2007.08.17 -- Arlington Advocate: Letter to the Editor Published on August 17, 2007

Letter: Arlington should sever ADL ties

Arlington, Mass. - I was one of those who raised concerns about the Anti-Defamation League-sponsored “No Place for Hate” program coming to Arlington. The reason was the ADL’s abysmal record of selectively determining which groups were to be supported and which were okay to discriminate against.

Today in Watertown, a town with a large Armenian population and a “No Place for Hate” program, controversy has erupted because the ADL’s national director has publicly denied the Armenian genocide. Why? Because Turkey is an ally of Israel and Turkey does not acknowledge its slaying of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.

The ADL began commendably as an agency that fought anti-Semitism and later other forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, its primary mission today is to support the actions and policies of the government of Israel. Over the past 30 years, it has allied itself with rightwing forces in our country and has actively worked to stifle critics of Israel (including Jewish progressives) and to defame and silence those who disagreed with ADL positions.

I do think Arlington should welcome diversity and stand against bigotry and discrimination. For that reason, I believe Arlington should denounce the ADL Director’s statements on the Armenian genocide and sever its official relationship with the “No Place for Hate” program. In its place, Arlington should initiate an independent program that truly embraces all people and promotes diversity of belief as well.

Marilyn Levin
Dudley Street