When the ADL first decided to come out in opposition to the proposed mosque/community center being built near the WTC site, Jon Chait declared that it was "such a fundamental violation of the ADL's principles that the group is no longer supportable."
This weekend, Fareed Zakaria became one of the highest profile figures to turn those words into action, electing to return an award and honorarium received from the ADL in 2005. He said that he can no longer in conscience accept either given the dramatic breach the ADL has just initiated with its own founding motives.
And you know what? He's right.
Abe Foxman responds here, and it remains clear that he doesn't get it. As I noted the other day, Foxman continues to believe he is the real victim here -- that he was just misunderstood, that folks today can't grasp "nuance". What I see is that Mr. Foxman believes that Muslims have an obligation to not have a community within some indeterminate radius in southern Manhattan, because other Muslims committing a terrorist atrocity nearby. They have an obligation to restrict their own rights, to limit their freedom of worship, because of the "feelings" of others. Even though we feel sympathy for the victims, insofar as their feelings manifest in the form of blind, unguided anger towards Muslims qua Muslims, they do not deserve the backing of a organization that putatively defends religious liberty.
So, good for Zakaria. And while I highly doubt that the ADL will be admitting their mistake any time soon, here is to hoping. They were wrong on this -- wrong on the deepest, most fundamental level -- and I believe it is a mortal wound to their credibility.
Oh, Joe and N. Friedman are both banned from commenting on this thread. I will delete comments from you sight unseen. Any other commenters are welcome.