Open Letter to the ADL


Not complaining to the Anti-Defamation League would transform me into an accomplice…

Dear Sirs,

I want to file a complaint. Simply, I looked at the definitions of anti-Semitism and found out that I’ve been a witness to anti-Semitism for years. Terrified, I understood that not complaining to the Anti-Defamation League would transform me into an accomplice, and I cannot support even the thought of that.

I’m sure you’ll value my complaint, after all you claim to “fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defend democratic ideals and protect civil rights for all” and “defend the security of Israel and Jews worldwide.” Your motto is: “To stop the defamation of the Jewish people…to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” You are doing that continuously since 1913; almost a century of undisputed, undiscriminating professionalism. Wow, I found the right place for my complaint.

What is anti-Semitism? Let me quote a definition I found. I’m confident you’ll accept it. “Anti-Semitism is prejudice against or hostility towards Jews, often rooted in hatred of their ethnic background, culture, or religion. In its extreme form, it attributes to the Jews an exceptional position among all other civilizations, defames them as an inferior group and denies their being part of the nations in which they reside. Anti-Semitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from individual expressions of hatred and discrimination against individual Jews…”

Yes, clearly my complaint is within the category of anti-Semitism. The proofs are overwhelming. If I was to cite the available sources, I would run out of space on the server. I just want to bring a paragraph that appeared in an article by Dr. Yifat Bitton, from The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. I’m sure you’ll find this source a suitable and honorable one. The name of the article is “Old-Fashioned Discrimination, New-Style Battle;” it deals with discrimination in Israel. One of the first paragraphs reads:

“Ethnic discrimination has been a continual struggle for Sephardim in Israeli society since the establishment of the State of Israel. Upon arrival from their countries of origin, Sephardic Jews were categorized as “Mizrahim,” (“Easterners,” or Jews from Arab or Muslim countries) a social and cultural category that was invented just for them at that time. However, though established in the past, this category is still meaningful sixty years later. Mizrahim in Israel continue to suffer from structural injustices. Statistics prove they have a high unemployment rate, comprise a disproportionate percentage of Israel’s prison and social welfare populations, and suffer substantial underachievement in education. These deficiencies have held steady or even increased over Israel’s six decades of statehood. (See Oren Yiftachel, Nation-Building or Ethnic Fragmentation? Ashkenazim, Mizrahim and Arabs in the Israeli Frontier, 1 Space and Polity 2, 149-169 (1997); Hubert Lu-Yon and Rachel Kalush: Housing in Israel: Policy and Inequality (1994). Although Mizrahim today comprise a larger share of formally educated society, recent research indicates that the gap itself between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim in education has grown in the last decades. See Momi Dahan, He is (Not) Entitled—Has the Gap in Education Narrowed? in Education and Social Justice in Israel—On Equal Opportunities in Education 19 (Samuel Shay et al, 2003).)”

Dear leaders of the ADL and their parent organization, the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, I want to file a complaint of anti-Semitism and discrimination against the State of Israel. I do trust you will be faithful to your honorable principles and take action against that organization.

Respectfully yours,

Roi Tov