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Anti-Defamation League

Anti-Defamation League

Overview
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is an international non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

 based in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all" while it "[advocates] for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 [...] with policymakers, the media and the public" and "defends the security of Israel and Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 worldwide".

Founded in 1913 by The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith International |Covenant]]" is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was initially founded as the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith in New York City, on , 1843, by Henry Jones and 11 others....

, a Jewish service organization in the United States, its original mission statement was "to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people.
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Encyclopedia
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is an international non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

 based in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all" while it "[advocates] for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 [...] with policymakers, the media and the public" and "defends the security of Israel and Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 worldwide".

Founded in 1913 by The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith International |Covenant]]" is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was initially founded as the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith in New York City, on , 1843, by Henry Jones and 11 others....

, a Jewish service organization in the United States, its original mission statement was "to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination
Discrimination
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be...

 against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens." The ADL has 29 offices in the United States and three offices in other countries, with its headquarters located in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Since 1987, Abraham Foxman
Abraham Foxman
Abraham H. Foxman is the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.-Early life:Foxman, an only son, was born in Baranovichi, just months after the USSR took the town from Poland in the Nazi-Soviet Pact and incorporated it into the BSSR. The town is now in Belarus...

 has been the national director in the United States. The national chairman in the United States is Robert Sugarman.

Origin


Founded in October 1913 by Sigmund Livingston
Sigmund Livingston
Sigmund G. Livingston was a Jewish attorney working in Chicago, Illinois. Livingston was the founder and first president of the Anti-Defamation League, and the author of the book Must Men Hate...

, the ADL's charter
Charter
A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified...

 states,
"The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens."


Livingston established the ADL in direct response to the 1913 trial of Leo Frank
Leo Frank
Leo Max Frank was a Jewish-American factory superintendent whose hanging in 1915 by a lynch mob of prominent citizens in Marietta, Georgia drew attention to antisemitism in the United States....

, a Jewish factory manager in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 accused of murdering a young female employee.

Fighting anti-Semitism, bigotry, and racism


The stated purpose of the ADL is to fight "Anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry
Bigotry
A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs...

 (in the United States) and abroad, combat international terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, probe the roots of hatred, advocate before the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, come to the aid of victims of bigotry, develop educational programs, and serve as a public resource for government, media, law enforcement, and the public, all towards the goal of countering and reducing hatred."

Historically, the ADL has opposed groups and individuals it considered to be anti-Semitic and/or racist
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, including: Nazis
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

, the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

, Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

, Father Charles Coughlin
Charles Coughlin
Father Charles Edward Coughlin was a controversial Roman Catholic priest at Royal Oak, Michigan's National Shrine of the Little Flower church. He was one of the first political leaders to use radio to reach a mass audience, as more than thirty million tuned to his weekly broadcasts during the...

 (leader of the Christian Front), the Christian Identity
Christian Identity
Christian Identity is a label applied to a wide variety of loosely affiliated believers and churches with a racialized theology. Many promote a Eurocentric interpretation of Christianity.According to Chester L...

 movement, the German-American Bund
German-American Bund
The German American Bund or German American Federation was an American Nazi organization established in the 1930s...

, neo-Nazis
Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements....

, the American militia
Militia (United States)
The role of militia, also known as military service and duty, in the United States is complex and has transformed over time.Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Page 36. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995. " The term militia can be used to describe any number of groups within the...

 movement and white power skinheads (although the ADL acknowledges that there are also non-racist skinhead
Skinhead
A skinhead is a member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, and then spread to other parts of the world. Named for their close-cropped or shaven heads, the first skinheads were greatly influenced by West Indian rude boys and British mods,...

s). The ADL publishes reports on a variety of countries, regarding alleged incidents of anti-Jewish attacks and propaganda.

The ADL maintains that some forms of Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

 and criticism of Israel are actually anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

. The Anti-Defamation League states:
"Criticism of particular Israeli actions or policies in and of itself does not constitute anti-Semitism. Certainly the sovereign State of Israel can be legitimately criticized just like any other country in the world. However, it is undeniable that there are those whose criticism of Israel or of "Zionism" is used to mask anti-Semitism."


The ADL gives out its Courage to Care Award
Courage to Care Award
Since April 23, 1987, the Anti-Defamation League has given award to honor rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust era. The award, called “Courage to Care,” is a plaque with miniature bas-reliefs depicting the backdrop for the rescuers’ exceptional deeds during the Nazis’ persecution, deportation and...

 to honor rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust era.

The ADL publishes a list of the "ten leading organizations responsible for maligning Israel in the US", which have included a group calling for the United States to "stop funding Israeli apartheid".

In October 2010, the ADL condemned remarks by Haham Ovadia Yosef
Ovadia Yosef
Ovadia Yosef is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, a recognised Talmudic scholar and foremost halakhic authority.He currently serves as the spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli parliament...

 that the sole purpose of non-Jews was to serve the people of Israel.

