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May 24, 2002



Internet Called 'Superhighway' for Anti-Semitism

By Julie Stahl
Jerusalem Bureau Chief

FoxmanJerusalem ( - The Internet and a religious element have made anti-Semitism even more virulent than it was in time of the Nazi Germany, said Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.

Foxman, who is visiting Jerusalem, released the results of the ADL's newest survey this week. The survey shows that a majority of Americans believe Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is out "to destroy Israel."

The poll of 1,000 Americans also showed strong support for Israel in the U.S. A majority of Americans believe anti-Jewish sentiments will increase worldwide over the next few years.

"The significant part of it is that American people continue to strongly support Israel's position," Foxman said. "It continues to be solidly with Israel on key issues relating to the conflict." As an example, he noted that 59 percent of Americans believe that Israel truly wants peace with its Arab neighbors.

Foxman also pointed to the poll finding that 42 percent of Americans believe Palestinians are to blame for recent escalation of violence.

"After September 11 we are finding that Americans have a heightened awareness to terrorism, and when it comes to issues of terrorism here, fewer Americans are willing to give the Palestinian leadership room for excuses.

"The League's survey found 58 percent of Americans believe that the real goal of Arafat and the Palestinians is to destroy Israel, he said.

Is Foxman a "Holocaust survivor"?



David Irving comments: It depends how far apart you set the goalposts.

CHATTING with me on our stand at the 2002 BookExpo in New York, noted Forward gossip- columnist Marsha Leon was vitriolic about "Abe" Foxman and his oft-stated claim to be a survivor. She said -- and I agree -- that there ought to be categories of such survivors, with those who narrowly escaped liquidation coming right at the top, those who lived a plush life in some non-Jewish family right at the bottom, if not beneath it.
     Fact: Abraham "Bludgeon" Foxman was born in 1940, and spent the war years living in comfort with a Catholic family (his parents also survived the war). Some "survivor"!

Foxman biography

Nevertheless, 49 percent of Americans believe that Israel has used excessive force against the Palestinians, while 36 percent said that Israel has not used too much force.

Sixty-three percent of Americans said they believe that if Israel fails to stop the suicide bombings, the same terrorist tactic may be used against the United States, according to an ADL summary..

The same number, 63 percent, believe there could be an increase in anti-Jewish feelings around the world in the next few years.

Anti-Semitism Worldwide

Anti-Semitic incidents around the world, particularly in Europe, have been on the rise since the eruption of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000.

According to Foxman, himself a Holocaust survivor, there are two things that make anti-Semitism worse now than it was during World War II, when six million Jews were murdered in Nazi death camps.

"One is the information revolution . . . which has made it so easy, so magnificent for us to communicate instantaneously . . . has a dark underbelly. It is also a superhighway for hate," he said in reference to the Internet. "It comes with a certain credibility."

The other dimension, he said, is religion.

"I agree with President Bush on most everything on his assessment on the threat to democracy in America but he said this is not a religious war. . . The fact is . . . that it's the plaintiff that sets the parameters of the litigation, not the defendant.

"The plaintiff here is Osama bin Laden and his buddies," Foxman said. They have said this is a religious war, that this is a war of culture, that this is a war of values and therefore that's what it is.

"Suicide bombers...they wrap themselves in 'God,' in faith, in religion and that's what they kill for and die for. Now that's a very, very dangerous element," he added.


 Related items

A wave of Jew-bashing in Europe
Foxman biography
Attempts to Anti-Defamation League to Censor Internet
Attempts by Board of Deputies of British Jews to Censor Internet
2002 Globe Newspaper Company.



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