We are great fans of VW and its' technology--we hereby present the following as our final edition of "Notations From the Grid" for the year:
In looking back at this unprecedented year, I think our entire community can feel pride at the resilience we showed in the face of its challenges. As we resolve to make 2021 a more unified, less divisive and safer year, let’s review the times of light and the times of trial that drove ADL during the past 12 months.
- We started the year marching in the streets of New York, joined by voices from across the country concerned about attacks on the Orthodox Jewish community that were the final straw in a surge in levels of antisemitic incidents in 2019 that were the highest ADL had ever recorded.
- In early 2020, we published Antisemitism Uncovered, a landmark online guide that connects centuries of antisemitic tropes to the hatred we are experiencing today.
|ADL video recap of 2020
- In March, the nation prioritized masks and social distancing as the menace of COVID spread. The ADL community stepped up to fight coronavirus scapegoating, which led to anti-Asian hostility, fear of immigrants and attempts to link the spread of the pandemic to Israel and to the Orthodox Jewish community. We also spoke out for the urgent need to help the marginalized people in our communities, who have been disproportionately devastated by the cascading impact of COVID.
- ADL also played an important role in fighting a related threat, Zoombombing, as hate and harassment found a new way into our homes. Gatherings from children’s storytelling to community board meetings to synagogue services were interrupted by antisemitism and other hostile words and images. ADL worked directly with Zoom, and with local communities, to both address the flaws in the video platform and provide guidance to people who were convening these online gatherings.
- In May, the murder of George Floyd, who died while pinned under the knee of a police officer, led to national outrage. ADL stood up alongside the Black community to demand that we reexamine and overcome the systemic racism in our country. Further killings — of Breonna Taylor, of Jacob Blake and too many more — continued to drive home the need for justice.
- In June, the ADL-founded Hate Free Georgia Coalition celebrated as Georgia’s Governor signed off on the bipartisan-supported HB 426, making the state the 46th to pass comprehensive hate-crimes legislation. The law’s protections went into effect immediately.
- Also in June, ADL helped launch the #StopHateforProfit coalition to address the antisemitism, harassment, swatting, doxing, physical attacks and other online hate that were often going unchecked on social media platforms. The coalition began its efforts by lining up a massive national Facebook advertising pause that over 1,200 businesses and nonprofits took part in during July. Several weeks later, dozens of A-list celebrities took part in a pause on Facebook-owned Instagram, further raising awareness of the need for collective pressure to drive change. We saw the first fruits of this campaign as Facebook banned QAnon messages, began to categorize Holocaust denial as hate speech, and made other modest changes, though still falling far short of #StopHateforProfit’s recommendations.
- Several high-profile athletes and entertainers took to social media in July to parrot the hateful words of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who ADL considers the most popular antisemite in America. After ADL and others, including many athletes and entertainers, raised concerns, NFL player DeSean Jackson and actor Nick Cannon both apologized for their comments and agreed to take actions to better understand the impact of their words.
- In August, ADL and the National Urban League launched a national initiative to promote voting rights and to address other issues of mutual concern to the African American and American Jewish communities.
- In further actions to support ballot access for all Americans, ADL launched resources, tracked extremist activity that might disrupt the election, and supported legal challenges to voter suppression in Texas alongside partners like the Brennan Center and the NAACP that went all the way to the state’s Supreme Court.
- In September, ADL celebrated as Israel officially signed agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and we launched a series of efforts to share our expertise in the Gulf region to combat antisemitism and violence. As UAE Ambassador Al Otaiba said to me during an ADL webinar, “extremism is extremism” and peace agreements like this can set an example for the next generation to reject the hatred that decades of Middle East hostilities have engendered. Another breakthrough, an official accord with Morocco, came later in 2020.
- In October, in what felt like a positive counterpoint to the tensions of the pending election, the ADL community held our first virtual Walk Against Hate, expanding a popular ADL unifying activity to a national scope.
- We have been tracking extremists who have the potential to react with online hate and real-world attacks linked to November’s elections. This past weekend’s rallies in Washington, D.C., which were punctuated by violence, were the latest example of this threat.
- In response to a surge in antisemitic acts in schools, in November ADL and EVERFI launched BINAH, a new national digital antisemitism curriculum for high school students.
- In late 2020, we expanded our flagship Never Is Now Summit on Antisemitism and Hate, the largest annual event of its kind, by taking it virtual and international. People are continuing to watch the recordings of each Summit session. We followed that just weeks later with the first virtual ADL In Concert Against Hate, taking the 26th annual concert to new levels and recognizing inspiring honorees.
- As we look back on the year, we also mark the loss of so many respected figures, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, our longtime ally in the fight for civil rights Rep. John Lewis, and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the longtime UK chief rabbi and a prolific writer whose works touched people around the world.
During all of these unprecedented moments, the ADL community was there, vigilant in rejecting antisemitism and finding ways to Fight Hate for Good. We thank all of you for speaking up, showing facts and sharing strength in 2020.
Your support for ADL’s mission of fighting antisemitism and working to secure justice and fair treatment to all has been vital this year and will be equally critical in 2021 and beyond.
|CEO and National Director