AS AN EARLY TEEN, I was playing in a YMCA basketball league in Sumter, South Carolina, a leafy, sleepy southern town of about 35,000 where I was born and raised. Being of Jewish descent, I had to play for a Methodist team because the Jewish population in the county – indeed, in the state, at that time – was limited enough to preclude its own league. The YMCA was agreeable to this, and a few other Jewish kids from surrounding areas played as well.

You know, this world we live in is a complicated place. Behind every phenomenon we observe there are many forces at work, some of them obvious and some not so obvious. Trying to separate what’s important from what’s not important can be a confusing task. Every week when we discuss on this program what’s happening in the world around us, and I try to explain events so that listeners can have a clear understanding of them, I must simplify the world. Clarity requires simplification.

If there were a Nobel Prize for Hypocrisy, Abraham Foxman would have been a great candidate. The director of the Anti-Defamation League, who once interpreted even International Holocaust Remembrance Day as an expression of the Gentiles’ latent desire to see Jews dead, has published a new survey on anti-Semitism in Europe.

It seemed innocuous enough at first. Watertown, a suburb of Boston, sported a sign on the Town Hall, proclaiming the town a participant in an anti-bigotry program “No Place for Hate.” But one of the good citizens of Watertown with libertarian inclinations objected that the sign seemed like some kind of PC thought control. His objections set in motion investigations by the town mothers and fathers into the program. Lo and behold, it was sponsored by Abe Foxman’s Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Since 1983, Bradley R. Smith has effectively functioned as the Holocaust Denial movement’s chief propagandist and outreach director in the United States. Smith was the first director of the Media Project of the Institute for Historical Review, he took Holocaust denial to TV and radio stations across the Nation. He achieved his greatest notoriety, however, as the director of the Committee for Open Debate of The Holocaust.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which describes itself as a civil rights organization, has been in the forefront of an ongoing attempt to label legitimate American-Arab and American-Muslim charitable, political, and informational organizations as fronts for terrorism. This attempt is part of a long-standing ADL policy of discrediting any individual or organization opposed to Israel or supportive of Palestinian rights.

CONSIDERABLE suspicion exists that the Anti-Defamation League not only serves as an “unofficial” propaganda arm of the Israeli government — a role its National Director Abe Foxman unabashedly claims — but that it also provides information on Palestinians and Arab-Americans to the Israeli government and its intelligence service, Mossad.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Clinton’s recognition that it is time for an “all-out assault on hate crimes,” and his call for a special White House conference on this important subject this November.

B’nai B’rith International is questioning a prestigious award slated to be given to former Massachusetts education secretary Paul Parks for his role in liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945 after other veterans asserted that Parks was not there. Moreover, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who has studied records of Parks’s military unit has said that Parks’s account of his harrowing experiences on a Normandy beach on D-Day is also false.

The FBI announced new surveillance guidelines last week that the Bush administration says will help prevent terrorism. The Jewish community generally supports the need to change law enforcement and intelligence methods following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but is concerned over how civil liberties will be protected.

AOL has 10 million subscribers. What ADL wants is to have AOL include software set to block the ADL list, knowing that most neophytes will never know they are blocked or figure out how to unblock access. Thus the key issue is whether ADL can reach a deal with AOL blocking right wing sites as the default option.

Since its release earlier this year, The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America, the 193-page report produced by the Anti-Defamation League, has achieved nearly canonical status. Countless “news” reports and op-ed articles have uncritically cited the report as the definitive critique of the “Christian Right.” Conservative Christians have protested that the report was little more than an act of politically motivated defamation. The latter assessment has now been endorsed by a group of prominent American Jews.

After five years of court appeals and motions on secret files, Anti-Defamation League attorneys in San Francisco say the end is in sight for a class-action lawsuit filed against the agency by pro-Palestinian and anti-apartheid activists. Last week, a ruling by the California 1st District Court of Appeals determined that the ADL could be defined as a journalistic organization. As such, the agency can keep confidential any information gathered in a journalistic manner.

The embattled Anti-Defamation League’s National Director, Abraham Foxman (photo left), is “going to war – and he’s going to enlist American Jews as his foot soldiers,” wrote the No. California Jewish Bulletin’s Garth Wolkoff this past May, and he wasn’t joking. The first battle took place in this picturesque Gulf Coast port city at the end of June and the ADL and its allies emerged victorious.

