ADL Summit 2024—“Our Voice Will Be Louder Than the Voice of Hatred”

The world’s largest summit on antisemitism and hate convened earlier this month at the Javits Center in New York City and struck an uncompromising stance against hatred of Jews. The annual 2024 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Never Is Now Summit featured an array of dignitaries, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt, and architect of the Abraham Accords Jared Kushner.

ADL Summit

Scholars, rabbis, diplomats, heads of Jewish organizations, journalists, social media influencers, local and community leaders and survivors of the October 7 terrorist attacks took part in plenary sessions and more than two dozen breakout panel discussions on topics such as “Taking Antisemitism to Court,” “Empowering Allies in the Fight Against Extremism and Hate,” “How to Keep the Memory of the Holocaust Alive in the Digital Age,” “The Mainstreaming of Anti-Zionism and Anti-Israel Slogans Post-10/7,” and “Influencers Shaping Change.”

“We will not let our country be lost to the antisemites and bigots. We will not flee. We will fight, and we will win.”

Opening the Summit with his annual “State of Hate” address, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt set the tone of the two-day gathering. Speaking after a video presentation of the post-October 7 plight of Jews in America and elsewhere, Greenblatt explained that we all live in an “October 8th” world. “The world of October 8th is one in which the perpetrators of the worst antisemitic massacre since the Holocaust are celebrated as heroes, not just in Ramallah and Beirut, but in London and New York and on campuses like Harvard and Columbia. An October the 8th world is one in which the prayers for the safety of hostages—men and women, children and the elderly—are met with vile hate speech and moral confusion.”

Citing the alarming spikes in global antisemitic hate crimes since October 7—a 960 percent increase in Brazil, 384 percent in France, 320 percent in Germany, and 360 percent in the U.S.—Greenblatt said, “If there ever were a moment to break the glass and pull the alarm labeled ‘Never Again,’ that time is right now.”

Greenblatt concluded with a warning to bigots, their enablers and their apologists: “Explaining away your antisemitism will no longer be tolerated. Refusing to prosecute the laws or to enforce your own policies in your institution when the perpetrators are targeting Jews—it must cease. The twisting of language, the moral cowardice, the blind eye toward antisemitism must end now. Because if not, you will hear our voices. You will see us outside your doors. And we will see you in court. Our donations that you relied on—gone. Our votes that you seek—forget about it. Our friendship or alliances—no more. At this moment, in this October the 8th world, we will not be silent. We will not let our country be lost to the antisemites and bigots. We will not flee. We will fight, and we will win.”

Jared Kushner, the architect of the Abraham Accords agreements, which normalized relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and later, Sudan and Morocco, spoke about the necessity of communication rather than confrontation. In his view, campus unrest stems less from hate and more from ignorance. “We can all do better by keeping an open mind, an open door and an open heart,” he said.

Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, also discouraged addressing hate with hate. Lipstadt asserted that Judaism is best defended from a place of love of Jewish culture and identity rather than fear of those who hate it. “We can’t just be motivated by protecting ourselves from the enemies from without,” she said. “We have to celebrate from what’s within.”

Other memorable moments that brought summit attendees to their feet included:

Attorney General Merrick Garland choking back tears as he related how his grandmother and her two siblings fled the pogroms of Eastern Europe while her other two siblings, who remained, perished in the Holocaust. “I am here today because this country took my family in and protected them when they had nowhere else to go … We must protect each other.”

ADL Courage Against Hate Award recipient Accenture CEO Julie Sweet shared: “Having the courage to speak up and take action against hate is not taking sides. It’s also not about being popular. It is about living—as an individual and [as] a company—your values. It is about doing what you believe in.”

STAND joins ADL to say that we will not tolerate hate against members of the Jewish community, or any of our brothers and sisters of any faith.