The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended President Obama for the remarkable speech he gave during a ceremony on January 27 at the Israeli embassy, which honored rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
President Obama’s remarks honoring rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust were remarkable because they eloquently and sincerely spoke to the historical record, as well as to many of the values that are so important to Americans, to the Jewish community, and to supporters of the State of Israel.
The President’s recognition of the continuing threat of anti-Semitism, here and abroad; his call for us all to live by the examples of the ‘righteous gentiles’ who risked their lives to save Jews; and his reiteration of our commitment to the safety, security and legitimacy of the State of Israel were all vital messages. Notably, President Obama spoke out against voices that ‘veer from criticism of a particular Israeli policy to an unjust denial of Israel’s right to exist.’
Linking the fight against anti-Semitism to other struggles to overcome societal ills was an important statement reminding us that the fight against bigotry and intolerance is a universal concern.
At a time when we commemorate the horrors of the Shoah, it is disturbing that anti-Semitism of all forms – ranging from overt violence in the form of terrorism to acts of micro-aggression against Jews on U.S. college campuses – is spreading. For these reasons, it is reassuring and deeply appreciated that the President used this day to reiterate his personal commitment and America’s historic role as the greatest friend of the Jewish people and the defender of our democratic and pluralistic values.
In the words of Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds who President Obama quoted last night, and who risked his lives to save Jewish soldiers from the Nazis, ‘When any Jew anywhere is targeted just for being Jewish… ‘We are all Jews.’