More than one year ago, in May of 2022, the New Yorker Magazine published an interview by Isaac Chotiner, a staff writer for the New Yorker with Jonathan Greenblatt, the director of the Anti-Defamation League since 2015.
But suddenly, since the breakout of war in Israel and Gaza, that interview has been trending cited across the political media spectrum. And now it has at last appeared online on the New Yorker website. Check it out for yourself here: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/is-anti-zionism-anti-semitism
I’ve always respected Anti-Defamation League. Since the ADL’s founding in 1913, their mission statement has remained the same: to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all.”
The second half of that mission, (to) “secure justice and fair treatment to all“, is what has made, and keeps the ADL relevant for me. The organization has consistently acted in support of this mission throughout it’s 110 years in existence, including active support of women’s suffrage and all manner of American minorities and immigrant issues.
Self-determination is a legal term that developed after the American and French revolutions. It maintains the legal right of all people to determine their own destiny, and after two world wars in the 20th century, it became a core principle of international law. The Principle of Self-determination is now enshrined in most international treaties, and is fully supported by the ADL.
I’ve put my opinions on the Principle of Self-determination in writing before. Here is a link to my 2018 Essay, Peace, Prosperity and Celtic Referendums subtitled Celtic Conflict and the Principal of Self-determination.
Here is a quote from that 2022 interview, which gives the core of Greenblatt’s defense of his statement:
“If you hold the idea that Zionism is the only form of nationalism that’s wrong, that’s discriminating against Jewish people. That’s the anti-Semitism.”
“I say this as someone who believes in a two-state solution and who’s taken flak for it in some quarters of the more right-wing segments of the Jewish community. I believe in Palestinian nationalism, and I believe in Zionism, and, if you will, Jewish nationalism.”
I find his reasoning to be utterly convincing. Do you?