New York, NY, December 7, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Donald Trump’s calls to bar entry into the United States for all Muslims, calling the plan “deeply offensive.” Earlier today, Mr. Trump said in a statement he was calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement: Mr. Trump’s plan to bar people from entry to the United States based on their religion is unacceptable and antithetical to American values. The U.S. was founded as a place of refuge for those fleeing religious persecution, and religious pluralism is core to our national identity. A plan that singles out Muslims and denies them entry to the U.S. based on their religion is deeply offensive and runs contrary to our nation’s deepest values. In the Jewish community, we know all too well what can happen when a particular religious group is singled out for stereotyping and scapegoating. We also know that this country must not give into fear by turning its back on its fundamental values, even at a time of great crisis. As we have said so many times, to do otherwise signals to the terrorists that they are winning the battle against democracy and freedom. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, ADL takes no position on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for office.
New York, NY, December 10, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the release by the Vatican of a new document on Jewish-Catholic relations, calling the announcement a “remarkable reaffirmation of the positive changes in the Church’s teaching about Jews and Judaism.”The Vatican’s Commission For Religious Relations With The Jews announced a new document titled, “The Gifts And The Calling Of God Are Irrevocable,” which summarizes key points in the aftermath of the recent anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the landmark Vatican document that repudiated the 2,000 year history of anti-Semitism in the Catholic Church. The text addresses questions pertaining to Catholic-Jewish relations that have arisen in dialogue since the Second Vatican Council. Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs, issued the following statement: This new Vatican document is a remarkable reaffirmation of the positive changes in the Church’s teaching about Jews and Judaism since the promulgation of Nostra Aetate 50 years ago. It is significant because it places a very clear emphasis on the rejection of the deicide charge, Christianity’s indebtedness to Judaism, the rejection of replacement theology, and the ongoing validity of the Jewish covenant with God. The document also explores a number of challenging theological questions about the relationship between the two traditions, including the tension between the Church’s proclamation of the universal salvation through Christ and its affirmation of the Jewish covenant. This is a rich document that requires careful study. Some issues like the lack of a more positive affirmation of the centrality of the State of Israel for Jews, or the suggestion that Jews can learn from Christianity’s universalism, will certainly be topics for our future dialogue. However, this step demonstrates that the remarkable process of reconfiguring the Church’s relationship with Judaism that began with Nostra Aetate is still a priority for the Church. As the document itself notes, we have become ‘reliable partners and even good friends.’ The notion that the Catholic Church considers its relationship with the Jewish people to be unique and essential to its own existence and self-understanding is a powerful testimony that a torturous history can be overcome when both our common humanity and differences are seen as sources of blessing.
New York, NY, December 15, 2015 … A broad coalition of human rights and civil rights organizations from the United States – including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights – and Hungary – including the Action and Protection Foundation (TEV), the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), Romaversitas, and Hatter – have joined together in denouncing the decision to honor Balint Homan, a notorious anti-Semitic politician.Plans are currently underway for the construction of a statue in the city of Székesfehérvár in honor of Homan, who served as Hungarian Minister of Religion and Education during World War II under the anti-Semitic Horthy regime. The coalition issued the following statement: As organizations from both Hungary and the United States that work to fight discrimination and bigotry and to protect the civil and human rights of all, we join together in solidarity to denounce the dedication of a life-size statue to Balint Homan, a staunch anti-Semite responsible for proposing and advocating laws to degrade and deprive Hungarian Jews of any rights during World War II. Seventy years after the end of World War II, the notion that a democratic country – not to mention, the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – would honor a key figure in the persecution of Hungarian Jews is shameful. While Homan’s academic contributions as a historian are notable, his bigoted, anti-Semitic, and hateful policies disqualify him from being celebrated for any reason. Honoring Homan, a man who so vehemently advocated for the subjugation and segregation, and later on the deportation of Hungarian Jewry, sends a hateful message to all communities in Hungarian society as well as to the international community. Our organizations represent diverse civil society in both Hungary and the United States. However, we are bound together in our understanding of the danger of honoring xenophobes, let alone dedicating a public memorial to one. We urge Prime Minister Orban to uphold his commitment to a zero tolerance policy for anti-Semitism, use all legal means to prevent it from being erected, and ensure that no public funds are contributed to this horrific project.
