I don’t normally post articles from The Forward – I find it to be one of the most detestable Jewish publications out there. But when I do, you can be sure I have my reasons.
This Forward piece is stunning – Betsaida Alcantara, Vice President, Communications and Digital at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) writes of her experience with Israel-hating organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
I’m A Latina Who Works For The ADL. JVP’s Attacks Shocked Me
To be effective in building a more equal and just society, I believe deeply that I have to fight all forms of hatred. And that includes the hatred of Jews.
To that end, one of ADL’s programs involves working closely with law enforcement in the United States, training them to identify and investigate hate crimes against all vulnerable groups in our society. We train law enforcement to combat extremism and terrorism, but also their own implicit biases. We take a few dozen American law enforcement officials to Israel every year, where they learn from Israel’s national police about how they prevent and respond to international terror attacks and threats, like those from Hezbollah and Hamas. The goal of this program is to help U.S. law enforcement officials prevent attacks in the U.S. and save lives. Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Well, not for everyone, it turns out.
For months now, the far-left anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has been targeting our exchange program with Israel with a campaign called “Deadly Exchange”. Now, ADL is a 104-year-old organization, and becoming targets of both fair criticism and inaccurate attacks from the right and the left of the political spectrum comes with the territory for an established institution like ours. But in my time at ADL, I’ve been especially surprised at JVP’s ignorance, dangerous dogmatism and blind efforts at intersectional cause-making.1
In their campaign against our program — a program that is designed to save lives — JVP makes the case that American Jewish institutions are responsible for rising levels of police brutality1 and racism against minorities here in the United States, thanks to their support for these types of exchanges between American and Israeli law enforcement agencies.
In other words, JVP believes Jewish institutions control how the police racially profile people of color in the United States.
I was shocked by this attack. It hewed so closely to anti-Semitic canards about the Jews secretly controlling the levers of power. How could a Jewish organization make such a hateful claim?
This radical — and willful — misunderstanding of our program was compounded last week when JVP came to protest ADL at our New York headquarters.
As the head of communications for the organization, I went to greet them and to receive their petition. But I was only seconds into my conversation with a JVP spokesperson before she demanded to know: Why didn’t ADL send anyone to hear their stories?
“I’m right here,” I said, confused.
Then she asked me point blank how a woman of color could work for ADL. Hadn’t I personally experienced racial profiling?
Yes, she actually asked me that.
It was insulting, doubly so because she seemed to assume that, as a woman of color, I was some junior person being sent down to placate them (I’m one of ADL’s senior leaders).
Read the whole thing.