Abe Foxman from the ADL, according to this Twitter feed from the Jewish Council on Public Affairs meeting in Texas:
A reader writes:
Obviously, I spend a lot of time reading you, and you do get pretty worked up sometimes. So the question of whether or not you're too emotional has arisen for me, it's something I've thought about. Whenever I do think about that, I always come back to the same thing: you're usually right, and your positions tend to be informed by what seems to be to be a spirit of decency.
For example, I thought you got a little bit carried away with your enthusiasm for the green movement in Iran. I'm not sure it will be good for the people -- the ultimate result is probably going to be a much more robust totalitarian state, systems that are better able to suppress dissent. But on a human level, you were so obviously connected to the people and what they were trying to accomplish that it seems like a really awful thing to criticize you about. You'd be a worse person if you didn't have the reaction you did.
You get really upset about torture. But what's the appropriate response supposed to be? Are we supposed to be jaded, and calm and collected? Fundamentally, the problem is that this terrible, immoral thing happens and no one gets upset. You're not the one who is broken there -- it's everyone else. I'm absolutely certain of that.
The discussion that's taking place around you with respect to Israel is very significant. You have a lot of energy, you write very well, and you have as much space as you need to defend yourself. And you are very obviously not an anti-semite. The more they go around and around with you, the more it's going to become clear that there really are problems with Israel's behavior. I don't think Netanyahu and the settlers are any better for Israel than Cheney was for the US.
The only possible ways forward for them have to start with them listening to people like you. They're a long way from being ready to do that now. So I think that in a substantial sense, you're more pro-Israel than the hawks. I'm sorry this stuff is coming at you personally, but I think that your standing up to it is a form of public service.
I appreciate the wave of personal support from many quarters. I write things sincerely. Always have always will. And I do not believe that feeling is always antithetical to thinking. It can be; but sometimes it is critical to feel if one is able to think as a decent human being.
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