Statement in Response to Tony Judt
New York, NY, October 5, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement in response to accusations by New York University history professor Tony Judt regarding the cancellation of his speech at the Polish consulate in New York City. In a widely circulated e-mail, Judt claimed the October 3 "talk was cancelled because the Polish consulate had been threatened by the Anti-Defamation League."
Tony Judt's accusations about the Anti-Defamation League's supposedly forcing the Polish consulate in New York to cancel his appearance are unfounded and part and parcel of Judt's conspiratorial ideas about pro-Israel groups and "Jewish control" of U.S. foreign policy.
In no way did the League urge or demand that the Polish consulate cancel the October 3 event. Indeed, Polish consular officials have publicly made clear that the decision to cancel the talk was theirs and theirs alone.
ADL does not believe in stifling freedom of speech on this issue or any other. Rather, we believe strongly that all views should be heard in our free society, and that the answer to extremist or offensive speech is to counter it -- just as vigorously -- with more speech.
Sadly, Mr. Judt is now using this incident to mount a campaign of disinformation to tar his critics and to further his claim of a conspiracy to stifle anti-Israel activists from having their say. His arguments lack credibility, given the many prominent public forums he has enjoyed over the years including, the op-ed page of the New York Times and many speaking engagements in New York City, most recently at Cooper Union, and elsewhere.
Judt, the Director of New York University's Remarque Institute in European Studies, has been a consistent and vocal critic of Israel. At a forum on the so-called "Israel Lobby" at Cooper Union in New York City, Judt joined the side of the debate claiming that the "Israel Lobby" controls U.S. foreign policy put forth by professors John Mearsheimer, who was also at the forum, and Stephen Walt.
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.