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A Rant In Which Beth Goes Off On The ADL

I joined Amnesty International my Senior year of high school in the hopes that I'd absolve the guilt associated with my apolitical outlook on life and in the process, help me appear more well-rounded to college admissions committees. Club etiquette … Read More

By / January 18, 2007
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I joined Amnesty International my Senior year of high school in the hopes that I'd absolve the guilt associated with my apolitical outlook on life and in the process, help me appear more well-rounded to college admissions committees. Club etiquette consisted of writing countless letters to various POWs in third world countries with a standard form letter. I didn't think much of it, I just filled in the blanks, the names and addresses, etc. and handed it to the teacher. This was pretty much par for the course with the club.

Most of the time, however, I found myself vehemently opposed to writing the letter since I didn't feel informed enough politically of the particular country's ways or the crime committed to be telling them what to do. In short, I respected that country's decision, even though it wasn't always one that was in  accordance with my own beliefs. And my conscience was torn over this. And my guilt sky-rocketed.

There is a point to my rambling here. And it's not just that I'm anti-Global democracy.

In the past few days, I've been reading various articles on the ADL and getting that same feeling in my stomach that I felt for Amnesty 15 years ago. Disillusionment.

Case in point: A recent article on the ADL giving an award to Albanian Muslims. Not that I speak on behalf of all Jews when I say that anyone who saved a Jew during the Holocaust and risked their life in the process wasn't doing an incredible selfless mitzvah, but somehow I feel like bestowing the Courage to Care Award to the ancestors of Albanian Muslims that helped during the Holocaust 60 years after the fact, given today's global political climate, a little distasteful, not to mention manipulative on the part of the ADL.

And not that I'm trying to sound like an ultra-Zionist or someone who just watched a Steven Spielberg movie, but admittedly I'm both. However, it's not the ADL's responsibility to serve as social barometer of some faux global conscience they've helped to perpetuate. Their mission statement is, after all, to stop the defamation of the Jewish people. Not those that serve a greater political agenda. Besides, don't they have some Germans to hunt down?

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