ADL alarmed by author speaking to Congress who links gun control and Holocaust

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern that a witness at a congressional hearing on a controversial gun bill  wrote a book arguing that gun control rendered Jews defenseless during the Holocaust.

Stephen Halbrook, who wrote “Gun Control in the Third Reich” in 2015, is set to appear Tuesday at a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. The bill would loosen controls on transporting firearms across state lines, an area that Halbrook has litigated as a prominent gun rights attorney.

“We have long been concerned about facile comparisons of gun control legislation in America to policies upheld by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s national director, said in an email to JTA. “The national debate over gun control is a divisive issue with many strong opinions. While there are legitimate arguments on both sides, the notion that Jews could have saved themselves from the Nazi onslaught is not one of them. It is historically inaccurate and deeply offensive to bring the Holocaust into this debate where it simply does not belong.”

Halbrook’s book argued that a key element in the Nazis’ repressive policies was the disarming of Nazi enemies, a theory embraced last year by the then-presidential candidate and now-Housing Secretary Ben Carson. Halbrook emphasizes in his book that gun control was not a factor leading to the Holocaust. Instead, he says, it facilitated it.

Historians of Nazi Germany have widely discredited the theory, saying that whatever restrictions on gun purchases the Nazis placed on Jews must be seen as part of the array of repressive measures Nazis imposed on Jews and not as Nazis favoring gun controls per se. In fact, the Nazis in 1938 loosened controls on gun ownership for non-Jewish Germans.

Others have questioned how Jews in Germany, who made up only 1 percent of the population, could have staged an effective rebellion against the Nazis’ military regime.

JTA was alerted to Halbrook’s scheduled appearance before the committee by Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control advocacy group founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the Jewish Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot and critically wounded by a gunman in 2011 in a deadly attack. She has since retired from Congress.

David Chipman, a senior adviser to the group, also appeared as a witness, testifying against a provision of the bill that would loosen restrictions on silencers. Its sponsor, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., says silencers protect hunters’ hearing.


White supremacist group (White Idiots) launches campus recruitment effort, says ADL

(JTA) — A group that took part in the recent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia is embarking on a yearlong recruitment campaign on college campuses, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that seeks to promote “white American culture,” is engaging in a campaign called “Project Siege,” which involves posting fliers and posters on campuses promoting its goals. The ADL, which  tracked a rise last school year in white supremacist activity on college campuses, has documented 12 campuses where the group has advertised in the new school year.

Identity Evropa led chants of  “You will not replace us” at the Charlottesville rally last month, which some rally-goers then paired with “Jews will not replace us.” Fear of “replacement” by immigrants is a major theme of European nativist movements. Identity Evropa supports a policy of “remigration” of immigrants out of the United States, and does not allow Jews as members.

In August, its members disrupted a pro-immigration forum at Miami-Dade College. During the 2016-2017 school year, the ADL reported 65 incidents of Identity Evropa materials on American college campuses.

“Identity Evropa is actively targeting campuses and their actions are extremely disruptive and unsettling to students,” said ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt. “The message is explicitly racist and anti-Semitic. They know they’re going to get a reaction when they show up on campus. Fortunately their message is near-universally rejected by students and faculty.

ADL pans Netanyahu’s son as neo-Nazis rejoice over ‘anti-Semitic’ meme

The Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday took Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son to task over a controversial meme he posted on his Facebook page that includes anti-Semitic themes, as leading white supremacists celebrated his use of the image.

The meme showed American Jewish billionaire George Soros, and a figure that resembles Nazi depictions of world Jewry as a reptilian, manipulating former prime minister Ehud Barak and two leaders of weekly protests calling on Netanyahu to step down over corruption allegations.

“The cartoon that Yair Netanyahu posted contains blatantly anti-Semitic elements,” the ADL tweeted in Hebrew. “The dangers inherent in anti-Semitic discourse should not be taken lightly.”

Netanyahu’s Friday post has been shared by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and other anti-Semites.

Leading US neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer welcomed the younger Netanyahu as one of their own Saturday, praising him for using the image.

