ADL Urges World and Religious Leaders to Denounce Syrian Presidentís Anti-Jewish Diatribe Delivered in Presence of the Pope
New York, NY, May 6, 2001ÖThe Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today labeled
the President of Syriaís "poisonous accusations" against Jews,
his remarks before the Pope, "outrageous and a new low even for the
tyrannical Syrian regime." The League called on the international community
and religious leaders around the world "not remain silent in the face of
such anti-Jewish incitement."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
President Bashar Assad of Syria's anti-Jewish diatribe in the presence of
Pope John Paul II, in which he claimed that Jews are responsible for the
death of Jesus and that they tried to kill Muhammad, are poisonous
accusations and a new low even for the tyrannical Syrian regime. This kind
of hatred has historically has resulted in great suffering for the Jewish
Assad's remarks were particularly jarring as they followed the Pope's
message of reconciliation among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Throughout his
papacy, Pope John Paul II has worked to enhance relations between people of
We urge the international community and religious leaders around the
world, especially the Pope, not to remain silent in the face of such
anti-Jewish incitement and denounce this dangerous effort to sow discord
against the Jews.
In his speech in Damascus welcoming the Pope, President Assad criticized
Israel and Jews, saying: "They tried to kill the principles of all
religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the
same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad."
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.