Radical Homegrown Terrorist Abe Foxman threatens confrontational march on DC
APRIL 2010 Eli Clifton
After condemning Gen. David Petraeus’s linkage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with U.S. security interests in the region, the Anti-Defmation League’s (ADL) Abe Foxman has suggested that American Jews should put pressure on the Obama administration to resolve the crisis between the White House and Netanyahu’s government.
Stewart Ain and Joshua Mitnick reported on Foxman’s speech at a Jewish community center in Long Island last week.
They wrote in The Jewish Week that Foxman called on American Jews to consider a march on Washington to pressure the White House to end the current “crisis” in U.S.-Israel relations.
Foxman said he believes that the American Jewish community’s opposition to settlement building is still strong, but that the opposition does not apply to building in Jerusalem.
Foxman reportedly lashed out at Jews at J Street for the full-page New York Times ad (PDF) which the group ran during AIPAC’s annual conference.
“Maybe the jews at J Street are pro-peace but I question how pro-Israel they are,” Foxman told more than 200 people at the Dix Hills Jewish Center on Long Island Last week. “The prime minister is here and struggling [with the president] and J Street says, ‘Mr. President keep it up.’”
“Obama needs to hear from the American Jewish community not that he’s anti-Semitic or that he’s a Muslim, but that, Mr. Presdient, this is not in the best interests of America.”
Of course Foxman has failed to explain exactly how Petraeus’s analysis that Israel’s behavior is, indeed, not in the best interests of America is faulty or offer any justification for why pressuring Netanyahu to change his policy on settlements is “not in the best interests of America.” But that didn’t stop him fromkeeping up the offensive against Petraeus and the White House, where he’s led the charge for two weeks now.
As I wrote last week, Foxman’s strategy, thus far, seems untenable in that it forces supporters of the ADL to choose between standing up for a decorated and widely respected U.S. general or Israel’s ill-timed announcement of settlement construction in East Jerusalem.
When discussing the U.S.-Israel relationship, the acceptable discourse may have fundamentally changed when Petraeus publicly made the linkage between U.S. interests and Israel’s settlement policy (reiterated again in Vanity Fair).
While some U.S. supporters of Israel, such as Foxman, have worked many years to prevent the discourse from including talk of “linkages,” Petraeus has let that point of debate out of the bag.
Try as he might, Foxman may now find it impossible to erase linkages from the discussion over what sort of relationship the U.S. should have with Israel.
How The Anti-Defamation League Turned the Notion of Human Rights on Its Head, Spying on Progressives and Funneling Information to Law Enforcement
By Robert I. Friedman The Village Voice, May 11, 1993, Vol. XXXVIII No. 19
ROY BULLOCK wanted to be a spy since he was a teenager in Indiana
and read “I Led Three Lives,” Herbert Philbrick’s Cold War saga of
penetrating the Communist Party for the FBI. Philbrick had become
an American folk hero in the 1950s for building dossiers on
unsuspecting colleagues. It was a time when Hollywood produced more
than 30 films portraying the informer as the quintessential
American patriot. In Boston, where Philbrick led three lives as an
FBI informant, Communist Party member, and private citizen, the
mayor even proclaimed a Herbert Philbrick Day and presented the spy
with a plaque.
“And then he leans forward and says, ‘The right-wing isn’t the
problem. The left-wing is the problem. The Soviet Union is the
biggest problem in the world for Jews. It’s the American left that
is the biggest threat to American Jews. You’re on the wrong track.
You’re part of the problem.’ We were stunned. I was virtually in
tears. This is not how I perceived myself. We basically stumbled
out of there in a daze.”
Police Raid ADL in 1993 because of their Rampant Nazi Tactics and Anti-Semitism
By Dan Evans San Francisco Examiner
This is the first of a two-part series on the hidden workings of the Anti-Defamation League and how three Bay Area activists were able to uncover a spy operation that reached into the San Francisco Police Department. Today: Paper trail of deceit.