New York, NY, December 16, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was deeply disturbed by a video produced by the Israel-based organization Im Tirtzu, which labels leading Israeli human rights activists as “foreign moles” operated by foreign governments. Im Tirtzu is employing fear tactics to suppress left-leaning Israeli NGOs, the League maintained, and it labeled the video “a form of incitement which crosses the line into hate speech.” Titled “Foreign Agents revealed,” the video depicts four Israeli representatives of left-leaning Israeli nongovernmental organizations that have received funding from European countries of being complicit in Palestinian terrorism. The video calls on the Israeli government to pass legislation which would label NGOs whose funding is largely from foreign countries as being “foreign agents,” thereby preventing the NGOs from meeting with Israeli government or military officials. Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, and Carole Nuriel, acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office issued the following statement: Im Tirtzu’s highly disturbing video employs fear tactics to accuse Israeli human rights activists and organizations of being culpable in the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism. This is a form of incitement which clearly crosses over into hate speech. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the mission and work of the nongovernmental organizations singled out in the video, accusing them of supporting Palestinian terror in order to delegitimize their activities is outrageous and potentially libelous. We believe Im Tirtzu should apologize for their unwarranted attack on the individuals and organizations referenced in the video. ADL repeated its concern that efforts to pass Knesset legislation targeting the funding and activities of left-leaning Israeli NGO could negatively impact Israel’s vibrant civil society and democratic traditions. The League called on the Israeli government to ensure that Israel’s freedom of speech and expression was not jeopardized by such undemocratic legislation.
New York, NY, December 17, 2015 … After walking in the footsteps of civil rights leaders in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, a group of leaders from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta for their work teaching the history of the civil rights struggle and keeping alive the legacy of Dr. King.More than 40 Jewish community leaders from across the country attended the award ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the King Center in Atlanta after having spent two days on a civil rights mission to historical sites in Alabama and Georgia commemorating the struggle for voting rights and equality. The ADL Civil Rights mission was led by Marvin D. Nathan, who recently began his three-year tenure as ADL National Chair. “The King Center, like the Anti-Defamation League, has made a commitment to teach people about the past and to use those lessons to work toward a better future,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, said in presenting the award to Bernice King, CEO of the King Center. “Every day, the center keeps Dr. King’s legacy alive, teaching us about the power of non-violence and the incredible, tireless work that brought an end to segregation, secured the right to vote for millions of Americans, and ushered in a better era for America.” In accepting the award, Ms. King recalled the words written by her late father in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” in which he addressed those of his fellow clergyman who criticized his nonviolent ways as “extremist,” and asked, “Will we be extremists for hate or for love?” “When I look at the world we live in today, I surmise that we need more people who will be an extremist for love. Not just in thought, but in action,” Ms. King said. She went on to praise ADL’s leaders for taking the time to visit the most important sites of the civil rights era. “I want to commend you on including this kind of tour in the work that you do,” she told ADL’s leaders. “I believe that this movement is one of the most important eras in our nation’s history, and if more people took the opportunity to take time out of their schedule to visit some of these historical places, and interact with people who were part of that movement, that would be pretty transformative.” The ADL Americanism Award is presented to an individual or institution for embracing America’s democratic values and fundamental commitment to equality and fair treatment for all. Past recipients include Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference; Leonard Riggio of Barnes & Noble; David Komansky of Merrill Lynch; Robert Benmosch of MetLife; Richard S. Fuld of Lehman Brothers; Maurice Greenberg of AIG; Patricia M. Anton of the Anton Family Foundation; William C. Anton of Anton Enterprises; tennis star Venus Williams; and Jane and Neil Golub of Price Chopper Supermarkets.
