By Rev. Ted PikeFew familiar with the 97 year history of the Anti-Defamation League would deny its ambition to destroy the Christian/conservative right. ADL’s first great step was passing its federal hate crimes law last fall. The next stage was indicated last week by national director Abe Foxman. He said 80 million Americans are “anti-Semitic”—40 million “seriously infected” and 40 million “mildly” so.
2 Aug 10
What is Foxman’s reason for ensnaring so many in such a preposterously wide net? He is spinning a mythology that anti-Semitism in America is a “serious national problem”—one, like the “epidemic” of hate crimes, to be met with federal legislation.
Foxman is moving us toward a federal “anti-Semitism” law - probably under the expanded jurisdiction of ADL's Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. If Foxman has his way, it could become a federal hate crime to engage in speech he considers anti-Semitic: alleging Jews have too much power in government, finance, or media, as well as voicing "strong" criticism of Israel. It would also include the New Testament claim that Jews killed Christ.
To understand the future, know the past. Over the last 25 years, ADL has persuaded liberals that hate crimes had indeed escalated to the point of crisis—a crisis that only a federal hate law could cope with. ADL thinks big—the bigger the lie, the bolder ADL states it as fact.
But ADL does more than distort facts. It turns upside down the most fundamental terms and values that govern civilization.
In 1988, ADL sponsored a national competition to create a model anti-hate law for America. At the time, few outside Canada and Sweden had ever heard of a “hate crime.” From the beginning, ADL lassoed its conceptual hate crimes noose around the largest number of people. It redefined a characteristic we all possess for good or bad: “bias.” ADL blackened the reputation of all bias (except bias against Christian/conservative values). ADL made bias equivalent to “hate.” It then relentlessly conditioned police, educators, the media, etc., that prejudice and intolerance (i.e., hate) were so evil, especially when motivating a crime, that a biased criminal act should be punished with at least triple penalties.
But did hate crimes of the magnitude ADL claims really exist? No. ADL had to create its own hate crime reality. In 1990, it persuaded Congress to enact its Hate Crimes Statistics Act, empowering the federal government to require annual reporting of hate crimes from the states. ADL also instructed police in America on its twisted definitions, permitting them to report to the FBI as a “hate crime” any altercation, name-calling, or accusation which police believed was motivated by bias. As a result, ADL was able to “document” about 7500 hate crimes annually. At least 95 percent were never determined to be an actual crime in a court of law. Even when so ludicrously inflated, such “crimes” constitute 1/15 th of 1 percent of actual, documented annual crime in America.
Yet the sleight of hand worked. After sensitizing America to the threat of “hate,” and stacking up an annual 7500 “hate crimes,” ADL was able to dramatize the “epidemic” of hate enough to put President Obama’s signature on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2010.
The federal hate law now exalts homosexuals, Jews, blacks, Muslims and women with preferential rights to federal hate crimes protection. The only reason the hate law has not been implemented with the kind of persecutive force felt in Canada, Sweden, and Australia is that the Christian/conservative right (very largely educated by the National Prayer Network over the past 20 years) has at last made hate laws an extremely volatile issue. Indeed, this issue could unseat Democrats in November. Nevertheless, ADL’s federal law pulsates in its potential to persecute Christians and conservatives as soon as the time is favorable.
ADL doesn’t want to wait. Ever proactive, ADL now wants the public to believe that the potential hate crime of anti-Semitism pervades America especially among Christians and conservatives. To this end, Foxman began his latest video with the biggest lie he could muster: that 45 years ago, one of three Americans was “seriously infected” with anti-Semitism. That’s nearly 65 million people! This incredibly audacious lie is to confirm ADL’s constant assertion that America has a long and stubborn history of Jew hatred residing in the "extremist" right - bigotry which ADL and its 45 state hate laws helped subdue. Foxman implies that with 80 million anti-Semites in America today, we must more than ever depend on ADL.
