When it objects to comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa, particularly when it does so in San Francisco, the ADL is treading on dangerous ground. It was 10 years ago this month that an embarrassed SFPD revealed that one of its officers, Tom Gerard, working together with Roy Bullock, a long-time undercover agent for the ADL, had been spying on the African National Congress, Black South African exiles, and the anti-apartheid movement, for South African intelligence.
Since Bullock had been spying on the apartheid movement for the ADL, as he told SFPD Inspector Ron Roth, doing the same for the South Africans meant little extra work, since much of the information the South Africans wanted he and the ADL already possessed.
As would be expected, the pair were already spying on Palestinian and Arab groups and individuals. But what was revealed in the more than 700 pages of documents released by District Attorney Arlo Smith was that the ADL was keeping files on more than 10,000 individuals* and 600 political groups that ranged across the political and racial spectrum - from the NAACP to the Asian Law Caucus to the San Francisco Labor Council - and that similar operations were being conducted by ADL agents across the United States, making the ADL probably the largest private intelligence gathering operation in the country.
At the time, Bullock had been paid through a cut-out, a Beverly Hills lawyer, who would send him a check every week. The ADL’s response to the “revelation” that their agent was moonlighting for the South Africans was to put him directly on its payroll. At the time, Israel was a close ally of the apartheid regime, selling it weapons, tear gas, water cannons and high tech electronic equipment, and jointly developing atomic weapons, in violation of the international sanctions then in effect.
As they were then and remain today, the ADL’s policies are indistinguishable from those of the Israeli government. When questioned in May 1993 about his organization’s spying on the ANC and the apartheid movement, the ADL’s long-time national director, Abe Foxman, was unapologetic.
“People are very upset about (the files) on the ANC,” he told the Jewish Bulletin. “At the time we exposed the ANC, they were communist. They were violent, they were anti-Semitic, they were pro-PLO, and they were anti-Israel. You’re going to tell me I don’t have the legitimacy to find out who they were consorting with, who their buddies are, who supports whom?”
Yes, that ANC. And yes, these complaints about 'em sound similar to the ones Dick Cheney tossed out during the 2000 election.
Mind you, the paper isn't entirely in the clear here either -- hit the link (he suggested) to see what they said that triggered the nastygram. But there's a Very Good Reason I avoid mentioning the sitch over there very often.
I mean, I've read the comments at Little Green Footballs. Those people, well, they don't frighten me in terms of physical harm, but there's just so much open, not-even-a-bit-ashamed hatred coming from those folks, that I prefer just staying out of it.
I am a bit amused that the right wing blogs have adopted "the rising threat of anti-Semitism in Europe" as a pet topic, given that there's either no, or very little, written about this by the people actually experiencing it. Bit like how they studiously avoid mentioning any Iraqi blogs that don't express infinite gratitude for us liberating them.
Blogging often seems incestuous/echo chamber-y enough as it is, but they seem to have raised it to an art form. A particularly boring one.