Attorney General Addresses 90th ADL National Meeting in New York
2003 ADL National Commission Meeting
November 6 - 8, 2003
Attorney General John Ashcroft said the United States remains committed to fighting terrorism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination. The Attorney General was the keynote speaker at the ADL's 90th Anniversary National Commission Meeting in New York City.
"This administration believes that acts of anti-Semitism must be confronted, condemned and denounced," Mr. Ashcroft told an audience of more than 400 ADL leaders from across the country. "This is a struggle in which every human being must choose sides. There are no neutral bystanders in our war against terrorism and slander."
Read the full remarks>>
Ashcroft was among a number of speakers highlighting the agenda of the League's 90th Anniversary meeting. The meeting included a major address on rising global anti-Semitism from
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and author of the new book, Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003) and updates on the U.S. government response by Lorne Craner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
In conjunction with the meeting, ADL released a new report on Anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim World: October 2003, exposing anti-Semitic articles and cartoons appearing during the 10-week period ending October 31 in nine Muslim and Arab countries. More
Panel on Mel Gibson's "The Passion"
A conversation on the implications of Mel Gibson's upcoming film, "The Passion of Christ" brought together three of the leading voices in the controversy for a discussion on the film's potential to fuel anti-Semitism. Two of the foremost scholars in the debate who reviewed an early script of the film and criticized its content - Professor Paula Fredriksen, a professor of theology at Boston University and Sister Mary C. Boys, Professor of Judeo-Christian Studies at Union Theological Seminary - said they continue to receive hate mail in response to their comments. Sister Boys said she has received harassing phone calls, hate mail by post and has saved about 85 e-mails from Gibson supporters.
Background: Q&A on Mel Gibson's The Passion
Other speakers at the meetings included David Makovsky, Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discussing Israel's need for a security fence; Ambassador Dan Gillerman, the Israeli U.N. representative, providing an update on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis; Irshad Manji, a Muslim journalist and author of the Canadian best-selling book The Trouble With Islam; and Isaac Kramnick, Professor of Government on Cornell University, who provided an update on the current landscape of church-state affairs.
Awards and Honors Conferred
Among the awards and honors presented during the 90th Annual National Commission Meeting:
Commission Adopts Resolutions in Support of Israel, Denouncing Arab Anti-Semitism
- Floyd Abrams (right), the renowned First Amendment attorney, was presented with the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize in recognition of his distinguished career. More
- The League presented its first ADL Daniel Pearl Award to Thomas L. Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist at the New York Times, for his contributions to understanding of the Muslim and Arab world. More
- ADL presented former FBI supervisor Kevin Donovan with the ADL Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation Award for his efforts in the fight against terrorism. More
- The League recognized the courage and bravery of Dr. Kostas Nikolaou by honoring his memory with the ADL Courage to Care Award for his actions 60 years ago, when he defied the Nazis and risked his safety to save the life of his friend, Yitzhak Cohen and his family. More
- Henry S. Schleiff, the Chairman and CEO of Court TV, was presented with the ADL Torch of Liberty Award in recognition of his efforts to combat prejudice through a series of groundbreaking programs on the Court TV network, including the Choices and Consequences series.
The following resolutions were adopted by the ADL National Commission on November 6, 2003:
Resolution of Support for the State of Israel
ADL reiterated its call on the international community to recognize Israel's right to defend itself and protect its citizens, and to actively adopt a tough and sustained stance opposing Palestinian terrorism and supporting the development of a viable, reformed and responsible Palestinian leadership that will take real steps to end terrorism and promote reconciliation. Full text >>
Resolution on Anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim World
ADL called on the international community to recognize that the time has come for world leaders to stand up and no longer excuse or rationalize anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world, and denounce and condemn such manifestations as dangerous, morally repugnant, contrary to democratic values and beyond the pale of civilized dialogue. Full text >>