In an article titled “Netanyahu’s Son Posts Awesome Meme Blaming the Jews for Bringing Down His Jew Father,” the website wrote, “Yair Netanyahu is a total bro.”

“Next he’s going [sic] call for gassings,” the website added.

שרשרת המזון

Posted by Yair Hun on piektdiena, 2017. gada 8. septembris

“Welcome to the club, Yair – absolutely amazing, wow, just wow,” Duke, the former KKK leader, tweeted as well as sharing media reports about the meme.

Political leaders in Israel have also lashed Yair Netanyahu for the cartoon.

The opposition Labor Party’s chairman, Avi Gabbay, told Army Radio the post “crossed every line imaginable,” saying it was a “very sad” day for Israel and the Jewish people when the prime minister’s son posts a cartoon that the leader of the Ku Klux Klan can endorse.

Barak, one of the meme’s targets, wondered on Twitter whether Yair Netanyahu, who enjoys a state-funded driver and bodyguard while living at the prime minister’s official residence, absorbed his ideology at home.

“What is it, genetics or a spontaneous mental illness? It doesn’t matter. In any case, we ought to pay for him to have a psychiatrist, not a bodyguard and a chauffeur,” Barak tweeted.

Yair Netanyahu responded by calling Barak a drunk who needed geriatric care. Earlier he accused the Haaretz daily of being anti-Semitic after it reported on the cartoon.

The 26-year-old Netanyahu has drawn criticism for living a life of privilege at taxpayers’ expense and for his crude social media posts.

The Netanyahu family is facing a slew of corruption allegations. The prime minister has been questioned about his ties to executives in media, international business and Hollywood. His associates have been engulfed in a probe relating to a possible conflict of interest involving the $2 billion purchase of German submarines. Israel’s attorney general has said he intends to indict the prime minister’s wife, Sara, for fraud over her bloated household expenses.

Yair Netanyahu, who has reportedly taken a leading role in his father’s aggressive social media platform, has also been drawn into the scandals.

Australian billionaire James Packer has reportedly lavished Yair with gifts that included extended stays at luxury hotels in Tel Aviv, New York and Aspen, Colorado, as well as the use of his private jet and dozens of tickets for concerts by Packer’s former fiancee, Mariah Carey.

Police are trying to determine whether these constitute bribes, since Packer is reportedly seeking Israeli residency status for tax purposes.

The prime minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media. He has resisted increasingly vocal calls for him to step down.

At the opening of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Netanyahu declined to respond to questions about his son’s social media posts, saying, “This isn’t a press conference.”

ADL hires Jewish-Iranian academic to head international affairs unit

WASHINGTON — The Anti-Defamation League named Sharon Nazarian, an Iranian-American-Jewish academic and philanthropist, as its senior vice president of international affairs on Wednesday.

In that position, Nazarian will head the Jewish civil rights group’s work combating anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred worldwide. She will be based out of Los Angeles, but will also oversee the ADL’s Israel office in Jerusalem.

She comes into her new job after spending most of her career in academia, with an emphasis on international politics.

A longtime adjunct in the political science department at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Nazarian is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Sharon’s depth and breadth of experience in academia, philanthropy, policy and international affairs makes her the perfect fit to lead ADL’s international efforts,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

Nazarian, who was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States at a young age with her Persian Jewish family, has strong ties to Israel and the Jewish community.

Through her philanthropic work, she has sat on the Board of Governors of Haifa University and the boards of HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University.

At UCLA, she founded the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and was chair of its advisory board.

Nazarian said in a statement Wednesday that the ADL is “needed now more than ever — both in the United States and abroad — to stand up against hate and bigotry.”

The organization’s international affairs division primarily works with global partners to develop programs and resources that address anti-Semitism worldwide, along with hate crimes, cyber hate and the delegitimization of Israel.

ADL reports 1000% surge in online donations after Charlottesville rally

Anti-Defamation League

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League received 10 times as much money as usual from online donations in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The group, which combats anti-Semitism and bigotry, reported a 1,000 percent increase in online donations during the week beginning Aug. 13, one day after the Charlottesville rally. The ADL said it received six times as many individual donations as during an average week this year, mostly from first-time donors, though it did not provide a total amount of money raised.

