How can we expect the ADL to effectively defend the rights of Jews when they so easily step on the rights of Arabs?
Avigdor Lieberman now heads Yisrael Beytenu, the third largest party in Israel, and is likely to be a minister in a new Israeli government.
On February 10, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Abe Foxman defended Lieberman's plan, despite the fact that "Some liberal Israeli and Jewish groups have condemned Lieberman as a fascist - the left-wing Meretz Party even compared him to the late far-right Austrian politician Joerg Haider - for his proposal to require Israeli Arab citizens to sign an oath of allegiance to the Jewish state." (1)
Instead of defending Lieberman, the ADL should be condemning him.
Why should the Anti-Defamation League condemn Lieberman?
Avigdor Lieberman led the drive in Israel's Central Election Committee to have Arab political parties banned from running in the most recent election, which passed successfully and was overturned only by the Israeli Supreme Court. (2)
He has called for the expulsion of Arab Members of the Knesset, threatening them that "a new administration will be established and then we will take care of you." (3)
He has called for Arab citizens of Israel to sign an "oath of loyalty" to the state or be stripped of their citizenship. (4)
His party has been very clear about what being "loyal" means: If you are an Arab student and dare come to school wearing a kefiyah, you are "disloyal." (5)
Lieberman's party said that if you are a Muslim Israeli and collect money and medicines for Gaza relief, you are "disloyal." (6)
If Lieberman's plan is put into place, if you do not meet his standards of loyalty, you lose all the rights of a citizen; you lose the right to vote; and you lose the right to have a political party or to run for office - that is, the right to participate in Israel's political process.
Is this what the ADL stands for?
It is ironic that the ADL understands as anti-Semitic the accusations of dual loyalty hurled against Jews in the US and elsewhere, but remains unconcerned about similar accusations against Arab Israelis.
Remind Abe Foxman that his organization was founded "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all" - and that all means all, including Arab Israelis.
Click here to sign the letter to Abe Foxman.
(1) Back in 2006, the ADL condemned Lieberman's call to execute Arab legislators. But today, Abe Foxman defends Lieberman's loyalty oath.
(5) in Hebrew: http://beytenu.org.il/126/2596/article.html
(6) in Hebrew: http://beytenu.org.il/126/2345/article.html
-Thanks to Jewish Voice for Peace