The ADL Legal Case Is Over But The Struggle Continues
Statement On Settlement by Jeffrey Blankfort, Anne Poirier and
Steve Zeltzer, Plaintiffs in the of ADL Spying Case February, 25,
In 1993, San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith released 700
pages of documents implicating the Anti-Defamation League, an
organization that claims to be a defender of civil rights, in a
massive spying operation directed against American citizens who
were opposed to Israel's policies in the Occupied West Bank and
Gaza and to the apartheid policies of the government of South
Africa and passing on information to both governments.
Under massive political pressure, Smith later dropped the charges.
One wonders what would have happened had an Arab-American or
Muslim organization been caught spying with the names of 10,000
people and 600 organizations in their files.
Not only were critics of Israel under ADL's surveillance, including
thousands of Arab-Americans, but labor organizations such as the
San Francisco Labor Council, ILWU Local 10, and the Oakland
Educational Association, and civil rights groups such as the NAACP,
Irish Northern Aid, International Indian Treaty Council and the
Asian Law Caucus were also found in the "pinko" files of ADL's
undercover operative, Roy Bullock.
Moreover, Bullock, who had worked, off the books, for the ADL for
more than 25 years, admitted that he had been reporting on the
activities of black South African exiles and American anti-
apartheid activists for South African intelligence.
Bullock, pretending to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause,
came to the founding meeting of the Labor Committee of the Middle
in 1987 at the home of plaintiff Steve Zeltzer, having met Zeltzer
at meetings of the Free Moses Mayekiso Defense Committee, a South
African labor solidarity committee in which he also infiltrated under
Having been responsible for exposing Bullock as an ADL agent to the
media, we joined together with other Bay Area activists in filing
a suit against the ADL for violation of our privacy rights as
provided in California law.
Almost a decade later the suit has been settled with a significant
cash payment by the ADL and, we wish to emphasize, without our
signing any agreement for confidentiality which the ADL had
previously demanded. Our efforts to expose the organization's work
in defending the policies of the Israeli government and stifling
its opponents will continue, using new information gained in the
pursuance of the suit.
The ADL spent millions of dollars preventing this case from coming
to trial through costly appeals and exploiting the judicial process
but, at the end, it had to give up..
During the course of the suit we learned that:
Bullock, the ADL's top "fact finder" had sold confidential
information to a South African intelligence agent in San Francisco
Ten days before he was assassinated in South Africa, Chris Hani,
the man who would have succeeded Nelson Mandela as the country's
president, was trailed by Bullock on a trip through California who
reported on it to the South African government.
ADL agent Roy Bullock was discovered to have a floor plan of
murdered Los Angeles Arab American leader Alex Odeh and a key to
The ADL supplied confidential information to foreign governments
that it obtained from police and federal agencies in the US,
Having infiltrated the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
(ADC), the ADL's "fact finder" performed a COINTEL-type operation
at the convention of the Holocaust-denying Journal of Historical
Review when he put ADC's literature on convention tables as a way of
smearing the committee for
"working with anti- Semites."
The ADL has organized to silence and eliminate all critical voices
of Israel from academia and the media and has targeted professors
, particularly those who are African American, and who are
critical of Israel.
That up to 50% of the activities of its San Francisco office
were devoted to defending Israel.
The ADL provided secret files to police agencies when these police
agencies were prevented by law from collecting the files
Many questions must still be answered about the activities of the
ADL and it's non-profit status as an "education organization". The
settlement offered by the ADL is recognition on its part that it
could not afford to go to a trial in front of a jury and face the
likelihood that more of its dirty secrets would be revealed.
We call on all people to make sure that these practices on the
part of the ADL are not allowed to continue and that the double
standard that presently dominates this country on issues dealing
with Israel be eliminated.
Finally, we wish to thank our attorney, former congressman Pete
McCloskey, himself a victim of the ADL and the Israel Lobby, for
his years of work on our behalf and his steadfast commitment to the
pursuit of justice. For further information on this case and the role
of the ADL please go to www.adlwatch.org
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