Culture, Identity

Abe Foxman's "Anti-Anti-Semite Problem"

James Traub interviews Abe Foxman for the Sunday NY Times:

In certain precincts of the Jewish community, a person who insists that the sky is falling, despite ample evidence to the contrary, is said to gevaltize — a neologism derived from the famous Yiddish cry of shock or alarm. The word is sometimes applied to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as Aipac, the hard-line and notoriously successful pro-Israel lobby. But in the world of Jewish leaders, one man stands alone in the annals of gevalthood — Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League and scourge of anti-Semites of high estate and low, in Hollywood and Tehran, on campus and in the tabloids.
In a conversation last month over lunch, as Foxman’s bodyguard kept a weather eye open from across the room, I asked the A.D.L. leader about his ever-renewed fount of outrage. “I haven’t done gevalt for 30 years,” Foxman said, though some might argue otherwise.

Full story.

One thought on “Abe Foxman's "Anti-Anti-Semite Problem"

  1. Great Topic.
    I have mixed feelings about Foxman. Firstly – with a $50 Mil annual budget, to keep his job he must constantly argue that anti-smitism is on the upswing. That seriously blemishes his cause.
    Enlighten me, other than consistent press releases condemning Mel, Mahmoud, Mel again and their ilk what does this organization do?
    When the Passion came out and Abe condemned Mel to eternal purgatory I was like “chill the hell out” and felt he was manipulating the situation to rationalize his paycheck. When he re-condemned Mel to eternal damnation following his anti-semitic tirade I thought he was right on. Same with his rebuke of Ahmejihad and his strong and very public condemnation of all acts of antisemitism wherever and whomever. For that token, he DOES have the ability to attract massive attention to his cause and create a reaction or an apology etc.
    On the other hand does he, or anyone, have the objectivity to remain fair-mided in determining whether or not a particular event is or is not anti-semitic when your existence depends, indeed thrives on it. Especially when you maintain an annual budget of fifty mil. Which continues to baffle me.
    Something to think about.

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