Because a picture reminds certain Jews of the Holocaust, they are demanding that we remove it. Suddenly anything that reminds Jews of the Holocaust, even things that have nothing to do with it, verboten? A high percentage of our staff is Jewish. After all is part of the media conspiracy that Marlon Brando was kind enough to inform us about.

“Once again, a labor union has voted to take the deplorable and offensive step of attempting to isolate and vilify the State of Israel while taking a strongly one-sided view of the conflict,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “While full of propagandistic hyperbole, the union’s resolution makes no effort to reflect current realities on the ground in the region. There is no mention of Israel’s unilateral redeployment from Gaza and proposed action in the West Bank, nor is there any recognition of the challenges posed by the terrorist group Hamas’ reign over the Palestinian Authority and its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist or to renounce terror.”

The Anti-Defamation League, which last spring was found in possession of illegally obtained information on Arab Americans, members of the anti-apartheid movement, and other political and human rights activists, will not face criminal charges, the San Francisco district attorney’s office announced on Nov. 15. Roy Bullock, ADL’s longtime undercover agent, was also absolved of any crime. Bullock had supplied ADL with confidential police and motor vehicle records provided by retired San Francisco police officer Tom Gerard, who was indicted last May on charges of conspiracy and concealing government documents.

Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

More than 500 representatives of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies were briefed on extremist and terrorist threats during a daylong conference co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The May 31 program, held at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, was an outgrowth of ADL’s longtime involvement in providing information and training to law enforcement on threats posed by extremists. The conference, “Extremist and Terrorist Threats: Protecting America After 9/11″ included presentations from ADL, FBI and other nationally recognized experts on extremist groups, investigative techniques, counterterrorism strategies, domestic security and threat assessment.

REPORTS THAT the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) furnished information on individuals and organizations to government agencies is not new. At press time, the MELB learned that in 1947, Congressional hearings revealed that the self-styled “civil rights” organization had been furnishing information to the U.S. Civil Service Commission on persons either alleged to be “communist,” or linked, even indirectly, to some one who was. This information, was in turn, used by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the FBI

Coming soon to a police cruiser near you: the hate crimes card. The Anti-Defamation League has drafted a nifty laminated card–bigger than the Miranda model, but just the right size to slip into a field notebook or clip to the visor of a patrol car–to help officers handle hate crimes. Several hundred were given to the badge-and-uniform set at a hate crime conference in Sacramento recently, and by month’s end, cards will be in the mail to law enforcement in all 50 states. The card was field-tested in California by the Los Angeles school police and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which had something to say about everything from the card size to the typeface.

The No Place for Hate campaign withdrew its request for a town wide endorsement last night, fearing it might spark dissension in town. Local debate on the statewide program, which promotes tolerance and anti-violence, has drawn national media attention and two visits by a white supremacist group in the past month. The program, which was opposed by selectmen who didn’t want to endorse an ideology, was slated for a vote at the annual Town Meeting on May 6.

“The Gaza Quagmire” (editorial, May 20) oversteps when it accuses Israel of carrying out a deliberate plan “to unilaterally destroy the Palestinian territory.” Israel’s operation in Gaza is trying to deal with an increasingly serious situation: the proliferation of tunnels through which Palestinian terrorists are smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip to be used in attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. These tunnels are deliberately situated in high-density population areas. The last few days in Gaza have witnessed tragic deaths on both sides. Israel has apologized for the deaths of demonstrators in Rafah, is investigating this tragic incident, and has repeated its commitment not to harm civilians.

The religious organization ADL is active in schools across the state with its message about homosexuality. It labels anyone who disagrees as a “hater.” A religious group is working in Hingham schools and across the state with selectmen, police, legislators and others to promote an outdated, discredited view about the gay gene. Anyone who disagrees with their antiquated theories is called a “hater.” It is reminiscent of the Lexington schools working with the Unitarian Church last year. Hundreds of parents protested at that time and that superintendent was fired this year without explanation, a few months after the protests.

