Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Pro-Israel McCarthyism: A Third Lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League Inches Forward

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Pro-Israel McCarthyism: A Third Lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League Inches Forward

Article excerpt

Pro-Israel McCarthyism: A Third Lawsuit Against the Anti-Defamation League Inches Forward

The Anti-Defamation League was originally founded to combat racial and religious prejudice, but since has turned to attacking critics of Israel. Now, thanks to a ruling handed down in late November by the California First District Court of Appeals, ADL has suddenly become a "journalistic organization." The ruling was announced in a case initiated five years ago by 17 Bay Area residents whose private records were found in the ADL's files. The plaintiffs, who are represented by former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, assert that ADL obtained their records illegally.

The lawsuit was filed after police raids on ADL offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1992 found that ADL was keeping records on more than 1,000 law-abiding citizens, most of whom were Arab Americans. Also included were files on anti-apartheid activists, environmentalists, and members of groups such as the ACLU and the American Friends Service Committee.

ADL had obtained the confidential records from a former San Francisco police inspector named Tom Gerard, who had illegally taken them home after his police intelligence unit was disbanded in response to complaints by civil liberties groups. Gerard gave many of the files to Roy Bullock, a close friend who was also a paid investigator for the ADL.

Bullock regularly spied on such groups as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Nation of Islam, as well as anti-apartheid activists. …

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