January 22: ADL's activities speak for themselves

ADL's long and distinguished history in standing up for the Jewisha people speaks for itself, says the organization's director.

By LETTERS
January 21, 2010 20:55
2 minute read.
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ADL's activities speak for themselves

Sir, - In "Where's our leadership?" (January 17), Charles Jacobs is misguided in two respects.

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First, he invents out of whole cloth the notion that the Anti-Defamation League does not take seriously the threat of Islamic extremism. To make clear how absurd Jacobs' accusation is, here are just a few examples. In 2006, at ADL's annual national meeting, I gave a major address entitled "The Threat of Islamic Extremism," which received wide media coverage. I delineated in the strongest terms that the greatest threat to the Jewish people and the highest priority for ADL was that which came from Islamic extremists in the form of terrorism, anti-Semitism, nuclear threats against Israel, and attacks against Jews and democratic societies. I called for concerted action by the Jewish community, the US government and the international community to address this threat to us all.

Since then, we have engaged this issue on many levels, exposing the activities of American organizations like CAIR, meeting with foreign officials to strengthen anti-terrorist cooperation, training law enforcement on the subjects of Islamic extremism and terrorism, serving on the executive committee of the inter-agency Iran Task Force, exposing the radicalism of domestic Islamic extremists, and so on and so on.

Second, with all the serious challenges confronting the Jewish people, we find it unfortunate that Jacobs, representing a Jewish organization, would spend his time and efforts in denigrating another Jewish organization.

ADL's long and distinguished history in standing up for the Jewish people speaks for itself. We prefer to devote our expertise and energy to dealing with the problems at hand rather than get mired in extraneous matters that do not serve the interests of the community.

ABRAHAM H. FOXMAN
National Director
Anti-Defamation League

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It's not about the Jews

Sir, -  Shlomo Riskin and Eugene Korn call upon Pope Benedict the XVI to postpone Pius XII's sainthood and to renew the Second Vatican Council's pronouncements and outreach to the Jewish people and faith ("A time to act for Catholic-Jewish reconciliation," January 19).

However, the Pope cares mainly about the Catholic Church, and while he has some concern for Jewish feelings, those are pretty far down his list - especially at this time, when the church sees itself under siege and its membership becoming increasingly indifferent.


Pope Benedict XVI, like the Vatican, believes the Catholic Church is the only true faith; that the church has triumphed over all comers, including Judaism; that it will continue to win, and that as the winner the Catholic Church doesn't owe anyone an explanation for his or his Church's actions.

Indeed, we Jews should try to keep in mind that the Church's reconciliation with Judaism that occurred with Vatican II was entirely incidental. The real aim of the Second Vatican Council was to try to modernize Catholicism, Catholic teachings, and to fire up the membership; aims which have caused huge damage to the Church and which Pope Benedict XVI, who actually attended the Second Vatican Council as a Cardinal's advisor, is now trying to rectify.

It's not and never has been about the Jews.

KENNETH BESIG
Kiryat Arba

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