ADL Vows to Continue to Press for Hate Crimes Legislation After Bill Stalls in Senate
New York, NY, June 12, 2002 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today vowed to continue to fight for meaningful hate crimes legislation following the "disappointing" failure by Senate leaders to pass the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, which would extend federal protections to victims of bias crimes.
"We are deeply disappointed that opponents of this important hate crimes legislation have again managed to put up roadblocks to effectively block its passage," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This is particularly disturbing in light of remarks by some members of the Senate suggesting that guarding against hate crimes is no longer a priority in America. From all of the evidence we have seen since September 11, that is simply not the case.
"We cannot be complacent in the fight against hate," said Mr. Foxman. "After the 9/11 attacks, Arab and Muslim Americans were unfairly singled out for harassment, threats and intimidation. Now we find that anti-Semitism is rising. Our leaders in the Senate must reinforce the message that acts of bigotry and hate are unacceptable in America."
In a national poll of Americans in April and May 2002, ADL found that 17 percent of Americans hold "hardcore" anti-Semitic attitudes, an increase of five percentage points from ADL's previous poll on anti-Semitic attitudes in 1998. Additionally, in the first five months of 2002, the number of anti-Semitic incidents, including harassment, assaults and vandalism, were up by 11 percent compared with the same five-month period in 2001, according to ADL monitoring and analysis.
The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act would enable the U.S. Department of Justice to assist local prosecutions and, where appropriate, investigate and prosecute cases in which bias violence occurs based on a victim's race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability.
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.