By Embracing Cynicism, ADL Risks Its Authority

The Antidefamation League fulfills an important, essential function in exposing, explaining and countering hate in the world, but it’s difficult to paint its high profile “Campus Antisemitism Report Card” as anything other than a cynical concession to pressures it is getting as a member of the Israeli media PR juggernaut. Uncharacteristic of the ADL, the document completely lacks context for the activities that it claims to use in rendering the grades. No explanation is offered of what CCI means, of what “active Jewish life” means, of what “recent anti-zionist student government activity” means. There is nuance in what students express, and none of these measures offers any insight into or indication of whether antisemitism has gained converts on campuses, or whether The ADL’s grading criteria can measure the acceptance of antisemitism on campuses. Critically, ADL makes no attempt to disprove the notion that the same minority of biased students are simply more vocal now. Even worse, the ADL makes no attempt to distinguish between activities that are protected by the first amendment and activities that do not violate campus rules.

Antisemitism on campuses is not news. Antisemitism has been equally pervasive on campuses as it has been in the society at large. The ADL has gone against its mission to bring clarity to issues of hate by muddying the waters. What makes this “report card” so pernicious is that it is so cynical: the ADL is propagating many stereotypes that it is committed to fight as a part of its mission. The US may have lost one more feeble speed bump against madness.

Source: Campus Antisemitism Report Card | ADL

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