What Happened to the ADL?

In the months leading up to the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, a former director of the World Jewish Congress decried the direction in which the new head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was taking the international human rights group. In a series of columns, Isi Leibler — a prominent Australian Israeli — blasted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, for turning the 100-year-old organization, whose mission is to monitor and expose anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, into a platform that “represents an echo chamber of left-wing Democratic politics.”

Leibler first took issue with Greenblatt’s April 2016 address to the far-Left Jewish organization J Street, backed by anti-Israel billionaire George Soros.

Leibler wrote that Greenblatt “incorporated [in his speech] criticisms of Israel that were thoroughly inappropriate…[and] indirectly gave a seal of approval for the Obama administration to impose solutions on future borders that could dramatically compromise Israel’s security.”

Ironically, Greenblatt’s rebuttal, in the form of a letter to the editor of The Jerusalem Post, illustrated Leibler’s point. He not only defended J Street, referring to the people in the audience as “a group of deeply thoughtful college students whose commitment to Israel is genuine and whose passion on the issues is impressive;” he claimed that he had not been morally equating Israel and the Palestinians.

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Yair Netanyahu and the Angry Left

Yair Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 26-year-old son, has been getting some harsh press in recent weeks.

Yair walked (or toddled) onto the stage of public life when he was five years old as he and his then two-year-old little brother Avner accompanied their parents, Bibi and Sara, into the Prime Minister’s Residence for the first time in 1996.

For nearly 20 years, the Netanyahu boys were little more than a silent presence standing to the side of their parents on election nights. But while Avner remains on the sidelines while serving as a combat soldier, Yair is no longer a stage extra in his parents’ story.

In recent years the older Netanyahu boy has taken to Facebook. And it works out that he is quite an iconoclast.

Yair’s iconoclasm is unsurprising. The Israeli establishment has been bludgeoning his parents since Yair was learning to finger-paint. It would be bizarre if he sought its approval.

Not only does he not seek acceptance from the leftist elite, he clearly holds its members in contempt.

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Germany: The Rise of Islam

Jan Fleischhauer, a journalist of the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, coined an expression to define the free fall of German Christianity: Selbstsäkularisierung (“self-secularization”). It is the Church being liquidated?

The German Bishops’ Conference just released the data on the decline of Catholicism in Germany for 2016. In one year, the German Catholic Church lost 162,093 faithful and closed 537 parishes. From 1996 to today, one quarter of the Catholic communities have been closed. “The faith has evaporated,” said Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1982 to 2007.

Christians in Germany will become a minority in the next 20 years, according to Die Welt. Around 60% of the country is currently Christian, with 24 million Catholics and 23 million Protestants. But that number is falling by 500,000 a year through deaths alone. “Those statistics are embodied by what visitors observe in German cities on Sunday: largely empty churches”, the Catholic theologian George Weigel wrote.

German Protestantism is facing the same crisis. Die Zeit revealed that in 2016, 340,000 Protestants passed away, and there were just 180,000 baptisms. Some 190,000 people left the church and just 25,000 people chose to join it.

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