Yesterday I pointed out the hypocrisy of ADL Chairman Abraham Foxman demanding that Barack Obama denounce his pastor and leave his church, given Foxman's unwillingness to refer to the Armenian genocide as such, forcing the Armenian community to, in the words of one ADL worker, "use all the strategies we invented to deal with Holocaust denial."
But the fact is Abraham Foxman, in keeping with the pattern of high profile Jewish political figures who routinely misrepresent the political views of most American Jews, has a record of attacking progressives with charges of anti-Semitism while letting Right wingers off the hook.
Glenn Greenwald pointed this out months ago, when Abraham Foxman denounced MoveOn.org because an ad contest produced a single entry that compared Bush to Hitler.
"It is shocking that a mainstream political group like MoveOn.org not only allowed this vile and outrageous comparison of the American President to Adolf Hitler to be entered into its ... contest in the first place, but that they even went so far as to make it available to the public on the Internet," said Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.
I agree that the comparison of Bush to Hitler is entirely overblown...as are similar comparisons made using Louis Farrakhan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but don't expect Foxman to care if someone outside the Republican Party faces similar charges.
There was a pile-on of Jewish organizations who condemned the ad, who then remained completely silent as voices on the Right compared liberal political figures to Nazis at every opportunity.
During his failed crusade to convince Democratic candidates to boycott Yearly Kos, Bill O'Reilly spent weeks, on a virtually nightly basis, labelling Daily Kos as Nazis. On Fox News, O'Reilly repeatedly said things like this: "There's no difference between the KKK and the Nazis, who have websites, than the Daily Kos." And: "The [Daily Kos] website sells hate, as does the KKK and the Nazis. The comparison is valid."
On his talk radio show last night, Mark Levin labelled MoveOn and Media Matters as "brownshirts." Michelle Malkin this morning excitedly touted Levin's attack, cheering the "no-holds-barred Mark Levin" for labelling both groups as the "brownshirts of the Clinton crime family."
On September 17, Bill O'Reilly had Tammy Bruce and Kirsten Powers on to wallow in outrage over a blog post written by Jane Hamsher in which she criticized Elizabeth Edwards for reciting right-wing talking points against MoveOn.org. Hamsher's picture was displayed while she and FDL were branded by O'Reilly as "fascists" and "Nazis." The largest right-wing blogs cheered on this smear.
On September 26, Tammy Bruce went on Fox and, discussing Media Matters and MoveOn, said that "a Gestapo has emerged in America," and "you have a media Gestapo in Media Matters and a political Gestapo in MoveOn.org." She used the word "Gestapo" continuously to refer to these groups.
Despite his earlier statements decrying the MoveOn ad, Foxman has remained entirely silent while Right wingers repeatedly invoked the Nazis in political attacks on liberals.
Foxman eventually responded to Greenwald and claimed to be "profoundly disturbed by your continuing efforts to smear ADL as being "extremely reluctant" to condemn Nazi/Hitler attacks emanating from the political right." He was concerned by "the efforts to smear" the ADL but not their tendency to exclusively criticize political uses of the Holocaust and the Nazis on the left.
Given Foxman's record of giving those on the Right a pass, it is no surprise that Foxman casually decided that he was entitled to issue a political threat to Barack Obama based on his association with the "racist" Trinity United Church, despite reporting that has shown Trinity is nothing of the sort.