ADL to Vatican: Haider Unfit to Present Christmas Tree to Pope
New York, N.Y., December 11, 2000 Ö The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment at the Vaticanís planned acceptance of an Austrian Christmas tree from xenophobic Carinthian governor Joerg Haider.
"We are concerned and disappointed with the prospect of the Pope John Paul II accepting a gift from a man with known xenophobic and racist attitudes," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Granting Haider, whose past includes statements insensitive to the Holocaust, an audience with the Pope would give undue legitimacy to his message of hate and intolerance."
Haider, the former head of the right wing Freedom Party, plans to accompany the tree from his home state to the Vatican on Dec. 16th.
ADL, in a letter to the Vatican on Dec. 1st, asked that Haider not be received by the Pope and that the Vatican express concerns about Haiderís racist and xenophobic attitudes.
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.