ADL: Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria "An Immoral Crime of the First Order"

New York, NY, August 26, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed horror and outrage at the deployment of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians, reportedly by the Syrian government, and welcomed the commitment by the United States to hold accountable those responsible for this “moral obscenity.”

According to news reports and international humanitarian groups, rockets containing nerve gas were fired at the suburbs of Damascus last Wednesday, killing hundreds of civilians and wounding thousands. 

In a strong statement denouncing the attack, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the administration is consulting closely with key allies, and that the president “will be making an informed decision about how to respond.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We are horrified and outraged at the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, an immoral crime of the first order.  As Jews, we are particularly sickened by the images of unarmed and defenseless men, women and children who were indiscriminately targeted for death by toxic chemical weapons made and stockpiled by the Syrian government.

For more than two years, the world has been witness to President Bashar al-Assad’s slaughtering of his own citizens. Following the horrific events of last week there is no longer any doubt about the brutal and evil nature of Assad and his regime.

We welcome Secretary Kerry’s clear statement of condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the U.S. commitment to work with allies to ensure those responsible are held accountable. The world failed to act during the Holocaust and stood by through the genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda.  It is a moral imperative that the international community act now to prevent further atrocities in Syria.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism 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 antisemitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.