ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt – 75 Years After the Holocaust: The Ongoing Battle Against Hate

– Good morning Chairwoman Maloney and all the distinguished
members of the committee. On behalf of ADL, thank
you for the opportunity to testify here today and
to share our perspective. It’s a privilege for
me to be here alongside this distinguished panel,
but I want to particularly recognize Mr. Schafir and
just acknowledge your strength and your courage which is
an inspiration to all of us. I’m feeling particularly moved because I just returned from
the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem where more
than 45 world leaders recommitted themselves to addressing hate. It was a pleasure to see a bipartisan delegation from congress there, including Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. I also want to give a special thank you to you, Chairwoman Maloney,
for leading passage of the Never Again Education
Act in the house this week. ADL already is working to
build upon the 11 states that mandate Holocaust
education and genocide education and that public school
curriculum will support you as the bill moves to the senate. – Thank you. – You know, when I was a boy. I could ask my grandfather, who was a refugee from Nazi
Germany, what it was like. I could speak to people in my synagogue in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in my community who’d survived. But that’s no longer the case. As time passes, memory fades. A Pew study released last week indicates that millennials know
less about the Holocaust than prior generations. ADL’s Global 100 poll determined
that only an estimated 54% of the entire world population has even heard about the Holocaust. And others think that
it’s just not important. A survey that ADL released this morning reported that 19% of
American adults say that, “Jews still talk too much
about the Holocaust.” This, at a time when hate crimes are up, when violence is up against Jews and other religious minorities and other marginalized communities. From a college football coach in Michigan defending Hitler to state
trooper cadets in Wisconsin snapping Nazi salutes, to
queer activists in Chicago getting booted out of a pride march because they carried a flag
bearing a Jewish symbol, to visibly identifiable
Jews harassed on a subway in Manhattan or assaulted in
broad daylight in Brooklyn. Incidents of anti-Semitism are up. ADL’s most recent audit
of anti-Semitic incidents recorded as was noted earlier, more than 1,800 anti-Jewish acts in 2018. That’s the third highest total we have ever tracked in 40 years. And the hate is getting more violent. Not just against Jews, but against all minority groups, from Charlottesville to Pittsburgh. From Poway to El Paso. From Jersey City to Muncie. Extremists feel emboldened
in this environment to act out their hate. Now what might surprise you
as it relates to anti-Semitism is this increase of incidents is happening against a backdrop of steady low levels of anti-Semitic attitudes
among the general population. So why is that? First, we have leading
voices in our nation who are normalizing anti-Semitism, who are making hate routine. They are using anti-Semitic tropes about globalists controlling government. About bankers trying
to destroy our borders, accusing Jews of having
dual loyalty or disloyalty, attacking the Jewish
state with the same myths they use to demonize the Jewish people, and all of this
destigmatizes anti-Semitism. All of this renders intolerance routine. Second, the internet and social media and online game environments are spawning and spreading hate, particularly
Holocaust denialism, the original fake news. With nearly two and a
half billion members, Facebook is the largest
and most established of these offenders. Its policies still don’t classify Holocaust denial as hate speech. YouTube has made some progress
but not nearly enough. But just as these market leaders have used ingenuity and innovation to reinvent media and build billion dollar brands, they now need to apply
those same capabilities to remove hate from their platforms and build stronger, better societies. Let me conclude with
some key recommendations. Number one, leaders must
speak out against hate at every opportunity. Number two, social
media platforms must act more responsibly and ban Holocaust denial for what it is, unacceptable. Number three, the Never Again
Education Act must become law. Number four, congress should
pass the No Hate Act of 2019 to spark improved local and state hate crime training and prevention. Number five, congress should fully fund the Nonprofit Security and Grant Program to protect all at-risk nonprofits and specifically,
faith-based institutions, and finally, we would
implore congress to pass the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act to ensure that the federal
government is appropriately allocating resources to the
threat of white supremacy and radical extremism today. I applaud the leadership
of this committee. Ms. Chairwoman, thank you for
the opportunity to be here and I look forward to your questions.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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