New York, NY, December 18, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the halt of a plan to erect a statue honoring Balint Homan, a notorious anti-Semite who served as a minister of religion and education in Hungary in the 1930s and 1940s and was a key figure in the persecution and deportation of Hungarian Jews during World War II. The initiative to honor Homan by erecting a statue in the city of Szekesfehervar, about 40 miles from Budapest, drew opposition from members of Congress and the U.S. administration and a coalition of Jewish and non-Jewish American and Hungarian civil and human rights groups. Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement: We welcome the decision to withdraw this honor from an unabashed Nazi supporter and anti-Semite who was responsible for deporting Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. And we are especially gratified by the diversity of government and civil society stakeholders who came together to express their moral outrage. We commend the efforts of U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ira Forman, and those lawmakers who demonstrated America’s commitment to mobilize a strong moral voice against anti-Semitism. We salute those civil society voices who came together to demonstrate that all communities share a stake in pushing back against anti-Semitism and the hatred that honoring a Nazi sympathizer symbolizes. In July, ADL called on the Hungarian government to cancel the plans to erect the statue. Earlier this week, ADL joined in a public statement with a broad coalition of human and civil rights organizations to denounce the decision to honor Homan.
New York, NY, December 22, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment with the Greek Parliament’s approval of a resolution calling on the Greek government to recognize a Palestinian State.On Tuesday, the parliament, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in attendance, voted on a nonbinding resolution urging the government to “promote appropriate procedures for the recognition of a Palestinian state and every diplomatic effort for the resumption of discussions for peace.” “The Greek parliament’s premature resolution supporting the recognition of a Palestinian state is deeply disappointing and will do nothing to promote constructive Israeli-Palestinian engagement,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “As with other instances of legislative bodies and government recognizing a Palestinian state, this step only serves to undermine the real path toward a solution to this decades-old conflict - direct negotiations between the parties.” “Prematurely embracing a Palestinian State only serves to alienate Israelis without providing any real benefit to the Palestinians on the ground,” said Mr. Greenblatt. “It would have been more appropriate and productive for the Greek parliament to condemn the ongoing wave of Palestinian violence and incitement against Israel and urge a resumption of direct talks. Symbolic acts such as this one are no substitute for meaningful, direct negotiations, which Mr. Abbas refused to seriously engage in” ADL has previously spoken out against similar initiatives, including those by the Vatican and the European and Spanish Parliaments.
Not Since Oklahoma City Bombing Have So Many Americans Been Killed by Homegrown Terror New York, NY, January 5, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released a new report detailing the toll of human lives taken this past year by extremists in the United States. Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2015 reports that at least 52 people were killed by homegrown extremists in the U.S. in the past 12 months, representing more than the two previous years (23 in 2014 and 24 in 2013) combined. The report provides several key findings, including: The killers came from four extremist movements—white supremacists, domestic Islamic extremists, right-wing anti-government extremists, and anti-abortion extremists—illustrating the multiple threats posed by radical movements within America’s borders. White supremacists were responsible for the highest number of deaths (20), as they usually are, but in a disturbing development, domestic Islamic extremists were responsible for virtually the same number of murders (19). The killings occurred in 17 separate incidents, with nine of the incidents involving multiple victims. Moreover, the year 2015 saw three of the deadliest attacks by domestic extremists in the U.S. in the past 50 years: the shooting sprees of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in San Bernardino, Dylan Storm Roof in Charleston, and Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez in Chattanooga. The extremist weapon of choice was firearms, which were used to kill 48 of the 52 victims. All of the multiple murder incidents involved the use of one or more firearms, illustrating the true danger of combining extreme ideologies with easily accessible deadly weapons. “Not since 1995, the year of the Oklahoma City bombing, have domestic extremists committed more deadly violence than in this past year,” said Mark Pitcavage, ADL Senior Research Fellow. “These tragic incidents clearly show us that we need to combat all forms of extremism and respond to the specific tactics they use. America is in the midst of a perfect storm created by surges in multiple extremist movements at the same time.” ADL noted that the combined threats of right-wing and domestic Islamic extremism are responsible for all of the extremist-related killings in 2015. “The recent rise of new terrorist groups overseas has changed the face of domestic terror and extremism right here at home,” said Oren Segal, Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism. “The sophisticated recruiting tactics to gain followers from across the globe by ISIS have influenced would-be adherents to commit violent acts in the places where they live, including in our own neighborhoods.” In 2015, ADL trained over 13,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers on the various threats posed by domestic extremists.
