AUGUST 3, 2005
(Part Three on ADL director Foxman and the Bloomberg-Independence Party alliance)
One could argue that Foxman's April 20 letter to Mayor Bloomberg--written over a month before the mayor accepted the endorsement of an unrepentant Independence Party--was a misguided attempt to entice the mayor away from the IP with honey. But this interpretation of the letter is refuted not only by Foxman's silence over Bloomberg's post-April actions, but also by remarks of the ADL's New York regional director, Joel Levy, as quoted in the July 11, 2005 New York Observer.
"I think that the Independence Party needs to itself reject the unacceptable views of Lenora Fulani," Levy said. "People in any political party have a responsibility to be sure that its leaders stand for views that they support. And I believe that the Independence Party membership doesn't support anti-Semitism."
Here we see the same false distinction between Fulani and the rest of the IP--the same preposterous assumption that the hundreds of Newmanite cadre members in the IP are a mere cipher--that has become the mantra of the Bloomberg reelection campaign.
Fulani herself appeared to give the lie to Levy's version of the mantra by telling the Observer that (in the Observer reporter's words) "none of her Independence Party colleagues have pressed her to withdraw her inflammatory comments, despite the potential for collateral damage to the party."
Is Fulani telling the truth on this? The Observer talked to her almost three months after her remarks on NY1 News, a period during which one would think that any nominal independents on the IP state committee or county committees--i.e., those who are "useful idiots" of the Newman cult rather than actual members--would have had ample time to search their consciences and rachet up a little courage. The fact that no visible signs of outrage have come from anywhere in the IP except from tiny bands of dissidents with no capacity to influence party decisions, suggests that this is a deeply tainted organization--not the "voice of the growing centrist movement in New York politics" that Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey called it last April, and not the benign, non-bigoted agglomeration implied by the ADL's Levy in July.
One could argue that Levy, in referring to the "responsibility" of IP members to reign in their leaders, was referring not so much to the active IP membership as to the mass of IP enrolled voters. But this would make his comments even more dishonest: The party's enrolled voters (320,000 statewide) are not responsible for the present mess; the political leaders of our city and state--who allowed themselves to be seduced by the Newman-Fulani controlled IP ballot line--are the people who created the Frankenstein monster and have the duty to slay it. It was money from Governor Pataki in 2002 and from the mayor over the past four years that financed the deceptive voter registration efforts resulting in the IP's current bloated voter rolls. And both the governor and the mayor directly participated in the deception by portraying the IP as a moderate or "centrist" political organization.
And even assuming the hapless IP enrollees would listen to Levy's lecture about their "responsibility," what could they do? They have no relationship to the party organization and no practical means of expressing their disagreement except through changing their party registration. I suggested in my open letter to Mayor Bloomberg last month ("Mr. Mayor, Tear Down That Wall!") that he put resources into mailings to the IP voter rolls to inform them of the true nature of the party leadership and to urge them to vote for him on another line (http://lyndonlarouchewatch.org/wall.htm). I detect no evidence that the mayor took this advice. Likewise, I see no indications that the mayor, the ADL or anyone else with clout who purports to be phenomenally offended by Ms. Fulani's April 13 remarks is beating down the doors of the tiny network of principled IP dissidents around Michael Zumbluskas to provide them with resources to wage a meaningful fight.
Given these considerations, Levy's suggestion that IP enrolled voters have the prime "responsibility" for fighting the IP leadership's bigotry is merely an attempt to avoid, at all costs, offending the real guilty parties, and especially Mayor Bloomberg.
As to the real problem inside the IP, the ADL knows full well that it's not only Fulani as an individual, but also the Independence Party cadre organization, or cult, led by Fred Newman which has moved step by step since the 1990s to gain dominance over the so-called independent political movement in New York.
