Mattot Arim calls out the veteran group that fights antisemitism for leaping to publicly condemn “Jewish extremists’ violence” without proof of the perpetrators’ identities.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
A veteran American Jewish organization with the mission is to fight antisemitism may instead be contributing to it, according to right-wing Israeli NGO Mattot Arim.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Jewish “settlers” — residents of Judea and Samaria — for allegedly beating Jewish left-wing activists and Palestinians near the Arab town of Burin in Samaria on Sunday.
In video clips posted on social media, assailants can be seen hitting at least one person in a field with a long stick or bar, throwing rocks, and setting a car on fire. A woman is later shown with a bandaged and bloodied head.
Left-wing activists who were on the scene immediately blamed “extremist settlers” from the nearby outpost of Givat Ronen for the violence, although none were recognized and they had fled before police and army personnel arrived on the scene.
In an interview with World Israel News (WIN), Mattot Arim said they reached out to the ADL after learning that the organization had assumed the leftists’ accusations were proven facts.
“We strongly condemn today’s violent assault by Israeli Jewish extremists against Palestinians and Israeli activists,” ADL-USA tweeted. It also demanded that “Israeli law enforcement must do more to protect these groups, and work to apprehend the extremists responsible for this and past incidents.”
We strongly condemn today’s violent assault by Israeli Jewish extremists against Palestinians and Israeli activists. Israeli law enforcement must do more to protect these groups, and work to apprehend the extremists responsible for this and past incidents. https://t.co/zny07dCZr2
— ADL (@ADL) January 21, 2022
In fact, the Israeli police immediately opened an investigation of the incident.
“The biased ADL tweet was re-tweeted at least 70 times, often by other, usually local, ADL-USA officials,” Mattot Arim told WIN. “This contributes to the tweet’s perceived authenticity.
“This media snowball is particularly disturbing because the ADL is in the habit of saying that they have ‘unquestioned credibility because our actions are grounded in research.’ But the story promoted by ADL-USA lacks substantiation.
“The police certainly do not know who the perpetrators are if they themselves admit they weren’t even there…. Nor do the footage or the photos, distributed by radical left groups, show clearly who did what and why,” Mattot Arim said.
According to Mattot Arim, context is everything.
On Tuesday, the ADL headed several other American progressive-Jewish groups in denouncing the “ongoing terrorism by Jewish Israeli extremists,” and calling for the Israeli government to “confront” the “growing threat.”
However, “just last month, the L.A. Times reported that there were 359 homicides in Los Angeles – a city of four million people – in 2021. So proportionally, you’d expect the half-million Jewish settlers in Israel to commit over 40 murders a year, which they don’t,” Mattot Arim spokesperson Susie Dym told WIN.
“Did the ADL, whose L.A. branch re-tweeted the post about Israel, come out and strongly condemn each of the hundreds of violent assaults in the city this past year, or write to the White House? Of course not. Did ADL say that Los Angeles law enforcement must do more, and must work to apprehend the extremists responsible for this? Of course not.
“But the ADL did say this about Israel. That is why we charge that the ADL is not fighting Jew-hatred – it’s directly causing Jew-hatred, hatred of Israeli Jews, which immediately turns into hatred of all other Jews,” Dym said.
Disproportionately singling out Israel for opprobrium is an act of antisemitism, as is delegitimizing it and holding the country to double standards, according to former Israeli minister and Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky.
“We expect a well-funded group like the ADL to notice, and to point out, that campaigns about ‘settler violence’ are antisemitic,” Dym said. “Judea-Samaria Jewish crime rates aren’t zero. We all wish they were. But we expect the ADL to point out that no one has ever proved that the Jews in Judea-Samaria are more violent than Americans or Europeans or Egyptians or Brazilians or Chinese or any other group.
“Moreover,” she added, “‘Hatzalah without Borders’ published that in the month of December, there were 311 violent stoning attacks against Jews in Judea-Samaria. The ADL ignored these attacks 311 times.
“When Yehuda Dimentman was murdered by a terrorist that month, ADL-Israel, a minor branch of the ADL, did condemn this, but the major branch of the organization, in America, did not say one word.
“We feel that ADL-USA has gone wrong in this way as well; they are biased against the Jews. Hit someone with a stick or burn a car, ADL-USA tweets against you. Kill somebody – Jewish – and they don’t. That’s biased against Jews, and it’s wrong.”