On last day as ADL chief, Foxman says Internet biggest factor in rising anti-Semitism

By
July 21, 2015 16:17

After 50 years with the ADL, Abraham Foxman talks to 'The Jerusalem Post' about what's next for world Jewry and for himself.




Abe Foxman on his last day at ADL and the future for world Jewry

On Monday, Abraham Foxman ended his 28-year tenure as national director of the Anti-Defamation League and spoke with The Jerusalem Post about the future of world Jewry, the rise of anti-Semitism and what's next for the man who has been part of the organization in various capacities for the past 50 years.

When asked about the state of world Jewry, Foxman said simply that "it's not the best of times," taking into account the dramatic rise of anti-Semitism and the Iran deal that just garnered approval in the United Nations on Monday.

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"If the world left us alone, we'd be fine," he said.

Foxman said that the biggest factor contributing to the dramatic rise in anti-Semitism in the past 15 years has been the Internet, where it has had a rebirth. On this new platform, he said, people have the ability to quickly and anonymously voice their opinion without having to back it up with any facts.


He says that despite all the good that the Internet does, it is also used as a "superhighway for bigotry." He says another huge factor is that "we never developed an antidote" to anti-Semitism.

"Many of us believed that after Auschwitz was laid bare to the world to see what hatred, bigotry, prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism could do ... [we] Jews thought the world would come together ."

Foxman said that "anti-Semitism has not been taken out of the bloodstream of society," which has caused the Jews around the world and especially in Europe to question if they should leave their homes."

He also sharply criticized the fact that "Israel is still being treated as a Jew amongst the nations." He gave the example that most countries in the world do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Every country in the world decides what their capital is and 200 countries respect it. Israel is still the only country in the world where you've decided Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, is the capital and yet most, if not almost all the countries in the world don't respect that."

Foxman said that after he ends his position with the ADL, he will not retire, but rather "rewire" following a bit of vacation. He is looking to stay involved with the Jewish community and Jewish issues. "I hope to continue to have a voice ... not as director but as director emeritus. Unfortunately, there will be a lot of issues that need perspective and voice."

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