Friedman: Trump backs ADL's war on anti-Semitism

ADL leaders meet with Ambassador Friedman, warn that anti-Semitism found on 'both the right and left, minority and majority communities.'

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Yoni Kempinski,

ADL leaders meet with Ambassador Friedman
ADL leaders meet with Ambassador Friedman
Yoni Reif

Leaders of the Anti-Defamation League held an event in Tel Aviv Thursday evening marking the upcoming 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel and the formation of diplomatic ties between the Jewish state and the United States.

The event featured members of the US mission to Israel, led by American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who addressed the gathering, pledging the Trump administration’s support for ADL efforts against anti-Semitism and bigotry.

"The ADL has evolved to keep pace with anti-Semitic and racist forces of a new generation,” said Friedman. “We should note that the Trump administration and myself, personally, support you 100% in your efforts to combat racism and anti-Semitism in the United States and everywhere in the world."

The cordial event reflects a dramatic change in the relationship between Ambassador Friedman and the ADL, an organization he castigated during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying it “has lost frankly all credibility”.

Friedman praised the ADL for its work to challenge anti-Semitic perceptions, stating that America had undergone a transformation in terms of the acceptability of public anti-Jewish sentiment.

“American society has come a long way over the years, from the days when there was open anti-Semitism against Jews,” said Friedman. “There’s still a great deal of work left to do, as we aspire to the lofty values of our Founding Fathers. Much of this progress was made possible by the Anti-Defamation League and similar organizations, which dedicate their efforts to fighting bigotry and discrimination.”

ADL Deputy National Director Kenny Jacobson spoke with Arutz Sheva during the event, and discussed the evolution of anti-Semitism in America today, including its growing variety and the increasing use of anti-Zionism as a camouflage.

"Anti-Semitism has many manifestations,” said Jacobson, “there's no ideological monopoly on anti-Semitism. It can happen on the right, it can happen on the left, it can happen from majority communities, it can happen from minority communities."

"When it comes to Israel, there's no doubt that it is a camouflage, too often, for anti-Semitism. That doesn't mean that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism."

"It's the kind of criticism that really is denying the legitimacy of Israel and singling Israel out that becomes anti-Semitic. The BDS movement in its very origins is anti-Semitic."