Separation of church and state


One of the ADL's major focuses is religious freedom for people of all faiths. In the context of public schools, the ADL has taken the position that because creationism
Creationism
Creationism is the religious beliefthat humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being, most often referring to the Abrahamic god. As science developed from the 18th century onwards, various views developed which aimed to reconcile science with the Genesis...

 and intelligent design
Intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

 are religious beliefs, and the government is prohibited from endorsing the beliefs of any particular religion, they should not be taught in science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 classrooms: "The U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to believe the religious theories of creation (as well as other theories) but it does not permit them to be taught in public school science classes." Similarly, the ADL supports the legal precedent that it is unconstitutional
Constitutionality
Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution. Acts that are not in accordance with the rules laid down in the constitution are deemed to be ultra vires.-See also:*ultra vires*Company law*Constitutional law...

 for the government to post the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

 in courthouses, schools, and other public places: "True religious liberty means freedom from having the government impose the religion of the majority on all citizens." The ADL has also condemned the public school Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 curriculum published by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools
National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools
The National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools is a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of its 300-page Bible curriculum, The Bible in History and Literature, in schools throughout the United States...

, saying that it raises "serious constitutional problems" and "advocates the acceptance of one faith tradition's interpretation of the Bible over another." The ADL opposed Proposition 8
California Proposition 8 (2008)
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

 and supported the Matthew Shepard Act
Matthew Shepard Act
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress, passed on October 22, 2009, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010...

.

Defending other religions


Stating that its one of its goals is to defend not only Jews, but also "all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens," the ADL has periodically made statements against misrepresentations of other faiths. For example, when the anti-Mormon
Anti-Mormon
Anti-Mormonism is discrimination, persecution, hostility or prejudice directed at members of the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...

 film "The God Makers" was produced, Rhonda M. Abrams, Central Pacific (San Francisco) Regional Director for the ADL wrote a critical review, including the following statement:

Had a similar movie been made with either Judaism or Catholicism as its target, it would be immediately denounced for the scurrilous piece that it is. I sincerely hope that people of all faiths will similarly repudiate "The Godmakers" as defamatory and untrue, and recognize it for what it truly represents—a challenge to the religious liberty of all.

Tracking "extremists"


The ADL keeps track of the activities of various "extremist" groups and movements. According to ADL Director Abe Foxman, "Our mission is to monitor and expose those who are anti-Jewish, racist, anti-democratic, and violence-prone, and we monitor them primarily by reading publications and attending public meetings …. Because extremist organizations are highly secretive, sometimes ADL can learn of their activities only by using undercover sources … [who] function in a manner directly analogous to investigative journalists. Some have performed great service to the American people—for example, by uncovering the existence of right-wing extremist paramilitary training camps—with no recognition and at considerable personal risk." A person apprehended in connection to the 2002 white supremacist terror plot
2002 white supremacist terror plot
During a 2002 terror plot, a pair of white supremacists planned to bomb a series of institutions associated with African American and American Jewish communities.-Crime:...

 had drawn a cartoon of himself blowing up the Boston offices of the ADL.

The ADL regularly releases reports on anti-Semitism and extremist activities on the far left and the far right. For instance, as part of its Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the ADL has published information about the Militia Movement in America and a guide for law enforcement officials titled Officer Safety and Extremists. An archive of "The Militia Watchdog" research on U.S. right-wing extremism (including groups not specifically cited as anti-Semitic) from 1995 to 2000 is also available on the ADL website.

In the 1990s, some details of the ADL's monitoring activities became public and controversial, including the fact that the ADL had gathered information about some non-extremist groups.

Role in arrest of potential assassins of Barack Obama


In October 2008 the ADL reportedly assisted the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) by providing, on request, information on Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and their associates and contacts, and on their ties to the Supreme White Alliance. Shortly thereafter the two men were arrested on charges of plotting to murder dozens of African Americans and plotting to assassinate US President-elect Barack Obama
2008 Barack Obama assassination scare in Tennessee
The Barack Obama assassination scare in Tennessee refers to an alleged plot by Paul Schlesselman and Daniel Cowart to assassinate Barack Obama, then 2008 Democratic Party presidential nominee...

.

Holocaust awareness


The ADL holds that it is important to remember the Holocaust, in order to prevent such an event from ever coming to pass again. Along with sponsoring events and fighting Holocaust deniers
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

 and revisionists, the ADL has been active in urging action to stop modern-day "ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

" and genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 in places such as Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 and Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

.

The ADL spoke out against an advertising campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A non-profit corporation with 300 employees and two million members and supporters, it claims to be the largest animal rights...

 (PETA) beginning in 2003 that equated meat-eating with the Holocaust. A press release from the ADL stated that "PETA's effort to seek 'approval' for their 'Holocaust on Your Plate' campaign is outrageous, offensive and takes chutzpah
Chutzpah
Chutzpah is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad, but it is generally used negatively. The Yiddish word derives from the Hebrew word , meaning "insolence", "audacity". The modern English usage of the word has taken on a broader meaning, having been popularized through vernacular use in...

 to new heights. Rather than deepen our revulsion against what the Nazis did to the Jews, the project will undermine the struggle to understand the Holocaust and to find ways to make sure such catastrophes never happen again." On May 5, 2005, PETA issued an apology for comparing the treatment of farm animals to the victims of the Nazi concentration camps. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said she realized that the campaign had caused pain: "This was never our intention, and we are deeply sorry."

The ADL has for many years refused to acknowledge that the Armenian genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 constituted a genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

. The ADL has actively engaged in efforts to oppose Congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Under pressure to do so, the national ADL issued a "Statement on the Armenian Genocide" on August 21, 2007. The statement declared, "The consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide." Activists felt that the statement was not a full, unequivocal acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide, because the use of the qualifier "tantamount" was seen as inappropriate, and the use of the word "consequences" was seen as an attempt to circumvent the international legal definition of genocide by avoiding any language that would imply intent, a crucial aspect of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention definition. The ADL convened its national meeting in New York City in early November at which time the issue of the Armenian Genocide was discussed. Upon conclusion, a one sentence press statement was issued that "The National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today, at its annual meeting, decided to take no further action on the issue of the Armenian genocide."

