ADL Welcomes President Obama's Call for Syrian President to Step Down

New York, NY, August 18, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded the leadership of the United States for finally taking strong international action against the Syrian government's brutal attacks against civilian protestors.

President Obama and key European leaders called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and leave office. President Obama further announced additional sanctions aimed at the financial isolation of Syria.

"We welcome these strong international initiatives to stop the brutality in Syria," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "For far too long, President Assad and his security forces have behaved with ruthless impunity against civilian demonstrators and others, killing at least two-thousand people, while imprisoning and wounding many more. We urge the Security Council to take concrete and effective action to stop the regime's violence, and hold them accountable for their actions."

A fact finding report on Syria sponsored by the U.N. Human Rights Council recommends that the Security Council consider referring Syria to the International Criminal Court. The report concludes: "The mission found a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity."

The Security Council is meeting today with Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, to discuss the situation in Syria.

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.