Anti-Defamation League

From Wikispooks
Revision as of 07:16, 20 September 2015 by MaintenanceBot (talk | contribs) (Added: headquarters, type.)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Group.png Anti-Defamation League   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
MottoTo stop the defamation of the Jewish people... to secure justice and fair treatment to all.
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, United States
TypeCivil rights law

The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) was founded in 1913 by B'nai B'rith International. It describes itself as "the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry."[1] While it started out investigating anti-Semitism and targeting far right groups, in its later years, particularly from the 1980s, it infiltrated and spied on left and civil rights groups including critics of both Israel and the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

ADL Spying case

Robert Friedman wrote in 1993:

The ADL was established in New York City in 1913 to defend Jews, and later other minority groups, from discrimination. It led the fight against racist and fascist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party, and in the 1960s championed the civil rights movement.

But there was also a darker side. In the late 1940s, the ADL spied on leftists and Communists, and shared investigative files with the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the FBI. The ADL swung sharply to the right during the Reagan administration, becoming a bastion of neoconservatism. To Irwin Suall, a repentant Trotskyite who heads the ADL's powerful Fact Finding Department, the real danger to Jews is posed not by the right -- but by a coalition of leftists, blacks, and Arabs, who in his view threaten the fabric of democracy in America, as well as the state of Israel. In the tradition of his ideological soulmate William Casey, Suall directed the ADL's vast network of informants, who were given code names like "Scumbag," "Ironside," and -- for a spy reportedly posing as a priest in Atlanta -- "Flipper."[2]

'In 1993', write Jeffrey Blankfort, Anne Poirier and Steve Zeltzer, 'the District of Attorney of San Francisco released 700 pages of documents implicating the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that claims to be a defender of civil rights, in a vast spying operation directed against American citizens who were opposed to Israel's policies in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza and to the apartheid policies of the government of South Africa and passing on information to both governments.'[3]

ADL orientation

The ADL's original focus on attack on Jews and minority ethnic group gave way in the 1980s to an approach which involved the ADL spying on left and human rights groups. According to Robert Friedmann, writing in the Village Voice:

In the early 1980s, researchers Russ Bellant and Berlet asked to meet fact finding head Irwin Suall, to discuss their work on anti-Semite Lyndon LaRouche. "Our view then of Irwin Suall was that he was this really terrific investigator," says Berlet. "So we introduce ourselves, say what we are up to and Suall leans back in his chair and basically runs down a dossier on each of us: about what our political activities are, who we work with, what organizations we belong to. Obviously, he was just trying to blow us away and he succeeds admirably. We were just sitting there with our mouths open feeling very uncomfortable."

"And then he leans forward and says, 'The right-wing isn't the problem. The left-wing is the problem. The Soviet Union is the biggest problem in the world for Jews. It's the American left that is the biggest threat to American Jews. You're on the wrong track. You're part of the problem.' We were stunned. I was virtually in tears. This is not how I perceived myself. We basically stumbled out of there in a daze."[4]




Roy Bullock | Laura Kam, worked for ADL for 17 years as Press Officer and ran the Jerusalem office | Tom Gerard, SFPD Officer | Irwin Suall, head of Fact-Finding Dept, 1993 |

Resources and Notes



Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Impressions of my two days with Gilad Atzmonarticle26 February 2014Trevor La BonteTrevor La Bonte describes two days spent with Gilad Atzmon during their two duo-concert appearances in Austin and Houston, Texas, USA in February 2014. Revealing especially for the light it sheds on Jewish efforts to demonise Atzmon and the extent to which ordinary citizens (in this case La Bonte's father) are intimidated into silent complicity.
Document:Murdoch's Deeply Hidden Jewish RootsArticle16 July 2011Christopher Bollyn“For some reason, Keith Rupert Murdoch has always tried to hide the fact that his pious mother, Elisabeth Joy Murdoch (née Greene), brought him up as a Jew.”
64 pounds thermometer.png
As of 27 September, our 19 Patrons are giving £64/month, almost 2/3 of our webhosting bill. Please help keep this site running by donating or spreading the word about our Patreon page.


  1. ADL Website, accessed 12 march 2009 See Also ADL History.
  2. Robert I. Friedman, The Enemy Within, The Village Voice, 11 May 1993, Vol. XXXVIII No. 19. Village Voice synopsis: How The Anti-Defamation League Turned the Notion of Human Rights on Its Head, Spying on Progressives and Funneling Information to Law Enforcement.
  3. Jeffrey Blankfort, Anne Poirier and Steve Zeltzer, The ADL Spying Case Is Over, But The Struggle Continues, Counterpunch, 25 February 2002.
  4. Robert I. Friedman, The Enemy Within, The Village Voice, 11 May 1993, Vol. XXXVIII No. 19. Village Voice synopsis: How The Anti-Defamation League Turned the Notion of Human Rights on Its Head, Spying on Progressives and Funneling Information to Law Enforcement.