Political positions


The ADL supports the Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

 and has vociferously opposed resolutions such as the 1975 United Nations resolution
UN General Assembly Resolution 3379
-The Israeli response:In his address to the United Nations General Assembly the same day, 10. November 1975, Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog stated: In his response he also said that the resolution was:...

 (revoked in 1991
UN General Assembly Resolution 4686
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/86 passed on December 16, 1991, revoked Resolution 3379 with a vote of 111 to 25, with 13 abstentions....

) that had equated Zionism and racism, and attempts to revive that formulation at the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism
World Conference against Racism
The World Conference against Racism are international events organised by the UNESCO to struggle against racism ideologies and behaviours. Four conferences have been held so far, in 1978, 1983, 2001 and 2009...

 in Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

.

The ADL honors individuals throughout the year for various reasons. On September 23, 2003, at its Tribute to Italy Dinner, the ADL awarded Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 the ADL's distinguished statesman award, an honor "conferred on world leaders who exhibit a commitment to furthering the achievement of regional and world peace, and who possess a special commitment to promoting human and civil rights." Berlusconi is also known for his staunch pro-Israel stance.

The ADL has spoken out against red-baiting
Red-baiting
Red-baiting is the act of accusing, denouncing, attacking or persecuting an individual or group as communist, socialist, or anarchist, or sympathetic toward communism, socialism, or anarchism. The word "red" in "red-baiting" is derived from the red flag signifying radical left-wing politics. In the...

 and McCarthyism
McCarthyism
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by...

.

In 2006 the ADL condemned Senate Republicans in the United States for attempting to ban same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

 with the Federal Marriage Amendment
Federal Marriage Amendment
The Federal Marriage Amendment H.J. Res. 56 was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman...

 and praised its demise, calling it "discrimination". That same year the ADL warned that the debate over illegal immigration
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

 was drawing neo-nazis and anti-Semites into the ranks of the Minutemen Project
The Minuteman Project Inc.
The Minuteman Project is an activist organization started in April 2005 by a group of private individuals in the United States to monitor the United States – Mexico border's flow of illegal immigrants. Co-founded by Jim Gilchrist, the name derives from the Minutemen, militiamen who fought in the...

.

In 1974 ADL national leaders Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein published a book called The New Anti-Semitism
New anti-Semitism
New antisemitism is the concept that a new form of antisemitism has developed in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, emanating simultaneously from the far-left, radical Islam, and the far-right, and tending to manifest itself as opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel.The concept...

(New York, 1974), arguing that a new kind of anti-Semitism is on the rise. In 1982, ADL national leader Nathan Perlmutter and his wife, Ruth Ann Perlmutter, released a book entitled The Real Anti-Semitism in America (New York, 1982). In 2003, ADL's national director Abraham Foxman published Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (San Francisco, 2003), where on page 4 he states: "We currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s—if not a greater one."

In 2010, during a hearing for Florida House Bill 11 (Crimes Against Homeless Persons) which was to revise the list of offenses judged to be hate crimes in Florida by adding a person's homeless status, the League lobbied against the bill, which subsequently passed in the House by a vote of 80 to 28 and was sent to the Senate, taking the position that adding more categories to the list would dilute the effectiveness of the law, which already includes race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and age.

Interfaith camp


ADL's New England Regional Office has also established a faith-based initiative called "The Interfaith Youth Leadership Program," better known as "Camp If," or Camp Interfaith. Involving teenagers of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths, the camp brings the teens together for a week at camp where the teens bond and learn about each other's cultures. The camp has emerged as a new attempt to foster good relations between younger members of the Abrahamic faiths.

Relations with Arabs and Muslims



ADL publications on condemning bigotry towards Arabs, Muslims, Blacks and members of other minorities have often been used in synagogue adult education programs, and as part of Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim inter-faith dialogue.

The ADL is sometimes at odds with Arab and Muslim groups, particularly over issues involving Israel and antisemitism. For instance, the ADL regularly publishes updates to its web site reviewing and cataloguing negative portrayals of Jews in Arab nations' media.

Arab and Muslim groups are often critical of the ADL as well. After the ADL became involved in a dispute between two New Jersey mayoral candidates, one of whom had made a campaign speech at a meeting of an organisation whose president had called for "armed resistance" against Israel, asking the candidates to calm down, the group accused the ADL of "anti-Muslim McCarthyism
McCarthyism
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by...

".

On June 18, 2004 the ADL issued a news release about the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

, Irvine (UCI) Muslim Students Union in which the ADL alleged that the student group had invited speakers to campus who "made public declarations of support for Hamas, advocated suicide bombings and called for the destruction of Israel." For graduation Group members chose to wear green
Green in Islam
Green is considered the traditional color of Islam.-Significance and symbolism:The Arabic word for "greenness" is mentioned several times in the Quran, describing the state of the inhabitants of paradise...

 (the traditional colour of Islam) graduation stoles bearing the Shahada
Shahada
The Shahada , means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed"/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet...

, the Islamic declaration of faith
Declaration of faith
A declaratithat is said by a member of any religion to show either to themselves, their God or other members of the religion their belief and faith in the religion...

