Mark Lilla and Richard Sennett in the New York Review of Books:
To the Editors:
The following letter was sent to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, regarding the ADL’s role in the cancellation of Professor Tony Judt’s scheduled lecture at the Polish Consulate of New York in October. Given the attention this affair has received in the press, and the important principles at stake, we thought this document might be of interest to your readers.
After sending the letter we received a reply from Mr. Foxman, in which he proposed a private meeting to discuss the matter. We responded that, given the importance of the issues, and the fact that providing a public forum for discussing them was precisely the matter in dispute, we would be publishing the letter in The New York Review of Books and invited him to reply in your pages, should he wish to.
Shortly after receiving Mr. Foxman’s reply we then received a letter from Patricia S. Huntington, of Network 20/20, the organization that originally issued the invitation to Professor Judt. She now informs us that she is requesting a retraction from The New York Sun and The Jewish Week, disavowing statements she apparently made to those papers about the ADL having exerted pressure on the Polish Consulate to cancel the talk.
However, we have in our possession earlier correspondence from her that states unequivocally that, in her words, “what I said is accurately quoted in the NY Sun article of October 4” (e-mail correspondence to Mark Lilla, October 6).