Tablet Magazine Q & A with ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman » ADL Blogs
December 23, 2013 3

Tablet Magazine Q & A with ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman

Abra­ham H. Foxman

Abra­ham H. Fox­man, National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League, was recently inter­viewed by David Samuels, Lit­er­ary Edi­tor of Tablet Mag­a­zine, on a wide range of sig­nif­i­cant issues fac­ing the Jew­ish com­mu­nity in the United States and abroad.

Mr. Fox­man dis­cussed mat­ters rang­ing from domes­tic and global anti-Semitism, the recent Pew Sur­vey of Jew­ish Amer­i­cans, Jew­ish edu­ca­tion and self-pride, prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tional lead­er­ship, the shame­ful fail­ure to alle­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing of Holo­caust sur­vivors liv­ing in poverty, the case of Jonathan Pol­lard, and the spe­cial rela­tion­ship between Israel and America.

When asked about con­cerns over the state of the Amer­i­can Jew­ish com­mu­nity — in light of the Pew study’s find­ings on inter­mar­riage and assim­i­la­tion — Mr. Fox­man said that, for him, the wor­ries are “of a dif­fer­ent nature” and explained what he sees as the strug­gle between bal­anc­ing the “drive for assim­i­la­tion with the inter­ests of our community.”

Mr. Fox­man also dis­cussed two lin­ger­ing anti-Semitic beliefs that have not changed in five decades despite an over­all decline in anti-Semitic atti­tudes:  the endur­ing canard that “Jews killed Jesus” and the belief, held by 30 per­cent of Amer­i­cans, that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States, which he called “a very seri­ous, haunt­ing, polit­i­cal anti-Semitism.”

At the end of the inter­view, Mr. Fox­man said one of the things that keeps him up at night is “the depen­dency of the Jew­ish peo­ple and Israel on this won­der­ful country.”

  • han­ni­bal muhammad

    will Mr. Fox­man con­sider hav­ing a debate with the hon. Min. Farrakhan?

  • dvo­rah

    What to do about the fact that our own insti­tu­tions, lib­eral at heart, have opened the door to betrayal of Israel. Those who sup­ported the two state solu­tion in gen­eral sup­port the eth­nic cleans­ing of between 100,000 and 500,000 Jews. This is a fact, the Plan as called for means that if signed, Jews must leave. Abbas demands a Juden frei lands for the PA. Why does the orga­ni­za­tion ADL not stand up in oppo­si­tion to the plan Or stand up against Obama’s ill man­nered behav­ior towards BIBI in the past, or yet, today, why not protest the lack of good will on the part of our POTUS when he was asked to par­don Pol­lard, and he declined. Is this our friend, is this man an hon­est bro­ker for the jew­ish nation, Israel? I think not.
    Right now every Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tion includ­ing the Fed­er­a­tion umbrel­las should be wring­ing their hands over this humil­i­a­tion. This week 24 mur­der­ous sui­ci­dal arabs will be released. What if Bibi told Kerry “NO, don’t bother com­ing with­out Pol­lard. Stay home. But mind you, the pris­on­ers we promised, well we changed our mind due to the odi­ous behav­ior of the Pres­i­dent. obA­malek.” His lack of good will tells all about what is to be expected down the peace path, aka these upcom­ing “frame­work” talks. My God Kerry is bring­ing a fleet of sev­eral hun­dred war­riors with him to fight this bat­tle of the wills.

    Dig­nity is our strate­gic asset, with­out which we will per­ish. As the Holo­caust proved, humil­i­a­tions pub­licly dam­aged our will to resist, and by the time we had resis­tance it was too late. Our jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions in the dias­pora are in dire need of a ide­ol­ogy trans­plant. Zion­ism is dead today and in need of a quick revival. Those in power who call them selves zion­ists need to ask the ques­tion: Do I believe that that Jews have basic human rights, or not. Can Jews be expelled from their homes in order to make a peace deal? If you answer yes, then you belong in the camp of cow­ards and traitors.

    IF you believe we are enti­tled to our basic rights at least the same as our oppo­nents, then it is time to stand up and take a stand. Dig­nity is our strate­gic asset. We must stand with dig­nity or be abased and destroyed from the inside out. Am Yis­rael Chai. Shalom from the Galut Deb­o­rah L.

  • hannibis2

    It is time for the ADL to have a dia­logue with the Hon. Min. Far­rakhan, will it ever take place? Since he has demon­strated the capac­ity to back up what he says is the truth writ­ten by jew­ish rab­bis, schol­ars and his­to­ri­ans that were taken from their own his­tor­i­cal accounts, these facts were writ­ten in books that can be found in many libraries of this country…It has become inef­fec­tive to con­tinue to charge the Min­is­ter with being an anti semite when he has offered you the oppor­tu­nity to prove him wrong!