. The ADL's press release described the Shahada as "a declaration of faith that has been closely identified with Palestinian terrorists," and claimed that suicide bombers connected to the Palestinian group Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 wear green armbands and headbands inscribed with the Shahada as a symbol of their movement, and further stated, "We are troubled that members of the (UCI) Muslim Students Union have chosen to display symbolism that is closely identified with Palestinian terrorist groups and that can be especially offensive to Jewish students."

A news release from the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization that deals with civil advocacy and promotes human rights...

 denied that the stoles were expressions of support for terrorism, called the ADL's comments "bigoted statements", and demanded an apology; the organization's communications director Sabiha Khan said: "The ADL's hate-filled Islamophobic rhetoric labels all Muslims as terrorists, because every Muslim believes in the declaration of faith as the essence of Islam." The ADL released a clarifying statement saying the ADL has nothing against the Muslim statement of faith and that, "It was never our intent to offend anyone and we apologize to those who took offense."

Relations with African-Americans


The ADL has worked to combat racism against all racial groups, including racism against blacks. In 1997, the National Center for Black-Jewish Relations of Dillard University
Dillard University
Dillard University is a private, historically black liberal arts college in New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded in 1930 incorporating earlier institutions that went back to 1869, it is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church....

, a historically black university in New Orleans awarded the director of the ADL, Abraham H. Foxman, with the first Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. – Donald R. Mintz Freedom and Justice Award.

In 2004, the ADL became the lead partner in the Peace and Diversity Academy, a new New York City public high school with predominantly black and Hispanic students.

In celebration of Black History Month, the ADL created and distributed lesson plans to middle and high school teachers about Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress...

, the first black woman elected to the US Congress, and an important civil rights leader.

The ADL has also publicly charged certain African Americans with anti-Semitism:
  • The ADL has catalogued a three-decade history of Nation of Islam
    Nation of Islam
    The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

     leader Louis Farrakhan
    Louis Farrakhan
    Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr. is the leader of the African-American religious movement the Nation of Islam . He served as the minister of major mosques in Boston and Harlem, and was appointed by the longtime NOI leader, Elijah Muhammad, before his death in 1975, as the National Representative of...

     espousing anti-Semitic rhetoric such as claims that certain Jews are "not real Jews" and are "wicked deceivers of the American people" who "sucked [Americans'] blood," and that powerful Jews promote homosexuality and control black leadership. Farrakhan first attracted the attention of the ADL with comments in a March 11, 1984 radio broadcast saying that "Hitler was a very great man,". Farrakhan insists he was using the word 'great' in the sense of 'Great Depression' or 'great white shark'. and on June 24, 1984 describing the Jewish state as "structured on injustice, thievery, lying and deceit and using the name of God to shield your dirty religion under His holy and righteous name." The ADL has urged various groups including the NAACP (whose leader Benjamin Chavis developed a working relationship with Farrakhan in 1994) to dissociate themselves from Farrakhan and his views.
  • In 1984 The Boston Globe
    The Boston Globe
    The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

    reported that then ADL national director, Nathan Perlmutter, said Rev. Jesse Jackson
    Jesse Jackson
    Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

    , Sr. was anti-Semitic, after Jackson referred to New York City as "Hymietown". However, the ADL later reconciled with Jackson and has worked with him on the issue of the Iranian Jewish community.
  • Film Director Spike Lee
    Spike Lee
    Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983....

     was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for his portrayal of Jewish nightclub owners Moe and Josh Flatbush in his 1990 film Mo' Better Blues
    Mo' Better Blues
    Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 drama film starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee, who also directed. It follows a period in the life of a fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam as a series of bad decisions result in his jeopardizing both his relationships and his playing career...

    . The Anti-Defamation League claimed that the characterizations of the nightclub owners "dredge up an age-old and highly dangerous form of anti-Semitic stereotyping," and "...disappointed that Spike Lee – whose success is largely due to his efforts to break down racial stereotypes and prejudice – has employed the same kind of tactics that he supposedly deplores." Lee's portrayal also angered the B'Nai Brith and other such Jewish organizations causing Lee to apologize via an Opinion-Editorial article in The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    .
  • During the 2002 election cycle, the ADL, in a letter to The New York Times, harshly criticized Congressional Black Caucus
    Congressional Black Caucus
    The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to blacks, and its chair in the 112th Congress is Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.-Aims:...

     member Cynthia McKinney
    Cynthia McKinney
    Cynthia Ann McKinney is a former US Congresswoman and a member of the Green Party since 2007. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives. In 2008, the Green Party nominated McKinney for President of the United States...

     of Georgia for launching attacks perceived as racial against her Jewish opponent. According to an August 19, 2002 article in The New York Times ADL Director Abraham Foxman said, "it made sense that Jewish Americans would want to contribute to efforts to replace Ms. McKinney."
  • In February 2005, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman called it hypocritical for hip-hop producer Russell Simmons
    Russell Simmons
    -External links:** * * * * * * from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum* *...

     to lead an ad campaign against anti-Semitism while also, according to Foxman's view, defending or excusing Louis Farrakhan's anti-Semitic statements. Later that year the ADL urged prominent black leaders including Simmons to reconsider their support for Farrakhan and Malik Zulu Shabazz
    Malik Zulu Shabazz
    Malik Zulu Shabazz is an American attorney and the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party. He is a frequent guest on television talk shows, such as Face the Nation, Meet the Press, The O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity.-Early life and legal career:Shabazz was born and raised in Los Angeles,...

     organizing the Millions More Movement
    Millions More Movement
    The Millions More Movement was launched by a broad coalition of African American leaders to mark the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March. A mass march on Washington, DC, was held on October 15, 2005, to galvanize public support for the movement's goals...

     and to "stand up" against black anti-Semitism. Simmons, responding to ADL Director Abraham Foxman, said "simply put, you are misguided, arrogant, and very disrespectful of African Americans and most importantly your statements will unintentionally or intentionally lead to a negative impression of Jews in the minds of millions of African Americans." Foxman replied, "If there were a Jewish event which was led by an out-and-out racist, I would expect Black leaders to say to me that ADL should have nothing to do with it. And I would agree with them, rather than condemn them for their action."

