ADL Condemns Israeli Knesset Member’s “Despicable Comparison” of Kristallnacht to Current Situation in Israel

New York, NY, November 9, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned Israel Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi of the Arab Joint List Party for comparing the current situation in Israel to the period of Kristallnacht, the mass pogrom against Jews and Jewish businesses in Germany and Austria in November 1938.

Zoabi, who was speaking at a Kristallnacht commemoration event in Amsterdam organized by Platform Stop Racism and Exclusion, said, “Kristallnacht didn’t suddenly fall from the sky, come out of nowhere, it was the result of a development over time. We can see a similar development happening in Israel over the last several years.” Zoabi also called compared Israeli inaction in the face of racist attacks to the German people’s failure to speak out after Kristallnacht.

“The featuring of Ms. Zoabi at this commemoration of a historic act of hate directed against Jews was a deliberate effort by the organizers to draw comparisons between the acts of the Nazis and the situation today in Israel,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Ms. Zoabi, who has made numerous outrageous accusations against Israel – all while serving as an elected official in its parliament – served this purpose well by trumpeting this despicable comparison.

“While there are, to be sure, acts of racism in Israel, they are not state-sponsored, are condemned by the leadership and people of Israel, and dealt with by the judicial system,” Mr. Greenblatt added. “To compare this reality with dictatorial Nazi Germany, which was driven by the most extreme ideology of hate, is not only factually and historically incorrect, it is an affront to those who are dedicated to learning the lessons of Kristallnacht to ensure that such hate and discrimination have no place in modern society.”

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.