New York, NY, May 14, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) to publicly disavow his statements in a newspaper column suggesting that the war in Iraq was motivated by "President Bush's policy to secure Israel" and advanced by a handful of Jewish officials and opinion leaders.
"Certainly, discussing and questioning policy is the right and duty of all responsible leaders. But when the debate veers into anti-Jewish stereotyping, it is tantamount to scapegoating and an appeal to ethnic hatred," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a letter to Sen. Hollings. "Regardless of whether one feels that America's war on Iraq was justified, the charge that it is being fought by the U.S. on behalf of Israel grossly misrepresents the legitimate U.S. interests that are involved in the debate.
"This is reminiscent of age-old, anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government," the letter said. "We urge you, as you commence the final session of your three-decade Senate career, to reconsider these comments and reject public debate that invokes stereotypes or intolerance of any kind."
The statements by Sen. Hollings appeared in a column in the Charleston Post and Courier on May 6 and were subsequently entered into the Congressional Record.