It is painful to see Anti-Defamation League (ADL) president Jonathan Greenblatt engaging in character assassination against President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon and Mr. Bannon’s company, Breitbart media. ADL/Greenblatt essentially accused Mr. Bannon and his media company of “anti-Semitism” and Israel hatred, when Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL tweeted that Bannon “presided over the premier website of the ‘alt right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and anti-Semites.”
In fact, as pro-Israel writer (and orthodox Jew) Joel B. Pollak wrote, Mr. Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.”
ZOA’s own experience and analysis of Breitbart articles confirms Mr. Bannon’s and Breitbart’s friendship and fair-mindedness towards Israel and the Jewish people. To accuse Mr. Bannon and Breitbart of anti-Semitism is Orwellian. In fact, Breitbart bravely fights against anti-Semitism. Here are a few of the many examples:
Stephen Bannon joined ZOA in fighting the anti-Semitic rallies at CUNY by requiring his Breitbart reporters to call CUNY officials and Gov. Cuomo aides urging them to do something about it.
Breitbart courageously publishes articles reporting that the Palestinian Authority defames Israel with blatant falsehoods. On November 13, 2016, Breitbart reported that:
“The Palestinian Authority’s official TV network has been airing a video several times a day baselessly accusing Israel of poisoning former PA President Yasser Arafat and further claiming that Israel is targeting current President Mahmoud Abbas next. Arafat died at the age of 75 on November 11, 2004, just outside of Paris. A French forensic team examined his remains and concluded that there were no traces of poison in his body. Nevertheless, every year around the anniversary of his death, the PA disseminates the libel that Israel murdered him.” (Emphasis in original.)
On November 14, 2016 Breitbart reported the human cost and pain to a Jewish student at the New School of finding a swastika scrawled on her dorm room door.
Breitbart bravely publicizes Iran’s violations of the Iran deal – which pose an existential threat to Israel. On November 13, 2016, Breitbart reported that “Despite a finding published by the UN’s atomic energy agency this week that Iran has — for the second time — stockpiled more heavy water than permitted under the terms of the nuclear agreement it reached with six world powers last year, the US State Department is declining to acknowledge this as a violation of the deal.”
Breitbart also sympathetically reports on the scourge of anti-Semitic anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS). On November 2, 2016, Breitbart reported that: “Reports of anti-Semitic incidents on US college campuses have increased, much of it attributed to the rise of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a new report has found.”
ZOA President Morton Klein stated: “The ZOA welcomes the appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist to the incoming Trump/Pence administration. We wish Mr. Bannon every success in his new position. We urge Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL to withdraw and apologize for their inappropriate character assassination of Mr. Bannon and Breitbart Media.”
Would Trump’s extraordinary pro-Israel advisors such as Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pence, Sheldon Adelson, and Orthodox Jews Jared Kushner, David Friedman, and Jason Greenblatt ever allow an anti-Semite/Israel-hater to work with them? Would Trump’s Orthodox Jewish daughter Ivanka, whose children go to an Orthodox day school, ever allow an anti-Semite to work with her father? And, remember Donald Trump’s platform on Israel was the strongest pro-Israel platform ever. I’m also forced to ask – why didn’t ADL and other Bannon bashers complain that Hilary’s advisers included some very anti-Israel people starting with major donor to Hillary, the Israel-hating, George Soros? Where were ADL’s complaints then?