ADL CEO Tells Congress: "Stop Politicizing Anti-Semitism" and Adopt New Laws to Fight Hate

Washington, DC, January 15, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt called on leaders across the political spectrum to “stop politicizing anti-Semitism and weaponizing it for partisan gain.”

In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Greenblatt urged Congress to put more pressure on social media companies to “shut down the neo-Nazis and anti-Semites on their platforms.”  He renewed ADL’s call for Congress to pass a number of bills that have already been drafted and introduced, including the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, and the Never Again Holocaust Education Act.

The hearing, “Confronting the Rise in Anti-Semitic Domestic Terrorism,” was chaired by Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) and Ranking Member Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.). Greenblatt, along with other distinguished witnesses, testified on the increase in violent anti-Semitism and domestic extremism across the country.

“It is fair to say that the past few years have been the most challenging that we have faced in recent memory,” Greenblatt said in his prepared testimony. “From Pittsburgh to Poway, Jersey City to Monsey, Orlando to El Paso, Charleston, Christchurch, New Zealand, the list goes on and on.”

“But it’s not just the high-profile and lethal incidents that I want to talk about today. It’s also the kids who snap a heil Hitler salute for a gag, the swastikas scrawled on a garage door, the college campuses where Jewish students are ostracized for supporting Israel.  This moment is about women wearing wigs harassed as they ride the subway or men wearing black hats assaulted as they cross the street. It’s the idea that a person isn’t safe in their supermarket, in their synagogue, or in their home just because they are Jewish,” Greenblatt said.

Greenblatt also pointed out the negative role social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have played in promoting anti-Semitism and hate and called on Congress to put more pressure, and possibly new regulations, on these companies.

“[Tech] is an amplifier, an organizer, and a catalyst for some of the worst types of hate in our society,” he said.

Greenblatt’s full testimony is available here.

At another hearing on Capitol Hill today, George Selim, ADL’s Senior Vice President for Programs presented ADL’s latest findings on the financing of domestic terrorism and extremism to members of the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy.   

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.