August 14, 2023
The Honorable Moshe Lion
Mayor of Jerusalem
Dear Mayor Lion,
ADL (Anti-Defamation League) is a 110-year-old U.S.-based anti-hate organization, and a global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens.
I am writing to share ADL’s deep concern over the ongoing abuse of members of Jerusalem’s Christian community by a small group of Jews and urge you, as Mayor of Jerusalem, to speak out against these hateful actions. As a Jewish leader, it is important that you condemn this anti-Christian phenomenon, just as we expect other leaders to condemn antisemitism wherever it occurs.
Having met with leaders of various Christian denominations in recent weeks, I was disturbed to learn that reported attacks against Christians have become a near-daily experience. Recent examples include the smashing of a window in the Cenacle, disrupting a Christian Evangelical gathering near the Western Wall, the desecration of over 30 graves in the Protestant Cemetery in Jerusalem, and the vandalizing of a statue at the Church of the Flagellation on Via Dolorosa Street.
This is in addition to the well-documented phenomenon of Christian clergy and churches being spat on.
We all strive to make Jerusalem a city open to all religions and a symbol of interreligious shared living. I urge you, as the Mayor of Jerusalem and a person of conscience, to publicly speak out against these attacks, and make clear that anti-Christian animus has no place in this holy city. Doing so will help ensure that Jerusalem serves a multifaith, tolerant place, and remains as a model of shared living for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.
As always, ADL remains at your disposal if we can be helpful in any way.
I look forward to further engaging with you on this important manner.
Senior Director for Israel and MENA, ADL