Two days, two different views of Israeli policies.
Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, was in Chicago Wednesday, a day ahead of Peter Beinart, who argues in his book The Crisis of Zionism that Israel routinely violates Arab human rights outside its borders in pursuit of its self-defense.
Beinart will read from his new book at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago.
Meanwhile, meeting with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, Foxman said the premise of the book is unfair.
"You know what," he said. "There is no peace.
Abe Foxman (John J. Kim~Sun-Times)
Until there is peace there are different standards.
"Does it trouble me as a Jew? Yes. Would I want it to be better? Yes. Do I understand that if you don't have somebody you can partner with - you are dealing with a neighborhood that has gone to war five times. You are dealing with a neighborhood which has changed for the worse.
"So I would like for there to be no occupation. I would like it to be peace. But that hasn't changed my view that to me Israel is still more of a democracy than any of its neighbors."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in Chicago in 1913, is almost 100 years old, but Foxman says some things haven't changed much over the years: bigotry, racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism.
"In 47 years [of working for the league], we have written some laws, changed some attitudes, but it is still with us," Foxman said. "I am an optimist, but ... there is going to be a need for an anti-defamation league of some sort for our children and our grandchildren."
"Thanks to the Internet, it has become much worse because it travels anonymously in nanoseconds, globally," he said. "Now, it has a superhighway."
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