Source: The New American | Vol. 16, No. 13 | June 19, 2000

A Victory Against Hate

by David Eisenberg

The ADL's Foxman

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League's power and prosperity depend upon an increase in anti-Jewish feelings among Americans, thus it has no scruples about both committing and provoking acts of religious bigotry.

Mr. Eisenberg, a retired aeronautical engineer, is a member of the National Council of The John Birch Society.

Shortly after Pope John Paul II conducted a "Liturgy of Forgiveness" last March, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), attacked the Catholic Church by accusing the pope of ignoring "specific Catholic wrongs against the Jewish people, especially the Holocaust." Foxman?s statement was an astonishing denigration of the Catholic Church, which was recognized as an enemy by the pagan National Socialist (Nazi) regime and which saved hundreds of thousands of Jews during World War II.

While it may strike uninformed Americans as peculiar that an organization supposedly committed to fighting defamation would conspicuously disparage the Catholic Church, this incident makes perfect sense once it is understood that the ADL's power and prosperity depend upon an increase in anti-Jewish feelings among Americans — and the organization's public vilification of the Catholic Church is sure to provoke just that sort of hostility.

ADL's Bluff Is Called

The ADL has played this game for decades, but a court decision in Colorado indicates that the price of playing that game just went up. On April 28th, a jury found that the ADL had publicly defamed William and Dorothy Quigley and awarded the plaintiffs $10.5 million in damages. The ADL had accused the Quigleys of mounting an anti-Semitic campaign against Mitchell and Candace Aronson, their neighbors in Evergreen, Colorado. In a December 1994 press conference, ADL spokesman Saul Rosenthal denounced the Quigleys for threatening to burn a cross on the Aronsons' property and to douse their child with a flammable liquid. The jury in the Quigleys' suit found that Rosenthal's statements were false and therefore defamatory.

But the suffering caused the Quigleys by the ADL was not limited to defamation. The day after the ADL's press conference, the Quigleys, who had already been hit with an ADL-instigated civil lawsuit, were arrested and charged with ethnic harassment — a felony. The basis for the felony charges was a tape recording of cell phone conversations in which the Quigleys expressed their hostility toward the Aronsons in ways that, according to the ADL, evinced anti-Semitism. The local print and electronic media took up the story, ruining the Quigleys' reputation and provoking death threats against them.

Upon examining the ADL's "evidence," however, Jefferson County District Attorney Jay Thomas concluded that the Quigleys' "intent was not racially and ethnically motivated." Describing the incident as "a neighborhood dispute," Thomas concluded, "we have an obligation, ethically, to drop the charges." In addition, the Aronsons admitted that they had illegally taped the phone conversations, using a police scanner — with the encouragement of an ADL attorney. Eventually, the Aronsons filed suit against their ADL-connected attorney, accusing him of pursuing the organization's interests rather than those of his clients.

Patterns of Attack

The original dispute between the Quigleys and the Aronsons involved petty issues that, in all likelihood, could have been worked out between the feuding neighbors. It was the intrusion of the ADL that prevented civility from breaking out in that Colorado neighborhood. The $10.5 million judgment against the ADL — reportedly an amount equivalent to nearly one quarter of the group's worldwide operating budget — indicates that the organization, at long last, is being held accountable. "I will say this: thank God for the jury system," exulted the Quigleys' attorney, Jay Horowitz.

The most remarkable aspect of this case is that it illustrates, in miniature, how the ADL has operated for decades. Wherever possible, acting under the guise of battling "hatred" and "intolerance," the group has vilified honorable people as "bigots" by defining "bigotry" in the most expansive and dishonest terms (essentially, for the ADL "bigot" and "conservative" are synonyms). Although, thankfully, anti-Semitism has not been a significant social problem for decades in the United States, the ADL has cynically preyed upon the fears of American Jews, many of whom have family histories written in the innocent blood of those who perished from persecution. And, as Foxman's unprovoked attack on the Catholic Church illustrates, the ADL has no scruples about committing, and provoking, acts of religious bigotry.

In 1994 — shortly before the Quigleys' ordeal began — the ADL published a 193-page smear entitled The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America. Cast in the same mold as earlier ADL screeds such as Danger on the Right (1964) and The Radical Right: Report on the John Birch Society and Its Allies (1967), the 1994 ADL report was designed as a resource for left-wing columnists, editors, academics, and policy makers — anyone looking for a handy sound-bite that links principled American conservatives with Nazis, Klansmen, and other genuine practitioners of bigotry.