New York, NY, January 5, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a Department of Education (DoE) letter sent to school districts and colleges and universities across the country which reminded them of their obligations to prohibit discrimination based on actual or perceived race, religion, or national origin. The “Dear Colleague” letter calls for schools to ensure safe spaces for students especially “at risk” during these times – including those who are, or are perceived to be from a religious minority, including Jewish, Muslim or Sikh; from an ethnic minority including students of color; or those who are perceived to be of a different nationality including from the Middle East, Syria, or other Arab countries. The letter builds on the DoE’s historic October 2010 bullying prevention guidance and encourages schools to take steps to foster welcoming and inclusive environments for students of different backgrounds and beliefs. “With students returning to school this week, we strongly welcome the Department of Education’s important reaffirmation that all schools must provide safe and respectful learning environments in which students are free from discrimination and harassment based on their race, religion, or national origin,” said Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair. “The Department of Education has made clear that school administrators must also address the broader environment and the effect of these incidents and take steps to ensure that harassment does not recur,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Federal leadership on this important issue is critical to ensure that schools are safe places for all students, and that they help foster a culture in which bias and bullying are not tolerated. DoE’s letter is an important reminder that our nation, founded as a place of refuge for those fleeing religious persecution, can and will protect students from being bullied or harassed because of their race, religion, or national origin.” ADL strongly supported the Department’s trailblazing 2010 Dear Colleague guidance, which outlined serious legal obligations for schools to prevent a broad range of bullying and harassment, rightly interpreted the federal civil rights laws to protect Jewish students on campus from anti-Semitic harassment, and stressed that when responding to an incident of discriminatory harassment where a hostile environment is formed, it is not enough for the institution to punish the student who is responsible. Through a combination of education and legislative advocacy, including drafting a model state bullying prevention law which requires schools and communities to approach the issue of bullying with proactive and innovative measures, ADL has been at the forefront of promoting anti-bias education and responding to bias, bullying and cyberbullying. All 50 states have now adopted bullying prevention policies, many based on the League’s model.
Calls On Congress and the States to Act New York, NY, January 5, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Barack Obama’s announcement of a series of Executive actions designed to address gun violence and promote gun safety.ADL reaffirmed its belief that a crucial way to limit the power of extremists and others who pose a violent threat to society is to enact effective gun control legislation. Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement: It is long past the time when we can simply condemn the Sandy Hook or Charleston or San Bernardino shooters and mourn the victims. We owe it to those victims and to ourselves to find a way to meaningfully advance gun violence prevention efforts before the next tragedy. For decades, we have supported federal and state initiatives designed to raise awareness and make it more difficult for children and extremists to access guns, including more stringent background checks and waiting periods, restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips, and a ban on the import and sale of assault weapons. We are pleased that the President’s initiatives include research on new, safer technologies, better data collection on the causes and prevention of gun violence, and efforts to close gaps in the current regulatory system which allow the trafficking of illegal guns and may enable people with felony convictions, minors, persons with mental illness and other prohibited persons to access firearms. We can make these reforms without stigmatizing those who suffer from mental illness or demonizing lawful gun owners, and they definitely should not inspire more irresponsible, historically inaccurate and odious analogies to Nazi Germany. ADL released a new report today documenting that 2015 was the deadliest year for domestic extremist violence in the past 20 years. Overwhelmingly the extremist weapon of choice in 2015 – as in virtually every year – was firearms. Over the past 50 years, firearms in the hands of domestic extremists have killed far more Americans than have bombs, blades, chemical or biological weapons, or any other type of weapon. In 2015, 48 of the 52 victims of extremist violence in the United States were killed by firearms – and all of the multiple murder incidents involved the use of one or more firearms.