By Dan Evans San Francisco Examiner 4-2-2
Locked in a nondescript computer database, a shadowy operative named Roy Bullock kept file upon file on liberal San Francisco Jews who disagreed with Israeli policies.
The files included Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, phone numbers and group memberships. Some of the information was sold to foreign governments, including Israeli and South African intelligence groups.
Shockingly, Bullock was in the employ of a civil rights group whose motto is “fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry and extremism”: the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Numerous targets of the ADL — who drew parallels to COINTELPRO, the FBI’s tainted domestic surveillance program — say the profiling and covert activities continue to this day.
“They are continuing to gather facts,” said Abdeen Jabara, a Manhattan attorney and former president of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “That, of course, is a euphemism for what we say is private spying.”
Not only were liberal Jews a target, but information also was kept on labor unions, pro-Palestinian organizations, anti-apartheid groups, American Arabs and anti-Semites. After the Federal Bureau of Investigation broke the case in 1993, a number of these targets filed suit against the ADL. The last lawsuit was recently settled.
The settlement in February marked the first time any of the organization’s victims were allowed to speak out. Usually, the ADL demands plaintiffs keep quiet as a condition of any settlement.
Without those constraints, victims Jeffrey Blankfort, Steve Zeltzer and Anne Poirier are revealing the underbelly of an organization that previously had successfully shielded itself from condemnation. They are using the ADL’s own spy as a fulcrum.
Bullock’s relationship with Blankfort and Zeltzer began when he infiltrated a pro-Palestinian group started by the two, both of whom are Jewish. Once inside, Bullock collected and sold information about the two men to the ADL and, possibly the Mossad, the foreign arm of Israeli intelligence.
Although Bullock never met Poirier, he may have sold information on her organization to the South African government. The woman, who lives in Berkeley, ran a scholarship program for South African exiles in the early 1990s. During the course of her lawsuit against the ADL, she discovered the ADL’s operative had sold confidential information to a South African agent in San Francisco for $15,000.
Poirier had never done any work relating to the Middle East, and she was astounded when she found out that the ADL had kept tabs on her. During her nine-year court fight with the group, she found out more than she needed to know about its operation, and now nothing much surprises her.
“They gathered information on anti-apartheid activities,” she said, “anyone the organization felt, by definition, would be against Israel because they were too left-wing.”
A few files, so what?
The fact the ADL has a file on a group doesn’t imply clandestine activities, said San Francisco regional director Jonathan Bernstein. He resents the implication of the word spying, saying it implies people were being followed around and trailed. That simply wasn’t the case, he said, though he acknowledged he never met Bullock.
“We have files on the NAACP because we’ve done collaborative projects with them,” he said. “They probably have files on the ADL, too.”
In Bernstein’s eyes, the group’s fact-finding operations are one of its most important missions.
Much of the time, the “missions” are nothing more than gleaning information from media reports, he said. People employed by the ADL do attend public meetings to keep an eye on people, just as other journalists do.
The area’s top boss, however, repeatedly sidestepped questions on whether fact-finders employed subterfuge to get information. The fact that some of the people being watched by the ADL were Jewish was immaterial, Bernstein said.
Other civil rights groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, do similar things on a limited scale, he said.
A representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is headquartered in Birmingham, could not be reached for comment.
Because the ADL has 30 regional offices, the organization is much better equipped to ferret out anti-Semitism and other racist behavior.
“It can help us to respond to hate activity before someone gets hurt,” Bernstein said. “That’s the ultimate objective.”
But are there times when fact-finding becomes a civil rights violation?
The San Francisco office of the American Civil Liberties Union, a group one might expect to have a dim view on the tactics employed by the ADL, refused to comment on the group’s fact-finding activities. Nor would spokeswoman Rachel Swain give a reason for the silence.
