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The ADL Should Reconsider

The ADL's ad in yesterday's New York Times (August 4, 2009) was troubling. My colleague, Ori Nir -- who has known ADL National Director Abe Foxman for years -- wrote a heartwrenching post in response, concluding that:

Foxman must know that the demand for Arab recognition of Israel now "is a red herring. It is Netanyahu's excuse-de-jour for inaction. It's just not serious. He knows it."

Unfortunately, the ADL is taken seriously by many, which is why I just issued this call for action on behalf of APN:

Yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published a full page ad in the New York Times challenging President Barack Obama's approach to bringing peace to Israel.

The ad urged the Obama administration to stop pressuring Israel over settlements. "The settlements are not the impediment," it claimed.

But you and I know that the ADL is wrong. Settlements are a serious impediment to peace. They constitute a burden to Israel's security services. They create points of friction between Israelis and Palestinians. They drain Israel's financial resources. They erode support for Israel among its friends and allies. And they generate doubt as to Israel's commitment to a two-state solution.

Click here to ask the ADL to rethink its stance on settlements and the path to peace.

At this time it is vital that President Obama continue his effort to arrange a real settlement freeze as an important step towards meaningful negotiations over a two-state solution.

For President Obama's strategy to succeed, he will need all sides -- Israel, the Palestinians, and Arab states -- to do their part. And it is up to all of us to make sure he has the domestic support he needs to get the job done.

But The ADL ad suggests that President Obama is wrong to ask Israel to do anything. It suggests that he should put the entire onus on the Palestinians and the Arab states.

This is a recipe for failure. Without a settlement freeze, Palestinian moderates who engage in negotiations with Israel will become marginalized. Without a settlement freeze, a two-state solution will become increasingly more difficult to achieve.

Without a settlement freeze, Israel's chances for peace are diminished.

Click here to ask the ADL to rethink its stance on settlements and the path to peace.

The ADL is a remarkable institution with an important history of service. It is unfortunate that its leaders would misuse the ADL's reputation to stand in the way of progress and to undermine Israel's prospects for peace.

Please join me in asking the ADL's leadership to stand for peace.