An Ill Wind From Norway

How Andrew Breivik Has Helped Assuage Abe Foxman’s Internet Nightmares

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
September 21, 2011

“‘Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes,” wrote Christopher Bullock almost three centuries ago in his comedic farce, The Cobler of Preston. If he were writing today, however, the English playwright might consider adding a third certainty: No matter where or when an act of terrorism occurs, it won’t be long before Abe Foxman interprets it as a “reminder” of the dangers of not heeding the Anti-Defamation League’s relentless dire warnings about hate-inspired extremism.

Three days after the July 22 terror attacks in Norway, the self-described “world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism” issued a press release entitled “ADL: Norwegian Terrorist Motivated By Growing Extremist Ideology In Europe And The U.S.” Citing its national director, the ADL described the attacks in Norway as “a stark reminder of the broad range of violent terror threats” facing the world today. “These attacks underscore the serious and potent threat of violence posed by a variety of dangerous extremists from across the ideological spectrum,” said Foxman. “This includes the ‘lone-wolf’ extremists, who have access to extremist ideologies on the Internet from around the world.”

The ADL press release went on to point out, “The suspect in the July 22 attacks, Andrew [sic] Behring Breivik, published a 1,500-page manifesto quoting from the writings of European and American anti-Muslim writers, including Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who promote a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the pretext of fighting radical Islam.” In an interesting Freudian slip, Foxman’s supposedly reliable “fact-finding ” organisation confused the suspect’s given name, Anders, with that of his alleged online avatar, “Andrew Berwick” – said to be the Anglicised version of his name – the supposed author of the online manifesto.

“Breivik was clearly influenced by an ideological movement both in the United States and Europe that is rousing public fear by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith,” Foxman self-righteously proclaims, while neglecting to mention that movement’s source, which can easily be traced to the same foreign government
that the ADL works so hard to defend against even the most measured criticism. The self-congratulatory League may have, as its press release claims, “extensively reported on individuals who promote a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda in this country,” but it most certainly, and not surprisingly, has never probed too deeply into the apparent state-sponsored roots of that Islamophobic network.

As the ADL’s press release observes, the online manifesto attributed to Anders Behring Breivik owes much to Web sites such as Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. In its extensive reporting on the likes of Geller and Spencer, however, Foxman’s fact-finders have shown little or no interest in the source of their funding. Over the past three years, for example, up to $1 million has been funneled to the Los Angeles-based Jihad Watch through David Horowitz’s Freedom Center by Joyce Chernick, whose husband, Aubrey, is a former trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy – a think tank created by AIPAC, which lobbies Congress on behalf of the Israeli government. No doubt compounding the ADL’s lack of curiosity is the fact that the self-styled civil rights organisation is one of an ostensibly diverse range of pro-Israel groups that has received funding from the Chernicks’ Fairbrook Foundation.

Could it be that Foxman’s condemnation of Islamophobia is nothing more than a fig leaf to conceal his efforts to counter a more plausible source of anxiety: the growing awareness in the United States and around the world of Zionist criminality? Isn’t the spread of such so-called “anti-Semitism” a more likely cause of the ADL’s concern about “access to extremist ideologies on the Internet”?

A survey of ADL press releases and reports on alleged “lone wolf” extremist incidents over the past few years reveals such pointed titles as “White Supremacist Shooting at U.S. Holocaust Museum Shows Where Spread of Hatred Can Lead,” “John Patrick Bedell and the Lethal Lure of Conspiracy Theories,” and “Arizona Shooter’s Online Footprint Shows Distrust Of Government, Interest In Conspiracy Theories.” In this context, the Norway terror attacks of Anders – or is it Andrew? – Behring Breivik that were seemingly inspired by the conspiracy theory of an Islamic takeover of Europe (created, significantly, by extremist Zionist “historian” Bat Ye’or) serve as an even more frightening reminder of the dangers posed by conspiracy-fueled extremism.

“The obvious danger to Americans and Europeans,” Foxman warns in a July 30 Washington Post op-ed, “is that as this movement grows and solidifies, more people may become motivated to violence by this hateful ideology.” To avert this alleged danger, the ADL’s national director suggests that “the polarization, vitriol and fear engendered by anti-Islamic activists must be replaced by reasoned and civil debate. We must rally the voices of reason to overcome the voices of intolerance before it is too late.”

However, as far as Abe Foxman is concerned, it’s pretty safe to assume that the primary “voices of intolerance” to be overcome include those who refuse to swallow the ADL’s “anti-conspiratorial” line that Israel’s premeditated attack on the USS Liberty was a tragic “error,” that applying the apartheid analogy to the “Jewish state” is a “big lie,” or that Mearsheimer and Walt’s measured critique of the Israel lobby is little more than an “anti-Jewish screed.” If that’s any indication of what Foxman has in mind by “reasoned and civil debate,” those who still talk of “Dancing Israelis” on 9/11 must surely be in Andrew Breivik territory – and will find themselves treated as such.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “An Ill Wind From Norway

  1. I was recently accused of having a hatred of Jews, for having expressed an opinion, which was fully in keeping with the well known proclivity of the State of Israel to carry out “false flag” attacks, in order to generate an excuse to launch attacks against so-called Muslim extremists. I found this quite amusing as I have spent most of my adult life hacking away at the British and their barbaric behaviour across a huge swath of the planet and yet, I have never once been accused of having a hatred of the British. What’s more, who would care if I did?

  2. Thanks. It’s interesting how many people are less tolerant of criticism of Israel than they are of criticism of any other country, including their own.

  3. Duncan

    “Could it be that Foxman’s condemnation of Islamophobia is nothing more than a fig leaf to conceal his efforts to counter a more plausible source of anxiety: the growing awareness in the United States and around the world of Zionist criminality?”

    Is criminality too strong a term here? Zionist influence and duplicity is a fact but “criminality” may be overstepping.

  4. Thank you for your comment, Duncan.

    Perhaps the few examples given here of Zionist influence and duplicity don’t constitute “criminality” as such, but if you look, for example, at the research of Grant. F. Smith, Jeff Gates and some others, it’s difficult to describe Zionism’s behaviour as anything other than criminal.

  5. Duncan

    Criminal in terms of espionage and international law but these are ambiguous areas in which many or most countries operate.

    I’m just worried if you start using the “criminal” word you could end up disqualifying yourself from the realm of serious discussion and be relegated to the lunatic fringe of racists and conspiracy nuts. You are way too convincing and rational a voice to let a matter of semantics do that to you. I think you should err on the side of caution when it comes to rhetoric that could have you branded as antisemitic. Which, incidentally, is exactly what you do in all of the pieces I’ve read so far. This “criminalty” word here is the first time I worried you might have made a small faux pas.

    Do not give them any opening to stigmatize you.

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