Groups have been saying for years that the ADL isn’t the civil rights organization it claims to be, but no one has been listening. Mostly, it’s because those groups have been thinly-veiled anti-Semites, such as the Liberty Lobby, or hate groups such as White Aryan Resistance and the KKK.
But, as vile as some of these groups are, there is a significant amount of evidence that their vitriol is not unfounded. For at least four decades, the ADL continuously has tracked and spied on groups it considers not only a threat to the Jewish community, but to the state of Israel.
Hussein Ibish certainly thinks so. Ibish is the spokesman for the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee — an organization that is, in many ways, the Arab counterpart to the ADL. Though certainly at odds with many Israeli policies, the ADC is not anti-Semitic, and plays a rather moderate role.
“Was the ADL spying on people?” asked Ibish, quickly answering his own question. “Certainly in San Francisco they were. We know they were engaging in illegal activities to gain information. They, and their operatives, were working hand-in-glove with South African intelligence and Israeli intelligence.”
Meet Mr. Spy
By his own admission, Bullock had been working off the books as a fact-finder for the ADL since the mid-1960s. He would infiltrate not only openly anti-Semitic groups, but also pro-Palestinian and anti-apartheid organizations, usually under false pretenses. Bullock, who is not Jewish, would then pass that information along to the ADL.
He received information about his targets from former San Francisco Police Inspector Tom Gerard, who fled to the Philippines after being indicted in 1994 for illegal use of a police computer. Gerard’s current whereabouts are unknown.
Bullock, who no longer does undercover work for the organization, declined to be interviewed for this article.
Nobody could have known about the extent of Bullock’s surveillance, if police had not seized his computer database in April 1993. It contained thousands of files on liberal Jewish San Franciscans, Arab-Americans, anti-apartheid activists, anti-Semitic groups, and plain ol’ white racists.
On April 8, 1993, armed with this information, police in San Francisco and Los Angeles searched the ADL offices in those two cities. In San Francisco, roughly 10 banker’s boxes of information — 75 percent of which officers said was illegally obtained — were seized.
A majority of data in those boxes confirmed police suspicions that it had come from Bullock’s computer. On that computer was information on 9,876 people, including 1,394 driver’s licenses. The files were divided into five categories: “Pinko,” “Right,” Arabs,” “Skins,” and “ANC,” the last standing for African National Congress.
Bullock also told the FBI that he had information on various labor groups. These groups included: the San Francisco Labor Council, the Oakland Educators Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Irish Northern Aid, the International Indian Treaty Council and the Asian Law Caucus.
After the SFPD raid on the ADL offices, then-District Attorney Arlo Smith filed a lawsuit against the organization to stop the spying. The suit was settled that November. Though the ADL acknowledged no wrongdoing, the group agreed to stop using police to get confidential information. The league also agreed to pay $75,000 to a fund used to help stop hate crime On April 18, 1993, 19 people who Bullock kept files on sued the ADL in San Francisco Superior Court. Pete McCloskey, a former Republican congressman from San Mateo County, was the group’s attorney. His wife, Helen, was one of the original plaintiffs.
A few months later, in October, the ADC slapped its Jewish counterpart with a similar lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court. The ADC claimed the ADL passed along information on the group to the Israeli government. The ADC’s suit was settled in October 1996.
The ADL agreed to pay $175,000 toward the Arab group’s legal costs. The ADL also agreed to contribute $25,000 to a foundation, administered by the ADL and the ADC, dedicated to improving relations between Jews and Arabs. The ADL was able to deny all wrongdoing.
The McCloskey case, however, would drag on. The main point of contention in that case was whether the ADL could be considered a journalistic enterprise, a point won in court by the ADL.
The ADL publishes hundreds of newsletters, papers and books on a wide range of subjects, attorney David Goldstein said. As with any other journalistic enterprise, it contended it was not required to release its confidential information or sources.
