ADL Submits Policy Priorities to Democratic and Republican Platform Committees
New York, NY, June 29, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has submitted to the platform committees of both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) a statement of policy priorities on a range of international and domestic issues. The platform statement describes ADL's positions on the issues and outlines recommendations on policy direction that the League hopes the parties will adopt.
Platform committees meet every four years in advance of the national conventions. The League has a longstanding practice of submitting its policy agenda to both parties prior to the nominating conventions. The following are highlights from ADL's submission:
Domestic and International Terrorism
ADL continues to believe strongly that law enforcement must be appropriately empowered to prevent and punish horrific acts of domestic terrorism and extremist violence. In order to curb the power of extremists and terrorists who commit or threaten to commit violent acts motivated by hatred on American soil, the League calls on this Committee to affirm its commitment to fighting domestic terrorism and strengthening efforts to prevent and punish such despicable acts. At the same time, we believe our government must maintain a balance in confronting terrorism – vigorously implementing the law while preserving due process rights of suspect.
International Extremism and Anti-Semitism
ADL believes that U.S. leadership is crucial in speaking out against anti-Semitism and mobilizing international support to combat it. The U.S. must continue to urge European leadership to take strong legislative, judicial and educational action to fight anti-Semitism, and encourage these leaders to improve data collection of anti-Semitic hate crimes. The U.S. must make clear to leaders in the Arab and Muslim world that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated, and that they must condemn and combat the anti-Jewish propaganda in their media and popular culture.
Civil Rights/Affirmative Action
As a complement to our attempts to combat prejudice, ADL is committed to ensuring that every individual receives equal treatment under the law regardless of his or her race, religion, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation.
U.S. Support for Israel and the Peace Process
The U.S. must continue to support Israel's efforts to protect its citizens from terrorism, while encouraging efforts such as the Israel's plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip and areas of the West Bank. It is important the U.S. maintain a central role in the promotion and facilitation of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Serious negotiations can only be renewed with a consistent Palestinian Authority effort to end terrorism.
The League supports the expansion of state laws to cover bias crimes based on sexual orientation, gender, and disability and new federal authority for the Department of Justice to improve coordination and cooperation between state and local officials and federal authorities in hate crime investigations and prosecutions. We also believe it is necessary for the federal government to have authority to investigate and prosecute crimes in which the bias violence occurs because of the victim's sexual orientation, gender, or disability.
Hate on the Internet
Funding should be made available to educate children about the dangers of prejudice – and resources should be devoted to identifying and disseminating best practices in teaching Internet critical thinking skills for teachers, librarians, parents and students. Legislative and legal responses to hate on the Internet also must be studied. While the League has an abiding respect for free speech and the guarantees of the First Amendment, hate on the Internet cannot be entirely unregulated.
Protecting Church-State Separation
ADL urges the committees to reaffirm its commitment to the separation of church and state, and thus ensure the preservation of religious freedom for all.
- "Charitable Choice" Initiatives: ADL opposes "charitable choice" measures and the Faith-Based Initiative because we believe that they are unconstitutional, bad public policy, and fundamentally bad for religion.
- School Vouchers: ADL does not believe that vouchers for private and religious schools are the antidote to the ills of the American education system.
- Creationism & Intelligent Design:. ADL consistently has opposed these troubling initiatives – and the League calls on the committees and parties to unequivocally reject these unconstitutional efforts.
- Posting the Ten Commandments on Public Buildings and Property: ADL believes that the increasing call for the government to post the Ten Commandments in schools, government buildings, courts and other public places – while often well intentioned – is both unconstitutional and bad policy.
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.