The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Tuesday released a “Who’s Who” guide which, it claims, “identifies the key players of the Alt Right and Alt Lite.” The list was produced by the ADL’s Center on Extremism, which produces research primarily on right-wing white supremacism and Islamic extremism.
There are two glaring defects in the list produced by the ADL. The ADL tars mainstream conservatives with guilt by association, and betrays its core mission by ignoring defamation from left-wing speakers.
The list of “Alt Right” figures is a frightening depiction of American evil, including writers and advocates for Neo-Nazi and skinhead blogs, websites and organizations. The accompanying list of the “Alt Lite,” by contrast, is an often embarrassing exercise in demonization.
Brittany Pettibone is a conservative podcaster whose guests have included Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an Indian-American engineer and political candidate. Pettibone devoted an entire podcast to the topic of “Why I will Interview Anyone” – yet the ADL tars her as follows: “whatever her personal beliefs, Pettibone uses her podcast to amplify the views of the alt right by interviewing members of the movement.”
Jack Posobiec hosted an inaugural event called the DeploraBall, which, says the ADL, “attracted many from the alt right and alt lite spheres.” He also protested a stage depiction of the murder of Donald Trump. For these and similar activities, the ADL cites him as a dangerous figure.
The inclusion of Corey Stewart, a strong backer of Israel who is currently serving his third term as Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, is perhaps the most disingenuous and openly political of all: Stewart announced just last week that he will oppose incumbent Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia in 2018. Stewart objected when Kaine skipped Israeli PM Netanyahu’s address to the U.S. Congress in 2015, and plans to make their contrary stances towards Israel an issue during the upcoming campaign. But because he does not believe Southern Civil War memorials should be torn down, the ADL claims he “embraces misogyny and xenophobia.”
Yet the ADL’s greatest sin is that of omission. The ADL and its Center on Extremism are so anxious to condemn relatively obscure conservatives that they give a free pass to far more prominent left-wing promoters of anti-Jewish hate speech.
This is both wrong and dangerous. The ADL declares that its primary mission is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people.” While speakers associated with the political left may not advocate terrorism here in America, some will happily justify it in Israel, often by smearing Israeli soldiers as killers for defending innocent lives.
Any bipartisan list of dangerous American extremists would include at least some of the following individuals:
Hatem Bazian holds the title for “the most dangerous professor in America,” according to the campus watchdog Canary Mission organization. Bazian is the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, which demonizes Israel, calls for its destruction, and celebrates terrorists. He recently asked rhetorically, “how come we don’t have an intifada in this country?”
Jamarhl Crawford is the author of the rap “Zionist Money,” which features lyrics claiming that Jews control business and the media and minimizing the Holocaust.
Keith Ellison, who defended the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan until he became a congressional candidate, previously wrote a column defending a speaker who claimed that Zionists had collaborated with the Nazis and said that “Zionism must be destroyed.” Ellison also says that the conflict between Arabs and Jews started only shortly before 1948.
Rachel Gilmer is the co-author of the Black Lives Matter platform which accused Israel of genocide.
Thomas Friedman has demonized Israel in the New York Times for decades. His most recent installment minimized calls for bloodshed from PA PM Mahmoud Abbas by pointing out that Israeli extremists can also be violent.
Linda Sarsour is an “activist” who promotes Jihad in America and encouraged support for Rasmea Odeh, convicted of killing Hebrew University students, under the banner of “Palestinian rights.” She defended Saudi Arabia, where women may not drive, but said that a feminist cannot be a Zionist.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of “Jewish Voice for Peace,” claims that Israel is “strangling” Gaza, that Israel is training U.S. Police to “brutalize black and brown communities,” and that U.S. Jews are “complicit” in “violence against Palestinians.”
Roger Waters, the co-founder, bassist and singer for Pink Floyd, was recently cited by the Simon Weisenthal Center for open bigotry against Israel and his use of anti-Semitic imagery onstage, including a Star of David painted onto an inflatable pig.
Philip Weiss is founder and co-editor of “Mondoweiss,” an “anti-Israel” hate site. Weiss claims that Jews control the economy, exploit the memory of the Holocaust, and justify anti-Semitism through their behavior.
Cornel West, a professor at Harvard, dismissed anti-Semitism due to Jews having “white privilege.” He claims that “the Israeli occupation is ugly, it’s vicious, it’s brutal,” and that “there is no doubt that Gaza is not just a ‘kind of’ concentration camp.”
Each one of these is better-known and better-respected, and thus is far more dangerous, than all of the combined members of the ADL’s “Alt Right” list. It would be trivial to develop a far longer roster of left-wing activists promoting defamation of Jews in America today — yet the ADL prefers to focus its attention upon obscure individuals who are politically conservative. The ADL is abandoning its historic mission of defending the Jewish people, in order to serve up hit pieces on behalf of left-wing liberalism.