Letter to the Wall Street Journal Regarding Criticism of ADL's Stance on Judge Kavanaugh

The following letter was submitted to The Wall Street Journal in response to "Is Brett Kavanaugh Bad for the Jews?" (July 24, 2018)

Liel Leibovitz unsurprisingly chooses to paint the Anti-Defamation League and its CEO Jonathan Greenblatt as partisan (“Is Brett Kavanaugh Bad for the Jews?,” op-ed, July 24). Mr. Liebovitz draws selectively from our record of speaking out on issues that are directly connected to our mandate of fighting anti-Semitism and securing justice and fair treatment for all.

As he notes, the ADL is addressing the significant rise of anti-Semitism, including emboldened rhetoric and action by neo-Nazis, white supremacists or members of the self-described alt-right movement. However, he chooses to ignore our continuing, active efforts to confront anti-Semitism from people such as Louis Farrakhan and those who curry favor with him, the BDS movement and self-professed “progressives” who refuse to recognize the Jewish people’s right to self-determination or who single out Israel for demonization. We have also strongly criticized Linda Sarsour’s positions on Israel and voiced concern about anti-Semitism on campus. Our positions reflect longstanding values that have motivated the ADL for decades. That we, at times, anger conservatives like Mr. Liebovitz, and liberals, too many to name, is a sign that the ADL is staying true to its mission.

Calling for strong questioning of a Supreme Court nominee is entirely consistent with what the ADL always has done. We believe special scrutiny is required for the current nominee because some of his known views conflict with ADL policies—formulated long before Mr. Greenblatt became the ADL’s CEO. It also is important because this is a historic moment and an appointment that could shape the Supreme Court for decades to come.

Regardless of the source, the ADL has spoken out against anti-Semitism for more than 100 years, and we will continue to do so.

Robert G. Sugarman

Former National Chair

Anti-Defamation League

New York