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ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special Session on Jerusalem

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Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Jerusalem is our capital. We will c…

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ADL Monitoring Anti-Israel Rallies Globally: Anti-Semitic Images Appear in Arabic Language Media Following Trump Action on Jerusalem

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PM Netanyahu attends MFA Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony

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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and ADL Announce Lab to Engineer New Solutions to Stop Cyberhate

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ADL to Challenge Justice Department Religious Liberty Guidance Calls it a “Roadmap for Discrimination”

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ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special Session on Jerusalem

New York, NY, The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the United Nations General Assembly emergency special session on “Israeli illegal actions” in East Jerusalem as “absurd” and “yet another chapter in the U.N.’s long record of single-minded focus on Israel.” The final vote, rejecting any recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, was 128 in favor, 9 against, with 35 abstentions.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

Given the numerous pressing issues confronting the world today it is absurd that the General Assembly called an emergency special session to, yet again, excoriate Israel. No emergency special session has been convened to discuss Syria or Burma or a myriad of other crises. Indeed, of ten such special sessions convened over the history of the U.N., seven have been convened with the sole purpose of criticizing Israel.

While today’s session was held to critique the U.S. government’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the session was yet another chapter in the U.N.’s long record of single-minded focus on Israel. It is notable that countries engaged in severe crises – including Yemen, Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Bangladesh, among others – spoke from the podium and declared Israel and Jerusalem the leading issue in the world.

The General Assembly once again has failed to play a constructive and fair-minded role in encouraging peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Instead of helping to promote engagement, it has deepened the divide.

World Jewish Congress condemns ANC decision to downgrade South African Embassy in Israel

NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer on Thursday strongly condemned the African National Congress’ (ANC) endorsement of a resolution to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel, warning that the move would have “negative repercussions for South Africa and simultaneously undermine prospects for advancing peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Singer added: “The World Jewish Congress stands with the South African Jewish community in opposing this decision that is brimming with double standards and dangerous implications. It is wholly disconcerting that the ANC has given in to the political manipulation being driven by forces whose sole and unapologetic interest is to delegitimize the State of Israel.

“This decision amounts to more than just the downgrade of an embassy and the essential strategic and diplomatic ties represented within. It is also a downgrade of support for the local Jewish community and a folded hand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This decision will have a negative impact on the Jewish community’s sense of belonging within the fabric of South African society, on political, social, and religious levels, and will limit access for both Christians and Jews to essential religious materials and educational opportunities. Moreover it relieves South Africa of any credible ability to play a role in brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“South Africa is seen by the world as a case study in the efficacy of engaging in dialogue and negotiations to resolve even the most seemingly intractable conflicts, a process that is so necessary for Israelis and Palestinians at this time. Pretoria’s disengagement will perpetuate any political impasse and mark a grave departure from its strong and measured diplomatic approach.”

Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

PM Netanyahu's remarks at the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod:

The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, along with – inter alia – former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Assuta Chairman Shuki Shemer, attended the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod.

The following is an excerpt from the Prime Minister's remarks:

"Today is a very important day in Israel and outside Israel.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel whether the UN recognizes it or not.
It took 70 years for the US to officially recognize it and it will take more years until the UN also recognizes it.
Attitudes toward Israel by many countries in the world, on all continents, are changing outside the walls of the UN and in the end will percolate inside the walls of the UN building – the house of lies.
The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.
Thank you President Trump and Ambassador Haley for standing up for Israel and for standing up for the truth. Ultimately the truth will prevail."

Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

PM Netanyahu's remarks at the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod:

The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, along with – inter alia – former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Assuta Chairman Shuki Shemer, attended the launch of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod.

The following is an excerpt from the Prime Minister's remarks:

"Today is a very important day in Israel and outside Israel.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel whether the UN recognizes it or not.
It took 70 years for the US to officially recognize it and it will take more years until the UN also recognizes it.
Attitudes toward Israel by many countries in the world, on all continents, are changing outside the walls of the UN and in the end will percolate inside the walls of the UN building – the house of lies.
The State of Israel flatly rejects this vote even before it is held. Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.
Thank you President Trump and Ambassador Haley for standing up for Israel and for standing up for the truth. Ultimately the truth will prevail."

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt Honored for Tech Innovation on 'Recode 100' List

The rankings honor 100 innovative business leaders across industries
New York, NY, ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt has been named to the first-ever Recode 100 list, placing him among some of the top luminaries in tech, business and media “who mattered in 2017.”

