ADL Encouraged by Alabama Governor's Apology for Exclusionary Remarks

Atlanta, GA, January 19, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Southeast Regional Director, Bill Nigut, issued the following statement regarding Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's meeting late Wednesday afternoon with Jewish leaders and others at his Montgomery offices:

ADL is encouraged by reports from Jewish leaders who met with him yesterday that Governor Bentley made a 'sincere apology' for the exclusionary remarks he made at a King Day service in Montgomery earlier this week.

We are hopeful that Governor Bentley truly understands that as Alabama's highest ranking public official, he cannot use language that divides the people of his state and that elevates the beliefs of one faith over all others.

We live in times of divisiveness and polarization of thought, and ADL is encouraged that Governor Bentley seems to have realized that his job must be to create a climate of inclusion that helps create a common ground for understanding among all people.

ADL will watch Governor Bentley's actions in the months ahead, and we stand ready to offer him whatever insight and guidance he may need as he moves forward in his new role.

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.