Amid charges of anti-Semitism and countercharges of partisan-inspired bigotry, leaders of some of America's most influential Jewish and Christian organizations will meet in Washington, D. C., next month to try to reduce tensions.
Though the events organizer, the Chicago-based International Fellowship of Christians and Jews originally had planned the meeting for next spring, fellowship president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein moved the date to November 29-30 because he "felt there was a need for a more urgent, small-level conference … just to introduce the leadership of these two groups to each other." The meeting it expected to include leaders of the Christian Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the American Jewish Congress.
Participants will have much to discus. In June, ADL released a 193-page book, "The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America", which drew charges from religious conservatives that the ADL was itself practicing intolerance. In August, the Christian Coalition responded with a 28-page report, "A Campaign of Falsehoods: The Anti-Defamation League's Defamation of Religious Conservatives" which labeled the ADL report "inaccurate, biased, and politically motivated.
The Christian Coalition objected to what it said were a series of inaccuracies in the ADL book and it charged that the ADL was using "reckless charges of anti-Semitism" against people matters. The coalition's response claims: "The ADL report is filled with fabrications, half-truths, innuendo and guilt by association that are reminiscent of the political style practiced by Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s"
We have always said we are human and we can make mistakes," Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, told CHRISTIANITY ...1