ADL to European Commission President: Oppose Duisenbergs' Extreme, Anti-Israel Position
New York, N.Y., January 9, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged European Commission President Romano Prodi to take a "strong stand," against European Central Bank (ECB) President Wim Duisenberg and his wife, Gretta, for using their positions as "a platform for extreme anti-Israel declarations."
Mrs. Duisenberg, whose outrageous anti-Israel comments often include overt anti-Semitism, traveled recently to Ramallah on her diplomatic passport, where she met with Yasir Arafat. When asked about his wife's trip, Mr. Duisenberg stated that he "supports her 100 percent."
In a letter to Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said:
We are writing to urge you to take a strong stand, on behalf of the European Commission, against Gretta Duisenberg's misuse of her diplomatic passport while on a trip to meet with Yasir Arafat in Ramallah as well as Wim Duisenberg's statement that he "supports her 100 percent."
While Gretta Duisenberg is a private citizen and is entitled to her own opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, her actions endorsed by her husband enjoy a unique public platform by virtue of her husband's position as President of the European Central Bank.
Mrs. Duisenberg abuses that platform time and again to air her outrageous comments, which transcend mere political commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, into overt anti-Semitism. In a statement this past May, she blamed "the rich American Jewish lobby" for causing the "deplorable conditions in which the Palestinians live, because they enable the existence of Israel." Her specific accusations against "rich American Jews" hark back to the long-time anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Jewish control and domination of the world.
It is critical for EU leaders to be vigilant in opposing the exploitation of the EU auspices and imprimatur for political agendas which risk undermining the credibility and objectivity of these vital institutions.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.