In 1965, when a third of Americans were supposedly anti-Semitic, I was a freshman in college. In my entire life to that time, outside of our family, I cannot remember hearing Israel or Jews criticized. Forty-five years ago, Israel was riding a titanic wave of popularity—practically the whole western world unconditionally cheered its “miraculous” rebirth. Israel was not criticized for its terrorist expropriation of 800,000 Palestinians in 1948 or any of its actions in the 1967 or 1973 wars against the Arabs. Except for its participation in the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon, there was almost no worldwide criticism of Israel’s saturation bombing of 19,500 innocent refugees in southern Lebanon. Not until Sharon’s brutal invasion of the West Bank in 2002 did world opinion significantly rise against Israel. It has especially escalated since the 2009 siege of Gaza, and recently, its terrorist raid on the "Free Gaza" flotilla, killing nine activists.
In 1965, there did exist a small minority of opinion critical of Jewish supremacism, largely subsisting off earlier information provided by voices such as Winston Churchill, Charles Lindberg, Father Coughlin, Gerald L. K. Smith, and Elizabeth Dilling. The largest emerging anti-Zionist voice came fromLiberty Lobby out of Washington, DC. Yet such relatively underground dissent did not translate into any appreciable degree of popular criticism of Jews or Israel. Where does Foxman, then, get his figure of 1 in 3 Americans at that time being “seriously infected” with anti-Semitism? It comes from the same place he gets his assertion that 80 million Americans are Jew haters—his creativity as a liar. Such incredible prevarication springs from his desire to condition the American public that anti-Semitism, like hate crimes, is now a much greater national epidemic than anyone imagined. Foxman, a primary architect of the federal hate bill knows exactly what he is doing—what works.
With great forethought, he thus defines in his latest video that anti-Semitism is belief in the New Testament account that the Jews had Christ killed —implicating as anti-Semites all Bible-believing Christians worldwide. Foxman claims that, from the time of the church fathers, the charge that Jews were “Christ-killers” has been a homicidally destructive feature of Christianity. It, more than anything else, has provided fuel for the ovens of Dachau and Auschwitz. In his book, Never Again: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, Foxman says of European Christians what he largely still believes about many Bible-believing Christians today: “...the political and social atmosphere in which the persecution and killing of millions of Jews could be seen as broadly acceptable could not have existed without the tacit acceptance of the Christian churches, as well as the ingrained anti-Semitism of 20 centuries of dogma, doctrine and preaching that demonized Jews.” He quotes Elie Wiesel, “…the killings could not have happened without the sins of millions of Christians, sins of commission as well as sins of omission.” (pg. 94)
Foxman contends that Christianity’s anti-Semitism is so intrinsic that belief in a literal interpretation of the New Testament remains a potent threat to the Jewish people. Thus, Christianity’s capacity to create more Holocausts won’t end until laws in every nation proscribe public proclamation of New Testament teaching, especially concerning the Jews. Such "anti-Semitism" includes Christian evangelism of Jews, which Foxman in his book says, "is inherently anti-Semitic in that it implicitly denigrates the value of Jewish belief." (pg. 138)
ADL: Anti-Semitism is a "Disease"
In Foxman’s latest video, he also insinuates that the 80 million Americans “infected” with anti-Semitism are victims of a disease. This suggests that criticism of matters Jewish is a psychiatric disorder. Foxman’s Bolshevik forbearers confined critics of Jewish communists, not just to prisons, but psychiatric hospitals. Reputable Swedish evangelists testify that under Sweden’s ADL-inspired hate law, just criticizing Jews or Israel can land you in a psychiatric hospital for up to a year of drug rehabilitation—even before trial!
I had hoped the power of the evangelical right could thwart the momentum of ADL’s federal hate law. It couldn’t—very largely because leaders of the New Right knew ADL was behind hate laws and feared being called “anti-Semitic” by criticizing a venerable Jewish “civil liberties” organization. Their fear of ADL still exceeds their fear of a Christian-persecuting Gestapo – and, I believe, their fear of a God who commands they speak the whole, undiminished truth.
ADL is now in stage two, encircling the religious right with its “noose” of accusation, negatively stereotyping Bible-believers as those who portray Jews as “Christ-killers.” Will Christian/conservative leaders still refuse to publicly acknowledge ADL’s threat to the survival of Christianity? Probably. As ADL pushes for punishment of anti-Semitism under the present federal hate law, it knows Evangelical leaders will never want to seem to be in favor of anti-Semitism by opposing such inclusion. Far from exposing and resisting ADL such leaders will doubtless continue to respond to ADL in a way that delights it and is crucial to its ultimate success.
They give ADL what it wants most from them: silence.