ADL Honors Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer for Their Unflagging Efforts to Fight Terrorism
New York, NY, November 10, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) marked the 20th anniversary of the Achille Lauro hijacking this month with a tribute to Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, whose efforts to fight back against terrorism in the aftermath of the tragic murder of their father have helped to raise awareness of, and prompt government action against, the scourge of terrorism.
At a special session during the ADL's National Commission Meeting, November 3-5 in New York City, the League formally paid tribute to Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, founders of the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation and longtime spokeswoman against terrorism. The Foundation was created with their mother, Marilyn, in late 1985 after the brutal murder of their husband and father, Leon, aboard the Achille Lauro cruise ship. The Klinghoffers were on an anniversary cruise in the Mediterranean when Palestinian terrorists seized control of the Italian cruise ship, shot Leon in his wheelchair and threw his body overboard.
"Since Marilyn's death from cancer followed Leon's barely a year later, Lisa and Ilsa have valiantly, tirelessly carried on to educate the world about the deadly, daily reality of the scourge of terrorism," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The fight against terrorism has grown more determined and more effective. But the plague of the century lives on, becoming more prevalent, more dangerous, and more fanatic. Thanks to these courageous women, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, these enemies of justice and decency and humanity will be defeated."
"During these past 20 years we have tried to make our lives more meaningful," Lisa Klinghoffer said in response. "We have tried to make a difference, to make a better world in our parent's honor and in their memory. We do so following our mother, Marilyn's, lead, so that Leon's murder will not be in vain, to make something positive come out of our loss."
"The Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of the ADL helps us to make some kind of sense out of the brutal senseless slaying of our father," added Ilsa Kinghoffer. "With the help of the ADL, we have had the opportunity to make a difference in so many ways – to help people and to perhaps encourage peace in our world. We must not remain passive and helpless in the face of continued acts of terrorism all over the world. We must do everything in our power to eliminate this modern-day scourge."
Formally affiliated with ADL in 1986, the Foundation is dedicated to educating the world about the deadly realities of terrorism, working to combat the threat of terrorism through educational, political and legal means. Since their mother's death in 1986, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer have pursued a tireless campaign to stimulate public concern and governmental action against terrorism. The Foundation has established the Klinghoffer Award, an honor bestowed periodically in appreciation of important contributions to the struggle against terrorism.
Mr. Foxman presented the Klinghoffers with an Israeli hand-crafted honey box, "as a symbol of our admiration and affection to you and for the cause you, and all your friends at ADL, hold dear."
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.