Jonathan Greenblatt's Remarks Introducing Apple CEO Tim Cook at the 2018 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism

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Remarks by Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

December 03, 2018

We’ve had some great conversations today and I am really excited about our next speaker, who I know, not only will add a spark to this conversation, I am certain that he will inspire us.

We are thrilled to have Tim Cook here with us.

You know him best as Apple’s CEO, a role he has held for the past seven years.

But Tim doesn’t just run an amazing company, he has shown repeatedly what amazing leadership looks like.

Tim has been nothing short of courageous in how outspoken he has been on social issues.

It’s not what you normally see from chief executives.

It is much easier to avoid anything controversial for fear it might cost you business.

Tim has not followed that template.

He took one of the most recognizable companies and reshaped how it views social responsibility — becoming a model for others worldwide.

Tim has shown that a company can respect the values of its consumers and honor them by designing products that reflect them and by leading from the board room, all the while continuing to function as one of the most successful and profitable companies in history.

It’s clear Tim has followed his own moral compass.

“We advocate for human rights,” he recently said, “because Apple has always been about making products for everyone.

And, arguably, if people are treated as second-class citizens in any part of the world, then it’s kind of hard to accomplish that objective.”

Tim has also shown leadership in tackling consequential issues that are core to ADL’s global mission of fighting anti-Semitism and hate in all its forms— from immigration and LGBTQ rights, to online hate and civil rights.

Just to give you a few examples:

Apple was the first company to remove Alex Jones’ hateful anti-government conspiratorial rants from their platforms.

Other tech companies followed their lead.

Tim has advocated for equal treatment for all.

He has been steadfast in his pursuit of LGBTQ rights and criticized states, including his home state of Alabama, for stances that sanction discrimination using what they euphemistically refer to as “religious freedom” laws.

He has been outspoken about the current administration’s immigration policy, calling it "inhumane." 

He encouraged his co-workers to give to charitable organizations in their community and he initiated a program at Apple to match employee donations.

When he saw racism, he told his employees that he would not stand for it.

Racism "does not represent our values," he said.

It is "not a message we would ever want to deliver to a customer or hear ourselves."

After the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Tim spoke out forcefully and without hesitation. 

He stated clearly that no one should equivocate about neo-Nazis.

“We've seen the terror of white supremacy and racist violence before,” he said.

“It's a moral issue — an affront to America. We must all stand against it.”

Apple then donated money to help ADL and other human rights groups fight hate.

He turned what was a horrific event into an occasion for something good.

That is the mark he is leaving.

That’s why it is truly an honor for me to present Tim with ADL’s first Courage Against Hate Award.

Tim, we are grateful for your leadership and your example, and we are thrilled that you made time to join us here at Never is Now.   

I am so excited to share this inaugural award with you in recognition of all you have done. 

The design of the award is called “partnership” and reminds me of the bridge of hope we have crossing the A in our logo.

We at ADL are all grateful for your leadership and partnership.

Tim, please join me on stage to accept this award.

Everyone, please congratulate Tim.