In the aftermath of the rally, the ADL has seen its profile skyrocket. It received $1 million donations from Apple and 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, and announced a partnership with Bumble, a dating app, to block bigoted profiles. JP Morgan Chase also announced this week that it would donate $500,000 to the group. JP Morgan and Apple also pledged to match donations to the ADL and other nonprofits from employees.

On Friday, the ADL announced a partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to combat hate and bigotry.

In 2015, ADL raised more than $52 million in contributions and grants, according to its most recently available tax filings.

Anti-Defamation League ‘glad’ Bannon out of White House

The Anti-Defamation League on Friday said it was “glad” Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist, was removed from his post.

A champion of the nationalist-populist agenda that carried Trump to power last November, the 63-year-old Bannon left a White House reeling from the fallout over the president’s response to a violent white supremacist rally.

With Trump under fire for insisting anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for violence at a weekend rally of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president faced renewed pressure to let Bannon go.

“Hate has no place in our nation: not in our town squares and not in our White House. We are glad Steve Bannon will no longer advise the president,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a statement.

“In November of 2016, when Bannon was first appointed, we called on the president to disassociate himself from someone who boasted about creating a platform on Breitbart for the alt right, a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites. Just this week, Bannon unconscionably praised President Trump’s response to the events in Charlottesville,” he said.

“Now is the time for moral leadership. As we have said before, staffers with ties to white nationalists do not belong on the payroll of the American people. Just as the president has promised to investigate leakers on his staff, he should apply the same energy to identify and dismiss others on his staff with ties to extremists,” added Grennblatt.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO And National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on responses to the increase in religious hate crimes. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Bannon, a hero of the so-called “alt right” whose presence in the West Wing was controversial from the start, had become the nucleus of one of several competing power centers in a chaotic White House.

The departure, capping one of the most disastrous weeks of the chaotic young administration, is a nod to members of Trump’s government and his Republican Party grown increasingly frustrated with the anti-establishment firebrand.

It remains to be seen what role the serial provocateur will continue to play from outside the White House, but Bannon himself vowed to keep pushing Trump’s right-wing agenda, as he returned to his former home at the ultra-conservative website Breitbart News.

“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,” Bannon said in an interview within hours of leaving the White House.

Trump welcomed Bannon’s return to Breitbart in a tweet, predicting: “Steve Bannon will be a tough and smart new voice at @BreitbartNews… maybe even better than ever before. Fake News needs the competition!”



The US Conference of Mayors and The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced Friday a joint plan to fight extremism and bigotry and promote justice and equality in response to the violence protests which rocked Charlottesville, Virginia, last week.

More than 200 mayors from across the country representing the Conference of Mayors have so far have pledged to implement the plan in partnership with ADL. These include both Republicans and Democrats.

Under the 10-point Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, mayors commit to: vigorously speak out against all acts of hate; ensure public safety while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights; punish bias-motivated violence to the fullest extent of the law; encourage more anti-bias and anti-hate education in schools and police forces; support targeted communities and bring together civic and community leaders to build trust; encourage community activities that celebrate their population’s cultural and ethnic diversity; encourage residents in their communities to report hate incidents and crimes; and ensure civil rights laws are aggressively enforced and hate crimes laws are as strong as possible.

“What happened in Charlottesville last weekend reminds us all that violent hate and racism are very much alive in America in 2017,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the US Conference of Mayors. “For decades, America’s mayors have taken a strong position in support of civil rights and in opposition to racism and discrimination of all kinds. At this critical time mayors are doing so again through this compact in an effort to combat hate, extremism and bigotry in their cities and in our nation. “

“Charlottesville made clear that we have a lot more work to do in our communities and we can’t wait a minute longer to step up our efforts,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director.

In a conference call with mayors and reporters, Greenblatt drew parallels between the lynching of American Jew Leo Frank in 1915 and recent events in Charlottesville, describing the similarities as “eery.”

“Events in Charlottesville once again showed us we have much to do to bring Americans together,” he said, stressing that his organization is ready to “redouble our efforts.”

