by Eli Clifton
An internal Anti-Defamation League (ADL) document acquired by LobeLog shows the 103-year-old group, founded “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all,” grouping “U.S. Civil Rights Organizations” under broad, and seemingly misleading, labels.
The presentation, prepared last summer by a research assistant to the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt before Greenblatt took over as CEO of the group, offers an overview of the social media outreach of 73 organizations and breaks them into five categories: “Jewish organizations,” “special interest groups,” “broader civil rights organizations,” “anti-Israel groups,” and “human rights organizations.”
Surprisingly, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group that defines itself as opposing “anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression,” and “inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights” isn’t included in the list of “Jewish organizations,” a group defined in the presentation as “committed to servicing the Jewish people and/or a cause related to Judaism.” Instead, JVP is listed as an “anti-Israel group,” which the presentation describes as supporting “anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and/or pro-Palestinian efforts.”
Indeed, the ADL labeled JVP as “anti-Israel” in the past, citing as evidence the group’s efforts to end U.S. aid for Israel and its support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
When presented with the document, JVP Media Coordinator Naomi Dann told LobeLog:
This is a classic example of the ADL’s attempt to define what is in the interest of the Jewish people, in an effort to maintain control over a narrative about Israel that is out of touch with reality. Jewish Voice For Peace is one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations. The fact that the ADL refuses to see human rights for Palestinians as in the interest of the Jewish people is a clear indication of their disconnect from reality and a betrayal of the values they claim to represent. If working for dignity, freedom, and equality for Palestinians is “anti-Israel” then perhaps the ADL has some self-reflection to do.
Even more surprisingly, the presentation placed the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in the “anti-Israel” section, despite NIAC never taking a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. NIAC’s only possible overlap with the ADL’s areas of interest was its work supporting the P5+1’s negotiated agreement with Iran to constrain the country’s nuclear program, an agreement that the ADL encouraged Congress to vote against.
According to the ADL’s Director of Communications Todd Glutnick, the document was “not produced or vetted by [the ADL’s] staff, and as a volunteer student research project was never intended for public dissemination.”
But Glutnick defended the positions taken by the document, telling LobeLog:
Having said that, we would not disagree with the characterization here of Jewish Voices [sic] for Peace or the National American Iranian Council [sic] as anti-Israel. We have publicly identified JVP as such in previous reports, and, if asked, would put NAIC [sic] in that category as well.
Photo: The ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt
Several readers requested that we publish the presentation. A copy can be viewed here. We have redacted the name of the author, an undergraduate student.