I’ve been labeled everything from a tool of the international Zionist conspiracy to Israel’s best friend to “the Arabian Knight” to “a righteous gentile.”
I am asked to speak to more Jewish audiences, including many chapters of the B’nai B’rith, both in the U.S. and Canada, than Christian audiences, even though I am an Arab-American Christian.
I’m a former columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and my coverage and analysis of the Middle East has been hailed by Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as thousands of other prominent Jewish leaders in Israel and the U.S.
Nevertheless, the ADL is after me and my news organization.
In case you don’t know what the ADL stands for, it is the Anti-Defamation League – formerly known as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. It was founded, the group’s website explains, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”
Now, the group, which bills itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights–human relations agency,” claims to fight “anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry” and defend democratic ideals and civil rights for all.
So, why would the ADL go after me?
“Since the election of Barack Obama as president, a current of anti-government hostility has swept across the United States, creating a climate of fervor and activism with manifestations ranging from incivility in public forums to acts of intimidation and violence,” the group explains in its latest special report. “What characterizes this anti-government hostility is a shared belief that Obama and his administration actually pose a threat to the future of the United States. Some accuse Obama of plotting to bring socialism to the United States, while others claim he will bring about Nazism or fascism. All believe that Obama and his administration will trample on individual freedoms and civil liberties, due to some sinister agenda, and they see his economic and social policies as manifestations of this agenda. In particular, anti-government activists used the issue of health-care reform as a rallying point, accusing Obama and his administration of dark designs ranging from ‘socialized medicine’ to ‘death panels,’ even when the Obama administration had not come out with a specific health-care reform plan. Some even compared the Obama administration’s intentions to Nazi eugenics programs.”
Well, to the aforementioned, I plead guilty.
If that’s the new definition of anti-Semitism in America, I guess I am one.
But I won’t be lonely, according to the ADL’s sweeping indictment of what has become popular American opinion.
Anyone who participated in a tea party is one also.
Anyone who got raucous at a town-hall meeting is one, too.
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., is one for shouting “You lie” to the president – even though he apologized and even though he was right in his initial statement.
Glenn Beck is one for “raising anxiety about and distrust towards the government.”
But, as for me, my biggest “hate crime” appears to be the fact that I have continued to ask a question that few others in the media have been willing to ask – “Where’s the birth certificate?”
Did you know that is, according to the ADL, a sign of being a hatemonger and an anti-Semite?
It’s also an expression of “anti-government hostility or anger” and serves to proliferate “anti-government conspiracy theories.”
“One of the newest such theories, the so-called ‘birther’ movement, which rapidly spread during and after the 2008 election campaign, targeted Obama himself,” the ADL special report states. “‘Birthers’ claim that Obama is not a legitimate president because he allegedly was not born in the United States (as the Constitution requires), but rather in Kenya. Especially disturbing are the mainstream media figures and politicians who implicitly or explicitly endorse the ‘birther’ conspiracy theory, or refuse to condemn it. Two attorneys, Philip Berg of Pennsylvania and Orly Taitz of California, have been particularly active in spreading the ‘birther’ arguments, as has an on-line right-wing newspaper, World Net Daily (sic).”
Of course, no one at WND to my knowledge has ever said Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. or suggested he was born in Kenya. What I have done, both through my commentaries and our news reporting, is to look for evidence and to ask Obama to provide it – as the Constitution clearly requires. Simply being born in the U.S., by the way, does not necessarily fulfill the constitutional requirement of “natural born citizenship.”
But I digress.
I’m not here to defend myself. I’m here to plead guilty to being very suspicious of government – even cynical at times.
By the way, has anyone pointed out to the ADL that is precisely the role of a free press in a free society?
Maybe they missed that. Maybe they are too busy looking for anti-Semites under their beds to have forgotten the First Amendment protections of the press were specifically written and ratified by the founders because they were as suspicious of government as I am – maybe even more so. It’s a good thing the ADL wasn’t around back then. Otherwise, we’d still be subjects of the British Crown – and already be enjoying the benefits of socialized medicine.
So, where do I turn myself in for the show trial?