New York, NY, January 7, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has joined with the National Women’s Law Center and 47 other organizations on an amicus brief in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, highlighting the negative impact that Texas’s abortion restrictions have on women’s economic security and equal participation in social and economic life. This case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenges parts of Texas’s H.B. 2, a law which imposes medically unnecessary, burdensome requirements on abortion providers and clinics. If the law is upheld, it will effectively shut down more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state, leaving at most 10 providers in all of Texas - second-most populous state in the nation - threatening women’s ability to make personal decisions about their lives and health. “This law’s restrictions unduly burden women’s reproductive decision-making, depriving them of equal dignity promised by the Constitution and should therefore be struck down,” said Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair. “The reality is that with so few providers located in the largest state in the continental U.S., women in Texas will have a theoretical right to choose, however the practicalities of distance will make the choice moot for many who cannot make the necessary travel to a medical provider. The decision in this case could have far-reaching implications for reproductive freedom across the nation.” “These medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion access have a substantial impact on women and their families,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “The law threatens women’s economic well-being, job security, workforce participation, and educational attainment, and has a particularly harmful impact on low-income women, women of color, women in low-wage jobs, and women who already have children.” ADL has filed amicus briefs in every major Supreme Court case since Roe v. Wade supporting reproductive freedom and opposing efforts to curtail abortion rights. Following the deadly shooting spree at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, ADL released a report examining anti-abortion violence and extremism across the U.S., which outlines various incidents that took place over the past decade, and discusses the issue of deep anti-abortion animus as a strong motivation for carrying out acts of terror against women’s health clinics.
Jerusalem, January 10, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commemorated on Sunday (Jan. 10th) the first anniversary of the terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher supermarket in France. The event was organized in cooperation with Qualita, an umbrella organization of French immigrants to Israel headed by Michael Ben Sa’adon, and was held in the presence of French Ambassador to Israel H.E. Mr. Patrick Maisonnave, who said that “Radical Islam is our common enemy. Terror is terror, wherever it may be, and its criteria are clear and uniform worldwide.”ADL Israel Acting Director Carole Nuriel opened the event, saying that “It is important to understand that anti-Semitism hurts not only Jews, but the entire society in which it exists. Winning the fight against anti-Semitism is thus a victory for the French Republic as a whole”. Also participating were Former Israeli Ambassador to France Mr. Daniel Shek, cartoonist Mr. Michel Kichka, Rabbi Yaakov Sitruk and Mr. Patrice Oualid, former manager of Hyper Cacher supermarket who was wounded in the attack. He provided his account of that day’s events and said that “The terrorist instilled fear in us and he came to kill us only because we’re Jewish and I wear a Tzitzit. I didn’t immigrate to Israel out of fear; I returned home.”
New York, NY, January 11, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today reiterated its concern over draft Israeli legislation that would require those Israeli non-governmental organizations that receive more than half of their funding from “foreign political entities,” to declare and detail the funding each time they issue a report or meet with a public official.“The strength of Israeli society internally, as well as its international position, has been its bedrock commitment to democracy and free expression,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “There is no doubt that many Israelis today feel beleaguered, both by the security situation and the campaign to undermine the Jewish state’s legitimacy. However, efforts to counter such campaigns through the tarring of NGOs and those holding certain political perspectives, threaten to erode Israel’s very democratic character, and could significantly harm Israel’s international legitimacy. We urge Knesset members to carefully consider the negative ramifications of the passage of this legislation.” In 2011, the League urged the Israeli government to work to modify two similar bills regarding donations from foreign governments to Israeli NGOs, and voiced concern over laws that stifle free expression.
New York, NY, January 12, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned the desecration of graves in a Catholic cemetery near the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh. Over the weekend, the Latin Patriarchate announced that dozens of crosses had been destroyed in the cemetery at the Beit Jamal Monastery."We join the Latin Patriarchate in calling for a thorough investigation into this incident, leading to the bringing to justice of the perpetrators," said Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs, and Carole Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office. "While it is too early to know if this incident is a hate crime or 'price tag' attack, Israeli law enforcement and society must ensure that protection of religious sites and freedom of religion remain core values of society."
New York, NY, January 13, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned as “misguided in intent and misleading in perception” the announcement by the pension board of the United Methodist Church that it had removed five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio.The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, which has assets of $20 billion, sold off its investment of a few million dollars in the Israel banks, along with an Israeli construction company, as part of its effort to identify companies “which profit from human rights abuses.” These companies were added to an existing list of 39 excluded companies around the globe. “We not only question the criteria used by the Church to identify these Israeli companies as complicit in alleged human rights abuses, but also their intent,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “While the Church investment in these Israeli companies was minimal, the symbolism of blacklisting banks, which represent the bedrock of the Israeli financial sector and the economy in general, is quite significant and surely was considered by the pension board. We would ask whether the Church applies the same level of scrutiny to all firms in its portfolio.” “This decision is problematic in how it may be perceived,” said Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. “It is a sad reality that the United Methodist Church, which has historically resisted divestment efforts, has enabled and furthered the demonization of Israel. To single out and tar internationally respected Israeli financial institutions hinders peace building efforts between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We urge the United Methodist Church to work with its pension board to refine these guidelines, and actively reconsider the decision to blacklist Israel’s core financial institutions.”
