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September 16, 1994 - Image 58

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-09-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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ADL Attacked
By Conservatives

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA SENIOR EDITOR



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vangelist Pat Robertson is

Defending his organization in
not the only one who has a the same issue of the Bridgeport
problem with the Anti- Jewish Ledger in which Mr. Isaac
Defamation League's recent attacked it, Abraham Foxman,
report on the religious right. In ADL's national director, ac-
Commentary, Midge Decter says knowledged that "the problem
the report is "disquieting" and "al- with issuing a critique of the re-
most unrelievedly nasty."
ligious right movement is that
And in the Bridgeport, Conn., much of what this movement
Jewish Ledger, Rael Jean Isaac, wants is right: most of us value
who is on the executive commit- strong families, better schools,
tee of Americans for a Safe Israel, a government that upholds its
is dismayed that the report "in- commitment to religious liberty."
souciantly lumps together But the religious right also
friends, neutrals and enemies 'brings to cultural disagreements
withut distinction."
a rhetoric of fear, suspicion, even
hatred. The result is not surpris-
ing. real debate over the problems
afflicting American society is
eclipsed by the blare of grievance
and blame and chauvinism, and
the fragile structures of consen-
sus are bulldozed by sectarian,
absolutist declarations. In this
way, we proceed down the road
to the 'Christian nation' trum-
peted by these prophets of rage."

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Pat Robertson:
Problems on the right?

Ms. Decter, a fellow at Wash-
ington's Institute on Religion and
Public Life, was especially
alarmed that the ADL, "an orga-
nization long regarded as expert
in the study of anti-Semitism,
should have singled out the con-
servative Christians for oppro-
brium — especially when they
have perhaps been the most out-
spoken friends of Israel in this
country."
She believes ADL was moti-
vated not by religion, but by sec-
ular politics: "The religious right
is ... dedicated to implementing
... ideas and measures that are
anathema to most liberals. In at-
tacking this agenda, and the peo-
ple who support it, as a threat to
pluralism, the ADL has chosen
to join hands with all those on the
liberal left who are determined
to delegitimize any challenge to
the power they have long enjoyed
over the basic institutions of
American life and culture."
The ADL, she laments, "has
become guilty of the one bigotry
that seems to be acceptable these
days — bigotry against conserv-
ative Christians."

Not only Jewish publications re-
cently have been devoting reams
of pages to black-Jewish tensions.
Emerge, which calls itself "Black
America's Newsmagazine," has
published a two-part series on
"Farrakhan, Jesse & Jews" — a
thorough, but often Farrakhan-
skewed account of relations
among this triad. And its Sep-
tember issue also has a discus-
sion between black scholars
Manning Marable, director of Co-
lumbia University's Institute for
Research in African-American
Studies, and Henry Louis Gates
Jr., chair of Harvard University's
Afro-American Studies Depart-
ment, on the black-Jewish chasm,
and a five-page article by Time
magazine correspondent,
Sylvester Monroe, on whether
Khalid Abdul Muhammad is un-
dermining the Nation of Islam.
The first part of the "Far-
rakhan, Jesse & Jews" series ap-
peared in Emerge's July-August
issue. Instead of a trenchant
analysis of relations among this
triumvirate by George E. Curry,
the magazine's editor in chief who
wrote the article, we got instead
a pro-Farrakhan analysis of how
the news media allegedly dis-
torted the words of the leader of
the Nation of Islam — and sev-
eral accounts of Mr. Jackson's ap-
parent disdain for the militant
group.
For instance, Mr. Curry re-
ports that before addressing Far-

N

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