ADL Praises Vice President Biden for Turning Rhetorical Gaffe into a ‘Teachable Moment’

New York, NY, September 17, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed Vice President Joe Biden’s admission he erred in describing those who take financial advantage of American servicemen and women as “shylocks,” and praised the vice president for “turning a rhetorical gaffe into a teachable moment.”

After a brief phone conversation with Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, Mr. Biden issued a statement making clear that his reference to the stereotypical Jewish character in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” was “a poor choice of words.”

“The Vice President reached out and we spoke today,” Mr. Foxman said. “Clearly there was no ill-intent here, but Joe and I agreed that perhaps he needs to bone up on his Shakespeare. 

“There is no truer friend of the Jewish people than Joe Biden. Not only has he been a stalwart against anti-Semitism and bigotry, but he has the courage and forthrightness to admit a mistake and use it as an opportunity to learn and to teach others about the harmful effects of stereotypes. He has turned a rhetorical gaffe into a teachable moment.”

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.