Jewish Advocate: Letter: ADL Has Burned Some Bridges

The Jewish Advocate
August 15, 2008

The Anti-Defamation League is asleep at the wheel on the Zakim Bridge. It has been nearly one year since the devastating collapse of the ADL’s relationship with the Armenian community, and the ultimate demise of its No Place for Hate program.

In that time, ADL has failed to produce any sort of public relations campaign to repair its image, and the mortar of the organization only continues to crumble. The program that once flourished in our communities has been decimated, and the reputation of the organization obliterated.

The ADL continues to betray itself and its mission as it burns bridges with so many of Boston’s countless other ethnic communities. Whether from the Armenians or the Muslims, ADL hides and clings to Abe Foxman, like a child to its mother’s leg.
Throughout this past year, opportunities to make amends with the Armenian community were handed to the organization on a silver platter, yet each time the ADL stood idly by as the entirety of the Jewish community stepped forward to take their brothers’ and sisters’ hands.

As the ADL continually failed to recognize the Armenian genocide as such, they alienated so many of their allies. Elected officials at both local and state levels publicly divorced themselves and their communities from the organization. The effectiveness of their other programs diminished as their authenticity was called into question.

Can the ADL morally continue to preach about eradicating anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial? Can they teach others to break down barriers, while they still build them?
I call upon the leaders of the ADL to practice as they preach; to take action and stand up for what is right. One year later, I urge you to learn from your mistakes.

Julia Ross
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