My father was a combat photographer in World War II, who filmed our frontline troops in Europe from Omaha Beach through the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge to Berlin in ruins. He also filmed the liberation of Dachau, an experience so painful he never spoke about it to me until the last year of his life, at age ninety-eight. He could hardly speak. He was crying so hard his frail body was shaking, as he gasped out, “I’m sorry to be so weak.”
In my father’s last years, many things fell away, but he always gave charity to one group, the Anti-Defamation League, the voice of conscience of American Jews fighting to purge our society of the scourge of anti-Semitism.
No more. Now the ADL is just one more left-wing group, “a radical extension of the Democratic Party,” according to Isi Leibler, a prominent worldwide Jewish leader writing in the Jerusalem Post. The only anti-Semitism that it will fight is that of the tiny fringe group of white supremacists. The greater danger of the radical left and Muslim activists gets a pass. The Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement, declared anti-Semitic by the American government, is supported by Democratic politicians and so ADL won’t fight it. ADL actively supports the Marxist anti-Semitic group Black Lives Matter, which “incorporates anti-Israel passages in its platform and campaigns against anti-boycott legislation.”
ADL’s moral collapse is even greater than Leibler had space to enumerate. ADL won’t fight anti-Semitism, even violence against Jewish youngsters on campus, organized by Muslim Brotherhood front groups, because progressive multiculturism privileges Muslims over Jews. And it utterly refuses to confront the Democrat party mainstreaming anti-Semitism from three out of its four main voting blocs – blacks, new Hispanics, and leftists.
Today in America, Leibler writes, Jews and Israel’s biggest supporters are Evangelicals. American Jewish leaders are betraying the trust of their community, putting their liberal agenda ahead of protecting Jews at home and Israel abroad.
Jewish identity has become submerged by progressivism. Indeed, left-wing Jews wishing to be regarded as “progressive” are discovering that a prerequisite to their acceptance requires a hostile attitude to Israel.
It all began with Obama, says Leibler. Before Obama, Jewish leaders were not intimidated. Their job was to speak out in defense of Israel. No more.
Obama had pro-Israel congressmen spied on by our intelligence services for opposing his pro-Iran policies. In a favorite Obama technique for suppression, pro-Israel groups were harassed and suppressed by the IRS.
Barack Obama treated Israel “as a rogue state.” He groveled before the Iranians and treated Israeli defenders and Arab terrorists as moral equivalents. “The response by the majority of the American Jewish establishment, who were previously never reticent about raising their voices, was a deafening silence,” writes Liebler.
Jewish leadership caved to Obama’s bullying. They knew that criticizing Obama would be punished severely by liberal activists, jeopardize their funding, and bring down even more hostile attacks from President Obama.
Many Jewish liberals are “so ignorant of their heritage that they regarded social justice and their Democratic political affiliation as the foremost factors in their Jewish identity.”
This past decade has been one of unprecedented passivity and cowardice by the Jewish establishment. It failed to speak out against Obama’s anti-Israel bias and remained silent when the ADL, J Street, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Jewish Women, progressive rabbis and other Jews engaged in the primitive defamation of Trump from Jewish platforms.
Jewish groups have always been scrupulously bipartisan as a bedrock principle. Fighting anti-Semitism and promoting Jewish American interests was never partisan. But after Obama radicalized the party, that went out the window. Leibler calls out the hysteria sweeping through the Jewish community, as progressive rabbis and their lay leaders call Trump racist, an anti-Semite, and even a Nazi sympathizer.
This, despite the fact that to date, Trump has unquestionably been the most positive president toward Israel and has a converted Jewish daughter who is religiously observant. He introduced significant beneficial policies, such as ceasing financial aid to Palestinian terrorists, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and promoting the case for Israel at the UN and international forums.
Meanwhile, they support rabid black and Muslim anti-semites wherever they may be – on campus, in Congress, leading the pussy-hat Women’s March, Farrakhan supporters in Congress, in the social justice movement.
Jewish silence has already sowed the wind.
What must have shocked and sent shivers down the spines of Jews even remotely supportive of Israel was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointment of (Ilan Omar) this antisemitic newly elected congresswoman to the prestigious and powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees foreign aid and such national security issues as terrorism and the proliferation of nonconventional weapons.
Isi Leibler was born before the Holocaust. He has seen it happen before. He is calling out American Jewish leadership for their cowardice and collusion with the forces of left-wing hate. He says the appointment of Ilan Omar to the Foreign Affairs Committee is a wakeup call.
In truth, it is a wakeup call to all of us. Pelosi’s folly has given Congresswoman Omar the keys to America’s national security secrets.
When anti-Semitism rules, none of us are safe.