BY MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS SEPTEMBER 06 2023
Once the foremost authority on the prevention of anti-Semitism in the country, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has become a joke to anyone to the ideological right of Bernie Sanders. For years, the ADL has undermined its own credibility by becoming another tool in the Left’s political arsenal under the leadership of CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. This time, they’ve stepped on one too many toes in their quest to cleanse the world of dissenting opinions, and they’ve gotten on the radar of the richest man in the world.
This past weekend, the ADL was called out on X (formerly Twitter) for their propensity to side against Jews in favor of compliance with the Leftist agenda. The most prevalent examples of this are their insistence that any criticism of George Soros is considered anti-Semitism because Soros is technically a Jew and their attacks on Chaya Raichik. Raichik, for those who don’t know, is an Orthodox woman from Brooklyn behind the massively successful LibsOfTikTok social media account, which reposts videos that people on the Left make of themselves on various social media platforms, primarily TikTok. For this, the ADL labels Raichik as “anti-LGBTQ+” and blames her for when people are harassed.
Replying to a comment about this, Elon Musk said, “ADL has pushed hard for us to shut down accounts like Chaya’s, even though it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, which is their supposed charter!” This began an avalanche of communication between Musk and a variety of accounts in which Musk has claimed that the ADL has been going around to advertisers on X claiming that it is an anti-Semitic company and X has lost ten percent of its advertising revenue directly because of the ADL. Musk is willing to publicly reveal all communication between X and the ADL and is heavily hinting at suing the ADL for defamation. Based on Musk’s posts about the topic, the damages he’s looking for from the ADL range from $4 billion to $22 billion.
“To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism,” Musk wrote, “it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League… Oh, the irony!”
This post set off many liberal Jews on X. Journalist Howard Lovy said, “A common tactic used by anti-Semites for thousands of years is to blame Jews for anti-Semitism. This is nothing new. We’ve seen this before.” That is indicative of the general liberal take on Musk – his posts about the ADL are anti-Semitic because the ADL is synonymous with Judaism. Obviously, this is nonsense, but that is how the Left will circle the wagons around one of their own.
On the Right, many Jewish and non-Jewish commentators are delighted with how this is shaping up. Raichik wrote, “Elon is going to expose them like never before,” and, “Things are about to get wild.” Rabbi Michael Barclay, writing for PJ Media, said, “G-d Bless Elon Musk for Calling Out the Anti-Semitic ADL.”
The biggest issue with calling out what is going on at the ADL, regardless of how correct their critics are, is that you are, by nature, in the same “camp” as actual anti-Semites. The ADL targets accounts for banning by social media, and every so often those accounts have made actual hateful statements towards the Jewish people. Musk’s issue with the ADL is that he is pro-free speech with a basic philosophy of “if it’s legal, it should be allowed.” There are types of speech that are not legal, like actual threats of violence and incitements, and those are the accounts that Musk agrees should be banned. However, the rabbit hole of banning “hate speech” ends up backfiring and causes far more harm than good for society.
These actual anti-Semites that the ADL targets are delighted with Musk’s declaration of war, more so than those who are sick of the ADL’s devotion to the Leftist agenda. The Left, in their counterattack on Musk and those who applaud his devotion to free speech, conflate all ADL critics into one group: actual anti-Semites. This is the tightrope that Musk and those who want to see the ADL change direction have to walk.
No one should be accused of Jew-hatred for simply pointing out that the ADL is no longer the organization it once was since Greenblatt took over. During his tenure, the ADL has embraced Al Sharpton, pushed against anti-BDS legislation, created woke definitions for simple words, and hired radically Left activists that accuse Jews of being inherently racist.
By drawing the ire of the world’s wealthiest man, the ADL has two choices. They can call upon every favor they have on the Left to go to legal war, or they can work to right the ship. The former could bankrupt them, but the latter means massive organizational changes, starting with the firing of Greenblatt and the hiring of someone who actually cares about Jewish issues. There are more than enough Jews who are qualified for that job.
If the ADL is smart, they’ll choose the latter. History has shown that they won’t.