September 19, 2018

Congressman With Ties to Farrakhan Faces Allegations of Abuse

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who has previously come under fire for his past associations with Louis Farrakhan, is now facing allegations of abuse.

The allegation first came to light from Austin Monahan, the son of Karen Monahan, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend and an organizer for the Sierra Club. Austin wrote on Facebook that he and his brother “knew that something wasn’t right” with their mother after she and Ellison ended a lengthy relationship. Their mother insisted she was fine and was merely stressed.

But Austin claims he found a video on his mother’s computer that shows Ellison “dragging my mama off the bed by her feet, screaming calling her a ‘f*cking b*tch.’” Subsequent texts from Ellison to his mother “were mixed with him telling my mom he wanted her back, he missed her, he knew he f*cked up and we wished he could do things different” while other times he would “bully her and threaten her if she went public.”

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reviewed text messages between Karen Monahan and Ellison; while none of them showed any abuse from Ellison, Monahan did send him a text in December 2017 about “the video I have of you trying to drag me off the bed,” which Ellison never responded to. Monahan also texted Ellison about her writing about their relationship, prompting Ellison to respond, “Horrible attack on my privacy, unreal.”

CNN was able to find three friends of Monahan who claim she told them about he alleged incident. However, Monahan told CNN that she couldn’t find the video of the alleged incident; she also told MPR that she wouldn’t the release the video at all.

“It sets the expectation for survivors of all kinds of forms of abuse, whether it be abuse toward women, abuse from police officers, abuse from other people in power, to have to be the ones, like I’m doing right now, to show and prove their stories,” Monahan said. “It’s feeding into that.”

Ellison has denied Monahan’s allegation.

“Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being,” Ellison said. “This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false.”

Ellison’s ex-wife, Kim Ellison, is defending Ellison.

“I want members of our community to know that the behavior described does not match the character of the Keith I know,” Kim wrote in an emailed statement to reporters.

But Karen Monahan isn’t the only former girlfriend of Ellison’s to have alleged abuse. Amy L. Alexander, who said she a “hot and cold romance” with Ellison while he was married, wrote in The Wright County Republican in 2006 that Ellison “belittled me about my weight and constantly criticized my every word and action.”

A couple years later, Alexander thought she and Ellison had smoothed things over when Ellison refused to give her a job at an environmental activist group, calling her a “b*tch” and lamenting that he couldn’t “control you anymore.”

One day, Ellison allegedly stormed into Alexander’s house in order to “quiet” her.

“He berated me,” Alexander wrote. “He grabbed me and pushed me out of the way. I was terrified. I called the police. As he fled he broke my screen door. I have never been so scared.”

Ellison proceeded to launch “a smear campaign” against her, Alexander alleged, even going as far as obtaining a restraining order against her.

Kudos to Netflix For Dropping Farrakhan ‘Documentary’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Those who create the magic that is Hollywood are currently confronting a multitude of challenges, from new technologies to mega-mergers to working with partners from cultures far different than our own. Another challenge facing studios, content creators and social media companies is how to navigate the sometimes thin line between freedom of speech and dangerous hate that should not be tolerated. For that reason, some were concerned this week by Netflix’s eleventh-hour decision not to stream a 2013 film about Louis Farrakhan that was produced by his son. That wasn’t the case, however, for us at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

We are convinced that Netflix did the right thing, and we thank them for doing it. Here’s why.

In 1997, Simon Wiesenthal, the late heroic Nazi hunter, agreed to bestow his name on our new institution with one caveat: You must fight the new haters with the same vigor that I pursue the old ones. For 40 years, we have strived to live up to our end of the deal, as haters have come in and out of the picture. There were aging Nazi criminals and, since the 1978 Skokie March, young (neo) Nazis. There was state-sponsored anti-Semitism from the now-defunct Soviet Union, and genocidal anti-Semitism from today’s Ayatollahs in Iran. And, in the 1980s, bigots spread their message by putting flyers under windshield wipers, while bigots today do so via social media.

Over the years, one man, the “honorable” Rev. Farrakhan, has never deviated from his hate. In 1985, his full-blown demagogic attack at the Forum, before a roaring crowd of 14,000, led Hollywood icon and founding Simon Wiesenthal Center Board member, Frank Sinatra, to express his concerns to us about Farrakhan’s bigotry and urge us to “keep fighting!”

Throughout the decades, the Center protested Farrakhan’s attacks against Jews, Judaism, gays and immigrants. We also placed him on our Top 10 Anti-Semites List and released a study that debunked his Big-Lie that Jews played a central role in slave trade in the 19th century. But Rev. Farrakhan’s charisma and message of Black empowerment has caused some to overlook his decades-long anti-Semitic and homophobic demagoguery.

Here, in his own words from 1984 to 2018, is the real Louis Farrakhan.