“In the past week we have seen hatred at its ugliest,” said Mayor Shane Bemis of Gresham, Oregon. “As a Republican mayor, I can tell you right now that President Trump’s actions, and inactions, have consequences…” he continued, charging that “Trump has divided us to nearly historic proportions and doesn’t seem to be bothered by that.”

“Terrorism by white supremacists, like what took place in Charlottesville, is a clear and present danger to America’s cities,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “Mayors are eager to join with the Anti-Defamation League to fight hate, and I’m honored that Mayor Landrieu asked me to help lead a coordinated campaign across this country to promote the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. Only the Statue of Liberty should be carrying a torch these days, and her message of respect must echo in America’s cities where this battle is being fought.”

Bumble dating app joins forces with ADL to ‘ban all forms of hate’

(JTA) — The popular dating app Bumble will work with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Technology and Society for “guidance on identifying all hate symbols.”

The app, which as of February had over 12 million users, announced the partnership Thursday on its website. In a statement, the company called on users to report others who displayed “hate symbols” in their profiles.

Bumble will use the ADL’s “research and terminology” to identify and categorize hate symbols.

Its statement also said the company was harassed last week by messages and phone calls from a group of neo-Nazis angry about Bumble’s “stance towards promoting women’s empowerment.”

Tinder co-founder Tiffany Wolfe started Bumble in December 2014. On Bumble, after a heterosexual match is made between users, only the female user can initiate a conversation.

Also Thursday, the dating app OkCupid said it banned a user who was identified as a “white supremacist.”

We were alerted that white supremacist Chris Cantwell was on OkCupid. Within 10 minutes we banned him for life.

We were alerted that white supremacist Chris Cantwell was on OkCupid. Within 10 minutes we banned him for life.

There is no room for hate in a place where you’re looking for love.



Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said that the need for leadership in the United States at this moment is crucial and that “we need to move from words to action. The threat is not over.”

Greenblatt pointed out that “the hate groups are feeling emboldened and are already organizing a number of other rallies.”

On Monday US President Donald Trump said that “Racism is evil.” He added that, “those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Trump was responding to fierce criticism of his first response to the Charlottesville events, in which neo-Nazis and white supremacy groups marched holding torches while shouting racist and anti-Semitic slurs, including “Sieg Heil!” and “The Jews will not replace us!”

James Alex Fields Jr. from Ohio, allegedly fascinated by Nazi ideology, drove his car into a group of anti-racist protesters killing one woman and injuring 19 other people. He was arrested by the police.

White nationalist Holocaust denier David Duke used social media to claim that the left-wing is committing a “cultural genocide against the South” that must end.

The Charlottesville events were ignited when various white supremacy groups obtained a legal permit to march in protest of the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park. The joined protest was labeled “Unite the Right.” Counterprotestors showed up at the scene and clashes broke out.

Mayor of Charlottesville Michael Signer, who is Jewish, thanked Trump for his statements on his Facebook page. Signer wrote: “Donald J. Trump, thanks, at long last, for condemning hate in speech and action. Our work here is just beginning. Yours is too.”

ADL Says Proposed Immigration Law is Cruel, Anti-Family and Un-American

New York, NY, August 2, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed concern over the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, a new bill in the Senate endorsed earlier today by President Trump and designed to cut legal immigration to the United States.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue, would reportedly limit the number of foreign nationals who are eligible to obtain green cards to reunite with their families already in the U.S.— currently the largest category of legal immigrants, cut the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. in half, and eliminate the diversity visa lottery, a program that gives visas to countries with low rates of immigration.

“This proposed legislation is cruel, anti-family and un-American,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “These are the types of policy markers that exacerbate immigrant bashing and nativist attitudes in this country. We support an immigration policy that is comprehensive, protects our security, reunites families and improves our economy while honoring our values as a nation of immigrants. Diversity is our country’s strength and immigration has made America great.”

Mr. Greenblatt added. “Along with our coalition partners, we will work hard against this cruel legislation.”

In March, ADL partnered with Peter and Judy Kovler and the Blum–Kovler Foundation to launch the A Nation of Immigrants Project. The Project is a platform for education, advocacy and awareness of immigrants in the U.S. and honors President John F. Kennedy’s legacy during the centennial of his birth.