By Morton A. Klein and Elizabeth A. Berney, Esq.
It is painful and frightening that Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt (a former Obama administration official) joined with the Obama administration and Palestinian Arab terrorists to harshly condemn Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for accurately and appropriately condemning Palestinian Authority’s leaders’ stated goal to “ethnically cleanse” Jews from any future Palestinian State. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly insisted that a Palestinian state “would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.” (Abbas pledges: There will be no Israelis in Palestine,’ Times of Israel, July 30, 2013). That is ethnic cleansing of Jews.
Instead of furthering the ADL’s supposed mission of combatting anti-Semitism, ADL leader Jonathan Greenblatt’s September 13, 2016 essay in Foreign Policyand on the front page of ADL’s website viciously and sarcastically condemned “Bibi” for telling the truth about monstrous PA anti-Semitism.
Jonathan 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 Dec. 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” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas vows: No room for Israelis in Palestinian state,’ Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2010).
- Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, the Dean of Al-Quds University, widely and falsely called a Palestinian moderate: “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” (Interview on Al-Jazeera, November 30, 2007, translation in ‘Palestinian Researcher Dr. Sari Nusseibeh on the Return of Palestinian Refugees,’ Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), November 30, 2007).
- On September 16, 2015, on official Palestinian Authority (PA) television, PA President Mahmoud 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. ” (Official PA TV, Sept. 16, 2015 and official website of PA Chairman Abbas, Sept. 16, 2015, video available on Palestinian Media Watch)
- In August 2014, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah party bragged on its Facebook page that it “has killed 11,000 Israelis”; and has “killed more Jews than Hamas.” (‘Israel’s Peace Partners: We Killed More Jews Than Hamas!,’ Israel Today, Aug. 11, 2014.)
Any organization that claims to combat anti-Semitism should join -not oppose- Prime Minister Netanyahu in condemning the PA leadership for demanding a Jew-free state. Incredibly, the ADL’s leader instead uses twisted logic and a double standard to try to justify the PA leadership’s goal of a state (without recognizing Israel) in the Jewish holy land that will bar all Jews. Would anyone support establishing any new State that would bar all Blacks?
Sadly, Jonathan Greenblatt’s essay justifying the PA’s efforts to ethnically cleanse Jews from Jewish lands is part of a new ADL pattern. Under Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL is now often siding with groups hostile to Israel.
ADL/Greenblatt should be vigorously combatting radical Islamic terrorism at every opportunity. Instead Greenblatt has been promoting and praising the extremist J Street; accusing fellow Jews of “Islamaphobia; continues to promote ADL educational materials encouraging high school students to join the radical Black Lives Matter protests(who are also anti Israel and support BDS); talks 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 states that Israel is “marginalizing” Palestinians; and demands that Israel must “acknowledge the legitimacy” of the (false) Palestinian “narrative.” (See, e.g., ADL Speech to J St. Wrongly Casts “Equal” Blame on Israel, Promotes Pro-BDS “Black Lives Matter,” Complains about Jewish “Islamophobia,” May 13, 2016)
It’s time for a serious reassessment of ADL’s direction, statements and leadership.
Indeed, Jonathan Tobin, Senior Editor of the respected Commentary magazine, wrote: ADL’s “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. ADL . . . needs to demand that Greenblatt retract his attack on the prime minister [of Israel] or step down.” (The ADL Takes Sides Against Israel, Jonathan S. Tobin,Commentary, Sept. 14, 2016)
Morton A. Klein is the President of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth A. Berney, Esq. is ZOA’s Director of Special Projects.