Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, was recently interviewed by David Samuels, Literary Editor of Tablet Magazine, on a wide range of significant issues facing the Jewish community in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Foxman discussed matters ranging from domestic and global anti-Semitism, the recent Pew Survey of Jewish Americans, Jewish education and self-pride, prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, Jewish organizational leadership, the shameful failure to alleviate the suffering of Holocaust survivors living in poverty, the case of Jonathan Pollard, and the special relationship between Israel and America.
When asked about concerns over the state of the American Jewish community -- in light of the Pew study’s findings on intermarriage and assimilation -- Mr. Foxman said that, for him, the worries are “of a different nature” and explained what he sees as the struggle between balancing the “drive for assimilation with the interests of our community.”
Mr. Foxman also discussed two lingering anti-Semitic beliefs that have not changed in five decades despite an overall decline in anti-Semitic attitudes: the enduring canard that “Jews killed Jesus” and the belief, held by 30 percent of Americans, that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States, which he called “a very serious, haunting, political anti-Semitism.”
At the end of the interview, Mr. Foxman said one of the things that keeps him up at night is “the dependency of the Jewish people and Israel on this wonderful country.”