Irwin Suall - Dead at 73

From Forward obituary ...

A child of immigrants who grew up in the 1940s on the Lower East Side of New York, Suall was, as a teenager, a vocal member of the Young People's Socialist League. During a trip to Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War, Suall began to realize that his efforts on behalf of democracy and human dignity were part of a larger Jewish struggle. Abraham Foxman, a longtime friend and colleague of Suall's, remembers him returning from that trip a changed man. Though he did stints at the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the Jewish Labor Committee, it was Suall's years as director of fact-finding at the Anti-Defamation League that defined him. Suall catalogued the work of right-wing hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi skinheads and the John Birch Society. In these efforts, the prevailing winds of political correctness were at his back. Suall was also willing, however, to raise an alarm over anti-Semitism on the left. For this he was demonized and maligned by so-called defenders of democracy. Suall wore these epithets with pride. With the Cold War over, Irwin Suall seemed to some to have become an anachronism. But there are those of us who for years to come will tremble with admiration at the mention of his name.

A TWA Pilot remembers ...

The obituary notice of Irwin Suall of the ADL brought back some memories for me. Your story dealt mostly with the ADL's actions against some of the most patriotic organizations in the USA. They did not stop there. They went after me, an individual. I am now a retired TWA Captain, as well as a retired LCDR USN. During the 1970's, I flew many trips to Tel Aviv. What I saw there was just the opposite of what I read about the place in the newspapers. The media claims that Israel was "The only Democracy in the Mid-East" were shockingly wrong. Israel is as much a two-tier society today as Germany was in 1939. They just inverted the place, put the Jews on top, and the Gentiles underfoot....

Finally, a few sympathizers sent me titles and addresses of good sources of information on the subject. Soon, I had a compact library of material. My letters became more hard-hitting, and more difficult to rebut. Enter Mr. Suall, of the ADL. In a letter to my Chief Pilot, he complained loudly about how there was an anti-Semite flying TWAs airplanes, to Tel Aviv, of all places. How does TWA expect its Jewish passengers feel with a maniac like this flying them? I was hauled in to the office and asked to explain myself. I did. I told my boss I was exercising my freedom of the press, and I was not involving the company in my letters. I also pointed out that the Gentiles in Israel were Semites, whereas most of the Jews were not.

Apparently Suall became enraged that no action was taken. More letters followed in which I was described as insane, dangerous, a poor pilot, a drunk, a wife beater, a child abuser, etc. and for G-ds sake, shut this man up!. All this was nonsense, of course. I have a lovely Irish wife and 6 healthy, happy children. When asked by the boss what I had to say for myself, I called Suall a liar.
The ADL's Attack On Me

One of the defendents in the 1993 "ADL Spy Trial"

On October 21, 1993, the Plaintiffs filed this action (the "Litigation") against, among others, the ADL Defendants. ... For purposes of this Final Settlement Order, the ADL Defendants include the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith ("ADL"), Roy E. Bullock, and Irwin Suall, including all existing and former employees, officers, directors and agents of ADL, anyone acting under ADL's control or direction, and each of their heirs, successors, estates and any other entity or individual succeeding to their liabilities. SUMMARY OF FINAL AGREEMENT WITH ADL

There have been fears that political pressure might squelch the case against the Anti-Defamation League spies being built by the San Francisco District Attorney, Arlo Smith. But the "San Francisco Examiner" for May 11 carried a story by Dennis Opatrny and Scott Winokur reporting that top officials of the ADL are "the ultimate targets of the San Francisco district attorney's domestic spying investigation." Such officials include the ADL's New York-based director of research, Irwin Suall. Meanwhile, the ADL's strategy is to link critics of its spy operation with neo-Nazis and with the World Trade Center bombers. The ADL Spy Probe from Alexander Cockburn's "Beat the Devil," The Nation. May 31, 1993

... the California Court of Appeals handed down a decision that paves the way for a major test later this year of the ADL's penchant for spying on its enemies. It was the most significant episode in a slow-moving class-action case filed in 1993 by 19 pro-Palestinian and anti-apartheid activists who claim to be victims of the ADL's snooping operations. The plaintiffs say they were illegally spied on by Bullock, then considered the ADL's top "fact-finder" by his now deceased chief, Irwin Suall, and that such spying constituted an invasion of privacy under the provisions of the California Constitution. ... In his locker, they found a black executioner's hood, a number of photos of dark-skinned men bound and blindfolded, CIA manuals, a secret document on interrogation techniques, stamped "secret" and referring to El Salvador, and numerous passports and IDs in a variety of names, all with his picture. This splendid fellow began meeting with Richard Hirschhaut, chief of the ADL's San Francisco office in 1986 [now Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Director], during which, according to a "confidential" Hirschhaut memo to the aforementioned ADL chief "fact-finder" Suall, he provided "a significant amount of information" on "the activities of specific Arab organizations and individuals in the Bay Area". That memo hasn't been made public but what was reported created a nightmare for the ADL when it turned out that Gerard had been exchanging non-public, personal information from government files with Bullock, a paid informant for the ADL since 1954 and whose own computerized "pinko" files on leftish and liberal folks, when seized by the police, proved to be a third again as large as Gerard's. According to police, his computer contained the names of nearly 12,000 individuals, 77 Arab-American organizations, 29 anti-apartheid organizations, and more than 600 "pinko" groups which included such revolutionary outfits as the NAACP, Asian Law Caucus and SANE/FREEZE, as well as 20 Bay area labor unions including the SF Labor Council. There were in addition, files on 612 right-wing organizations and 27 skinhead groups.


To Irwin Suall, a repentant Trotskyite who heads the ADL's powerful Fact Finding Department, the real danger to Jews is posed not by the right -- but by a coalition of leftists, blacks, and Arabs, who in his view threaten the fabric of democracy in America, as well as the state of Israel. In the tradition of his ideological soulmate William Casey, Suall directed the ADL's vast network of informants, who were given code names like "Scumbag," "Ironside," and -- for a spy reportedly posing as a priest in Atlanta -- "Flipper." How The Anti-Defamation League Turned the Notion of Human Rights on Its Head By Robert I. Friedman The Village Voice, May 11, 1993

Another of the organizations (which does have some grass-roots membership support) is dominated at the top by a veteran CIA operative who maintained a cozy long-time relationship with Irwin Suall of the ADL, and by a Republican direct mail promoter who is a known informant for Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center. DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Members included David Bialkin of the Committee of 300 law-firm, Wilkie, Farr and Gallagher (Bialkin ran the ADL for many years). Eddie Cantor, Eric Trist of Tavistock, Leon Trotsky and John Graham, a.k.a., Irwin Suall. Suall being a member of the British SIS, the elite secret services. Dr. John Coleman advised in his book, The Committee of 300, "Let nobody underestimate the power of the ADL, nor its long reach."

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