The following is a response to John Rothschild’s letter to the editor (Sept. 3) wherein he “urge[s] all members of the Jewish community to resign any membership that they have with ADL.” Rothschild accuses the Anti-Defamation League of “stereotyping all Muslims as terrorists…[and] claiming that Muslims do not have a right to have a center near the Trade Center.” Rothschild contends that now the ADL is “engaging in the worst kind of discrimination, based on one’s religion.”
First, Rothschild is misinformed on ADL’s stance. In “The Mosque at Ground Zero,” ADL’s national director Abraham H. Foxman describes ADL’s position:
“Ultimately, this was not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center would unnecessarily cause some victims more pain. And that wasn’t right. Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Muslims were being stereotyped and in some cases individual Muslims or Muslim institutions were attacked. ADL took the lead in not standing idly by. We took out ads in The New York Times and other newspapers with the headline, ‘Don’t Fight Hate with Hate.’ Our message was that a terrible event occurred on 9/11, a national tragedy brought on by hate, but the way to deal with it was to fight the terrorists, and not to stereotype and hate individual Muslims” (Huffington Post, posted 8/2/10).
To Mr. Rothschild: It is one thing to ask those who agree with you to write letters condemning the ADL. However, it is far different to blatantly misrepresent ADL’s stance and to advocate for its termination.
For decades, ADL had defended the rights of minorities in this country. ADL has taught generations the true facts of the Holocaust. ADL continues to be a champion of rights on all fronts.
Mr. Rothschild: Your purist and idealist demands to end ADL’s existence could result — heaven forbid — in one day you being collected on a cattle train heading toward a concentration camp. There will be no other organization like ADL explaining that you — as a Jew — are not the root cause of the problems in the world. Be careful what you hope for, Mr. John Rothschild.