bill to come to a vote, even with a giant such as Jim Sensenbrenner as the bill’s chief sponsor (for which act of party disloyalty he is being slimed by the unspeakably dishonest James O’Keefe, with the slime republished in the National Review), which has long favored the suppression of minority votes.

So it’s unlikely that the ADL’s call will lead to actual legislation. Still, it’s good to see the ADL recalling its glory days as one of the wheelhorses of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Winning isn’t everything; there’s something to be said for being on the right side, even in a losing cause. Ten Just Men, and all that. It’s in the Torah; you could look it up.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

One thought on “Jew-hating Jews, and a good deed by the ADL”

  1. Claiming you're the victim of anti-semitic prejudice is, apparently, a game anyone can play, not JUST the rich and rightwing.
    I'm reminded of this ridiculous photo from three weeks ago:

    The larger issue here, it seems to me, is crying wolf regardless of the details. My guess is that for most of the US population, we've ALREADY hit the stage where, personally, no-one gives a damn about being called anti-semitic precisely because all it means is "I disagree with you, but rather than argue the point rationally, I'll just pull out my trump card and insult you", and it's only a matter of time before this lack of concern moves from being a personal feeling to being a socially acceptable attitude and common knowledge. (As opposed to accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia, which, I think, have not been devalued as much in the same way — though of course who is to say that some political "entrepreneur" won't come along and do so?)

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