New York, NY, January 14, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to ensure that government officials demonstrate respect for Israel’s commitment to the rule of law and understanding of its complex security challenges. ADL voiced concern in the wake of comments by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who called for an investigation to determine whether Israel conducts extrajudicial executions of Palestinian terrorists. In a letter to Prime Minister Löfven, ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said the League takes “no pleasure” in the growing perception of Sweden as a country with unfriendly policies for Jews and Israel. “We urge you to ensure that official Swedish statements demonstrate respect for, and knowledge of, Israel’s proven commitment to the rule of law, support for its security challenges, even as it faces armed threats on a scale which Sweden is fortunate not to know,” Mr. Greenblatt wrote. “Surely if such attacks were occurring with regularity on the streets of Stockholm, there would be a comprehensive effort to ensure the security of city streets and to stop the perpetrators from carrying out their attacks.” Mr. Greenblatt added, “Swedish government officials should take the time to educate themselves about legitimate Israeli defense against terrorists. Sweden, which served as a place of refuge for Danish and Norwegian Jews during World War II, now has a reputation as a place where Jews are fleeing from due to anti-Semitism, specifically in Malmo. Swedish media further inflame both anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism with comparisons of Israel to Nazis and blood libels.” In October 2014, ADL referred to Sweden’s decision to recognize a state of Palestine as “unwise, untimely, unhelpful and unserious” and reiterated that such a move does not foster or promote any type of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation.
New York, NY, January 16, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the release of U.S. hostages by the Iranian government and acknowledged the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has fulfilled its initial obligations under the nuclear deal. At the same time, ADL urged continuous close monitoring and vigorous enforcement now that sanctions are lifted, accompanied by strong U.S. pushback on Tehran’s continued violations of human rights, regional expansionism and its ongoing militarism exemplified by its continuation of missile development. This stands in contravention of United Nations sanctions during the period preceding implementation and raises deep concerns over the likelihood of Iranian noncompliance in the future. The U.S. and other world powers must be ready to swiftly and forcefully respond to any Iranian deviation from its obligations. Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement: It is a positive step that the regime freed four Americans held on false charges. We hope that the regime will soon release American prisoner Robert Levinson, who has been held captive in Iran for nearly nine years and whose fate remains unknown. The true test of Iranian behavior on the nuclear deal will come in the months and years ahead, now that the sanctions are being removed. It’s a positive step, but it is crucial for the international community to remain vigilant and ensure continued compliance going forward. Unfortunately, in the broadest sense, Iran’s behavior since the nuclear deal has not instilled confidence in its desire to return to the family of nations, as evidenced by its testing of advanced ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. policies; its institutionalized discrimination against its own religious, ethnic and LGBT minorities; its continued aggressions in the region including Lebanon, Yemen and Syria where its support of the brutal Assad regime has contributed to the Syrian civil war and disastrous refugee crisis; and in its continued anti-Israel and anti-Semitic policies, such as its latest Holocaust cartoon contest, a forum for Holocaust denial that is unacceptable in any circumstance. We see a path forward wherein Iran can increase its re-engagement with the family of nations. However, to do so, it must demonstrate a willingness to abide by the norms of this family including respect for human rights within its own borders, a cessation of its militarism in the region, and an end to its support for terrorism around the world. In any case, we hope that the U.S. government and broader international community will hold Iran accountable for any violations of its treaty commitments, particularly those that harm its own people and further destabilize the region. Updated: January 17, 2016On January 17, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program.