The entry, No. 77 on the list, credits Greenblatt for “evolving the century-old Anti-Defamation League to fight white supremacy, anti-Semitism and other forms of extremism in the digital age” and describes now the storied civil rights organization is ramping up its work with social media and tech firms in Silicon Valley and looking at ways to use new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to sanitize platforms of hate speech, rather than relying on human filters.

“We shouldn’t be surprised that extremists exploit new media,” Greenblatt tells Recode. “Fifty years ago, extremists were hiding behind hoods and burning crosses. Today, they’re hiding behind avatars and burning up Twitter.”

Under Greenblatt’s stewardship, ADL recently launched its Center for Technology and Society, focused on tackling its civil rights mission in the digital space at a time when online hate tears at the fabric of our society. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the new Center examines the issue globally, bringing a proactive approach by working in partnership with industry, government, academia, and nonprofit groups to develop smart strategies and practical solutions to address today’s biggest challenges.

The Center also partners with the leading entrepreneurs and innovators who are reinventing our world, conducts cutting-edge research, and applying ADL’s expert analysis and reporting to enable online civility and stop cyberhate.

The Recode 100 honors the leaders, movement-starters, engineers, negotiators, and creatives, who have been the most productive and innovative people this year across the industries Recode covers: tech, media, commerce, transportation and more.

ADL Monitoring Anti-Israel Rallies Globally: Anti-Semitic Images Appear in Arabic Language Media Following Trump Action on Jerusalem

New York, NY,  Anti-Semitism has emerged in forms both subtle and overt at anti-Israel rallies taking place globally in response to President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem last week, according to a new analysis by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ADL experts are monitoring incidents globally and in the United States. While there have been serious incidents overseas, including the firebombing of Jewish community sites in Sweden and hate-filled remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, several protests in the United States have been marred by anti-Semitic chants and expressions as well.

Virulent anti-Israel protests were held in more than a dozen cities across the U.S. last weekend. Many of the demonstrations were marked by extreme anti-Israel and anti-Zionist messages, with some denying Israel’s right to exist and others supporting resistance by any means. In New York City, chants in Times Square of “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return,” recalled a 7th century battle that ended in a massacre of Jews.

In the Middle East and Europe, protests and riots broke out in major capitals. Further escalating tensions, President Erdogan vowed to use “all means to fight” against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem and called Israel a “terrorist state” that “kills children.”

The League also voiced concern after a series of anti-Semitic caricatures appeared in Arabic language media across the Muslim and Arab world. An ADL survey of a dozen cartoons appearing in newspapers and websites across the Arab world shows that the Jerusalem decision is being characterized in deeply anti-Semitic terms. ADL has raised the issue of this most recent collection of anti-Semitic cartoons with members of Congress.

“Our concern is that the anti-Semitic expressions we’ve seen overseas and in the United States could escalate,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “While people have every right to voice opposition to President Trump’s position on Jerusalem, anti-Semitism as a response is completely unacceptable. This is especially true of world leaders and those Arab media outlets that are aiding and abetting the incitement by evoking dangerous anti-Semitic themes and conspiracy theories.”

ADL has a team of staffers in Israel and in the U.S. who monitor media across the Middle East for anti-Semitism. In the latest survey, taken in the days following President Trump’s announcement last week, viciously anti-Semitic cartoons have appeared in widely read Arab media publications in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait and the United Kingdom. The full survey is available on the League’s website.

Some of the cartoons suggest that Israel controls U.S. foreign policy, depicting President Trump as a puppet or pawn of the Israeli prime minister, while others evoke classic anti-Semitic themes, with Jews stereotypically depicted with large noses, pointed teeth and large ears. Several cartoons suggest that Israel and the U.S. are conspiring to wrest control of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem away from Muslims.

