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Foxman: Anti-Semitism an 'Irrational Disease'

Posted: May 16, 2008

Jerusalem, May 15, 2008 ... Speaking on a panel discussion as part of the "Facing Tomorrow" conference in Israel, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said that no matter what the Jewish people do to improve their image, there will always be anti-Semitism.

"The perception of a Jew is irrational and it's a disease," said Mr. Foxman, adding that the truth matters little to the minds of those who are diseased.

Mr. Foxman and other panelists were asked to answer the question: "Are the Jews in Need of a Good Publicist?"

The discussion, which also included remarks from American pollster Stanley Greenberg and Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of the Publicis Group, was part of the agenda for the 2008 Israeli President's Conference, which brought world leaders, ambassadors, academics and religious figures together for a series of meetings in conjunction with celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence.

Mr. Foxman said the paradox for Jews is that, despite the persistence of anti-Semitism through the ages, Jews have always continue to believe that they can change people's hearts and minds when it comes to anti-Semitism, and that "it will matter what we do, what we say, and how we act."

He added that anti-Semitism exists partly out of jealousy that so many Jews excel at what they do.

"What is the antidote?  Not to tell our children to succeed, not to win wars, not to defend our people?," Mr. Foxman said, adding that the truth matters little to those who are diseased.

Yet, despite the ingrained prejudice against them, Jews and all people of goodwill must continue to fight against the defamation of Jews and Israel, Foxman said.

"We have to go out there and try and correct the faults of defamation."

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