Inside the fight for ADL, which some Jewish critics call a tool of …

Posted By on April 8, 2023

The Anti-Defamation Leagues Jonathan Greenblatt has incited a considerable amount of heat and hate during his eight-year tenure as director of the Jewish lobbying group.

And some of that hate is coming from an unexpected place: within the Jewish community.

The ADL has raised tens of millions by talking about anti-Semitism and how theyre focused on anti-Semitism, Gerald Posner told The Post. But in the last seven years, theyve actually taken on a number of issues that are unrelated to their core mission racism, Dreamers, criminal justice reform and more, all of which are all the same talking points of the most left and progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Posner and his wife Patricia, both Jewish writer/journalists based in Miami Beach, have become so disillusioned with the current iteration of the ADL that they recently decided to form their own pro-Jewish organization.

Called Antisemitism Watch, the Posners say their organization is non-partisan unlike the ADL, which they feel has become indistinguishable from Democratic Party talking points.

Critics have blasted Greenblatt a one-time aide to President Obama who earned $575,716 in 2021 for having what they claim is a zealous conservative-crushing and Democratic Party-loving agenda rather than focusing just on pro-Jewish issues.

No More ADL. When it comes to Jews, the organization now does more harm than good, blared a headline in the Jewish online magazine The Tablet last fall.

The op-ed, by editor-at-large Liel Leibovitz, slammed Greenblatt for fattening the coffers of ADL which was formed in 1913 to fight the anti-Semitic defamation of Jews with donations from Big Tech and Democratic Party donors while allegedly not paying enough attention to battling anti-Semitism aimed at regular people.

The ADL reported revenues of $101,058,936 in 2021, according to the most recent public records, almost doubling what the organization pulled in before Greenblatt took over in 2015.

This is why having no ADL would be so much better than having the one we currently have, Liebovitz wrote. Because of its own massive conflicts of interests, the ADL under Greenblatt may very well be, inadvertently or otherwise, contributing to the growth of anti-Semitism, not its diminishment. Greenblatt has turned the ADL into a partisan attack machine, fueled by corporate cash and increasingly oblivious to any real suffering of any real Jews.

Charles Jacobs, head of the Jewish Leadership Project; Morton Klein, an economist and president of the Zionist Organization of America; and Jonathan S. Tobin, editor-in-chief of the Jewish News Syndicate are among the conservative Jewish leaders angry about how Greenblatt is running the ADL.

The ADL not only fails to protect the Jews but is misguiding them: it promotes the idea that the right is the most dangerous, if not the almost exclusive, source of Jew hatred, said Jacobs, who edited Betrayal: The Failure of American Jewish Leadership, a collection of essays by Jewish writers that will be published in May.

The ADL is trapped by its outdated view of liberalism, which once protected Jews and all minorities but has been defeated by woke progressivism which divides society into oppressed and oppressors and defines Jews as adjacent whites who oppress minorities, Jacobs added. [But] there are no neo-Nazi professors on campus rallying students against supporters of Israel and the thugs in New York beating up Jews are not whites but minorities.

Klein, whose organization includes about 30,000 members, criticized what he called Greenblatts public praise of US Rep. Ilhan Omar, who Klein labeled one of the great Jew haters in Congress, as well as positivity shown toward the pro-Palestinian Black Lives Matter group.

He focuses more on anti-black and anti-Muslim hatred than Jew hatred, Klein told The Post. This is a man who worked for Obama for many years. He worked for the Aspen Institute where George Soros is a major donor. Greenblatt is an extremist.

The Posners said they polled nearly 100 Jewish and non-Jewish colleagues and friends last summer and asked what they thought about the surge in anti-Semitism.

Data from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino showed a 59% increasein anti-Semitic hate crimes in majorAmerican cities in 2021 and another increase of 28% last year, according to center director Brian Levin.

Two-thirds of those polled by the Posners said they felt they had done what they could by contributing to the ADL.

Greenblatt, 52, a former Special Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and businessman, took over the ADL in 2015 from longtime ADL head Abe Foxman.

During his tenure, hes expanded the ADLs focus to include other marginalized communities, Internet content moderation and even gender issues and critical race theory (a sympathetic discussion of CRT and racism, sexism and other forms of oppression can be found on the ADL website).

The ADL site has a page about the online amplifiers of anti-LBGTQ+ extremism targeting the social media account Libs of TikTok as well as Gays Against Groomers and pseudo journalists who are against gender-affirming care and drag queen shows.

Last year, the ADL said it was reviewing its education content after a Fox News investigation found concepts from CRT as well as far-left ideas within ADLs education wing. William Jacobson, founder of the conservative site Legal Insurrection, said the ADLs lesson plans reflect how ADL has lost its way.

An ADL spokesman denied that the organization was teaching CRT but added, that said, we are far from perfect and clearly there is content among our curricular materials that is misaligned with ADLs values and strategy. We intend to address this issue immediately and openly.

Greenblatt told radio host Charlamagne tha God in a recentinterviewon The Breakfast Club, that he hes been advising the major tech companies, including Meta, about content moderation and advising PayPal on how to ban groups it deems extremist.

Tobin claimed that Greenblatt has shifted the ADL into becoming another left wing auxiliary of the Democratic Party, adding that the ADL board is pleased with the director because he brings in so much money.

Its become like any other big business, Tobin said. Theyre raising more money now than when they were actuallydoing their job. Theyre appealing to donors who want it to be another left-wing talking shop with a left-wing gloss on it. A lot of people are angry at the ADL, but the ADL is stronger and wealthier and they dont care. In our bifurcated society thats how things work now.

The online magazine Jewish Currents reported March 8 that some criticism of Greenblatt comes from within the ADLs ranks. Audio leaked to the the site indicated that a special meeting was called to pacify some staffers upset with a speech Greenblatt gave last May in which he compared Palestinian rights groups to right-wing extremists.

The ADL caught flak under longtime CEO Foxman, too. It was widely criticized for cozying up to French fashion designer John Galliano, for example, after the Frenchmans wildly anti semitic tirade was caught in public in 2011.

But Foxman, one Jewish source pointed out, had a bulletproof back story that shielded him from some of the heavy criticism now being leveled at Greenblatt.

Foxman, who was born in Poland in 1940, was a hidden child. He was raised from the time he was 15 months old until about the age of 6 by his Catholic nanny, as Nazis murdered Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. His parents returned to get him after World War II.

But there are plenty of people who disagree with Greenblatts conservative critics.

Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism said Greenblatts focus on Internet content and other forms of extremism is correct given where society is at present.

If Jesus himself was running the ADL, Mort Klein would criticize his robes for being wrinkled, Levin told The Post.

Greenblatt is totally right on with his focus on tech companies and content thats coming out. Were seeing the way violent prejudice and false stereotypes and conspiracy theories are promoted online. Jonathan took the helm [of the ADL] in particularly stormy weather. Hes not necessarily pleasing the hard liberals either. Anyone who heads up a Jewish organization is never going to please everyone.

The ADL emailed a statement urging The Post to look at the source of these attacks and to focus on the facts.ADL has been and is currently the leading organization fighting antisemitism in the US and abroad. In light of the changing times and the recent disturbing uptick in antisemitism, we have redoubled our efforts ADLs leadership on antisemitism is the same now as it was historically, and even more so as we have adapted to the changing times and trends.

But Greenblatts detractors insist his reign is dangerous for Jews.

American Jews may not prevail against the tsunami of anti-Semitism surging against us if we do not have a change in Jewish establishment leadership, Jacobs said. Greenblatt has to go.

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