PM Netanyahu's remarks at the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels

​Europe and Israel are important partners in three main ​areas: in the area of security, in the area of prosperity, in the area of peace. In security, Israeli intelligence has prevented dozens of terrorist attacks, many of them on European soil, and I think countless lives have been saved as a result of this cooperation.​​

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 11 December 2017), at the European Council headquarters in Brussels was welcomed by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and made the following remarks:
"I thank you for this invitation, Federica, and also to the Government of Lithuania. It's a pleasure to be here. Europe and Israel are important partners in three main areas: in the area of security, in the area of prosperity, in the area of peace. In security, Israeli intelligence has prevented dozens of terrorist attacks, many of them on European soil, and I think countless lives have been saved as a result of this cooperation that is well known to the security services of many European governments.
We'll continue to do so as part of our common battle against terrorism. Equally, I think that the greatest problem facing Europe is the flow of people who are escaping the battle-torn areas in the Middle East, and the Middle East is under threat, both of ISIS, militant Islam of the Sunni variety, and militant Islam of the Shiite variety, led by Iran. Israel is the strongest power in the Middle East that is preventing the spread of militant Islam, not only preventing ISIS attacks in Europe, but also preventing the collapse of many parts of the Middle East adjacent to Israel that would otherwise be taken over by these militant Islamists, driving many, many, many millions into Europe. So, obviously we do so to protect ourselves, but in so doing, I believe that Israel serves a very important security function for the people of Europe in ways that are not always understood, but increasingly are appreciated by the relevant governments.
The second point is prosperity. We are in a revolution, a great revolution in the world. The future belongs to those who innovate. Ten years ago, the ten leading companies in the world were five energy companies, one IT. In a brief span of a decade, that's been completely reversed—five IT companies are now in the top ten, one energy company left, which went from number one to number five. The revolution is big data, artificial intelligence, connectivity—the net. New industries are created out of thin air. Israel has now a car industry. It never had. Europe has many car industries. Our car industry receives tens of billions of dollars of investment, including 15 billion a few months ago, when Intel bought an Israeli-based autonomous vehicle company. We didn't have this. We have 500 startups just in autonomous vehicles and Waze and crowdsourcing that are important, that are changing the face of transportation. I give this as one example.
Digital health—another example being developed in Israel; precision agriculture, IT, cyber—Israel now has received 20% of the global private investment in cybersecurity. Can we live without cybersecurity? Can you protect your bank accounts, you electricity grids, your civil aviation, your cars in the future? You need cybersecurity; Israel is a world partner. Therefore, the partnership between Israel and Europe is vital; in my opinion, it's important not only for us—clearly it is, I wouldn't be here otherwise—but I think it's important for Europe. And many, many countries around the world understand that, that Israel is the partner for innovation, and innovation is the future. So this is the second point.
We've also found gas, by the way, and we just concluded an MOU with some of the European countries: with Cyprus, Greece and Italy, it may be familiar to you. We're actually exploring the laying of a gas pipeline from our offshore gas fields up to Italy. This would be, I think, very important for Europe's economy in this way as well. Innovation, energy and every other way, we believe we are natural partners.
Third is peace. Israel has extended its hand to peace to our Palestinian neighbors for 100 years, well before there was a State of Israel and after it was established. And for 50 years, before there was a single settlement or a single issue of territory, we were being attacked constantly.
We were attacked not because of this or that piece of territory, but of the idea of any territory, that there would be a Jewish state, a nation-state for the Jewish people in any boundary was rejected by our neighbors. This is what led to the conflict, and this is what continues the conflict. You see that in the continuous denial, unfortunately, by the Palestinians of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and the denial of our history. For 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people, from the time… established by King David, well documented in the history of the Bible and the aftermath, when Jews in the ghettos of Europe whispered, "Next year in Jerusalem, next year in Jerusalem." We never lost that connection. Yet that connection is denied in UN forums, in UNESCO, in laughable decisions that seek to deny history and seek to deny historical truth. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for the last 70 years. I think what President Trump has done is put facts squarely on the table. Peace is based on reality. Peace is based on recognizing reality, and I think the fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital is clearly evident to all of you who visit Israel, see where the seat of our parliament, our Knesset is, the seat of our government, my office, the President's office, the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is Israel's capital. No one can deny. It doesn't obviate peace; it makes peace possible, because recognizing reality is the substance of peace, it's the foundation of it.
There is now an effort underway to bring forward a new peace proposal by the American administration. I think we should give peace a change. I think we should see what is presented and see if we can advance this peace. But if we have to begin it, I would say it's one place: recognize the Jewish state. It's always been about the Jewish state. And it's time that the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and also recognize the fact that it has a capital. It's called Jerusalem. I believe that even though we don't have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future. I believe that all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.
So I thank you for this opportunity to present these views, which I'm sure will engage in hardy discussion with the foreign ministers. It's a valuable opportunity, an important one. Europe is important, that's why I'm here."

