The True Left sets the pace of leftist politics, the mainstream follows, and the False Left is left in the dust. This month we have reached a new milestone:
We are writing to ask you to reconsider the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a partner in social justice work.
Many organizations in our communities find themselves in spaces with the ADL, using its anti-bias education materials, or counting on the ADL to support our political goals. In light of a growing understanding of the ADL’s harmful practices, many progressive groups are rethinking those relationships.
Even though the ADL is integrated into community work on a range of issues, it has a history and ongoing pattern of attacking social justice movements led by communities of color, queer people, immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, and other marginalized groups, while aligning itself with police, right-wing leaders, and perpetrators of state violence. More disturbing, it has often conducted those attacks under the banner of “civil rights.” This largely unpublicized history has come increasingly to light as activists work to make sense of the ADL’s role in condemning the Movement for Black Lives, Palestinian rights organizing, and Congressional Representative Ilhan Omar, among others.
We are deeply concerned that the ADL’s credibility in some social justice movements and communities is precisely what allows it to undermine the rights of marginalized communities, shielding it from criticism and accountability while boosting its legitimacy and resources. Even when it may seem that our work is benefiting from access to some resources or participation from the ADL, given the destructive role that it too often plays in undermining struggles for justice, we believe that we cannot collaborate with the ADL without betraying our movements.
To our beloved community:
The ADL is not an ally.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has branded itself as a civil rights organization in ways that conceal and legitimize its right-wing activities undermining the rights of Black, immigrant, queer, Muslim, Arab, and other marginalized communities.
Many progressive individuals and organizations partner with the ADL not knowing its ongoing legacy of supporting racist policing, surveillance, colonialism, and the silencing of social justice activism. Misinformation about the ADL’s work, and its credibility in progressive circles, are what allow the ADL to continue harming social justice movements.
The following primer was compiled by organizations across the US working in coalition for freedom, justice, and equality. We hope it can be helpful in strengthening all of our social justice movements in resisting repression and advancing a vision of liberation for all. Many conflicts between the ADL and our movements are not covered in this primer. Community efforts to resist the ADL are also not covered here. For additional information and updates, visit DropTheADL.org.
I especially like this section:
The ADL blacklists organizations criticizing Israel’s separate and unequal system, particularly those linking oppression in the US and Palestine. It targets Black, Muslim, and Arab organizers as anti-Semites, suggesting that their links to anti-racist, anti-colonial movements (which have long challenged Israel) are links to “hate.” It also specifically smears Jewish organizers who contest the ADL’s claim to represent Jewish interests and safety. In smearing activists, the ADL calls “anti-Semitic” any discussion of the influence of Zionist institutions in US politics; of links between US political donors and Israel’s lucrative military and tech sectors; and of the well-documented sympathies between US and Israeli racial supremacist forces.
The ADL is correct about one thing, however: anti-racism is hate, and proudly so. How can you be anti-racist without hating racism?
On the other hand, while it goes without saying that we support excluding the ADL, we should also beware of who has already infiltrated the #DropTheADL movement:
The ADL’s abuse of the term anti-Semitism not only muzzles legitimate criticism of injustices perpetrated by Israel, but it communicates a dangerous message that all Jews share the same views — a central tenet of traditional anti-Semitism — and implies that there is something Jewish about military occupation (and by extension, that boycotting occupation is boycotting Jews). Furthermore, it detracts from naming and fighting the very real and present acts of anti-Semitism.
The moment I read this paragraph, I knew that Jews have infiltrated and are doing controlled dissent. They know that calling criticism of Israel “anti-Semitism” doesn’t work anymore, so they are trying to salvage “anti-Semitism” for other applications in Jewish interests by themselves joining in the dissent (which we started) and then shamelessly claiming that there does exist, separate from criticism of Israel, some form of ‘real’ “anti-Semitism” which non-Jews are supposed to defend Jews against. (There does not. The moment Jews decided that they were Jews and the rest of us were non-Jews, non-Jews ceased to have any moral duty to defend Jews from anything; on the contrary, we acquired a moral duty to attack them until all their bloodlines have ceased to exist. This is true anti-racism.)
And here is what I found at the bottom of the page ( no surprises!):
This primer was put together by the Drop The ADL Working Group with contributions from the following organizations:
American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, #DropTheADL, Friends of Sabeel – North America, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Jewish Voice for Peace Deadly Exchange Campaign, Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism, Network Against Islamophobia, Palestine Legal, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Therefore support the movement to exclude the ADL, but do not trust the DropTheADL site. And next we must go after the groups marked in bold. There is no such thing as a “Jewish Anti-Zionist Network” (such a network would first stop being Jewish), a “Jewish Voice for Peace” (such a voice would first stop being Jewish), or “Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism” (such individuals would first stop being Jews, and also would not misleadingly describe racism as anti-outgroup, but would have no problem with accurately describing racism as being pro-ingroup (and hence admit all Jews* are racists)).
(* An individual born to Jewish parents, who renounces Judaism and voluntarily refrains from reproducing, is not a Jew.)
What we really need is #DropJewishness. But I understand the need to do things in a sensible sequence. So first let’s #DropNukesOnIsrael.