Progressive Groups Call to Cut Ties with ‘Racist’ ADL

Jonathan Greenblatt
REUTERS

A new initiative promoted by nearly 150 left-wing organizations calls for a large scale boycott of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — the historic U.S.-based NGO established to fight hatred, bigotry, and antisemitism and whose stated mission is to secure “justice and fair treatment to all.”

Under the heading “The ADL is not an ally,” the fresh initiative — known as “Drop the ADL” — calls for a “reconsideration” of the Anti-Defamation League as “a partner in social justice work.” 

Bemoaning the current integration of the ADL in many community programs, the letter speaks of the organization’s “history and ongoing pattern of attacking social justice movements led by communities of color, queer people, immigrants, Muslims, Arabs, and other marginalized groups,” all while decrying its “deceptive” and “harmful” practices including its use of the civil rights banner to attack social justice movements.

While accusing the ADL of “aligning itself with police, right-wing leaders, and perpetrators of state violence,” the letter also claims that the ADL’s credibility in movements and communities is what has allowed it “to undermine the rights of marginalized communities.”

The letter concludes by noting the “destructive role” that the ADL frequently plays in “undermining struggles for justice” and declaring that any collaboration with the ADL is a betrayal of the social justice movements behind the initiative.

Nearly 150 signatories appear on the letter, including far-left activist groups the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Democratic Socialists of America, Dream Defenders, Movement for Black Lives, CODEPINK as well as several progressive Jewish organizations. 

The initiative has created a website (DropTheADL.org) and hashtag (#DropThe ADL) and compiled a primer listing ADL activities, which “undermine the rights” of “Black, immigrant, queer, Muslim, Arab, and other marginalized communities.”

Activities that the ADL is accused of in the primer include: targeting and surveilling progressive movements; supporting “racist, militarized policing” as well as “anti-Semites, Donald Trump, and other right-wing, racist influencers”; Islamophobia/Anti-Muslim racism and repressing Palestinian rights; “campus repression”; and “trampling anti-racist, immigrant, queer, and other justice movements.”

The primer goes on to label the ADL a “white-led organization” which seeks to advance a “racist” agenda, “shouts down communities of color advocating for their own rights,” and “muzzles” human rights defenders. The primer concludes with the message it seeks to popularize: “The ADL is not an ally.”

In response to the accusations, the ADL responded to each of the claims individually after having referred to them as “tired, false and misleading statements” and “myths” published by many of the same groups “who have been pushing an anti-Israel agenda for years.”

As Breitbart News has previously reported, the ADL has criticized Sen. Ted Cruz and President Trump as well as Trump administration officials, with ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt — a former Obama administration official — sharing his personal view of Trump as a racist and even joining Rev. Al Sharpton in condemning the president, while ignoring Sharpton’s own documented history of racism, antisemitism, and homophobia.

Ironically, despite having become more openly left-wing; repeated criticisms of Republicans; being labeled an “arm of the Democratic Party”; labeling anti-Antifa symbols as symbols of hate; promoting civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and support for immigrants and refugees; and advocating against Islamophobia, the ADL — the leading “anti-hate” organization — has not been spared by the “woke” progressives.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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