How do I know that the ADL knows this? Just read the watchdog group's 1995 report on Newman and Fulani, "A Cult By Any Other Name: The New Alliance Party Dismantled and Reincarnated." (As of August 1, 2005, the ADL did not provide access to this report from its home page or its search button--possibly as a favor to the mayor--but you can find it at http://www.adl.org/special_reports/nap.asp.)
In the report's Executive Summary, the ADL clearly defines the cadre organization that now runs the Independence Party as a "vehicle used by its behind-the-scenes leader, Dr. Fred Newman, to achieve power." Not Fulani, but Newman. Not a conglomeration of non-bigoted individuals waiting for the ADL to tell them to repudiate Fulani, but a vehicle--indeed, a political "cult"--headed by a man who, along with his acolyte Fulani, has peppered his writings and speeches with "Jew-baiting remarks."
The 29-page report describes in detail how Newman and his followers had disbanded their previous electoral front, the openly pro-revolution New Alliance Party, and were operating as a disciplined force using "deceptive tactics" in an attempt to gain control of the independent political movement inspired by H. Ross Perot. The report speaks of the Newman group's success in infiltrating Perot's Patriot Party nationally at a time when the Newmanites were already playing an important role in the New York Independence Party, the vehicle for Patriot Party style activities in our state. The report is replete with terms like "co-opt," "hijack" and "power-hungry group," and it asks: "Will it [the Newman group] succeed in dominating the Patriot Party, and does it have even larger targets in mind...?" [emphasis added}
The copyright on the report is 2001, which indicates that the ADL believed the Newman group had not changed its conspiratorial and anti-Semitic nature between 1995 and 2001. By the latter year, Newman and Fulani had in fact gained dominance over the IP and were deeply involved in supporting Michael Bloomberg's initial run for mayor.
Consider the contrast between this report and what Levy told the Observer. Are we expected to believe that the Newman "cult" (as the ADL called it in the 2001-copyrighted report) has magically changed in only four years and is now like a family of nice, sincere, tolerant people saddled with a single bigoted relative? Let's see...
* Has Fred Newman (he who once called the "Jews as a people" the worldwide "stormtroopers of decadent capitalism against people of color") changed? In 2004, his All Stars theater put on a play he wrote blaming the Crown Heights pogrom on the Jews.
* Has Jacqueline Salit (head of the IP's think tank and a frequent spokesperson for the IP itself) changed? In 2003 she sent a letter to the Forward (after the Jewish weekly published an article that quoted Fulani's 1989 "mass murderers" statement as an example of the Newman group's extremism). In her letter Salit said almost exactly what Fulani would say on NY1 in 2005--that it's not anti-Semitic to call Jews "mass murderers of people of color." And last April, a New York Times article described Salit as saying, re Fulani's NY1 performance, "that Dr. Fulani is not anti-Semitic and that those who are trying to exploit what she has said are doing so for political gain."
* Has Cathy Stewart, the chairperson of the IP's powerful New York County organization, changed? On April 17, 2005 she sent a letter to the Times (in reply to an editorial that had criticized Fulani's April 13 remarks) asking: "What are we to make of the Times' histrionics about both the Independence Party and Lenora Fulani? That New York should be content to have only two political parties and only one political position on the Middle East?"
If the Newman cult has changed, so that Fulani now only speaks as an individual, wouldn't cult members and leaders have announced it to the world? Wouldn't they have hastened to tell Fulani to zip up her mouth instead of making excuses for her? And when has any cult or extremist group turned around and renounced the fundamental principles of its own leader (which renouncing Newman's anti-Semitism would certainly amount to) unless it first engaged in a dramatic internal struggle that the media would surely hear about?
As to Levy and Foxman, is it possible that they haven't even read their own organization's report on the Newmanites? How can these ADL leaders, who solicit millions of dollars a year from the Jewish community promising to keep it safe from anti-Semitism, justify their failure to speak out forcefully and truthfully (with no political "spin") against Mayor Bloomberg's alliance with a group that the ADL's own fact-finding department defines as a power-hungry anti-Semitic cult?