Abe Foxman’s ADL lets its bigotry slip: in its view there are no Palestinian citizens of Israel

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman

Justin Hoch Wikimedia Commons

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most prominent Israel lobby groups in the US, accidentally let slip what it really thinks of the 1.5 million Palestinians who are nominally citizens of Israel, but face multiple forms of legal and social discrimination and ongoing expulsions from their land.

A 15 June press release on the ADL website carries the title, “Poll of Israeli Public Shows Overwhelming Appreciation for the U.S., Mixed Views of November Presidential Election.”

Here’s a few snippets from the text, with emphasis added:

The Israeli public has a strongly positive attitude toward the United States and continues to perceive the U.S. as a loyal ally of Israel, according to a new poll of Israeli public opinion issued today.

The comprehensive poll of Israeli public opinion was released today by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (“BESA Center”), the Bar-Ilan University Center for International Communication (“CIC”), and the Anti-Defamation League (“ADL”) and queried Israeli citizens about a number of issues affecting U.S.-Israel and Israel-Diaspora relations.

“Israelis” support military action against Iran

And here’s one of the poll’s key findings:

If diplomatic efforts fail to stop the Iranian drive towards a nuclear bomb, two-thirds (66 percent) of Israelis would support an Israeli military strike on Iran. Of those supporting Israeli military action, 71 percent would continue to support such action even if the American government opposed an Israeli strike.

It would seem this poll is part of Israel lobby groups’ propaganda efforts to put pressure on the US to escalate its confrontation with Iran, on behalf of Israel.

Who are the “Israelis”?

But keep reading and you discover this:

The survey of Israeli opinion was prepared for the international conference on “American-Israeli Relations,” June 17-18, 2012 at the BESA Center.  It was conducted by the Maagar Mochot polling agency between May 28 and June 1, 2012. 540 adult Jewish Israelis were surveyed. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percent.

In other words, this supposedly “comprehensive poll of Israeli public opinion” is a Jews-only affair.

It is ironic, because Israeli law doesn’t recognize anything called “Israeli” nationality. Instead, Israel categorizes citizens by ethnoreligious designations, with Jews being the most privileged group legally and socially.

But there is supposedly such a thing as “Israeli” citizenship – Palestinian citizens of Israel, unlike those in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, carry Israeli ID cards and passports and can vote in Knesset elections, even though their elected representatives are systematically excluded from running the country (rare tokens excepted).

Inherent bigotry in ADL poll

Elsewhere on its website, the ADL apparently does recognize the existence of Palestinian citizens of Israel – calling them generically “Arabs”:

Today, Israel’s Arab citizens are accorded full civil and political rights, entitled to complete participation in Israeli society. They are active in Israeli social, political and civic life and enjoy representation in Israel’s Parliament, foreign service and judicial system.

Leave aside the ADL’s ludicrous claims that Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy full rights and equality, why isn’t the ADL at least practicing what it preaches? If Palestinian citizens of Israel are fully active in Israel’s political life, how come they’re excluded from the ADL’s “comprehensive poll of Israeli public opinion”?

It’s simple: The ADL’s poll is very much like a “comprehensive poll” of American public opinion that interviews only white people, or only Christians.

What would the ADL and its ubiquitous boss Abe Foxman say about such blatant bigotry then?

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"two-thirds (66 percent) of Israelis would support an Israeli military strike on Iran. Of those supporting Israeli military action, 71 percent would continue to support such action even if the American government opposed an Israeli strike."

Let's do some calculation.
66 : 100 = 0,66
0.66 x 71 = 46.86

"According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2008, of Israel's 7.3 million people, 75.6% were Jews of any background". (Wikipedia)
7,300,000 x 75.6% = 5,518,800
5,518,800 x 46,86% = 2,586,110

So there's some 2,586,154 people (including children, and 44 US senators) that want to wage war on Iran at any cost and make a hell of the Middle East.

Well, since the population of the world is about 7 billion people, I think the world as a whole doesn't give a damn on the opinion of these warmongering barbarians.

Without mentioning the opinion of 74 million iranians. Including children, of course.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.