Demonizing Those Against Illegal Immigration

Stephen Steinlight emails:

Hi, Friends,

I’ve written to several of you over the last months about the rampant McCarthyism employed by my opponents in the immigration debate (NCLR, SPLC, HIAS, LCCR, etc) who have turned the act of disagreeing with them in a policy dispute into sufficient cause to label them nativists, bigots, racists, haters — take your pick. These accusations are knowingly based on lies and are, therefore in the first instance, slander, and therefore a violation of the Ten Commandment’s injunction “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” By seeking to vilify, marginalize and silence their opponents this is also an assault on the First Amendment and the democratic process. Finally, it is incitement to violence.

It’s not news to many of you that I was blacklisted by Hadassah on the basis of fabricated and patently absurd allegations without ever having a chance to refute them– a source of real anguish because I love the organization and have spoken to rave reviews to some 20+ chapters. I should underscore that this action was taken by the national office, not the local chapters. It is indicative of the lack of anything remotely resembling democratic” decision-making in such organizations that none of my hosts were even aware that Hadassah has a position on the immigration debate. (The same is true, I’ve discovered, of B’nai B’rith.) That the Anti-Defamation League defamed me based on lies whose veracity they never bothered to check — such is their belief in truth and justice — bothers me a great deal less. I consider it a point of honor to be “defamed” by an organization that sought to deny the Armenian Genocide to curry favor with the Turks — a source of shame to all Holocaust survivors and to every living Jew with a conscience.

I’m passing along a thoughtful even eloquent brief history/analysis of when and why our opponents decided to launch this campaign of vilification. I hope you find it compelling reading. It is written by my executive director and dear friend, Mark Krikorian. On another occasion I’ll send you a report on the Southern Poverty Law Center that has been the target of exposes and intense criticism for its slimy, unethical operations — and these attacks on its credibility do not come from right wing publications but by such journals as The Nation, Harper’s, etc.

I hope you find Mark’s piece an important contribution to knowledge and understanding of what is going on.

I’ll conclude by saying none of the foul machinations of these organizations could succeed except for the silence of the “good people.” I’m saddened, at times appalled, by the lack of outrage in the Jewish community that has shown itself too lazy or indifferent to investigate preposterous and outrageous charges — or has failed to do so because it is more politically convenient to live with lies. Rather than outrage — what I would have expected — I have witnessed either silent acquiessence or active endorsement. It is sad and shameful.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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