Skip To Content
Breaking News

ADL President Says U.S. Anti-Semitism Worst Since ‘30’s

— At the opening to the Anti-Defamation League’s conference on anti-Semitism, the organization’s national director said anti-Jewish hatred in America is worse than at any point since the 1930s.

Jonathan Greenblatt, speaking Thursday at the opening of the ADL’s “Never Is Now” summit in New York, said currents on both the far right and far left have led to anti-Semitism’s resurgence. He mentioned the platform of the Movement for Black Lives published this year that accused Israel of genocide.

Greenblatt also detailed the anti-Semitic attacks that rose during the 2016 presidential campaign, mentioning the appointment of Stephen Bannon as the chief strategist to President-elect Donald Trump. Bannon was the chairman of Breitbart News, a website Bannon called the “platform for the alt-right,” a loose movement of the far right whose followers traffic variously in white nationalism, anti-immigration sentiment, anti-Semitism and a disdain for “political correctness.”

“The American Jewish community, our community, has not seen this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse since the 1930s,” Greenblatt said. “Sadly, it is only being matched with escalating levels of hate toward other minorities today.”

Addressing reports that Trump’s transition team is considering creating a registry of Muslims in the United States, Greenblatt pledged that he would sign up as a Muslim. He referred to the apocryphal story about the king of Denmark promising to wear a yellow star if it would be required of the Scandinavian country’s Jews.

“As Jews, we know what it means to be registered, or targeted, held out as different from our fellow citizens,” Greenblatt said. “We as Jews know the right and just response. I pledge to you right here and now, because I’m committed to the fight against anti-Semitism, if one day American Muslims will be forced to register their identity, that is the day this proud Jew will register as a Muslim.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.