In 1984, Farrakhan labeled Judaism a “gutter religion,” later insisting that he meant to say “dirty religion.” That same year, Farrakhan repeatedly called Hitler “a great man”: “[T]he Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man. He wasn’t a great man for me as a black person, but he was a great German. Now, I’m not proud of Hitler’s evils against Jewish people, but that’s a matter of record. He raised Germany up from nothing. Well, in a sense you could say there’s a similarity in that we are raising our people up from nothing.” (Source: Southern Poverty Law Center)

In 1985, before a crowd of 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden, Farrakhan threatened Jews, stating that if any harm befell him, “All of you will be killed outright!,” and adding, “You cannot say ‘Never again’ to God because when he puts you in the oven, never again don’t mean a damn thing.’’

That same year, while speaking at the Los Angeles Forum before 14,000 people, Farrakhan denounced Israel as a “wicked hypocrisy” and then taunted, “Don’t push your six million down our throats when we lost 100 million (to slavery).” In his divisive speech, he also mocked and derided Los Angeles’ first African American mayor, Tom Bradley, a moderate political leader and a symbol of tolerance and inclusion.

In 1996, in a Saviours’ Day speech in Chicago, Farrakhan addressed Jews: “You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.”

A decade later, at the same gathering, he said: “These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength. … It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It’s the wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!”

And six years later, once again in Chicago on Saviours’ Day, he asserted: “In 100 years, they control movies, television, recording, publishing, commerce, radio, they own it all. Magazines. Why do you want all, everything?”

That same year, as part of his Holy Day of Atonement Keynote Address in Chicago, he spewed, “Now, you know I’m going to be lambasted and called anti-Semitic… They’ll say Farrakhan was up to his old canards; he said Jews control Hollywood. Well, they said it themselves! Jews control the media. They said it themselves! Jews and some gentiles control the banking industry, international banks. They do! In Washington, right next to the Holocaust Museum, is the Federal Reserve, where they print the money. Is that an accident?”

A year later, he was at it again, stating, as part of his lecture series The Time and What Must Be Done, Part 20: Making Satan Known, “The Jewish media has normalized sexual degeneracy, profanity and all kinds of sin.”

This year, Twitter temporarily removed Farrakhan from its platform after a speech in which he claimed, the Jerusalem Post reported, that Hollywood’s Jews have forced aspiring actors into anal sex to get parts, and that former president Barack Obama was under “under Jewish influence” when he advocated for same-sex marriage, something which he deemed “Satanic.” The 85-year-old asked a cheering audience, “I wonder, will you recognize Satan? I wonder if you will see the satanic Jew and the synagogue of Satan… because Satan has deceived the whole world.”

Also this year, he launched a new anti-Semitic attack in Chicago: “Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men… White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled a cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.”

Anti-Semitism and bigotry are more widespread today than they have been at any time since the Holocaust some 75 years ago. This is in large part thanks to demagogues like Louis Farrakhan. Netflix should be applauded for not availing its immense platform to America’s foremost merchant of hate.


Rabbi Marvin Hier is the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a two-time Academy Award winner and the only Rabbi who is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Netflix Claims Farrakhan Documentary Won’t Be Released, Blames ‘Internal Miscommunication’

Photo from Flickr.

Netflix has announced that a documentary of Louis Farrakhan will not be released on their platform, stating that indications to the contrary were due to an “internal miscommunication.”

Farrakhan tweeted that on July 30 that the documentary would air on Netflix on August 1, although that tweet has since been deleted. Some lists of upcoming releases on Netflix showed the documentary as appearing

“This film will not be released on Netflix,” a Netflix spokesperson told Fox News on July 31. “Due to an internal miscommunication, it appeared to be scheduled for release on Netflix, but it is not. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.”

Not everyone is buying Netflix’s explanation.

“Clearly, someone at Netflix thought they were going to stream this starting today,” Hot Air blogger John Sexton wrote on August 1. “Someone also told Farrakhan it was a done deal which is why he was promoting it. I wonder if that’s what killed it.”

Sexton added, “Farrakhan’s teasing of the show on Twitter and the subsequent questions posed to Netflix by Fox News and others probably led someone higher up in the company to realize they were about to make a big mistake.”

The documentary, titled “The Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan: My Life’s Journey Through Music,” which was produced by Farrakhan’s son Joshua in 2013 and features musicians like Stephanie Mills and Stevie Wonder, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The documentary was shown to attendees at Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day Convention in 2014.

Farrakhan has come under public scrutiny for his ties to certain Democrats and progressive leaders as well as his litany of anti-Semitic statements.

Netflix to Launch Documentary On Farrakhan

Screenshot from Twitter.

Update: On July 31, Netflix said the film will not be released on Netflix and there was an internal miscommunication. More information coming.

Netflix will be releasing a documentary in August about Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks.

