Edited by Jack Mirkinson for The Nation
IF THERE WAS ANY DOUBT that the vicious, censorious politics of the Sept. 11 era have returned in force after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre and Israel’s collective punishment of Gaza, the recent actions of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have removed it.
An "urgent" open letter issued last Thursday by the ADL—which, lest we forget, promotes itself as one of America’s leading defenders of civil rights—and the Louis Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law urged college and university administrators to “immediately investigate” their campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for “potential violations of the prohibition against materially supporting a foreign terrorist organization.” They claim to have sent the letter to nearly 200 schools.
The ADL provided not a shred of evidence for that incendiary, potentially life-ruining accusation. It instead cited overheated rhetoric at pro-Palestinian campus demonstrations post-Oct. 7, including from some who defended Hamas. It interpreted references to “resistance” to the siege, bombardment, and invasion of Gaza exclusively as support for terrorism—not, say, as a rejection of the Israeli stranglehold around a densely packed area of 2.3 million people.