The national director of the Anti-Defamation League said Friday (Oct. 27) that dialogue with moderate Muslims is a “pipe dream” because “there’s nobody to talk to.”

The comment by the ADL’s Abraham Foxman came after a challenge to Foxman’s keynote address at the ADL’s annual meeting in Atlanta. Foxman spoke about the dangers of Islamic extremism and, in particular, a nuclear Iran threats that he said the world has appeased as it did with Nazi Germany.

After the speech, Seymour Reich, president of the Israel Policy Forum, a think tank that urges U.S. involvement in brokering Arab-Israeli peace, pressed Foxman to focus more on finding moderate Muslims with whom to dialogue.

“There’s nobody to talk to yet,” Foxman replied.

The ADL conditions dialogue with Muslim groups on their rejection of terrorism in all cases. But Foxman said he has yet to find one group to accept those terms.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called the charge “nonsense.”

CAIR has condemned terrorism “every which way from Sunday,” Hooper said in a phone interview, pointing to the group’s condemnation of attacks in Tel Aviv and its special anti-terrorism campaign, “Not in the Name of Islam.”

Hooper said the ADL defines moderation by a pro-Israel litmus test that requires “turning a blind eye toward the brutality of the Israeli occupation” that no mainstream Muslim group can pass.

“To us, that’s not moderation. That’s selling out the cause of human rights and justice in order to be accepted.”


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