Abe Foxman: Anti-Semitism probably worst it has been since WWII
National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Abe Foxman speaks with Ynet about threats still facing Jews in Europe and around the world before he leaves the top position.
Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman believes that anti-Semitism is at its height since the Holocaust, and threatens the lives of Jews all around the world.
“I think when we take a look at what’s going on, I think the assessment is that anti-Semitism, not only in Europe, but globally, is probably the worst that it’s been since World War II,” Foxman said in an exclusive interview to Ynet.
“Europe is where the Jewish people have paid the highest price for anti-Semitism, and it’s sort of an old-new phenomenon,” he said, defining it as “nationalists, anti-government people, neo-fascists, neo-Nazis of anti-immigration and anti-government coming together with a glue and cement of anti-Semitism. I think it’s a serious threat to Jewish life.”
As to whether European leaders are making sufficient effort to stop anti-Jewish activities, Foxman said that, “Sometimes they are and sometimes they’re not.”
He added that incorporating representatives of racist organizations into governments is certainly not helping. “We have to continue to remind them that to accept into their governments neo-Nazi, neo fascist anti-Semitic groups is to give it legitimacy.”
Foxman is quite satisfied with the role that the US is playing to fight anti-Semitism. “I think on the issue of anti-Semitism, he (US President Obama) speaks out, he’s spoken out. It was President (George W.) Bush… who established for our country an ambassador on anti-Semitism. President Obama continues vigorously that tradition.”
Recalling specific highlights from his years of public service, Foxman is especially proud of a law to counter boycotts of Israel that the ADL had a key role in driving forward.
“We worked very hard, (the) ADL and others, to enact a law called the anti-boycott law, which in effect protected American businessmen to whom Arabs would say ‘you have to boycott Israel’, or ‘you can’t do business with us (Israel)’ the American law would then say ‘we can’t because we would be breaking our law.'”