For Immediate Release
November 25, 2020
The New Tolerance Campaign (NTC) is mobilizing its activists to call on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to insist the Rev. Al Sharpton issue a public apology for inciting one of the worst anti-Semitic riots in U.S. history.
NTC is a watchdog organization empowering ordinary Americans to hold accountable self-proclaimed arbiters of tolerance when they betray their own stated values.
For years the ADL championed the fight against anti-Semitism and intolerance. Yet it has recently strayed from its mission to advance a political agenda, embracing Sharpton to attack immigration policies and boycott Facebook for what they deem an insufficient level of censorship.
The ADL once spoke unequivocally about Sharpton. In a 1992 report in the aftermath of the Crown Heights riots, the ADL assigned Sharpton “a leading role” in the pogrom and cited him among “community activists who have promoted anti-Semitism.” The report noted that Sharpton shared office space with the anti-Semitic New Alliance Party and co-chaired an event honoring Louis Farrakhan.
In 1992, Sharpton defended gross anti-Semitic comments from Professor Leonard Jeffries, declaring: “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Protesters led by Sharpton called Jews “bloodsuckers” and threatened to “burn and loot the Jews.” One demonstrator then did exactly that, shooting seven people.
Despite this track-record of bigotry, ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has appeared on Sharpton’s MSNBC show; held a joint Capitol Hill press conference on immigration; and partnered with Sharpton to boycott Facebook.
While some organizations help celebrities like Nick Cannon and Ice Cube address anti-Semitic rhetoric, the ADL has demanded nothing of Sharpton. As Tablet magazine noted, ADL CEO Greenblatt has “refused even to seek out the most minor price from Sharpton for bringing him back into the fold of acceptability – not even a simple apology that would at least telegraph a distaste for anti-Semitism to Sharpton’s many followers.”
Concerned by the ADL’s failure to maintain its own basic standards of tolerance, NTC’s campaign calls upon ADL to insist Sharpton demonstrably atone for past anti-Semitic behavior.
“The ADL’s embrace of Rev. Sharpton betrays its founding purpose to fight anti-Semitism,” noted NTC Advisory Board Member Nicki Neily. “By giving Sharpton a pass on his bigoted actions, ADL is undermining its core mission.”