So the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that has a long history of fighting discrimination and bigotry, has apparently gone bonkers: they have joined forces with fringe lunatics like Sarah Palin in opposition to the construction of an Islamic Center two blocks from the Ground Zero. Their rationale?
"We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001. The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process."
Adam Serwer responds:
I learned a very important lesson in Hebrew School that I have retained my entire life. If they can deny freedom to a single individual because of who they are, they can do it to anyone. Someone at the ADL needs to go back to Hebrew School.
I have learned the same lesson in my life, not just in Hebrew School, but also being the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. So too has J Street. Even if you have no intention of ever setting foot inside such a center, you should still stand up against the campaign of irrational fear-mongering being waged against the facility -- especially if you are part of a group whose mission is to fight all forms of bigotry. Whether or not the proposed Islamic Center is politically popular is besides the point: the bottom-line is that you can't put an asterisk next to tolerance.