New York, NY, August 22, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has submitted to the platform committees of both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) a statement of policy priorities on a range of international and domestic issues. The platform statement describes ADL's positions on priority issues and outlines recommendations on policy directions that the League hopes the parties will adopt.
Platform committees meet every four years in advance of the national conventions. The League has a longstanding practice of submitting its policy agenda and priorities to both parties prior to the nominating conventions. The following are highlights from ADL's submission:
Anti-Semitism at Home and Abroad
ADL believes that the federal government has an essential role to play in helping law enforcement, communities, and schools prevent and respond to anti-Semitism by implementing effective anti-bias education and hate crimes prevention programs. The U.S. must take a leadership role in mobilizing government and international organizational efforts to confront anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and all forms of hatred and bigotry. The U.S. must make it clear to leaders in the Arab and Muslim world that the anti-Semitic propaganda that continues to proliferate runs contrary to human rights norms and is an impediment to progress.
U.S. Support for Israel and the Peace Process
ADL believes that the U.S. must continue its historic support for the State of Israel and its fundamental right to protect its citizens from terrorism, while promoting a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The U.S. must stand with Israel to promote its security and to minimize strategic dangers. The U.S. should maintain a central role in the promotion of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and urge the Palestinians to re-engage in direct negotiations with Israel.
Stopping the Threat of Iran
Preventing a nuclear Iran is in the U.S. security interest and that of our allies, including Israel. The U.S. must continue to send a strong bipartisan message to the Iranian regime that the U.S. is resolute in its commitment to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapons capability. This includes sharply tightening and enforcing sanctions to buttress diplomatic efforts.
No options, including military action, should be excluded to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to produce a nuclear weapon.
Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
ADL believes that law enforcement must be appropriately empowered to prevent acts of domestic terrorism and extremist violence. ADL supports limiting access to the U.S. for individuals involved in terrorism, establishing sanctions on nations that support terrorism and banning material support and fundraising for designated foreign terrorist organizations.
Hate Crimes, Hate Symbols, Electronic Hate
ADL supports new federal authority to investigate and prosecute crimes in which bias violence occurs because of the victim's race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. While prejudice and hatred cannot be legislated out of existence, hate crime data collection laws have proved to be useful tools for law enforcement.
ADL is concerned about the rise in bias and hate violence directed against Hispanics and Muslims.
Bullying & Cyberbullying
Anti-bullying laws should include a strong, inclusive definition of bullying, which includes cyberbullying, along with enumerated categories, particularly bullying motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The federal government should work with youth-oriented private corporations, including Cartoon Network, MTV, Facebook and YouTube to promote programs and awareness of the nature and magnitude of bias and bullying – and what can be done to confront it.
ADL urges the committees to reaffirm a commitment to the separation of church and state and the preservation of religious freedom:
· The Faith-Based Initiative: ADL supports properly crafted partnerships between government and religiously affiliated organizations. Government-funded faith-based programs should maintain essential constitutional safeguards for protecting religious organizations and beneficiaries. Government money must not fund religious discrimination in the hiring and firing of people who deliver these social services.
· Religion in Schools: ADL believes that compliance with the separation of church and state and the Free Exercise Clause must be vigorously enforced in the nation's public schools. No child should be made to feel as if he or she is a guest in their own public school classroom whose presence, during certain times of the day or certain periods of the year, is tolerated or ignored.
· School Vouchers and Neo-Vouchers for Private and Parochial Schools: Vouchers pose a serious threat to the values that are vital to the health of American democracy. These programs subvert the constitutional principle of separation of church and state and threaten to undermine our system of public education.
· Voting Rights: ADL supports the promise of the Voting Rights Act to full ballot access for all. ADL opposes ballot access restrictions that disproportionately impact any specific group of eligible voters, absent substantiated, compelling evidence of voter fraud.
· Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: While religious communities should be able to decide for themselves what relationships they will recognize, ADL supports efforts to extend all rights, protections, and benefits of civil marriage to same-sex couples.
Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary in order to effectively decrease the flow of undocumented workers while treating every individual with dignity. ADL calls on all parties to the discussion to debate immigration policy civilly and respectfully. ADL also supports the recent U.S. policy to grant undocumented immigrant youth, who were brought to the U.S. as children, relief from being deported.
The statement includes other ADL policy recommendations on:
· Hate on the Internet/Electronic Hate
· Religion in Political Campaigns
· Creationism and "Intelligent Design"
· Workplace Religious Freedom
· Gender Equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
· Reproductive Freedom
· Gun Control
A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, ADL neither supports nor opposes any candidate for political office.