We served as national chairs of the Anti-Defamation League and had the privilege to work with Abe Foxman as national director. We participated in the selection of Jonathan Greenblatt as Abe’s successor and continue our involvement in ADL.
Gary Rosenblatt, in his Analysis piece, opined, as have others, that there is a “political, generational and/or ideological shift taking place at ADL” which is “quite unmistakable” (“ADL Chief Takes Stand Against Bannon,” Nov. 25).
While Jonathan is 30 years younger than Abe, we do not see a political or ideological shift. Indeed, we believe that Jonathan is pursuing the dual mission of ADL — to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and secure justice and fair treatment to all — as did Abe and his worthy predecessors.
During Abe’s tenure, he spoke out against anti-Semitism whenever it reared its ugly head. He built on ADL’s long-standing relationship with the African-American community and launched ADL’s outreach to the Hispanic-American community and, later, to the Muslim-American community. He started an inter-group task force to aid Muslim communities across the United States in combatting local opposition to building mosques. He was a strong advocate for ADL’s civil rights agenda and a strong supporter of the State of Israel.
Jonathan has continued ADL’s historic mission. The first day of our national commission meeting in November was devoted to studying and speaking out against the recent rise of anti-Semitism. As Mr. Rosenblatt pointed out, Jonathan opposed the appointment of Steve Bannon, stating, as did Bret Stephens in similar language, that Mr. Bannon presided over a website that hosted a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists. He never said that Mr. Bannon was an anti-Semite, as some of his critics have claimed. He has continued and enhanced ADL’s relationships with the African-American, Hispanic-American and Muslim-American communities, strongly advocates ADL’s civil rights agenda and is a strong supporter of the State of Israel.
We expect that Jonathan will continue to pursue ADL’s historic mission.