Not content to besmirch conservative American Christians, the ADL banished its former southwest regional director, Gary Polland, after Polland condemned the Religious Right report. Polland was among the 75 notable Jewish Americans who signed a full-page paid advertisement in the August 2, 1994 New York Times criticizing the ADL for "engaging in defamation of its own" against the "religious right." The ad pointed out that since Jews have too often been on the receiving end of religious bigotry, "we have a special obligation to guard against it, and all the more so when in the case of the ADL attack on our Christian fellow citizens, it emanates from our own community."

Mark this well: The ADL cast Gary Polland from its ranks because he took a principled stand against religious prejudice. "After much agonizing I signed the ad because the message needed to be sent," Polland explained in a letter to ADL members. "The ad informs the Christian community that there are prominent Jewish Americans who reject the [ADL] report - and regret the publication of such an inaccurate and poorly-researched report." Polland learned, much to his dismay, that there was no room in the ADL's leadership for someone who opposes religious bigotry in principle, rather than employing the charge of bigotry as a weapon against honorable conservatives.

Following the ADL's attack on the John Birch Society in 1967, I and many other Jewish members of the John Birch Society participated in the Conference of Jewish Conservatives in Chicago. From that meeting came an organization called The Jewish Right, through which we sought to help Jewish Americans understand the truth about the JBS and the conspiratorial forces the Society was created to expose. We also sought to help patriotic Christians understand that they had millions of potential allies among patriotic Jews who seek to save our Bible-based civilization from the conspiratorial threat to everything we hold dear.

The late Rabbi Chaim Etner (of blessed memory), who was the advisor to The Jewish Right, lamented that for the ADL and its allied left-wing Jewish groups, "Dishonesty is accepted as a kind of political license. This cannot have any place in Jewish politics, as Jewish politics must be based on principles of Jewish law. The weapons used can only be [those] which are in harmony with Jewish ethics and Jewish standards according to Jewish tradition of many millennia." The ADL and similar left-wing groups, while posing as protectors of Jewish tradition, are "in many instances - anti-Jewish and dangerous to the Jewish cause," argued Rabbi Etner, not only because of the dishonesty involved but also because of the way in which such left-wing groups engender hostility against the Jewish community they presume to represent.

Divisive Influence

As collectivists, the ADL and similar groups want to delude people into defining their enemies in collectivist terms — that is, to regard "the Jews," or "the Christians," or some other group, as the enemy. The John Birch Society has always understood that enemies of freedom are defined by their actions, not their racial or religious identity. In a 1969 address entitled "If You Want It Straight," Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, referred to the "use of hatred as a tool of the [Communist] revolution," particularly the "building up and exploitation of the - potential bitterness and distrust between Christians and Jews."

"For more than a hundred years, the Communists have done everything possible to revive and increase this source of hatred which was actually dying out during the 19th century," continued Mr. Welch. Has this been the case with the Anti-Defamation League? It seems to have created its own "hate groups" where none were available. Consider the career of "Jim Anderson," the alleged leader of a paramilitary group called the "Christian Patriot's Defense League." Anderson was featured in a 1981 television documentary called "Armies of the Right." As researcher Laird Wilcox reports in his recent study The Watchdogs, "'Jim Anderson' was no less than James Mitchel Rosenberg, an agent for the ADL...." Along with another ADL plant, Rosenberg was arrested in New York City in October 1981 for carrying an unregistered rifle in public view. The two ADL agents, Wilcox observes, had been "posing as paramilitary extremists for a photographic fabrication exaggerating the threat from the far right."

We should also remember the case of Roy Bullock, an ADL operative in San Francisco who had illegally compiled an extensive ADL "enemies list" with the help of a police intelligence officer named Tom Gerard. An investigation into Bullock's spy activities revealed, in the words of the San Francisco Examiner, that the ADL has a network of "undercover operatives throughout the nation...." Foxman responded to these revelations in characteristic fashion, denouncing critics of the organization as "anti-Semitic, undemocratic, and anti-American b*****ds." Abusive arrogance of this type, of course, will help feed antagonism between Jewish and non-Jewish Americans — which, in turn, means more business for the ADL. Tragically, it also helps keep Americans divided and thereby advances the long-term designs of the enemies of liberty.

Urging that the $10.5 million defamation judgment against the ADL be set aside, Barry Curtiss-Lusher, the group's Mountain States chairman, sanctimoniously insisted: "It's quite important that the Anti-Defamation League continue to pursue its mission and fight racism, bigotry, hatred, including anti-Semitism." Curtiss-Lusher's description of the ADL's "mission" is selective: The ADL "fights" bigotry in the same sense that a fireman who moonlights as an arsonist "fights" fires.