After a 1998 ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal, giving the ADL journalistic protection, 14 of the remaining 17 plaintiffs — two had died in the interim — dropped their cases against the ADL.
On Feb. 22, 2002, the ADL settled with Blankfort, Zeltzer and Poirier.
What held up the process, said McCloskey, was his clients’ refusal to sign a confidentially agreement. The three felt they had been viciously wronged, he said, and wanted to publicize that fact.
With the settlement, each of the three plaintiffs received about $50,000. None of the three, or McCloskey, believes the ADL will stop their spying ways.
“It was settled partially out of fatigue,” said the attorney. “Everyone figured it might be best if we all just moved on.”
Even if the case had continued, said Goldstein, there is a debate over how much the three plaintiffs could prove they had been injured. Most of the contested information consisted of Social Security and driver’s license numbers, which are hardly difficult items to find.
Nine years later, McCloskey is still angry about the case and wants the federal government to revoke the group’s tax-exempt status.
Since they obviously are working in conjunction with the Israeli government, he said, they should register as such. Referring to themselves as an education group, said the attorney, is simply a sham.
Abe Foxman is losing it because the American Jews are awakening from his Zionazi mind control
J Street: The New Israel Lobby
First Posted: 09-13-09 10:06 AM | Updated: 11-13-09 05:12 AM
New York Times:
In July, President Obama met for 45 minutes with leaders of American Jewish organizations. All presidents meet with Israel’s advocates. Obama, however, had taken his time, and powerhouse figures of the Jewish community were grumbling; Obama’s coolness seemed to be of a piece with his willingness to publicly pressure Israel to freeze the growth of its settlements and with what was deemed his excessive solicitude toward the plight of the Palestinians. During the July meeting, held in the Roosevelt Room, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told Obama that “public disharmony between Israel and the U.S. is beneficial to neither” and that differences “should be dealt with directly by the parties.” The president, according to Hoenlein, leaned back in his chair and said: “I disagree. We had eight years of no daylight” — between George W. Bush and successive Israeli governments — “and no progress.”
New Jewish Lobby Seeks to Redefine “Pro-Israel”
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Apr 15, 2008 (IPS) – A new group of prominent U.S. Jews who believe that the so-called “Israel Lobby” has been dominated for too long by neo-conservatives and other Likud-oriented hawks has launched a new organisation to help fund political candidates who favour a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a stronger U.S. role in achieving it.
Almost two years in the making, the “J Street” project plans to spend some 1.5 million dollars – about half of which has been pledged to date – in its first year of operation, a portion of which will go to supporting half a dozen Congressional campaigns for candidates who share its pro-peace and pro-Israel views.
“For too long, the loudest American voices on Israel have come from the far right,” noted Jeremy Ben-Ami, a founder and director of both J Street and its political-action affiliate, JStreetPac.
IPS Correspondents around the world talk to The Real News –the independent Internet-based television channel-about the story behind their stories.
“Those voices have claimed that the only way to be pro-Israel is to support military responses to political problems, to refuse to engage one’s adversaries in dialogue and to put off the day of reckoning when hard compromises will be required to achieve a peaceful and secure future for Israel and the entire Middle East,” he told reporters via teleconference Tuesday.
“These are not the kind of smart, tough views that serve the long-term interests of the state of Israel, of the United States – or frankly, the American Jewish community,” he added.
The new project has been endorsed by some two dozen prominent Israelis, including three former directors of Israel’s foreign ministry, a former chief of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) General Staff, a former commander of the Israeli air force and several other top former top military and intelligence officers.
“Now more than ever, true friendship requires strong American leadership and engagement to move the sides toward a comprehensive two-state solution,” the Israeli leaders wrote in a letter to J Street’s founders. “With time running out, business-as-usual will not do.”
The launch of the new group, which will be led by an advisory council of 100 prominent U.S. Jewish leaders and philanthropists, is aimed primarily at challenging the longstanding dominance of several major Jewish lobby organisations, particularly the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose leadership has generally opposed substantial Israeli concessions in negotiations with Palestinians and Israel’s other Arab neighbours.