The ADL files controversy


Since the 1930s the ADL has been gathering information and publishing reports on anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice, and on anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, racist, anti-democratic, violent, and extremist individuals and groups. As a result, the organization has amassed what it once called a "famous storehouse of accurate, detailed, unassailable information on extremist individuals and organizations." Over the decades the ADL has assembled thousands of files.

One of its sources was Roy Bullock, a person who collected information and provided it to the ADL as a secretly paid independent contractor over 32 years. Bullock often wrote letters to various groups and forwarded copies of their replies to the ADL, clipped articles from newspapers and magazines, and maintained files on his computer. He also used less orthodox, and possibly illegal, methods such as combing through trash and tapping into the White Aryan Resistance
White Aryan Resistance
White Aryan Resistance is a neo-Nazi white separatist organization founded and led by former Ku Klux Klan leader Tom Metzger. Part of the American far right, it is based in Warsaw, Indiana and is incorporated as a business....

's phone message system to find evidence of hate crime
Hate crime
In crime and law, hate crimes occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, social status or...

s. Some of the information he obtained and then passed on to the ADL came from confidential documents (including intelligence files on various Nazi groups and driver's license records and other personal information on nearly 1,400 people) that were given to him by San Francisco police officer Tom Gerard.

On April 8, 1993, police seized Bullock's computer and raided the ADL offices in San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 and Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. A search of Bullock's computer revealed he had compiled files on 9,876 individuals and more than 950 groups across the political spectrum. Many of Bullock's files concerned groups that did not fit the mold of extremist groups, hate groups, and organizations hostile to Jews or Israel that the ADL would usually be interested in. Along with files on the Ku Klux Klan, White Aryan Resistance, Islamic Jihad and Jewish Defense League
Jewish Defense League
The Jewish Defense League is a Jewish organization whose stated goal is to "protect Jews from antisemitism by whatever means necessary"...

 were data on the NAACP, the African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 (ANC), the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 (ACLU), the United Auto Workers
United Auto Workers
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers , is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial...

, the AIDS activist group ACT UP
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power is an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and...

, Mother Jones magazine
Mother Jones (magazine)
Mother Jones is an American independent news organization, featuring investigative and breaking news reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Mother Jones has been nominated for 23 National Magazine Awards and has won six times, including for General Excellence in 2001,...

, the TASS
Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union
The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union , was the central agency for collection and distribution of internal and international news for all Soviet newspapers, radio and television stations...

 Soviet/Russian news agency, Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

, Jews for Jesus
Jews for Jesus
Jews for Jesus is a conservative, Christian evangelical organization that focuses on the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Its members consider themselves to be Jews – either as defined by Jewish law, or as according to the view of Jews for Jesus. Jews for Jesus defines “Jewish” in terms of...

 and the National Lawyers Guild
National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyers Guild is an advocacy group in the United States "dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system . ....

; there were also files on politicians including Democratic U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

, former Republican U.S. Representative Pete McCloskey
Pete McCloskey
Paul Norton "Pete" McCloskey Jr. is a former Republican politician from the U.S. state of California who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1967 to 1983. He ran on an anti-war platform for the Republican nomination for President in 1972 but was defeated by incumbent President...

, and activist Lyndon LaRouche
Lyndon LaRouche
Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. is an American political activist and founder of a network of political committees, parties, and publications known collectively as the LaRouche movement...

. Bullock told investigators that many of those were his own private files, not information he was passing on to the ADL. An attorney for the ADL stated that "We knew nothing about the vast extent of the files. Those are not ADL's files. … That is all [Bullock's] doing." As for its own records, the ADL indicated that just because it had a file on a group did not indicate opposition to the group. The San Francisco district attorney at the time accused the ADL of conducting a national "spy
SPY
SPY is a three-letter acronym that may refer to:* SPY , ticker symbol for Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipts* SPY , a satirical monthly, trademarked all-caps* SPY , airport code for San Pédro, Côte d'Ivoire...

 network", but dropped all accusations a few months later.

In the weeks following the raids, twelve civil rights groups led by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee states that it is the largest Arab American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States. According to its web page it is open to people of all backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities and has over 40 chapters in 24 states and members in all...

 and the National Lawyers Guild
National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyers Guild is an advocacy group in the United States "dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system . ....

, filed a lawsuit demanding ADL release its survellance information and end its investigations, as well as be ordered to pay punitive damages. The plaintiffs' attorney, former Representative McCloskey, claimed that information the ADL gathered constituted an invasion of privacy. The ADL, while distancing itself from Bullock, countered that it is entitled like any researcher or journalist to research organizations and individuals. Richard Cohen, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...

 in Montgomery, Alabama, stated that like journalists, the ADL's researchers "gather information however they can" and welcome disclosures from confidential sources, saying "they probably rely on their sources to draw the line" on how much can legally be divulged. Bullock admitted that he was overzealous, and that some of the ways he gathered information may have been illegal.

