ADL Under Fire for Teaming Up With Anti-Israel Activist Who Defended Terror Groups

ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt / Getty Images
• October 20, 2021 1:00 pm


The Anti-Defamation League is under fire for participating in a conference that will see the nation's oldest anti-Semitism watchdog group share the stage with an anti-Israel activist who has defended the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.

ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt appeared in Pittsburgh this week for the inaugural "Eradicate Hate" conference, a summit that brought ADL together with Salam al-Marayati, a member of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an anti-Israel organization that has advocated for Middle Eastern terrorist groups to be removed from the United States' terrorism list, according to Jewish News Service. Al-Marayati has also defended Hamas and Hezbollah and accused Israelis of being responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks. The summit, which ran from Oct. 18 to 20, is billed as a response to the 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue, where an anti-Semitic man killed 11 Jews.

The ADL's decision to participate in an event alongside al-Marayati is generating pushback from other pro-Israel organizations. It is the latest controversy to hit the ADL under the leadership of Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official, who critics view as undermining the ADL's mission and turning the historically apolitical group into a partisan outfit.

"We are horrified Salam al-Marayati, a man who claims Jews ‘weaponize anti-Semitism' and blames 9/11 on Israel, has been chosen as a key speaker for the Tree of Life anti-hate summit in Pittsburgh," Liora Rez, executive director of, told the Washington Free Beacon. "The Tree of Life shooter was an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist like al-Marayati; his involvement in this summit does nothing but spit on the victims' graves."

The ADL did not respond to a Free Beacon request for comment.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council has a long history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic advocacy. It cosponsored a 2000 event at which attendees called for genocide against Jews, according to JNS. The group has also excused terrorist attacks in Israel conducted by organizations like Hamas.

Al-Marayati also has deep ties to the Democratic Party, according to JNS, including relationships with officials in the Clinton, Obama, and Biden administrations.

Yoseph Haddad, CEO of Together — Vouch for Each Other, a multicultural group of Israeli peace activists, said it is "disturbing to see someone like this speaking at a conference against anti-Semitism and about deradicalization, of all things. His previous actions and statements only prove that he himself has radical tendencies."

"As an Israeli Arab," Haddad said, "I myself am a target of Hamas terrorism along with two million other Israeli Arabs. To whitewash Hamas terror is to say the lives of Israeli Arabs and Jews don't matter."