After Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt called for Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s dismissal after Carlson was falsely accused of defending the white-supremacist “great replacement” theory, former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) blasted the “hypocritical” ADL for launching an “unwarranted attack” on Carlson which “crossed the line” and created antisemitism.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Tuesday, Hikind — a renowned Jewish rights activist who is also the founder of Americans Against Anti-Semitism — began by claiming the ADL had changed over time. “I think a lot of people are realizing more and more, by the reaction that I’m getting from a lot of establishment people who have reached out who have the same refrain, that the ADL has long gone off the path,” he said. “The train has definitely derailed. A lot of people feel that way who told me they used to support the ADL.”
“We [Americans Against Antisemitism] try to do what we think is right without looking at Democrat versus Republican,” Hikind explained. “We call things as we see it in terms of racism and antisemitism. I’ve gotten some of the strongest reactions from people who really were outraged at what the ADL has done. It’s not the ADL they once knew, it has changed completely and that it has become sort of an arm of the Democratic Party.”
“When I was growing up we respected the ADL. Even when [former ADL head Abraham] Foxman was there it was very, very different. I think there’s a real change that has taken place since Greenblatt got there and maybe the fact that he worked for the Obama administration and what they represented to a lot of people that he’s caught up in that and maybe he forgot that he’s not working for them anymore. It’s so obvious the role that Greenblatt has been playing for quite a while now,” he said.
“I’ve had a suspicion that Greenblatt may be aiming [for] some kind of job with the Biden administration,” Hikind said. “There was no need for what he did except to curry favor on the left. Because if he was consistent, if he reacted to stuff that’s going on [on the left]… He wants to curry favor [with the left]. He’s a superstar for Democrats, liberal Democrats, progressive Democrats. Because of what he did they love him: calling for the most popular conservative commentator to resign, quit, to be fired. That’s pretty ‘courageous.’ It’s really just ridiculous. It’s insane and it’s so unfair and so unhealthy.”
Hikind also noted the left’s “dangerous” hypocrisy in holding blatant double standards. “Unfortunately, what’s going on today on the political left in the Democratic Party is this hypocrisy and double standard and that’s very sad,” he noted. “The political left, they’re the ones to talk about freedom of speech and the right to express themselves and not have to think twice, but it’s only when they agree with it. People should have a right to express themselves when it comes to Black Lives Matter in the streets, to even do some not nice things. But someone who says something that they don’t like or they want to interpret it the way they think they can get away interpreting it — ‘let’s crucify the guy; let’s destroy that person.’ This has become the new culture, cancel culture, and it really is very dangerous. It could lead to terrible things in my opinion. Very, very dangerous stuff.”
“It’s just pure unadulterated hypocrisy that exists on the left with so many of these people — I mean [Don] Lemon was raving from this whole thing. He is the most partisan, literally if I turned to CNN and he’s on I just turn away because he is so radical to the left, it’s unbelievable,” Hikind said.
Hikind specifically noted the ADL’s apparent policy of neglecting to address black antisemitism, despite it skyrocketing. “The ADL is obsessed with hate on the political right — it’s all the right and nobody is denying there is a problem but if you go back to about a year ago, right before the coronavirus pandemic, we had an outbreak of antisemitic hate crimes in the New York area like we’ve never seen before in my life,” Hikind explained. “In my 36 years in the New York State Assembly never did we have a period with constant attacks upon Jews and most of those attacks, almost all of them, we know who the perpetrators were because of surveillance cameras. We saw who was beating up on Jews [who were simply] walking down the street and being assaulted because they were Jews. It was unprecedented what was going on.”
“Did the ADL talk about the hate, the anti-Semitism, that was coming from the black community? Because the perpetrators were almost always black.,” he noted. “Now we’re not blaming the black community, but wasn’t that the reality? The people who were attacking Jews in New York on a near daily basis going back to that period of time, after Jersey City [where two were killed after assailants opened fire at a kosher market], after Monsey [where a machete attack at a Hanukkah party occurred], all these things that were happening in the New York or Tri-state area, almost all of those crimes were being committed by people who happen to be of color, almost without exception. Did the ADL say anything about that? Did they make a point of saying that we need to do something about this? To address it? Never.”
Hikind also accused Greenblatt of stoking the flames of antisemitism. “What I think Greenblatt did is create antisemitism,” he said. “I give him credit for that because I think what he did was so unfair. It’s not fair for people to look at Greenblatt — he represents the ADL, one of the most ‘important’ Jewish groups in America, at least one that people can identify — and assume he represents Jews. I think what he did so crossed the line that it gave an opportunity for haters to hate and there was no need for it.”
Hikind also expressed bewilderment as to what the ADL represents and how exactly its decisions are made. “Most people totally don’t know what the ADL is,” he said. “Who is the ADL? I’m not quite sure who they are. Is it Greenblatt? Who decided at the ADL that Tucker Carlson must go? What’s the process of democracy at the ADL to make a decision like this, to deprive someone of their livelihood because you think what they said is wrong? How is that decision made to do that? To destroy someone’s life in a sense. Who decided at the ADL? Does just one person make a decision ‘this is the way to go?’ Is it by majority vote? Of who? Of what? How does it work? Who decides? Does he have a group? Is there a computer that makes the decision?”
“Maybe reach out to Tucker Carlson and say ‘we know you’re popular, people appreciate you, maybe we could have a discussion, maybe we could sit down.’ Isn’t that the way they do that with people on the left? ‘Tucker Carlson? Shoot him. Hang him. Eradicate him.’ It’s really shameful from the ADL,” he concluded.
Despite his criticisms of the left, Hikind remains committed to the Democratic Party, though he describes himself as a “very sad” member. “I’m still a Democrat, a very sad and depressed one, but I still remain a Democrat because I want to say to people in my party, ‘What the hell was going on?!’ I speak as a Democrat, very disappointed in what is going on and the hypocrisy — that’s the worst. The hypocrisy. The double standard. When it comes to Jews, the stuff with NBC recently, with Saturday Night Live and a lot of other stuff that goes on in the left, stuff that you see and hear on CNN and MSNBC. I’m not talking about a different point of view, I’m talking about radical hatred towards Israel, pro-BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] sentiment. It’s just unbelievable,” Hikind said.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.