The lawsuit was settled out of court in 1999. The ADL agreed to pay $175,000 for the court costs of the groups that sued it, promised that it would not seek information from sources it knew could not legally disclose such information, consented to remove sensitive information like criminal records or Social Security number
Social Security number
In the United States, a Social Security number is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents under section 205 of the Social Security Act, codified as . The number is issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration, an independent...

s from its files, and spent $25,000 to further relations between the Jewish, Arab and black communities. When the case was settled, Hussein Ibish
Hussein Ibish
Hussein Yusuf Kamal Ibish is a Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1963. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is active in advocacy for Arab causes in the United States...

, director of communications for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee states that it is the largest Arab American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States. According to its web page it is open to people of all backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities and has over 40 chapters in 24 states and members in all...

 (ADC), claimed that the ADL had gathered data "systematically in a program whose clear intent was to undermine civil rights and Arab-American organizations". ADL national director Abraham Foxman called the ADC's claims "absolutely untrue," saying that "if it were true, they would have won their case" and noting that no court found the ADL guilty of any wrongdoing. The ADL released a statement saying that the settlement "explicitly recognizes ADL's right to gather information in any lawful and constitutionally protected manner, which we have always done and will continue to do."

James Rosenberg


A case which has been compared to the Bullock case was that of James Mitchell Rosenberg, AKA Jim Anderson. Rosenberg/Anderson was an undercover operative of the ADL who acted as an agent provocateur, posing as a racist right-wing paramilitary extremist. He appeared in this role as part of a TV documentary entitled "Armies of the Right" which premiered in 1981. Rosenberg was arrested that same year in New York for carrying an unregistered firearm in public view. In 1984, ADL fact-finding director Irwin Suall
Irwin Suall
Irwin Suall was an American socialist and researcher. He was national director of fact-finding for the Anti-Defamation League from 1967 to 1997 in which capacity he directed that organizations undercover intelligence gathering on extremist groups....

 identified Rosenberg as an ADL operative in a court deposition.

Armenian Genocide controversy


In 2007, Abraham Foxman came under criticism for his stance on the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

. The ADL had previously described it as a "massacre" and "atrocity", but not a "genocide". Foxman had earlier opposed calls for the U.S. Government to recognise it as a "genocide". "I don't think congressional action will help reconcile the issue. The resolution takes a position; it comes to a judgment," said Foxman in a statement issued to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency is an international news agency serving Jewish community newspapers and media around the world. The JTA was founded on February 6, 1917, by Jacob Landau as the Jewish Correspondence Bureau in The Hague with the mandate of collecting and disseminating news among and...

. “The Turks
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

ns need to revisit their past. The Jewish community shouldn't be the arbiter of that history, nor should the U.S. Congress, and "a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States."

In early August 2007, complaints about the Anti-Defamation League's refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 led to the Watertown, Massachusetts
Watertown, Massachusetts
The Town of Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,915 at the 2010 census.- History :Archeological evidence suggests that Watertown was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from England...

 unanimous town council decision to end their participation in the ADL "No Place for Hate" campaign. Also in August 2007, an editorial in The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

criticized the ADL saying that "as an organization concerned about human rights, it ought to acknowledge the genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 against the Armenian people during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and criticize Turkish attempts to repress the memory of this historical reality." Then on 17 August 2007, the ADL fired its regional New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 director, Andrew H. Tarsy, for breaking ranks with the main organization and saying the ADL should recognize the genocide. In a 21 August 2007 press release, the ADL changed its position to one of acknowledging the genocide but maintained its opposition to congressional resolutions aimed at recognizing it. Foxman wrote, "the consequences of those actions," by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 against Armenians, "were indeed tantamount to genocide." The Turkish government condemned the league's statement. Andrew H. Tarsy was rehired by the league on 27 August, though he has since chosen to step down from his position.

The ADL was criticized by many in the Armenian community including The Armenian Weekly newspaper, in which writer Michael Mensoian stated:
After Foxman's capitulation, the New England ADL pressed the organization's national leadership to support a congressional resolution acknowledging the genocide. After hours of closed-door debate at the annual national meeting in New York, the proposal was ultimately withdrawn. The organization issued a statement saying it would "take no further action on the issue of the Armenian genocide." The ADL had earlier received direct pressure from the Turkish Foreign ministry. Tarsy submitted his resignation on December 4.

Since August, some human rights commissions in other Massachusetts communities decided to follow Watertown's lead and withdraw from the ADL's No Place for Hate anti-discrimination program.

Organizations


The ADL has drawn criticism from the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization that deals with civil advocacy and promotes human rights...

 and from the Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

.

Individuals


Linguist and activist Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 has characterized ADL as having lost entirely its focus on civil rights issues to become solely an advocate for Israeli policy; he holds that ADL casts all left-wing opposition to Israeli interests as antisemitism. Michael Lerner
Michael Lerner (rabbi)
Michael Lerner is a political activist, the editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish interfaith magazine based in Berkeley, California, and the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue of San Francisco.-Family and Education:...

, a prominent left-wing rabbi, has criticized the ADL on similar grounds. Other critics include Norman G. Finkelstein, Matt Isaacs, Jude Wanniski
Jude Wanniski
Jude Thaddeus Wanniski was an American journalist, conservative commentator, and political economist.- Early life and education :...

