ADL 'Surprised And Disappointed' At State Department's Failure To Condemn Palestinian Incitement

New York, NY, March 17, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed "surprise and disappointment" at the failure by the U.S. Department of State to issue any statement of condemnation of the March 13 ceremony in the West Bank honoring a Palestinian terrorist who carried out a 1978 bus bombing that killed 37 Israelis, including 13 children.

A square in the West Bank town of Al-Bireh was commemorated in the name of Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi.

"Honoring a terrorist is an indisputable act of incitement to terrorism," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This particular instance was all the more egregious as it occurred just one day after the world learned of the brutal murders of the Fogel family, including three children, at the hands of Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank."

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the League noted that the only statement from the State Department on the ceremony came from a spokesman in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

"We respectfully suggest that a forceful, unequivocal, and public condemnation of incitement must be heard around the world and should also be directed to all Palestinians through their media outlets," the letter stated. "We look forward to a strong public statement on the incitement to terrorism in Al-Bireh and to similar condemnations for future incidents of incitement to violence and hate. For, as we all know, hate rhetoric and images can lead to hate violence."

In a March 17 press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned the naming of a square in the West Bankhonoring Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, stating, "We condemn this commemoration of terrorism and have conveyed our deep concern about this incident to senior officials in the Palestinian Authority and have urged them to address it. We underscore that all parties have an obligation to end any form of incitement."

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.