Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, speaking to the group’s national leadership here last week, signaled a sharp shift in ADL policy by directly attacking several prominent religious right groups and challenging their motives, which he said include nothing less than “Christianizing America.”
Among the groups he cited were the powerful Focus on the Family ministry and the Family Research Council.
Foxman said as these groups seek to use the government to further their missionizing goal, Democrats and Republicans alike are “pandering” to the religious conservatives.
The ADL leader also called for a national Jewish summit to respond to the growing challenge.
Foxman may face stiff resistance, however, from colleagues in other organizations who believe a more confrontational strategy would be a big mistake for American Jews and for Israel.
In an interview this week, Foxman said the shift in ADL’s approach on the Evangelicals was necessitated by their growing political and social clout.
“What we’re seeing is a pervasive, intensive assault on the traditional balance between religion and state in this country,” he said. “They’re trying to bring Christianity to all aspects of American life. They’re not just talking just about God and religious values but about Jesus and about Christian values.”