, Jeffrey Blankfort, Anne Poirier and Steve Zeltzer.

In 2003, journalist John Gorenfeld criticized the ADL in an article in Salon Magazine
Salon.com
Salon.com, part of Salon Media Group , often just called Salon, is an online liberal magazine, with content updated each weekday. Salon was founded by David Talbot and launched on November 20, 1995. It was the internet's first online-only commercial publication. The magazine focuses on U.S...

for its silence on alleged antisemitic statements by members of the Unification Church
Unification Church
The Unification Church is a new religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. In 1954, the Unification Church was formally and legally established in Seoul, South Korea, as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity . In 1994, Moon gave the church...

, in contrast to its outspoken criticism of the Nation of Islam and other groups.

Role in cancellation of speech by Tony Judt at Polish Consulate


The ADL, in addition to the American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Committee
The American Jewish Committee was "founded in 1906 with the aim of rallying all sections of American Jewry to defend the rights of Jews all over the world...

, was criticized by academic Tony Judt
Tony Judt
Tony Robert Judt FBA was a British historian, essayist, and university professor who specialized in European history. Judt moved to New York and served as the Erich Maria Remarque Professor in European Studies at New York University, and Director of NYU's Erich Maria Remarque Institute...

 for allegedly pressuring the Polish Consul General in New York to cancel a scheduled appearance by Judt at a non-profit organization that rents space from the consulate. In an interview with the New York Sun
New York Sun
The New York Sun was a weekday daily newspaper published in New York City from 2002 to 2008. When it debuted on April 16, 2002, adopting the name, motto, and masthead of an otherwise unrelated earlier New York paper, The Sun , it became the first general-interest broadsheet newspaper to be started...

, Foxman claimed that the group "had nothing to do with the cancellation", insisting that the ADL only called to ask if the event was being sponsored by the Polish government. Polish Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk suggested in an interview with The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

that calls by the ADL and the American Jewish Committee were "exercising a delicate pressure". In reference to the role of the ADL and American Jewish Committee in organizing the cancellations, Judt told The Washington Post: "This is serious and frightening, and only in America—not in Israel—is this a problem. These are Jewish organizations that believe they should keep people who disagree with them on the Middle East away from anyone who might listen." The ADL denied the charges. According to Foxman, "I think they made the right decision... He's taken the position that Israel shouldn't exist. That puts him on our radar."

Denver defamation suit


According to an April 13, 2001 article in The Forward
The Forward
The Forward , commonly known as The Jewish Daily Forward, is a Jewish-American newspaper published in New York City. The publication began in 1897 as a Yiddish-language daily issued by dissidents from the Socialist Labor Party of Daniel DeLeon...

, a federal judge "lambasted the organization for labeling a nasty neighborhood feud as an anti-Semitic event" and upheld most of William and Dorothy Quigley's $10 million lawsuit
Lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 for defamation
Slander and libel
Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander , and libel —is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image...

. In 1994, Candace and Mitchell Aronson, Jewish next door neighbors of the Quigleys, contacted the Denver ADL office, reporting overheard cordless phone conversations of the Quigleys discussing putting pictures of oven doors on the Aronsons' home (a reference to the Holocaust), burning the Aronson children and wishing the Aronsons had been killed in a suicide bombing. (The Quigleys later indicated that these remarks had been intended to be humorous.) The Quigleys and the Aronsons had been engaged in an escalating series of petty disputes prior to this incident. The ADL also labelled the Quigleys as anti-Semites in a press conference which led to felony federal charges being filed against them.
Unknown to many at the time that the Aronsons were taping -- including Mr. Thomas -- was that Congress had amended federal wiretap law to make it illegal to record conversations on a cordless telephone, to transcribe the material and to use the transcriptions for any purpose.

Without knowing about the change, the Aronsons used the tapes as the basis for a federal civil lawsuit against the Quigleys in December 1994. A day later, Mr. Rosenthal appeared at a news conference with the Aronsons in which he described their encounter with the Quigleys as a vicious anti-Semitic campaign, based solely on conversations he and associates had with the Aronsons. Later that day, Mr. Rosenthal expanded on his remarks in an interview on a Denver radio talk show.

Two days later, Mr. Thomas used the tapes as the basis for filing criminal charges against the Quigleys.

But after Mr. Thomas learned of the change in the wiretap law and heard on the tapes the context of Mrs. Quigley's remarks, he dropped all charges but one, a misdemeanor traffic violation against Mr. Quigley for the incident in the street. In an open letter released to reporters, Mr. Thomas apologized to the Quigleys, saying he found no evidence that either had engaged in anti-Semitic conduct or harassment.

New antisemitism controversy



In 1974, ADL national leaders Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein published a book called The New Anti-Semitism (New York, 1974), arguing that a new kind of anti-Semitism is on the rise. In 1982, ADL national leader Nathan Perlmutter and his wife, Ruth Ann Perlmutter, released a book entitled The Real Anti-Semitism in America (New York, 1982). In 2003, ADL's national director Abraham Foxman published Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (San Francisco, 2003), where on page 4 he states: "We currently face as great a threat to the safety and security of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s—if not a greater one."

In 2005, Norman G. Finkelstein published Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History is a book by Norman G. Finkelstein published by the University of California Press in August 2005.-Finkelstein on the book:...

which devotes Part 1 to "The Not-So-New 'New Anti-Semitism'." In a 2006 appearance on Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is an American progressive broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the internet.-Early life:Goodman was born in Bay Shore, New York...

