TAAF: Drop the ADL! Community Letter

Board of Directors
The Asian American Foundation
Attention: Joseph Bae, Norman Chen, Jonathan Greenblatt, Li Lu, 
Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Joe Tsai, Jerry Yang, Peng Zhao

An Open Letter to The Asian American Foundation

We recognize The Asian American Foundation’s leadership as one of the only Asian-led philanthropic organizations that convenes, incubates and connects local organizations. However, TAAF has received funding and thought leadership from Zionist CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, since its founding in 2021. As partners and members of the Asian American community, we are calling on TAAF to formally end its relationship with Jonathan Greenblatt and remove him from the TAAF Board of Directors. 

If we are to truly acknowledge and represent the Asian American & Pacific Islander community’s diversity, then we must also fight to protect the human rights of Muslims and Palestinians. Palestinians have faced an unprecedented amount of Islamophobic attacks since October 7. Jonathan Greenblatt is leading the charge in the ADL’s anti-Palestinian smear campaign; on March 29, he compared the Palestinian keffiyeh to a swastika, inciting violence. The ADL and Greenblatt are architects of dangerous, divisive policies and harmful disinformation, and their continued leadership in our community spaces will allow them to harm social justice movements. 

We are troubled by TAAF having the ADL’s leader on its Board of Directors while remaining silent on Palestine. We are six months into a genocide that has taken the lives of 33,000 Palestinians and counting, and the ADL has only escalated its attacks on our campuses, community organizations and our campaigns.

On April 15, over 60 Muslim, Arab, Palestinian and allied groups issued a joint statement condemning the ADL and Greenblatt for their pattern of enabling anti-Palestinian hate and endangering Americans who support their human rights. We are joining the call to say NO to the ADL as a partner in our communities, organizations, and movements.

Jonathan Greenblatt has a well documented history of harmful behavior:

The Anti-Defamation League has been causing irreparable harm by dividing our communities:

For further information on the ADL’s role in suppressing movements, supporting anti-semitic and right wing influencers, as well as their repression of Muslim-led activism, read this primer by the #DropTheADL campaign, which is widely supported by national movement leaders and features extensive documentation. 

Join us in taking a principled stance that brings Asian Americans under a united front against all forms of hate.

We demand The Asian American Foundation:

  • Formally end its relationship with Jonathan Greenblatt and remove him from its Board of Directors
  • Remove Jonathan Greenblatt from its list of co-hosts at the TAAF Awards Dinner in May during AANHPI Heritage Month 
  • Cease any working relationships and partnerships with the Anti-Defamation League and any of its staff or representatives
  • Renew the TAAF commitment to support Muslim and Asian American leadership working to combat disinformation, hate, and violence with inclusivity and integrity 

Yours in community,

17 WULP United – Staff Union for Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and Stop AAPI Hate
18 Million Rising (18MR)
ACE Collaborative
Action Center for Race and the Economy (ACRE)
Adalah Justice Project
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA)
Amado Khaya Initiative
Angry Asian Womxn
APEX Express
API Equality LA
Asians 4 Palestine NYC
Arab American Association of NY
Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (AAAJ – Atlanta)
Asian American Advocacy Fund (AAAF)
Asian American Feminist Collective (AAFC)
Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW)
Asian Americans United (AAU)
Asian Minnesotans for Liberation (AML)
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) 
Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC)
CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
CAIR San Francisco Bay Area
CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
Coalition of Asian American Pacific Islander Churches – Chicago
Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Churches – Minnesota & Wisconsin
Cut Fruit Collective
Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM) 
Equality Labs
Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ)
Freedom Inc.
GAPIMNY—Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders
Grassroots Asians Rising (GAR)
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)
Hate Is A Virus
Hindus for Human Rights
Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP)
Laal NYC
Lavender Phoenix
Liyang Network USA
Mekong NYC
Minnesota8 (MN8)
Muslims for Just Futures
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) Staff Union
Nikkei Resisters
Nikkei 4 Palestine Collective
Nikkei Uprising
No Separate Justice
OPAWL – Building AAPI Feminist Leadership
Providence Youth Student Movement
Queer Crescent
Red Canary Song
Sapna NYC
Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN)
Seeding Change
South Asian Network
Table San Diego
Teaching Palestine: Pedagogical Praxis and the Indivisibility of Justice
The Rising Majority
The W.O.W. Project
Tuesday Night Project
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)
VietUnity – Bay Area
Vigilant Love
Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project
Yellow Chair Collective

Active Campaigns

  • Graphic says "Asian Americans say no to Zionism and Islamophobia! - 70+ Asian American and allied organizations tell The Asian American Foundation: Drop Jonathan Greenblatt! The ADL is not an ally to Asian American communities, organizations, and movements."

    Say NO to Zionism and Islamophobia!

    Say NO to Zionism and Islamophobia! 70+ Asian American and allied organizations tell The Asian American Foundation: Drop Jonathan Greenblatt! The ADL is NOT AN ALLY to Asian American communities, organizations, and movements.
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