A prominent Jewish organization, the Anti-Defamation League, will be hosting a keynote speech from an accused Israeli military official alleged to have committed serious war crimes at their annual New York conference on Thursday.
The powerful ADL bills itself as a civil society organization dedicated to battling expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and hate. The purpose of the upcoming conference, titled “Never Is Now,” will be to foster “meaningful dialogue, education and interpersonal connections,” in order to “continue the fight against antisemitism, hate and bias in all its forms—together.”
Featured speakers will include figures such as Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and actor David Schwimmer.
They will be sharing a stage with retired Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, a man who was the subject of outstanding arrest warrants in the United Kingdom for crimes against humanity.
In 2005, the chief London magistrate issued a warrant for Almog’s arrest for his actions as head of the IDF’s Southern Command between 2000 and 2003. British law asserts universal jurisdiction for war crimes.
According to the indictment, Almog ordered his forces to indiscriminately bulldoze the houses of Arabs living in the occupied Gaza Strip in the Egyptian border city of Rafah, an ethnic cleansing campaign which turned over 10,000 people into homeless refugees.
On July 22nd, 2002, Almog ordered a military strike on the residence of a Palestinian activist resisting the demolition campaign, which killed over a dozen people, including nine children, according to court records.
During a 2005 incident, Almog learned that he was the subject of a secret warrant when he landed at Heathrow airport, which led him to return to his plane and hide until it returned to Israel. Scotland Yard documents show that British counter-terrorism officers did not arrest the fugitive due to fear that Almog would open fire on them and cause a gun battle to break out in the middle of the airport.
After Almog’s getaway, human rights organizations such as Amnesty International publicly condemned British security forces for allowing the dangerous and egregious violator of the Geneva convention to escape justice.
While the warrant for the suspect’s arrest appears to have expired due to subsequent amendments to British human rights laws, Almog continues to avoid setting foot in the UK.
Almog remains a highly controversial figure among non-Jews internationally, but global Jewry has embraced him as a hero. In 2016, Almog was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement, and earlier this year, he was made head of the Jewish Agency, suggesting that there is no stigma with being associated to the military figure among Jews.
The ADL has been the subject of intense public scrutiny in recent years for its campaigns targeting Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk, Kanye West, and Kyrie Irving in the name of combating what it perceives as speech and action that undermines the interests of the Jewish community. The group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, also admitted responsibility for the deplatforming of President Donald Trump from social media.