PM Netanyahu attends MFA Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony

​A great light emanates from the State of Israel. It spreads the light of progress, humanity, innovation and hope. I rely on you, Foreign Ministry personnel, our ambassadors, representatives and employees around the world who spread this great light.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Tuesday, 12 December 2017), at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, participated in a video conference in which they lit the first Chanukah candle together with Foreign Ministry personnel at the legations in the US (Miami), Brazil, Sweden (Stockholm),Turkey (Ankara), India (Mumbai), South Africa (Pretoria), Georgia (Tbilisi) and Ukraine (Kiev).

Prime Minister Netanyahu (translated from the Hebrew):

"First of all, a happy holiday to everyone, especially the children and – of course – the parents, our dedicated envoys around the world. Today we light the first Chanukah candle and recall the heroism of the Maccabees. We also remember, and do not forget for a moment the heroism of the modern Maccabees, the soldiers of the IDF who stand guard. Unfortunately, from time to time, some fall in the line of duty. This includes the latest casualty, Sgt. Ron Kokia, who fell just a few days ago. We also recall the heroism of security guard Asher Almaliakh for whom we are all praying and the missing soldiers that are obligated bring home, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, and also our civilians. I met with the family of Avra Mengistu and promised them that we would bring him and our boys home.

A great light emanates from the State of Israel. It is different, different from the region. It is different from very cruel enemies. It spreads the light of progress, humanity, innovation and hope. I rely on you, Foreign Ministry personnel, our ambassadors, representatives and employees around the world who spread this great light. I very much appreciate your work. Last year, I have not been in every country yet, I was in Tbilisi once but we have not gone there the second time around. We were on every continent and I appreciate and esteem the important work that you are doing. There is a very great change in the international standing of the State of Israel. Many countries understand that we are spreading light unto the nations – in our search and rescue missions and in health, agriculture, water and all the important fields, to ensure a good and safe life to millions of people around the world. Therefore, I would like to thank you for your continuing activity and I also look forward to seeing all of you if not in Israel then in your countries, even though our true country is Israel. It is the true country for all of us.

This year we are lighting Chanukah candles at a very happy event because a few days ago US President Donald Trump made an historic statement that may be put on par with the Balfour Declaration and President Truman's statement. These are etched in history; they emphasize our ties to our land and our city.

We are certainly looking forward to US Vice President Michael Pence's visit next week and we understand that, as I said in Europe, there is no substitute to US leadership in the world and the region and there is no substitute to the positive role that the US plays in leading the peace process. But above all there is no substitute to the vitality of Israel and the spirit that beats within it, the spirit of the Maccabees. I would like to bless you all in this spirit and wish you a happy Chanukah! Happy Chanukah!

There is one thing that Israeli innovation has not yet achieved and this is a national goal. I see this as a strategic goal, to make a good and tasty jelly donut that is light in calories! [English:] Haven't the Jewish people suffered enough?"

Prime Minister Netanyahu added in English:

"This is a special Chanukah celebration. It comes a few days after President Trump’s historic declaration and his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. We look forward to receiving Vice President Mike Pence here, and we also call on all other nations to recognize this historic fact of Jerusalem’s place in Jewish history and in Israel’s history and to move their embassies here. It will cut driving time from Tel Aviv too.

I would say that there is no substitute for American leadership worldwide, in the Middle East, and there is no substitute for America’s leadership in leading the peace process. That’s something that I say here and I just said in Brussels in front of over twenty foreign ministers. It is true. Chag Sameach."
___

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended the candle lighting ceremony at the embassy in Tbilisi and wished Israel a happy holiday.

