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ADL Letter to Joe Klein, Senior Writer, Time Magazine

Note: The following letter was written in response to a letter from Joe Klein, Senior Writer at Time Magazine, in response to ADL's concerns about his use of the term "Jewish neoconservatives" in a blog posting.

Anti-Defamation League

Joe Klein
Senior Writer and Political Columnist
Time Magazine

     June 26, 2008

Dear Mr. Klein,

We were surprised by your response.  We reiterate, again, that the issue is not whether one is for or against the Iraq war, or intervention in Iran, or whether jobs or reputations are being damaged.  Our concern is with the term "Jewish neoconservatives" and the distressing claim that those individuals are eager to serve Israel's interests against the interests of their own country.

None of the issues you raise has anything to do with a person's religion or religious beliefs.   None of the neo-conservatives, whether Jewish or of another faith (or no faith), has expressed his or her views about foreign policy in terms of religion.  It is inappropriate to identify a group that clearly has Jews and non-Jews within its ranks by singling out the Jews or, worse, identifying all of them as "Jewish."  Again, if you consider the history that has seen Jews vilified as a group that keeps to itself, is conspiratorial and has dual loyalties, you will better understand our concern.

Neoconservatives have the right to make their case without having their religion brought up.  So, too, do those on the opposite end of the political spectrum, whether Jewish or not.  Religious beliefs are personal, and matters of faith belong in the heart, in the church and in the home.  In addition, you play into classic notions about Jews by suggesting that, in their analysis, the neoconservatives were only thinking about Israel's interests and not that of their own country.

Contrary to your assertion, ADL is extremely careful in making accusations about anti-Semitism and we spend every day in our work all over the country assessing the validity -- or lack thereof -- of such accusations.  The notion you posited that ADL is looking to find anti-Semites everywhere in no way reflects the reality.


Abraham H. Foxman
National Director

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2008 Anti-Defamation League