New York, NY, October 15, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mourns the passing of former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, a vigorous champion of civil and human rights, a stalwart supporter of the liberation of Soviet Jews, and a true friend to the state of Israel.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Senator Specter was an American statesman and a true friend to the Jewish community and the Anti-Defamation League. Over his long career he worked closely with ADL both in Pennsylvania and in Washington on a number of local, domestic and international issues.
Arlen was an outspoken supporter for improved federal response to hate violence and worked effectively to ensure that law enforcement authorities have the tools they need to prevent terrorism. He was a reliable voice in support of church-state separation – and a frequent critic of those who would promote legislation on the basis of exclusive, particular religious beliefs. He was an unapologetic supporter of LGBT rights and comprehensive immigration reform.
Senator Specter was an early and outspoken supporter of the movement to free Jews from the tyranny of the Soviet Union and, throughout his long career, a passionate advocate for the security of the State of Israel and enhancing U.S.-Israel relations. His commitment to Israel and Middle East peace led him to use his prestige and diplomatic skills in personal meetings with many of the rulers of Arab nations.
Especially in this age of increasing polarization in politics, his moderate voice and unparalleled leadership will be sorely missed.