(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
With a spike in antisemitic incidents in the US this year, Jonathan Greenblatt’s role as CEO of the Anti-Defamation League quickly took front stage.
In early 2017, as Jewish Community Centers all over the United States were targeted by over a 100 bomb threats, Greenblatt and the ADL played a key role in guiding communities in protecting themselves, providing educational resources to address the crisis with children, and putting pressure on authorities to find the perpetrators. The ADL’s offices too had been threatened as well during that time. Greenblatt is upholding the league’s decade-old mission of calling out and tracking antisemitic incidents in the United States, creating regular reports on the issue including both criminal and noncriminal incidents, acts of harassment and intimidation. This year, he also decided to tackle another battlefield: cyberhate.
In March, he announced the organization’s intention of establishing a Silicon Valley center for combating and monitoring the digital phenomenon. Most recently, after the violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Greenblatt and his team launched a partnership with US mayors in which they commit to speaking out against hate, bigotry and extremism in their cities.
While he vigorously fights antisemitism on a daily basis, Greenblatt was also criticized this year for remaining silent on some issues such as the controversy surrounding Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, whose rhetoric has been condemned by Jewish groups as pro-terrorism and anti-Israel.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post
last December, Greenblatt said the ADL will continue to “call it as [they] see it based on [their] historic mission” and “hold the administration accountable” went it comes to incitement and hateful discourse.
ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement