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Anti-Defamation League Activities

April 26, 1993

We members of the Cousins Club of Orange County long admired the Anti-Defamation League for its purported purpose of exposing individuals and groups who threaten the ideals of our democratic American society. Our organization is based on principles of understanding the needs and yearnings of two disparate peoples closely related in their quest for peace, and searching for solutions related to the struggles and strivings of their respective kin in Israel/Palestine. Knowing we can flourish best in an open and free society, we are especially sensitive to any activities which threaten or inhibit such freedom.

Our members have long held the ADL in high esteem, above petty partisanship and beyond immediate expediencies such as those manifested by seemingly less idealistic organizations. We therefore are distressed to learn of alleged long-term activities of the ADL in its compilation of lists of people whose opinions were not in accordance with their own. We are especially disturbed to learn of covert sales of these lists to the foreign governments of Israel and South Africa.

We Cousins Club members who are Jewish-Americans were particularly proud of an organization which we thought spoke for the entire Jewish community in its stated goals of exposing those whose purposes are antithetical to the welfare of both Jews and non-Jews. Those of us who are Palestinian-Americans also held the ADL in high esteem, even using it as a model of integrity upon which the Arab Anti-Discrimination League is based. Our disillusionment and despair are therefore made more acute by recent disclosures of alleged secret activities of the ADL, which emulate organizations such as the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan.

We urge the U.S. government to thoroughly investigate these alleged covert activities. Further, we urge that the ADL make full disclosure of its secret agenda, promising it will cease and desist from such activities in the future.

ROSE MENDELSON, SAMI ODEH

Cousins Club, Buena Park

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