Yesterday, the ADL issued a guide to help us errant Jews understand who are our true haters. It is titled “From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming the Hate,” and it profiles 36 (double chai!) prominent individuals who are either known for their anti-Semitism or known for cozying up to people known for their anti-Semitism. As long, of course, as they’re on the right.
Looking for social justice warriors who kick Jews out of their marches? Prominent progressive activists who think you can’t be both a Zionist and a feminist? Professors who believe Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks? Don’t bother the ADL by arguing that Jew hatred is as rampant on the left as it is on the right, if not more.
Why the double standard? Why focus on one end of the political spectrum and ignore the other? Todd Gutnick, the ADL’s Senior Director of Communications, said his organization “will continue to put out reports on the wide range of extremist threats, as well as those involved in anti-Israel activity.” He also added that the organization’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, a former assistant to Barack Obama, has spoken out before about the left’s growing anti-Semitism problem. But reporting on the right, Gutnick said, “felt timely and necessary. These groups have been holding a number of public rallies recently and our Center on Extremism has been tracking their activities. As more of the individuals in these movements attempt to move into the mainstream, we felt it was crucial to understand their ideas and to share their statements.”
It’s a strange argument. Is Andrew Anglin, who runs the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer, more mainstream than Linda Sarsour? Are KKK rallies in Virginia better attended or more prominent than leftist anti-Jewish marches in Chicago? Of course they’re not. Why, then, the systemic focus on the alt-right? I pressed Gutnick for an answer; I never heard back.
It’s a shame. As Jews face real hate from left and right alike, we need and deserve an organization that places principles over politics.