On Wednesday, the far-left smear factory Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) took aim at OANN correspondent Jack Posobiec, claiming his rise was “tied to [the] white supremacist movement,” and accusing Posobiec of anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action bolstered the SPLC’s anti-Semitism accusations.
Yet some Jewish leaders defended Posobiec, condemning the SPLC and ADL for targeting the OANN correspondent when major black celebrities have praised notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. Indeed, the SPLC released this investigation just after Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson shared a fake quote from Adolf Hitler warning that “white Jews” planned for “world domination.” After Jackson apologized, former NBA player Stephen Jackson defended DeSean Jackson’s posts, saying he had been “speaking truth.” Both DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson praise Farrakhan.
Dov Hikind, a Jewish radio talk show host and former Democratic member of the New York State Assembly, slammed the SPLC and ADL for focusing on Posobiec rather than Farrakhan.
“[Diddy] just promoted notorious antisemitic, anti-American [Louis Farrakhan] w/ support from [Snoop Dogg] & [Meek Mill] as well as [former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe], & [DeSean Jackson] misquoted Hitler w/ support from Stephen Jackson & [retired NBA player Larry Johnson] but the Left goes after… [Jack Posobiec]? Pathetic!” Hikind tweeted.
Yossi Gestetner, co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC), delved into the SPLC reports and found them less than convincing.
“I read the articles by [the SPLC] about [Posobiec],” Gestetner tweeted. “They try to sandbag him over A) getting 2 stories wrong B) a stunt C) Speaking at an event attended by a then-[Daily Caller] writer. D) Having a [falsehood] in his bio a few years back. They did find a clear cut bad tweet.”
“It’s despicable for Jewish Community organizations to abuse their status for political gain. Scroll through tweets by OJPAC (an org I co-founded) and you will notice that we call out issues on both sides equally and most of our tweets [avoid] the [political] arena to begin with,” Gestetner added. “There are plenty of active bigots with huge platforms that need to be called out and shunned. To go after [Jack Posobiec]
with third-degree-of-separation items or items that are not anti-Semitic or items that are not recent, cheapens the cause of fighting [anti-Semitism].”
“In the county where I live, for example, the admin and commentators of [a] large political Facebook group keep posting negatively and in generalized terms about Hasidim. Major papers in NY write about Hasidim in ways that they don’t write about anyone else, yet you want me to be worked up because [Jack Posobiec] chased down 2 false stories? because he trolled? because he wrote on his bio “frmr CBS” when he in fact did work for a CBS affiliate? Because he made a mistake or two?” the OJPAC leader added. “Stop abusing the issue of hate for your petty politics!”
Gestetner concluded by noting an ADL report from June 2017, when Posobiec organized a new rally “after learning that racists & anti-Semites would be allowed to voice their views” at an original rally where he was scheduled to speak. “Posobiec has clashed verbally with white supremacist Richard Spencer who called Posobiec’s Rally… ‘pathetic.'”
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Posobiec has hyped false narratives — the most prominent example being “Pizzagate,” a conspiracy theory that inspired a man to invade Comet Ping Pong with a gun, aiming to liberate children whom he thought were being held there as part of a pedophile ring including Bill and Hillary Clinton. Posobiec is a provocateur and he has sent out a few troubling tweets. But as Gestetner noted, most of the SPLC’s attacks boil down to guilt-by-association smears, which are the SPLC’s stock-in-trade.
As I have documented here at PJ Media and in my book Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the SPLC routinely defames mainstream conservative and Christian organizations, accusing them of being “hate groups” on par with the Ku Klux Klan. Since the SPLC gained fame by bankrupting the KKK and related groups, this accusation carries a great deal of weight. The SPLC has argued in congressional testimony that its “hate group” list is a statistically-significant measure for the threat of white supremacist terrorism, even though most of the groups it accuses of being “hate groups” are not even racist, much less inciting or hateful.
Former SPLC employees have confessed to having been part of the “con” to scare donors into ponying up cash by exaggerating hate. To make matters worse, the SPLC’s co-founder, Morris Dees, resigned amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal last March.
In 2012, a would-be terrorist broke into the Family Research Council (FRC), a conservative Christian non-profit in D.C., aiming to kill everyone in the building and place a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich by his or her head. The terrorist was foiled, but he told the FBI that he targeted FRC because the SPLC accused it of being a “hate group.” The SPLC condemned the attack, but it continues to level the smear at FRC.
The SPLC carries a great deal of weight in Big Tech, corporate America, and the media. Many media outlets still consider the group credible, even though it settled a defamation lawsuit in 2018 after accusing an anti-terror Muslim reformer of being an “anti-Islamic extremist.” It faces continuing lawsuits.
The SPLC has also turned against Trump, mentioning the president no fewer than 66 times in its “hate group” report for 2019, released at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, the smear factory specifically mentioned Trump in its announcement on the Posobiec investigation.
“Jack Posobiec’s extensive ties to white supremacists should serve as a wake-up call for anyone who hasn’t made the connection between Trump’s MAGA movement and hate,” SPLC senior investigative reporter Michael Edison Hayden said. The news release credited Hayden with uncovering “the story about Posobiec and his ties to white supremacy and the White House.”
Posobiec is far from perfect, but the SPLC is not to be trusted. When it comes to fighting anti-Semitism, perhaps the SPLC and ADL should take a closer look at the people mainstreaming Louis Farrakhan.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.