Foxman’s open attack on a US secretary of state, especially one who has been so friendly to Israel, is unusual.
What makes it more extraordinary is that it comes after another Obama administration official has heaped lavish praise on Foxman and the ADL.
“I think Kerry’s outrageous behavior will unite the American Jewish community,” Foxman told Israeli army radio, Haaretz reports.
“It is chutzpah to lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war,” Foxman added from Jerusalem, where he is currently visiting.
The ADL is one of the most prominent pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian organizations in the United States. It recently published a McCarthyite list of the “Top 10 anti-Israel organizations” which included a number of peace and justice groups.
The sources of Foxman’s rage include US diplomacy with Iran, which Kerry has championed, and Kerry’s recent criticism of (though total inaction on) Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestinian land.
Foxman claimed there was a “crisis of trust” between the US and Israel because Kerry had not kept Israel sufficiently informed of the Geneva talks over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Those talks ended last night without a much-anticipated breakthrough, after a last minute French intervention scuppered a deal.
Praise from Ambassador Power
Foxman may have been emboldened in his attack by the high-profile support he has received from Obama administration official Samantha Power, the current US ambassador to the United Nations.
The video above is of Power speaking to and lavishly praising the ADL and Foxman at the ADL’s 100th anniversary bash on 31 October.
“The ADL has never shied away from dreaming big, nor has Abe Foxman,” Power gushes.
“To the members of ADL, let me say that for all you have done in the past to help us move forward, I salute you. For what you are doing now, and in the future, I applaud you.”
As Mondoweiss has noted, Power has continued to heap praise on the ADL, even though Foxman’s attacks on the administration have been mounting, culminating in today’s comments.
Days before her 31 October speech, Foxman also publicly rebuked Kerry. That didn’t stop Power from tweeting that the ADL were “Upstanders against hate and intolerance around the world.”
Power’s motives for giving such public support to vocal critics of the Obama administration and its key policies likely include the fact that she herself was the subject of intense bullying by Foxman and other pro-Israel advocates.
When she was nominated for her position, she was accused – quite unjustly – of pro-Palestinian sympathies. Since then, she’s gone to the ends of the Earth to convince Foxman and company of her anti-Palestinian allegiances.
“We need to deter the Palestinians in any way we can—and we need to get their attention,” Power told a key congressional committee before her nomination was confirmed.
Learning the lessons
Yesterday, in a tweet, Power noted the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the notorious nationwide Nazi pogrom against Jews and their businesses in Germany.
“75 years later, #Kristallnacht is a grim reminder of the dangers of int’l inaction in the face of persecution & violence against minorities,” Power wrote.
Power is quite right to draw the universal lessons for the present-day from Europe’s persecution and Holocaust of millions of its Jewish citizens.
But can we expect Power to spread that universalism to include Palestinians?
Just today, the Israeli cabinet voted to demolish the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran “and replace it with a religious Jewish community,” Haaretz reports.
Israel, as is well known, routinely denies Palestinians authorization to build, even on their own land.