The ambassadors wished everyone a happy holiday and lit the first Chanukah candle.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and ADL Announce Lab to Engineer New Solutions to Stop Cyberhate

New York, NY -  Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and other leading technology companies are joining with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism and hate of all kinds, to establish a Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab to counter the growing amount of hate speech online. Engaging engineers and focused on technical solutions, the companies and ADL will collaborate to exchange ideas, investigate areas of common risk and opportunity, and seek to devise new approaches to identify and address cyberhate.
This strategy builds on recent models where leading companies have cooperated on large-scale issues of the public interest, such as addressing terrorism content online, by leveraging their collective resources and ideas. Each company will draw on these best practices to inform its approach to hate speech online. ADL will convene, advise on policy considerations, and offer insight on how hate and extremist content manifests – and constantly evolves – online.
“For all its promise, the Internet unfortunately has become a space where perpetrators of hate reach new recruits, harass and intimidate minorities, and spew hateful ideologies,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “As some of the most popular platforms, these companies have an added responsibility to do everything within their power to stop hate from flourishing on their watch. ADL has worked in partnership with leading technology companies for many years, and we look forward to tackling this pressing challenge together.”
The initiative will be managed by ADL’s Center for Technology and Society in Silicon Valley, which leads cyberhate issues and advocacy for the League.
“Building a global community that is safe and supportive means engineering new solutions to solve new problems,” said Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook. “We work hard to create a safe environment on Facebook, which is why we're excited to be expanding upon our partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to establish a Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab. Along with other tech companies, some of the best minds in engineering will work alongside the ADL, an organization with a long track record of fighting bigotry and defending free expression, to help us rise to the occasion.”
“We believe meaningful progress in safety measures and policies can best be informed in partnership with others, so we’ll continue to collaborate with leading advocacy organizations, like ADL, to work towards solutions,” said Colin Crowell, VP of public policy and philanthropy at Twitter. “We are committed to making the Twitter experience safe, secure, and enjoyable for everyone."
The Anti-Defamation League has been working with leading technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter to address the problem of online hate while at the same time respecting free speech. Together, ADL and the companies have devised and implemented strategies to counter the proliferation of hate speech online.
This collaborative work led to ADL’s 2014 Best Practices for Challenging Cyberhate, which established guidelines for the tech industry to help prevent the spread of online hate speech.
Since Greenblatt became CEO in July 2015, ADL’s focus on combatting cyber hate has expanded dramatically. This new lab partnership is the organization’s latest advancement in its effort to address the cutting-edge of hate in America today.

ADL to Challenge Justice Department Religious Liberty Guidance Calls it a “Roadmap for Discrimination”

New York, NY- - The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep concern about guidance issued by the Department of Justice on how the Trump Administration should interpret religious liberty protections in federal law.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
This is a destructive and discriminatory policy that is using religious beliefs as an excuse to weaken anti-discrimination laws and to infringe on the rights of religious minorities, women, and LGBT persons. The government should not be in the business of sanctioning discrimination in the name of religion. ADL will continue to stand up against government-funded religious discrimination in Congress, in federal agencies, and in the courts.
ADL believes that true religious freedom is best achieved when all individuals are able to practice their faith or choose not to observe any faith; when government neutrally accommodates religion, but does not favor any particular religion; and when religious belief is not used to harm or infringe on the rights of others through government action or others in the public marketplace.
The Department of Justice’s twenty-five page memo, sent to all federal agencies, contains twenty principles of religious liberty and accompanying interpretations of constitutional and federal statutory protection for religious liberty that violate each of these fundamental principles.
The bottom line is this: the government should not sanction discrimination in the name of religion and should not fund it.
While the memo contains useful affirmations for accommodating religious practice in the military and the federal workforce, the overarching impact of the guidance is to create a deeply-problematic roadmap for discrimination against religious minorities, LGBT people, and women – including hiring and firing on the basis of religion, religious practice in government-funded jobs, and restrictions on women’s equality and reproductive freedoms. Indeed, this guidance is the basis for an interim Department of Health and Human Services regulation that effectively eviscerates the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate by allowing any employer to opt out of this requirement based on a religious or moral objective. The memo also opens the door to proselytizing of beneficiaries in federally-funded social welfare programs
Moreover, the DOJ guidance gives short shrift – just a passing reference – to the government duty to avoid endorsing a particular religion or religious belief.
There is much that can be done to oppose the memorandum. The Justice Department guidance is just that – guidance for the federal government agencies. It does not change current law and it is not binding on federal courts and state governments, legislatures, or courts.
ADL will challenge the new contraceptive mandate rule by submitting comments to the Department of Health and Human Services and look to file a legal brief in one of three lawsuits already filed against the rule. And we will continue to oppose any other effort to permit government-funded or sanctioned religious discrimination in Congress, in federal agencies, and in the courts.
No American should be treated like second-class citizens due to their religious beliefs and practices, or who they love.

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