By Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel
Courtesy Of "AlterNet"
The Anti-Defamation League bills itself, and is typically seen by many in the mainstream Jewish community and beyond, as the "nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency.” In fact, the ADL’s conduct over the years is at odds with this one-dimensional view of the group as a long-time champion of civil liberties. The ADL mission statement, for instance, describes it as a group that “fights all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all." Yet, a record going back decades shows something very different, including a shift “from civil rights monitoring to espionage and intelligence gathering.” Mistrust of the ADL among those concerned about civil and human rights has deep roots.
. . .the effect of [the ADL’s position] . . . was to open the floodgates and lend weight and legitimacy to those whose primary concern was not Ground Zero or the victims' families but, instead, inciting hatred against American Muslims. . . Most of what we've witnessed in recent weeks has nothing whatever to do with location-specific issues related to the World Trade Center site. Most of what we've witnessed is an orgy of hatred against Muslims and a concerted effort to exclude a group of our fellow citizens from our neighborhoods and to limit their ability to worship as they choose in America.