More than 1,500 Rabbis Say ADL Not ‘Competent to Identify’ or ‘Combat’ Antisemitism

orthodox rabbis
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The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) stated Tuesday more than 1,500 rabbis agree the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is “no longer competent to identify, let alone combat, antisemitism.”

The rabbis’ statement is in response to the ADL announcing a partnership with Hillel International to document antisemitism on college campuses. Hillel has a presence in more than 550 colleges globally.

The ADL and Hillel “will not always treat anti-Israel activity as antisemitism,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

An ADL spokesperson told the JTA, “Anti-Israel activism in and of itself is not antisemitism.” This means not all Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) actions on college campuses will be documented as antisemitism.

CJV responded by criticizing the ADL and Hillel’s decision:

“Only someone with no sense of Jewish history could claim that BDS is not antisemitic,” said CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes. “The first Nazi edict was a boycott of Jewish businesses; economic warfare directed against the Jewish people was then and has always been one of the first signs of systemic Jew-hatred. Combating antisemitism in all its forms defined the ADL’s mission throughout its long and storied history, and it is crucial that it return to its core goals.”

“Human rights activists opposed to tyrannical regimes don’t describe themselves as ‘anti-Cuba,’ ‘anti-Iran,’ or ‘anti-North Korea,’ or seek to destroy those nations,” noted CJV Midwestern Regional Vice President Rabbi Ze’ev Smason. “That so many BDS supporters proudly label themselves ‘anti-Israel” is revealing—and should be chilling to everyone.” He added, “any honest person can see that antisemitism runs through the core of the anti-Israel movement, from its hateful accusations to violent assaults perpetrated by ‘pro-Palestinian’ demonstrators against individual Jews.”

BDS seeks to destroy Israel, the only Jewish nation in the world and the only democracy in the Middle East. The land of Israel is central to Judaism. Jews have lived there for thousands of years, and Orthodox Jews pray for the land of Israel multiple times a day.

On college campuses, BDS often takes the form of student government resolutions calling the school to stop working with Israeli companies and even more broadly, companies that do business with Israel. Recently, Ben & Jerry’s came under fire after bending to leftist, anti-Israel ideology by boycotting Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Last week, Breitbart News reported the ADL is partnering with PayPal:

PayPal, the online payment processing giant, has announced it will work with the far-left Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to collect information on and cut off financial flows to so-called extremists, and that it will share the data it gathers with law enforcement, policymakers, and the rest of the financial industry.

In April, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt attempted to link Tucker Carlson with mass shootings and called for Fox News to fire the commentator.

Greenblatt has, however, been featured on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC program, despite the fact that Sharpton is associated with years of violent antisemitism, including inciting riots against religious Jews in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in the 1990s.

In September 2020, Breitbart News reported the ADL signed a statement declaring “The Black Lives Matter movement is the current day Civil Rights movement in this country,” despite the fact that BLM has a history of antisemitism. Other cosignatories include leftist anti-Israel groups such as “Anti-Zionist Shabbat” and Jewish Voice for Peace.

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