Monthly Archives: February 2017

ADL Threatened With Bombing Attack

By Herb Brandon and Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York, NY — February 22, 2017 … After denouncing a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the United States, the ADL’s headquarters in New York City were targeted.

The ADL responded with the following statement: “The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today received an anonymous bomb threat called into its national headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. After a careful investigation and cooperation with law enforcement, it has been determined that the threat was not credible.”

“Today, our national headquarters in New York received an anonymous bomb threat,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

“While there is no information at this time to indicate that this is more than a threat, we are taking it very seriously and working closely with law enforcement officials to determine if it is connected to similar threats against Jewish institutions across the country.

This is not the first time that ADL has been targeted, and it will not deter us in our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and hate against people of all races and religions.”

According to a New York City police spokesman, the NYPD received a 911 call just after 11 a.m. from the Anti-Defamation League, reporting a bomb threat. The police and the NYPD bomb squad responded, searched the building, and found it to be safe. The building was not evacuated. Authorities are in the early stages of the investigation.

The ADL bomb threat was one of dozens of threats and vandalism targeting Jewish community centers and other landmarks across the country in early 2017. In one incident, vandals desecrated a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri by toppling and damaging headstones.

Jewish residents in the town of Whitefish, Montana were threatened both online and offline as Neo-Nazis and members of the Alt Right threatened armed marches.

The Whitefish Police Department says it is aware of the white supremacist website “The Daily Stormer” and its call for an “armed march” through the town of Whitefish.

Andrew Anglin, who runs “The Daily Stormer,” posted on the website: “We are planning an armed protest in Whitefish. Montana has extremely liberal open carry laws, so my lawyer is telling me we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles.”

He said the march is “…planned against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either.”

The FBI is involved in the investigations, and the ADL has called on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a coordinated multi-agency probe.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is one of the world’s leading organizations fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

A petition calling upon Congress to designate Neo-Nazi, Alt Right and far Right groups as terror organizations has been created here: NaziTerrorismPetition.com

If passed, this law would strip far right groups from using and hiding behind free speech laws to incite violence against Jews and other minorities.

The United Kingdom recently passed a law banning all Neo-Nazi, Alt Right groups from recruiting and promoting their hate agenda. The Yorkshire branch of National Action has been accused of seeking to incite the murder of Jewish people, tweeting derogatory terms used by the Nazis to describe Jews during the holocaust.

Congressman Lee Zeldin Appointed to United States Holocaust Memorial Council

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Washington, DC — February 10, 2017 … US Congressman Lee Zeldin, member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, was appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Council was established by Congress in 1980 to lead the nation in commemorating the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council consists of 55 members appointed by the President, five members from the U.S. House of Representatives, five members from the U.S. Senate, and three members from the Departments of Education, Interior, and State.

Zeldin recently spoke out against President Trump for not mentioning that the Jewish people were the primary victims of the Holocaust.

Rep. Zeldin, who represents Long Island, New York, said he believed statements commemorating the Holocaust “should include a reference to Jews specifically as part of the message,” unlike the statement released by President Donald Trump.

Trump’s statement on the Holocaust has drawn criticism for omitting reference to six million Jews who were murdered.

On his appointment to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Zeldin stated: “We must forever remember the millions of innocent people who were senselessly and tragically murdered during the Holocaust, which was one of the darkest periods in human history, and stands as a solemn reminder of the dangers of hatred, ignorance, and racism in every form.”

“During the Holocaust, Nazis targeted the entire Jewish race for extermination and murdered several million innocent Jews as well as millions of other innocent people. We must continue to share the stories of those who survived the Holocaust and those who did not. Their lives must be honored and memorialized, and never again can we allow history to repeat itself.”

“The Holocaust was one of the darkest times in our world’s history. Millions of innocent lives were taken, including millions of innocent Jews targeted for who they were. Lee is someone who has consistently shown his commitment to ensuring history never repeats itself—and I am honored to appoint him to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. As one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress, Lee’s leadership will be an important addition to this group,” said Speaker Paul Ryan.

ADL Files Papers Against Trump’s Muslim Refugee Ban

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York, NY, February 6, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit supporting the State of Washington’s challenge to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on immigration and refugees.

ADL’s brief urges the Appeals Court to block enforcement of Trump’s Muslim refugee ban asserting that implementation would almost certainly cause “irreparable harm to countless people.”

“When America has closed its doors and allowed its core values to be compromised, the country later looked back in shame,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.

“When we stray from our core principles, we are left to apologize to individuals and their descendants who had suffered, and posthumously to those who have tragically lost their lives as a result. This case reminds us to fulfill the promise of learning from our mistakes.”

The brief traces America’s history as a nation dedicated to ideals of equality, liberty and justice, noting that throughout U.S. history, and often with respect to immigration, our ideals have been tested. “Sometimes the nation has risen to the challenge,” the brief observes, but at other times, “when prejudice and fear predominate over reason and compassion, we falter, often with devastating consequences.”

“America has always been at its best when it opens its doors to refugees and immigrants,” the brief notes, while citing several examples in history where the nation did not live up to the ideal of America as a nation of immigrants.

“Our country is at its best when it honors its commitments to its core values,” said John Harris, ADL Legal Affairs Committee Chair and primary author of the ADL brief. “This nation has been and should be a beacon of hope for refugees from war-torn countries and for victims of persecution.  Many of these refugees have contributed immeasurably to the fabric of America.”

The ADL brief points to three specific examples:

  • The tragedy of the vessel St. Louis, filled with Jews fleeing the Nazis who were turned away from America’s shores in 1939 and sent back to Europe, where many of the passengers perished in the Holocaust;
  • The “Chinese Exclusion,” when a series of laws led to the exclusion of thousands of Chinese laborers in the 1800s; and
  • The internment of Japanese during World War II, when approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans, including 70,000 citizens, were sent to internment camps in the United States in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The brief concludes that enforcing the Executive Order “risks once again sacrificing the nation’s core values in favor of prejudice and fear – a sacrifice that history has repeatedly proven has profound consequences both to the persons who suffer as a result and to the still-vibrant vision of the shining city on the hill.”

The law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC prepared the brief on behalf of ADL and the law firm Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP served as local counsel in the 9th Circuit.

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.

In related news, HIAS – the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society will be hosting a Jewish Rally For Refugees on Sunday, February 12, from 11 A.M. at Battery Park in downtown New York.