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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.”

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