Part 1.

The Canard Strategy. Foxman loves to silence his opponents by simply saying that they are resorting to canards. Andrew Joyce began his article “Justice Denied: Thoughts on Truth, “canards,” and the Marc Rich Case” by noting:

One of the most intriguing features of the posturing of the Anti-Defamation League, and other Jewish ethnic activist organizations, is their frequent discussion of what they call ‘canards.’ There are, I am informed, many ‘canards’ ranging from allegations that ‘the Jews’ killed God and mutilated communion wafers, to allegations that Jews control the media and have inordinate influence in the areas of culture and politics. … It was apparent to me that the question of whether Jews were supernatural ‘demons,’ and the question of Jewish over-representation in the media or at elite universities, were clearly worlds apart — the former simply ridiculous and the latter capable of being empirically examined and, at least in theory, logically and rationally discussed. …

Over time, organizations such as the ADL have come to jealously guard this list [of canards], and ‘canard’ has in fact achieved the remarkable feat of acting like a magic word — capable on deployment of making even the most blatant Jewish misdemeanor disappear. Take for example American Jews, who are no more ‘loyal’ to Israel than a Chinaman — because to suggest otherwise would be to employ the ‘canard’ of ‘dual loyalty.’ Likewise, Jews have an unblemished record when it comes to matters financial — because to say otherwise would be to employ the ‘canard’ of the greedy or untrustworthy Jew. Palestinian children never fall victim to Israeli incendiary devices — because to say otherwise would be to employ the ‘canard’ of the ‘Blood Libel.’

A good example of Foxman using the canard strategy related to dual loyalty was his reaction to a Huffpo article that attributed Sen. Bob Menendez’s attempt to undermine the Obama administration’s Iran policy to AIPAC influence.  Now one might think that the matter of AIPAC influence would be obvious or at least a strong possibility for a senator who received $340,000 from AIPAC (more than any other candidate in the 2012 election cycle), but Foxman sees nothing but a canard:

Whether done intentionally or not, it is deeply troubling to see how easily even a well-respected mainstream media outlet like the Huffington Post can fail to see the ugly stereotype projected when the language of “sabotage” is combined with the image of an identifiably American Jewish organization known for its effectiveness in promoting U.S. political support for Israel. The charge of dual loyalty leveled against Jews has, for centuries, been a catalyst for scapegoating and vilifying Jews. It has no legitimate place in our society.

But it’s an effective strategy:

The result of this strategy is that legitimate discussions of Jewish influence and dual loyalty are off limits under pain of being charged with “anti-Semitism.” Foxman’s tactic, very familiar by now, is to argue that somehow the fact that Jews have been charged with dual loyalty and power over governments over the centuries logically implies that any current suggestion of dual loyalty and influence by Jews could not possibly have any empirical basis—that such charges are automatically nothing more than scapegoating. …

The common sense of it is just the opposite: If over the centuries Jewish groups in widely separated times and places have often been seen as influencing governments to pursue policies beneficial to Jews but not necessarily the rest of society and as more loyal to Jews in other societies than to the wider society they live in, the obvious suggestion is that these are real patterns, as indeed they are (see here, p. 38ff on Jews as an influential elite and p. 60ff for the pattern of dual loyalty; it’s interesting that the first examples of both of these “canards” may be found in the Book of Exodus). …

The charge of “age-old anti-Semitic canards” cuts off any rational, empirically based debate before it can start, which is exactly what the ADL wants. The charges themselves are portrayed as nothing but irrational anti-Semitism reflecting a medieval mindset. No need to discuss the evidence. (“The Canard Strategy in Service of War with Iran“)

The canard strategy was also on display in the wake of the financial meltdown:

It’s well known that when the financial meltdown first hit, the ADL was concerned about “a dramatic upsurge” in anti-Jewish messages on Internet discussion boards devoted to finance and the economy in reaction to the huge bailout of Wall Street. The ADL press release is predictable in its attempt to characterize such outbursts as irrational hatred against Jews: Abe Foxman complained darkly that in times of economic downturns, ”The age-old canards … about Jews and money are always just beneath the surface.” (“Jews Embarrassed by Jews: Slumlords — and Goldman Sachs“) (more…)