Spy Vs. Spy
April 16, 1993 - Si Frumkin
Here are a few a appropriate quotes, proverbs and clichés: "People In Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones" (or the modern version "...Shouldn't Walk Around Naked" - both apply in this case); "Pride Goes Before the Fall"; What Goes Around Comes Around"; "Lo! How The Mighty Have Fallen"; "Though the Mills of God Grind Slowly, Yet They Grind Exceedingly Small"; and there are many others, but you get the idea, right?
What am I talking about? Why the ADL, of course, the Anti Defamation League of B'nai Brith, hee-hee and chuckle-chuckle. I am talking about
spying, the heinous, despicable crime that
the ADL couldn't forgive Jonathan Pollard for, and for which they denounced Jonathan again and again and again.
His sentence was not motivated by antisemitism, they said. He is a criminal and must be punished - no matter what his motives may have been. He broke the law and the Jewish community shouldn't get involved in asking for reviews, clemency, pardon, or anything else. None of us are above the law, they said, and, voila, just look what happened to the sanctimonious ADL, the holier-than-thou, and certainly holier than Jonathan Pollard, Anti-Defamation League: a national scandal, front pages of major newspapers, dozens of lawsuits, all because it stands accused of, guess what, yes, yes,
And so, hee-hee, and chuckle-chuckle, and maybe even tsk-tsk, at how the mighty have fallen.
We mustn't forget that
the ADL was one of only two remaining major Jewish organizations that opposed any efforts on Pollard's behalf. Never mind that B'nai Brith members all over the country voted overwhelmingly for helping Pollard, that officers of the B'nai Brith openly spoke and lobbied on Pollard's behalf; never mind all those messages from the grass roots, from the members who ostensibly control the ADL,
Foxman, ADL's czar, knew better than all that rabble, he wouldn't have anyone tell him how to run his little kingdom, and so, the ADL wouldn't be budged towards compassion and understanding.
How strangely appropriate that it is now the ADL that needs compassion and understanding!
By the way,
the other organization that refused to have anything to do with helping Jonathan Pollard is the America Jewish Congress. There is little point in discussing the AJ congress; after all, when you consider that this is a
Jewish organization that sued
not to have a Chanukah menorah in a park in Beverly Hills, there is very little left to be said.
I have no sympathy with most of the people the ADL spied on - former Congressman Pete McCloskey is far from being one of my favorite people, neither are the various nazis, klansman, Arab activists or other such slime. I wonder, however, what they did with all the files that accumulated over the last 20 years or so, during which they had inveigled a former president of the L.A. Jewish Federation Council to launder ADL's money to pay an informant whom they didn't want to be shown on ADL's roster of employees.
There have been quite a few instances of antisemitic vandalism throughout the country each year and while the incidents are catalogued, evaluated and distributed as lists and percentages by the ADL, I do not believe that the organization has done anything to prevent them from taking place.
Let me put it another way: if your synagogue - or your home - was the target of antisemites, would you call the ADL or the Jewish Defense League? My advice would be to call the later.
Which brings me to the other point, one that doesn't provoke me to chuckles or snickers, but rather to a great deal of anger. It seems that the ADL wasn't just spying on the nazis and terrorists, they were spying on fellow Jews as well, among them the Jewish Defense League. In fact, I was told that in one instance the ADL turned over its JDL files to Federal authorities.
This is despicable and inexcusable - there can be no excuse for Jewish organizations, supported and existing on contributions from Jews, to spy on other Jewish organizations, no matter how disagreeable their ideas may be to the spymasters. In fact, it is entirely possible, maybe even probable, that the ADL has compiled a file on the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews - myself and L.A. City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who was our executive director in his pre-politician days - we too were outside the Establishment and some of our methods may have also been offensive to the purer than pure ADL machers.
Hannah Aredni, who confronted and judged the banality of evil in all its guises, probably said it best: "..Hypocrisy is the vice of vices ... (the) criminal confronts us with radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."
ADL Will Make Compensation For Alleged Spy Activity