AIPAC, which is widely seen as Washington’s most powerful foreign policy lobby, has forged strong ties with both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill where it has long claimed to represent the foreign policy views of the vast majority of U.S. Jews.
Although Jews make up only about two percent of the U.S. population, they provide up to 40 percent of total campaign contributions for Democratic candidates and up to 20 percent for Republican candidates.
AIPAC has also cultivated alliances with prominent right-wing Christian Zionists, such as John Hagee, the Texas televangelist who keynoted AIPAC’s annual convention last year. Among other positions, Hagee has repeatedly denounced any consideration by the Israeli government to giving up parts of Jerusalem as part of any peace settlement with the Palestinians. He has also urged President George W. Bush to attack Iran.
Those alliances have created growing discomfort within the larger U.S. Jewish community which, in any event, tends to hold less hawkish views about Israel and its relations with its neighbours than those urged by AIPAC and other more-rightwing national Jewish institutions, according to recent surveys of Jewish opinion by the American Jewish Committee.
Indeed, earlier this month, Eric Yoffie, the president of the influential Union of Reform Judaism, called on Jews to disassociate themselves from Hagee and his organisation, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Several days later, seven past chairmen of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, another major national group whose leadership has moved increasingly to the right, defended Hagee as a “true friend of Israel” and CUFI as “among the strongest supporters of Israel in the United States” in a letter to the New York Times.
Founders of J Street, however, clearly question the notion that AIPAC, CUFI, and other organisations that oppose substantial territorial or other concessions by Israel as part of any peace process are indeed strong supporters of Israel, particularly at a time when most experts say the chances for a two-state solution that would preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state are diminishing.
“For the sake of Israel, the United States and the world, it is time for American political discourse to re-engage with reality,” wrote Ben-Ami, whose grandparents were among the founders of Tel Aviv and whose father was a militant in the right-wing Revisionist Movement, in a column published Tuesday by the Jewish national daily, The Forward.
“Voices of reason need to reclaim what it means to be pro-Israel and to establish in American political discourse that Israel’s core security interest is to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and to define once and for all permanent, internationally-recognised borders.”
“We need to have a much more robust discussion in this country about what it means to be pro-Israel,” said Victor Kovner, a former Corporation Counsel of New York City and a member of the group’s advisory council.
“Many of us have been frustrated to say the least at the presumption held by so many…that, because we are active in the Jewish community, we are somehow supportive of AIPAC and those who have pursued right-wing agendas. I don’t support AIPAC; I support a different vision of the Middle East, and, in creating J Street, I think we will make that position clear.”
In its policy positions, J Street calls for territorial compromises with the Palestinians based largely on the 1967 borders with reciprocal land swaps and the division of Jerusalem. The group also favours strong U.S. support for Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations and direct, high-level U.S. talks with Iran to address all issues of mutual concern, including ending Iranian opposition to Arab-Israeli peace efforts and its support for armed anti-Israel groups in Palestine and Lebanon.
“There is no way that Israel as a Sparta is going to be in the interests of the Israeli or American people,” noted Sam Lewis, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel who helped negotiate the 1978 Camp David Accords with Egypt under the Jimmy Carter administration.
“The threats to Israel are real, but the way to go after those threats is to bring about different kinds of dialogue and negotiation than we’ve seen recently,” said Lewis, who also serves on the J Street’s advisory council.
While the group’s goal of 1.5 million dollars in the first year is a fraction of AIPAC’s 50-million-dollar annual budget, supporters stressed that this is just the beginning.
“Most Americans and most Jewish Americans support the two-state solution and are tired of having a Likud-oriented lobby speaking in their name,” said M.J. Rosenberg, an analyst at the Israel Policy Forum. “Let’s see what happens but I think this could be big.”