Kevin Spacey’s majority whip character sabotages the president’s choice for secretary of state after he unearths an editorial criticizing the illegal occupation of Palestine in the college newspaper that was edited by the nominee. In the fictional depiction, the ADL calls the nominee an anti-Semite.
“For us at the Anti-Defamation League, the old Madison Avenue line ‘as long as they spell my name right’ partially applies to the new mini-series House of Cards,” the ADL wrote.
The post goes on to explain that, while on one level they are flattered to be included in the Netflix hit, on another they feel it plays into the image that they criticize anyone who criticizes Israel.
“On one level, we see it as a form of flattery that the creators of the program thought of ADL for such a theme,” they wrote. “On the other hand, it plays into an image of ADL which distorts who we are. It suggests, as some do, that ADL will call anyone who criticizes Israel an anti-Semite with the connected implication that we are trying to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel.”
The truth is that while they would be “sharply critical” of anyone who referred to the West Bank as an occupation, they would not necessarily call that person an anti-Semite.
And ultimately, the ADL explained, they will not protest, as it’s a fictional show.
“We understand that House of Cards is fiction so we have no interest in protesting,” the post concludes. “But the more nuanced view that we have just described is the real ADL, an organization to whom credibility is everything and one that makes sure that the term anti-Semitic is used when it is truly warranted.”
But the ADL’s post raises another question: is House of Cards the new Girls, about which everyone is obligated to offer an opinion?