For a man used to always getting his way (and I mean ALWAYS) Abe Foxman must be furious. Only one day after telling The Forward that the Congressional resolution calling on Turkey to acknowledge its genocide against the Armenians was ill-advised, his own hand-picked national board contradicted him and agreed to reexamine the matter:
Under pressure from local board members, the national Anti-Defamation League will reconsider its refusal to support a congressional resolution on the Armenian genocide, the organization’s national director said yesterday.
The decision to reexamine this issue was made a day after the director, Abraham H. Foxman, issued a statement saying that the ADL believed the congressional resolution to be “a counterproductive diversion.”
As it has throughout this controversy, the New England chapter seems to be driving the agenda. It was the one which originally voiced its displeasure with Foxman’s veto of the “g-word” as he called it in The Forward article yesterday. It authorized its director, Andrew Tarsy to call the national police “morally indefensible.” And it is the one which defied Foxman and voted to reinstate Tarsy in his job after Foxman fired him for insubordination (though Abe didn’t call it that):
…The ADL regional board forced the issue to the forefront yesterday when it met at a synagogue in Chestnut Hill and voted in favor of bringing back its fired regional leader, Andrew H. Tarsy, as well as placing the congressional resolution on the national policy-making agenda.
And the award for PR puffery of the week goes to the crisis PR flack hired by Abe to staunch the blood flowing out of his office. This is how the flack explained Tarsy’s mistake in endorsing the term genocide:
“The reason that Andy was terminated was not his position; it was the process,” said George Regan of Boston-based Regan Communications, who said yesterday he was hired to be a spokesman for the national ADL. “It’s a little bit like the closer of the Red Sox publicly disagreeing with Larry Lucchino and John Henry.”
Now, that would be an apt comparison if Abe Foxman OWNED the ADL. But last I checked he was an employee (though a VERY IMPORTANT ONE I grant) just like Tarsy. Abe seems to have forgotten that he serves at the board’s pleasure too just like all the rest of us human beings who’ve worked for Jewish organizations. And there could come a time when Abe no longer provides any pleasure to his board and they give him the boot. The guy’s been there since 1987, 21 years in the job. Don’t you think that’s long enough, Abe?
Thanks to reader Scurrilous, a buddy from Democratic Underground for alerting me to this story.