Will Watertown, MA Uproar Bring Abe Foxman Down?

“Man is the only animal that blushes–or needs to.”

— Mark Twain

What would we do without him? I’m talking about Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Although, he mostly pretends to be one of the guys, he actually does have some super abilities. Working 24/7, he functions like a One-Man Censor Board to protect Americans from any ideas that might cause them to question what the Israel Firsters, like himself, are really up to. He also can perform as an attack dog, a real pit bull. Foxman recently transformed himself into a First Amendment-basher, when he heard that Professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt intended to publish a book based on their critical study of “The Israel Lobby.” [1]

Like “The Incredible Hulk,” it seems that when Foxman gets irritated, (or panics), he turns himself into this bigger-than-life alter ego. Also, if he is counterattacked, he appears to get even stronger. Go figure! When the duo of Mearsheimer/Walt were scheduled to discuss their newest literary effort at a Chicago venue, he sprang immediately into action. Faster than you can say–“Ehud Olmert”–their appearance was canceled! Score another one for Wiseacre Foxman. [2]

Mearsheimer/Walt drew Foxman’s ire for suggesting that the Israel Lobby was not operating in our “national interest,” helped push the country into the Iraqi War, and was looking to get the Bush-Cheney Gang to attack Iran. [1] They also pointed out how the powerful “Special Interest” had extracted over $140 billion from our national treasury since 1948, while Israel was making countless enemies for America in the Islamic World. For all of that, the Professors were accused of promoting a “sinister thesis” by our pint-sized Hot Air Blaster. ADL’s web site charged that their analysis reeked of a “classical conspiratorial” anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile, Foxman had just got done ripping into the former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. He labeled him “a bigot” for publishing his insightful tome: “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” Some people think that Foxman’s vicious assault on President Carter’s good name may have done his cause more harm than good. [3] Many Americans, instead of jumping on Foxman’s band wagon, saw him as an arrogant schoolyard bully. Americans don’t like bullies. They mostly didn’t appreciate the Mouthy One smearing Jimmy Carter, who had served the nation honorably as a U.S. Naval Officer, as a Governor of the great state of Georgia and as President. They knew, too, that ex-President Carter had worked hard while in office to secure a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Also, since leaving the White House, his conduct, like participating with “Habitat for Humanity,” has been exemplary. Foxman, oblivious to the deep resentment he had created after doing his Hatchet Job on President Carter, simply moved onto to his next target–His Holiness Pope Benjamin XVI.

There are 64.4 million Roman Catholics in the U.S. But, you wouldn’t know it by the way Foxman has ripped into Pope Benjamin. He’s jumped him on a number of issues since he’s taken office, including the fact that His Holiness recently gave his approval of a return to use of the Latin Mass by the faithful. At press time, it looks like Foxman has prevailed again. The Vatican is backing off. It indicated that it might change the wording of a prayer in the Latin Mass that the self-appointed Policeman for Catholics has found “offensive.” [4] I think it’s amazing how Foxman knows everything that is going on inside Vatican City, yet he failed to notice how his favorite country, Israel, stands accused of “War Crimes” in Occupied Gaza and Lebanon, in 2006, by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. [5] I suppose it’s a case of selective amnesia. Even Know-It-Alls have flaws. By the way, when is Foxman going to speak out about the Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) killing, via a 9-ton bulldozer, of Rachel Corrie, a justice activist from Olympia, WA [6], and their slaughter, on June 8, 1967, of 34 Americans on the USS Liberty? [7]

Talking about flaws, I think it’s fair to point out that Foxman can push a lot of folks around with impunity, but he is not much of a prophet. He predicted that Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” was going to be a recruitment poster for anti-Semites. He charged that it would “fuel anti-Semitism…and fan the flames of hatred.” [8] Wrong! It turned out to be a pretty good movie recreating the Bible story about the crucifixion of Christ. Period! I thought it was done well. If anyone came off as a bad guy in the flick, it was probably that compulsive hand-washer–Pontius Pilate.

There was also another incident, a few years back, that didn’t help Foxman’s Holier-Than-Thou persona either. Dare I mention it? Okay, it was the sleazy Marc Rich Fugitive-from-Justice-Pardon Affair. Foxman was involved in that scandal right from the beginning. It was so sordid that pundit Bill Safire was embarrassed enough to publicly criticized the Super One. [9] The Marc Rich mess wasn’t President “Bubba Bill” Clinton’s finest moment either. He’s been able to console himself, however, with the $10 million a year that he has been taking in on the speakers’ circuit. I wonder: Who would pay megabucks to hear “Bubba Bill” rant? There were cries for Foxman to resign over the scandal, but he declined.

Talking about Foxman’s resignation, it has come up again! A brouhaha recently surfaced over the refusal of the ADL to support a Town Council Resolution in Watertown, MA. The measure called on the U.S. Congress to use the word “Genocide” in pending legislation to describe the killing of 1.5 million Armenians, between 1915-23, under the reign of the Ottoman Turks. [10] A local ADL official, after pangs of conscience, did, finally, come out in support of the Resolution and Foxman quickly fired him. Supposedly, the ADL didn’t want to use the word “Genocide,” since it might offend Turkey, which is a close ally of Ehud Olmert’s Israel. Since Israel has to come before the truth, Foxman wouldn’t back the Resolution. Some labeled his position, “morally indefensible,” and denounced him, too, as a (gasp)– “Genocide Denier!” At press time, Foxman, under intense pressure, relented and acknowledged the “Armenian Genocide.” He failed to indicate, however, whether the ADL would support the pending Congressional Resolution. [11]

Watertown, MA also rejected, on Aug. 14, 2007, a program sponsored by Foxman’s group. It’s entitled, “No Place for Hate.” This incident of resistance by Watertown to the ADL, and to Foxman, is rare in an America dominated by a half demented Bush-Cheney Gang, a complicit corporate-controlled Mass Media, and a mostly cowardly U.S. Congress. I think that it also does have some significant symbolic meaning. Watertown is located just down the road from two places which are steeped in the history of the American Republic and sacred to the cause of Liberty–Concord and Lexington! The Revolution against British rule began at those sites, on April 19,1775. That kind of symbolism, naturally, will go right over Foxman’s head, since his first and only love is–Israel!

Finally, will feisty Watertown, MA go down in memory as the locale which led to the fall of Mr. Smarty Pants–Foxman? Stay tune!


[1]. http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/

[2]. http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/08/

[3]. “Does Abe Foxman Have an Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”
by James Traub, NYT, Jan. 14, 2007.

[4]. http://www.adl.org/PresRele/VaticanJewish_96/5103_96.htm

[5]. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/

[6]. http://www.rachelcorrie.org/

[7]. http://www.ussliberty.org/

[8]. http://www.webshells.com/adlwatch/news24.htm

[9]. http://www.adl.org/Interfaith/gibson_qa.asp

[10]. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/18/america/

[11]. “ADL Chief Bows to Critics,” 08/22/07, Boston Globe.