ADL Calls On Israeli Knesset Member to Apologize for “Baseless, Offensive” Remark Against Kerry

Jerusalem, January 31, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Knesset Member Moti Yogev to apologize to US Secretary of State John Kerry for his disparaging comments about the Secretary’s attitudes towards Jews and Israel. ADL denounced Yogev’s accusations as “offensive, inflammatory and totally without any basis,” and stated that Secretary Kerry deserved a “full and prompt apology” from the MK.

In an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday, Yogev suggested that Secretary Kerry’s engagement on the peace process bears “an undertone of anti-Semitism on Kerry’s part,” and added that Kerry’s views are rooted in “an anti-Israel foundation.”

In a letter to MK Yogev, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote:

“In this period of intense US-led negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, it is understandable that political tensions would arise regarding the implications for Israel of a future agreement. Yet while you and other members of the Israeli government and Knesset may disagree – even strongly object – to the initiatives of the US and Secretary Kerry, it is beyond the bounds of legitimate critique to disparage the intent of the Secretary’s intensive commitment to and investment in the negotiations, and simply indefensible to accuse him of harboring anti-Jewish beliefs.

We call on you to apologize for your offensive comments on Israel Radio regarding Secretary Kerry’s attitudes towards Jews and Israel. Your accusation that the Secretary has “an anti-Israel foundation,” and claim that his engagement in the peace process is motivated by an “undertone of anti-Semitism” is inflammatory and totally without any basis.”

In a February 2nd letter sent to U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro that Mr. Yogev shared with ADL, Mr. Yogev retracted the accusation of anti-Semitism against Secretary Kerry, stating that “the term anti-Semitic was perhaps out of place.”

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.