New York, NY, January 19, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the National LGBTQ Task Force’s reversal of its decision to cancel a Shabbat reception at their upcoming annual “Creating Change” conference. The reception was organized by an American LGBTQ group, featuring Jerusalem Open House, an LGBTQ community organization in Israel. ADL had reached out to the Task Force urging them to reverse the initial decision which was “deeply misguided” and “unworthy of an organization committed to justice and equality.”ADL has been a long-time partner in the Task Force’s efforts to advance full freedom, justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. The now re-approved reception following Friday night Shabbat services will be hosted by A Wider Bridge, an organization that supports a constructive relationship with Israel and LGBTQ Israelis, and will feature guests from the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, who will discuss their work as a local community center that transcends political, ethnic and religious boundaries to build and unite a community in pursuit of the common goal of tolerance and mutual support. Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement: We are very pleased that the Task Force has reversed course and taken responsibility for their deeply misguided decision to cancel this reception. We were surprised and disappointed with the initial choice to cancel an event that had been designed to celebrate and embrace ties with Israel’s diverse LGBTQ community. That initial decision was unworthy of an organization committed to justice and equality. Creating Change has traditionally been a space for vigorous debate and for LGBT community leaders from the U.S. and around the world. The initial decision to cancel an event highlighting the work of an organization that serves the entire Israeli LGBTQ community, Jews and Arabs alike, was an indefensible exception to that practice. Executive Director Rea Carey’s meaningful and heartfelt apology appropriately recognizes the harmful impact the decision to cancel the event had on the community. We strongly commend the Task Force’s leadership for engaging in a process that allowed them to reverse their decision. It reflects their commitment to the broad and diverse community they serve – and is a reminder of what makes the Task Force an indispensable partner in the pursuit of justice.
Jerusalem, January 19, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly denounced the hateful graffiti that defaced the Dormition Abbey, a significant holy site in Jerusalem.According to reports, on January 17, “May his name be obliterated” (a phrase that creates a Hebrew acronym for Jesus), “Death to the heathen Christians the enemies of Israel” and “go to hell” were among the graffiti found on the church, which has been the target of attacks in the past. “This Church has been the target of repeated attacks,” said Carole Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office, and Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. “Sadly it is, but one of an increasingly long list of religious sites, including churches, mosques and synagogues that have been vandalized by Jewish extremists who reject the value of religious freedom enshrined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.” Ms. Nuriel and Rabbi Sandmel added, “While we acknowledge Israel’s efforts to combat this extremism and call to bring the perpetrators to justice, we share the feeling expressed by many in the Christian community that enough is enough.”
Pledges to Support Increasing Dialogue in the Future New York, NY, January 24, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep sadness about the intimidating disruption of a post-Shabbat services reception at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s “Creating Change” conference. Reception organizer, A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel LGBT advocacy group, had invited Jerusalem Open House (JOH) to discuss the progress and struggles of the diverse LGBTQ community since the tragic murder of Shira Banki at Jerusalem Pride this past summer.According to reports, approximately 200 people of the almost 4,000 conference attendees, protested outside the reception, and a handful entered the reception and prevented the representatives from JOH from speaking. Video from the demonstration captures protestors chanting “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Must Be Free,” a call for replacing the State of Israel with Palestine, rather than a two-state solution to the conflict. Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement: Shutting down dialogue and discussion is the antithesis of what our long-time partner, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and its ‘Creating Change’ conference, are about. We had praised the Task Force when it reversed its initial decision to cancel the reception. In announcing the revised decision, Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey called upon all conference attendees and members of the wider Task Force family to join her in moving toward inclusion and constructive dialogue. Sadly, protesters ignored that call and used chilling words of hate and intimidation to shut down and silence other LGBTQ voices. The protestors’ actions and messages reflect a dramatic lack of understanding about the right of LGBTQ people to not be defined by the political conflicts of their country and negates the essential work of Jerusalem Open House (JOH), a community organization that serves Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Their perception of JOH’s work is grossly distorted by their erroneous views of Israel and their endorsement of the destruction of the Jewish state. In the simplistic understanding of many of the protestors, Israel and Israelis can do no ‘right.’ Any individuals or groups that highlight or reflect progress on LGBTQ rights are accused of ‘pinkwashing,’ an allegation that they are selectively highlighting the attainment of LGBTQ rights in Israel in an effort to deflect attention away from Israel’s treatment of Palestinian people. We look forward to continuing our work with the Task Force to advance full freedom, justice, and equality for all LGBTQ people and finding ways to support efforts towards increasing rather than limiting dialogue.