According to a letter published in the March 16, 1996 edition of The New York Times, written by American-Jewish Trotskyite and anti-Zionist author Lenni Brenner, Perlmutter once wrote:
"I cannot ignore the fact that the [African National] Congress's literature is anti-Israel, highly sympathetic to the P.L.O. cause and tolerant of cooperation with the South African Communist Party.
"The lesson for us as Jews is not to engage our emotions in indignation about evil empires like South Africa. I think we too have a responsibility to determine whether or not that which stands in line to replace a current regime is better for the Jews or worse for the Jews."
'Anti-Zionism Doesn't Equal Anti-Semitism,' Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, March 16, 1996
Brenner doesn't cite a source in his letter for this quote, he just states that Perlmutter had "written about why the organization (ADL) would not join the group Trans-Africa in its demonstrations against apartheid." In Brenner's article 'The Black Civil Rights Movement And Zionism,' which was written in 2010 or later, he includes the quote again, and this time cites a source—his letter in the NYT!