's Democracy Now!
Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of...

, Finkelstein denied there was any evidence for a rise of a new anti-Semitism in either Europe or North America. He continued, "Every time Israel comes under international pressure, as it did recently because of the war crimes committed in Lebanon, it steps up the claim of anti-Semitism, and all of Israel's critics are anti-Semitic." According to Finkelstein, the ADL and Foxman, its president, have advanced this "preposterous" deception.

Conflict with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership


ADL is an advocate for gun control
Gun control
Gun control is any law, policy, practice, or proposal designed to restrict or limit the possession, production, importation, shipment, sale, and/or use of guns or other firearms by private citizens...

 legislation. The ADL supported the District of Columbia before the US Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller
District of Columbia v. Heller
District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 , was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes in federal enclaves, such as...

which argued that the city's ban on the possession of handguns and any functional firearms, even for self-defense in the home is not prohibited by the Second Amendment
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second...

. The League urged the Court to ensure that states retain the ability to keep guns out of the hands of "violent bigots."

Gun rights group Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership is a group dedicated to the preservation of gun rights in the United States and "to encourage Americans to understand and defend all of the Bill of Rights for everyone". The group was founded by former firearms dealer Aaron S. Zelman in 1986...

 (JPFO) has been highly critical of the Anti-Defamation League. In pamphlets such as "Why Does the ADL Support Nazi-Based Laws?" and "JPFO Facts vs. ADL Lies," the JPFO has accused the ADL of undermining the welfare of the Jewish people by promoting gun control
Gun control
Gun control is any law, policy, practice, or proposal designed to restrict or limit the possession, production, importation, shipment, sale, and/or use of guns or other firearms by private citizens...

. In a 2007 handbill the JPFO accused Director Abraham Foxman of knowingly supporting the "use of Nazi gun control laws in America." Foxman has written about the JPFO: "Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 has a long and painful history, and the linkage to gun control is a tactic by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership to manipulate the fear of anti-Semitism toward their own end."

Community Center controversy



On July 28, 2010 the ADL issued a statement in which it expressed opposition to the Park51 Community Center, which sponsors planned to build near Ground Zero
World Trade Center site
The World Trade Center site , also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

 in New York. The ADL stated, "The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of a Community Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found." The ADL denounced what it saw as bigoted attacks on the project. Foxman opined that some of those who oppose the mosque are "bigots", and that the plan's proponents may have every right to build the mosque at that location. Nevertheless, he appealed to the builders to consider the sensitivities of the victims' families, saying that building the mosque at that site would unnecessarily cause more pain for families of some victims of 9/11.

This opposition to the Community Center led to criticism of the statement from various parties, including one ADL board member, the American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Committee
The American Jewish Committee was "founded in 1906 with the aim of rallying all sections of American Jewry to defend the rights of Jews all over the world...

, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
JCRC
Jewish Community Relations Council is a generic term for local public affairs organizations which operate under the Jewish Council for Public Affairs umbrella organization.-See also:* Jewish Council for Public Affairs...

, Rabbi Irwin Kula
Irwin Kula
Irwin Kula is an American rabbi and author, currently serving as the president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership . In 2008, he was listed as 7th in Newsweek’s “50 most influential rabbis” list.-Education:...

, columnists Jeffrey Goldberg
Jeffrey Goldberg
Jeffrey Mark Goldberg is an American journalist. He is an author and a staff writer for The Atlantic, having previously worked for The New Yorker. Goldberg writes principally on foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa...

 and Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart
-Early life and education:Beinart was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of South African immigrants. His mother, Doreen, works at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his father, Julian Beinart, is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His stepfather is theatre...

, the Interfaith Alliance, and the Shalom Center. In an interview with the New York Times Abe Foxman published a statement in reaction to criticism. In protest of ADL’s stance, CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 host Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Rafiq Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist and author. From 2000 to 2010, he was a columnist for Newsweek and editor of Newsweek International. In 2010 he became Editor-At-Large of Time magazine...

 returned the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize the ADL awarded him in 2005. ADL chair Robert G. Sugarman responded to a critical New York Times editorial writing "we have publicly taken on those who criticized the mosque in ways that reflected anti-Muslim bigotry or used the controversy for that purpose" and noted that the ADL has combatted "Islamophobia
Islamophobia
Islamophobia describes prejudice against, hatred or irrational fear of Islam or MuslimsThe term dates back to the late 1980s or early 1990s, but came into common usage after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States....

."

See also

  • Antisemitism in the United States
    Antisemitism in the United States
    Jewish Americans have flourished since colonial times in what became the United States, which before the Second World War had a general history of racism directed to non-Christian, non-northwest European groups. Antisemitism in the United States has however lacked the extent and severity of its...

  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
    The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee states that it is the largest Arab American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States. According to its web page it is open to people of all backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities and has over 40 chapters in 24 states and members in all...

  • Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
    Jewish Council for Public Affairs
    The Jewish Council for Public Affairs is an American Jewish non-profit organization that deals with community relations. It is a coordinating round table organization of 14 other national Jewish organizations as well as 127 local Jewish federations and community relations councils...

  • Israel lobby in the United States
    Israel lobby in the United States
    The Israel lobby is a term used to describe the diverse coalition of those who, as individuals and as groups, seek and have sought to influence the foreign policy of the United States in support of Zionism, Israel or the specific policies of its government...

  • Membership discrimination in California social clubs
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
    Southern Poverty Law Center
    The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...


External links