When Abraham Foxman of Bergen County retired as head of the Anti-Defamation League in July, 50 years after he began he work there, is seemed unlikely that he’d stay retired for long.
Mr. Foxman is about to begin his next act — although not as a full-time employee. He will be a distinguished nonresident fellow at a think tank, the Tel-Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies.
He’s excited. “It will afford me not only an opportunity to go to Israel more frequently, but to do so for purposes of interaction with Israeli personalities — scholars, opinion molders — and share ideas about issues,” he said.
Exactly what does the new job entail? “I don’t know yet!” Mr. Foxman said. “I’ll find out!
“I will be speaking, writing, and working on research with some of their scholars,” he added. He will be a presence at an upcoming conference, both as a presenter and as a participant; he’ll also take part in INSS conferences in the United States.
The institute is a think tank, founded in 2006. According to its website, it “launches and engages in innovative, relevant, high-quality research that shapes the public discourse of issues on Israel’s national security agenda, and provides policy analysis and recommendations to decision makers, public leaders, and the strategic community, both in Israel and abroad.”
“It is focused primarily on security issues in Israel and on international security issues,” Mr. Foxman said. “Part of Israel’s security issues is the global Jewish community, the diaspora community, and particularly the American Jewish community, because we are such a large part of Israel’s security assets.
“Israel also believes — and legitimately so — that as the Jewish state it has a responsibility to stand against anti-Semitism around the world. These are also issues we will be dealing with.”
The organization is headed by Amos Yadlin, “who is one of the most respected strategic thinkers in Israel,” Mr. Foxman said. Mr. Yadlin is a retired IDF major general. “He was one of the guys who flew to the Iraqi nuclear reactor.” That was the Osirak nuclear reactor, which an Israeli strike, called Operation Opera, destroyed in 1981.
“I am looking forward to working with him,” Mr. Foxman said. “It will be a special treat.”
Mr. Yadlin returned the compliment. “I’ve always seen Abe as an undeclared leader of the American Jewish community, and a leading global figure on matters of human dignity and moral conduct,” he said. “His broad array of relationships, which includes senior government officials in the United States, senior religious officials a the Vatican, and heads of state from around the world, will greatly strengthen our ability to engage in and promote vital public policy. He brings to INSS a battle-tested toolbox for countering anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Israeli organizations.”
JTA Wire Service contributed to this report.