After the predictable and justified backlash, Mr. Foxman sought to explain. He claimed: (1) that the ADL’s position was all about sensitivity to the families of the 9/11 victims (let’s leave to the side the fact that a mosque in the WTC was destroyed on 9/11 and that dozens of Muslims were killed in the attack); (2) that the ADL has often protected the civil rights of Muslims (which is true); and (3) that the ADL “supports the building of mosques, like churches and synagogues, just about anywhere in the country”. Just about anywhere!
would should a mosque or an Islamic Community Center near the site of 9/11 threaten the sensitivities of the victims’ families, unless we blame Muslims as Muslims for 9/11? And we don’t, do we, Mr. Foxman? Right? (An article in Salon makes a similar point).
Contrast Mr. Foxman’s un-American and frankly un-Jewish stance with the approach of Mayor Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg, remember, grew up in Medford, and in order to buy their home, the Bloombergs had to use a straw man to make the purchase, because as Jews they could not buy in the neighborhood. Mayor Bloomberg knows the feelings of the stranger. He gave an emotional speech standing up for the rights of New York’s Muslims, over fierce and misguided political opposition.
What makes this whole mess worse, for us in New England, is that the ADL’s new regional director, Derrek Shulman, lacks the courage of his predecessor, Mr. Tarsy, to do what’s right in the face of Abe Foxman’s misguided ineptitude. In the Globe, Mr. Shulman more or less toed the party line.
Attention ADL! You are alienating your base! During the Armenian afair, Mr. Foxman candidly admitted, in response to criticism from an Israeli questioner: “I don’t represent you nor the Jewish community! I represent the donors.” Better start paying attention to what Jewish Americans actually think instead of catering to the major donors of the last generation.