ADL Calls Nelson Mandela's Accusations Against The United States 'Offensive, Prejudicial and Simply Wrong'
New York, N.Y., January 31, 2003 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called Nelson Mandela's accusations against the United States "offensive, prejudicial and simply wrong."
In criticizing U.S. efforts against Iraq, Mr. Mandela, the former president of South Africa and Nobel Laureate, said that the U.S. cannot be a moral leader because it is guilty of committing "unspeakable atrocities in the world." Mr. Mandela also inappropriately interpreted U.S. positions at the U.N. in racial terms, asking "is it because the Secretary General of the United Nations is now a black man?"
In a letter to Mr. Mandela, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said:
As an organization that has deep respect for what you have accomplished and the moral leadership you have provided, we are highly disappointed to read your comments on the subject of U.S. policy toward Iraq.
There are legitimate differences of opinion as to how to deal with the menace of Saddam Hussein, but your criticisms of President Bush and America are inappropriate and offensive. To accuse the U.S. of having racist motives in its determination to see the U.N. take strong action is to wrongly inject a theme which clearly has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
And to attack America, which has been the leader in bringing freedom to so much of the world, as a "country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world" and that doesn't care for human beings is grossly unfair, prejudicial, and simply wrong.
We who have admired you for so long do not believe these comments serve the goals of a freer, safer world, toward which the U.S. and South Africa are working. We hope that you will see fit to clarify your remarks
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.