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September 16, 2016 2:23 am

The ADL Should Be Praising Netanyahu for His Ethnic-Cleansing Comment, Not Condemning Him

avatar by Mort Klein & Liz Berney

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Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Photo: ADL.

Jonathan Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Photo: ADL.

It is painful and frightening that Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt (a former Obama administration official) joined with Obama and Palestinian Arab terrorists to condemn Benjamin Netanyahu for accurately and appropriately exposing Mahmoud Abbas’ stated goal to “ethnically cleanse” Jews from any future Palestinian State.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas has repeatedly insisted that a Palestinian state “would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.” That is ethnic cleansing of Jews.

Instead of furthering the ADL’s supposed mission of combating antisemitism, ADL leader Jonathan Greenblatt’s September 13, 2016, essay in Foreign Policy sarcastically condemned “Bibi” for telling the truth about monstrous PA antisemitism.

Greenblatt’s essay also ignored the Palestinian Arab leadership’s numerous statements demanding ethnic cleansing of Jews (including from the Jewish people’s holiest areas in Jerusalem and Hebron), by eviction, discrimination, and murder.

For instance:

  • In December, 2010, PA president Mahmoud Abbas said: “We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it … when a Palestinian state is established, it would have no Israeli presence in it.”
  • Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, the Dean of Al-Quds University, widely and falsely called a Palestinian moderate, said: “No Jew in the world, now or in the future . . .  will have the right to return, to live, or to demand to live in Hebron, in East Jerusalem, or anywhere in the Palestinian state.”
  • On September 16, 2015, on official PA television, Abbas incited the current Palestinian Arab wave of terror, saying “The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem… We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah. ” (A video of those remarks is available here.)
  • In August 2014, Abbas’ ruling Fatah party bragged on its Facebook page that it “has killed 11,000 Israelis” — and has “killed more Jews than Hamas.”

Any organization that claims to combat antisemitism should join — not oppose — Prime Minister Netanyahu in condemning the PA leadership for demanding a Jew-free state. Incredibly, the ADL’s leader instead used twisted logic and a double standard to try to justify the PA leadership’s goal.  Would anyone support establishing any new State that would bar all blacks?

Sadly, Greenblatt’s essay justifying the PA’s efforts to ethnically cleanse Jews from Jewish lands is part of a new ADL pattern. Under Greenblatt, the ADL is now siding with groups hostile to Israel.

The ADL and Greenblatt should be vigorously combating radical Islamic terrorism at every opportunity. Instead, Greenblatt has been promoting and praising the extremist J Street;  accusing fellow Jews of “Islamaphobia;” continuing to promote ADL educational materials encouraging high school students to join the radical Black Lives Matter protests (which are anti-Israel and pro-BDS); talking about the equivalent “role and responsibility of both sides” instead of unequivocally condemning the Palestinian Arab terrorist war against innocent Israelis — and their refusal to negotiate or even accept a State if it means accepting Israel; falsely stating that Israel is “marginalizing” Palestinians; and demanding that Israel “acknowledge the legitimacy” of the (false) Palestinian “narrative.”

It’s time for a serious reassessment of the ADL’s direction, statements and leadership.

Indeed, as Jonathan Tobin, senior editor of the respected Commentary magazine, wrote:

Greenblatt’s stance is deeply troubling…[T]here is nothing unreasonable about Netanyahu’s argument…Greenblatt…ignores specific statements by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas [and] Hamas…Greenblatt…side[s] with the Obama administration against the government of Israel…From now on, ADL must be viewed as an ally of J Street…This is a betrayal of ADL’s long and honorable legacy…[and] undermines ADL’s credibility in the fight against forces that threaten Israel and world Jewry…Greenblatt is the one who is playing crass political games. [The ADL] needs to demand that Greenblatt retract his attack on the prime minister [of Israel] or step down.

Morton A. Klein is the President of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth A. Berney, Esq. is ZOA’s Director of Special Projects.

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