Former editor of The New Republic Peter Beinart authored an important piece May 12 in the New York Review of Books that made a lot of waves within the Jewish community for arguing that the American Jewish Establishment is fast losing young, secular Jews because of its unwavering support of utterly reprehensible and immoral Israeli policies towards Palestinians.
He continues his critique of the Israel lobby in a good article today calling out the Anti-Defamation League for its shameful pandering to anti-Muslim bigots when it came out against the proposed Islamic community center two blocks away from the site of Ground Zero.
For a long time now, the ADL seems to have assumed that it could exempt Israel from the principles in its charter and yet remain just as faithful to that charter inside the United States. But now the chickens are coming back home to America to roost. The ADL’s rationale for opposing the Ground Zero mosque is that “building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain—unnecessarily—and that is not right.” Huh? What if white victims of African-American crime protested the building of a black church in their neighborhood? Or gentile victims of Bernie Madoff protested the building of a synagogue? Would the ADL for one second suggest that sensitivity toward people victimized by members of a certain religion or race justifies discriminating against other, completely innocent, members of that religion or race? Of course not. But when it comes to Muslims, the standards are different. They are different in Israel, and now, it is clear, they are different in the United States, too.
Indifference to the rights and dignity of Palestinians is a cancer eating away at the moral pretensions of the American Jewish establishment. Last Friday, in the case of the ADL, we learned just how far that cancer has spread.