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act which has passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin is now facing hearings in the Senate. There are already similar hate crime laws in place; however, this bill imposes much stronger federal enforcement, which is a clear violation of the Tenth Amendment. It grants greater power to federal prosecutors to prosecute hate crime laws by prosecuting those who have been found innocent by local or state courts. The current bill will extend special privileges to gays and transgender individuals that are currently only granted to ethnic and religious minorities. The most dangerous part of the Bill which is a direct assault against the First Amendment is that it allows for the prosecution as accomplices in a hate crime for talk show pundits that the person who commits the alleged crime claims to influence their actions.

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, a Washington, DC-based organization that monitors and combats anti-Semitism worldwide, recently released “HateFilter” software that blocks Web sites and other areas of the Internet with content it deems offensive. Installed on a personal computer, “HateFilter” restricts access to a constantly updated list of Web sites the ADL considers hate-related. When an Internet user attempts to access these sites, he or she instead is directed to an ADL page that reads: “Hate Zone. Access Restricted. To Find Out More, Click the link…(left)

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith is a proud organization that is celebrating its 75th anniversary in fighting discrimination – sometimes perilously, always unselfishly and frequently wading into struggles on behalf of non-Jews whose rights need a strong and honest voice. But now in a just published ADL “special report,” an “Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents: The Anti-Israel Component,” the ADL clouds its own record. Surprising, perhaps shocking from an organization whose work and ideals are so much a part of the American fabric, the ADL dangles a suggestion that free speech can be held suspect if the object of criticism is the state of Israel.

Let me read you an advertisement printed in Australia’s Sunday Telegraph of June 14th, 1992, page 96. This advertisement was not made by a business or any other private entity but rather by the government, and constitutes an official notice to Australian citizens. It is also a frightening portent of America’s future. I quote from the ad: “Personal protection is NO reason to have a gun. If you own a gun which you keep to protect yourself, your family or your property, you must dispose of it legally.

MARVIN STERN, DIRECTOR FOR THE NORTHWEST Regional Branch of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), can’t conceal his bewilderment over what he calls “the growing Holocaust revisionist movement.” Mr. Stern expressed his dismay in a column published in The Oregonian, the largest circulation daily in the Northwest. His alarm was triggered by the appearance in that newspaper of our ad, “A Revisionist’s View of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

Almost two years ago, a group of outraged students at UC Santa Barbara banded together. They united, just as citizens in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had done before them, to get campus and community entities to disassociate themselves with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and its No Place For Hate (NPFH) program. The students came together in response to the immoral and callous decision by the ADL to issue a statement that they were against the passage of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and were actively lobbying against it in the halls of Congress.

Tony Judt has never fought shy of questioning long-cherished ideas. Postwar, his panoramic study of Europe after 1945 was loudly acclaimed in part because it dealt so bracingly with the lies and cover-ups on which the rebuilding of the continent depended – the number of Nazis and collaborators who retained positions of power, for instance, and the myths surrounding wartime resistance. Detail after striking detail documented how nations are never honest about their pasts, and how quickly inconvenient truths are buried.

In 1993 the Anti-Defamation League was accused of espionage, illegal surveillance, theft, and the treasonous sale of classified information to a foreign government. I was one of their victims. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Anti-Defamation League and the B’nai B’rith. The theme of the celebration was “Imagine a World Without Hate.” 2013 also marked the 20th anniversary of another key episode in ADL history, but it’s not the sort of milestone National Director Abe Foxman will want you to remember. In 1993 it was alleged that the League had been involved in a grotesque rap sheet of covert activities

I don’t usually tell these stories, because they might give rise to the suspicion that I am paranoid. For example: 27 years ago, I was invited to give a lecture-tour in 30 American universities, including all the most prestigious ones – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Berkeley and so on. My host was the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a respected non- Jewish organization, but the lectures themselves were to be held under the auspices of the Jewish Bet-Hillel chaplains.

My love affair with the ADL began almost 25 years ago. It has just ended with a curt note from the Board President advising me that I haven’t shown a sufficient “demonstration of commitment to the ADL” to warrant retention on the Executive Committee or the Regional Board.” How did it come to this?

Targeting the university is the latest mission of right-wing forces who have hijacked not only political power and political discourse in the United States but also the very vocabulary that can be used against them. The campaign of the last three years or so to attack US universities as the last bastion where a measure of freedom of thought is still protected is engineered to cancel out such freedom and ensure that scholars will not subvert the received political wisdom of the day.