Farrakhan announced the documentary’s release in a tweet, stating: “On August 1st, watch the premiere of my music documentary “My Life’s Journey Through Music” on @netflix.”

The documentary, titled “The Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan: My Life’s Journey Through Music,” was produced by Farrakhan’s son in 2014 and discusses Farrakhan’s life and career.

Farrakhan has been in the news in recent months due to his ties to Democratic representatives like Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Danny Davis (D-IL) as well as progressive activists like Women’s March Board co-president Tamika Mallory.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):

“Farrakhan has embarked on a wide-ranging anti-Jewish campaign, which has featured some of the most hateful speeches of his career.  He has repeatedly alleged that the Jewish people were responsible for the slave trade as well as the 9/11 attacks, and that they continue conspire to control the government, the media, Hollywood, and various Black individuals and organizations.”

The ADL also noted that Farrakhan has met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on multiple occasions.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement sent to the Journal, “We hope that Netflix is planning to afford the opportunity to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other critics  to share with Netflix viewers Farrakhan’s six decades long history of bigotry and anti-Semitism.”

Netflix has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment.

CA Dem State Assembly Candidate Under Fire for Praising Farrakhan and Other Anti-Israel Comments

Screenshot from Facebook.

Maria Estrada, who is running in the for state assembly in Assembly District 63 of southeastern Los Angeles, is under fire from Jewish organizations for her praise of Farrakhan and other anti-Semitic comments.

The Progressive Zionists of the California Democratic Party wrote in a Facebook post about how Estrada once praised Farrakhan’s sermons on Facebook and compared Israel to the Nazis.

“On May 10, 2017 she posted a cartoon replacing the Magen David on the Israeli flag with the swastika of the Nazis, but the next day she apologized for her post,” the Progressive Zionists wrote. “However, on October 6, 2017 she claimed non-Jews could not be Zionists without being influenced by Jewish friends or loved ones. In this same exchange, she commented that she ‘enjoys listening to Farrakhan’s sermons’, as well as claiming Democrats turn a blind eye to Palestinians, and justify it by bringing up the Holocaust. As if what happened 70 years ago justifies what is happening now.’”

Farrakhan, of course, has a lengthy record of vile anti-Semitic comments, including referring to Jews as the “Synagogue of Satan” and promulgating the conspiracy theory that Israelis and Zionists were behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

When asked by The Forward about her praise of Farrakhan, Estrada used the “I am anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic” defense.

“Listening to Farrakhan doesn’t equate to being anti-Semitic,” Estrada said. “There is no doubt he is wrong on many issues, including Judaism. Listen to him speak on the American media, imperialism and several other issues.”

Additionally, on July 10 Estrada posted a screenshot of the definition of genocide while writing “#FreePalestine” on Facebook. She wrote in another comment, “The argument from Zionists is that the number of Palestinians has grown. Apparently they aren’t killing enough Palestinians for them to consider it a genocide.”

The Progressive Zionists have called on Estrada to drop out of the race.

“Maria Estrada’s repeated expressions of anti-Semitism disqualifies her from seeking public office,” they wrote. “We call on Maria Estrada to resign from this race, apologize for her blatant anti-Semitism, and take the necessary time to consider her harmful and hateful words.”

Other Jewish organizations have criticized Estrada’s statements.

“We are deeply disturbed by Maria Estrada’s comments praising Farrakhan, an avowed anti-Semite who leads a group that traffics in hate not just towards Jews but also the LGBTQ community,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Regional Director Amanda Susskind said in a statement sent to the Journal. “Despite his continuing popularity among his loyal followers, Farrakhan’s views about Jews put him far outside of the mainstream.  Such hatred should not be difficult to denounce. We hope that Ms. Estrada will denounce him for the bigot he has shown himself to be.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper and consultant Dr. Harold Brackman wrote in a July 10 Journal op-ed, “Like Farrakhan and other anti-Semites before him, Estrada has taken a page from Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish playbook and invoked ‘God’s Chosen People’ to justify her vilification of Jews, not just Zionists. She apparently took no notice that Farrakhan’s hateful dog whistle also transcends the racial chasm between Black Nationalists and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville this past August. Alt-right Charlottesville guru Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan, to work together toward ‘the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.’”

American Jewish Committee Director of Political Outreach Julie Rayman also rejected Estrada’s “anti-Zionism, not anti-Semitism” defense.

“The Israeli government’s policies, like the policies of any government, are of course subject to criticism,” Rayman said. “Yet the use of Nazi imagery and bigoted tropes against Jews crosses a line into something far more sinister. Ms. Estrada’s comments and posts should be condemned by all people of good will.”

Estrada has not responded to the Journal’s request for comment.

Estrada is currently part of a runoff election with incumbent Democrat Anthony Rendon, the Assembly speaker.

Farrakhan’s Bigotry Finds Traction Across the Political Spectrum

Photo from Twitter.

Louis Farrakhan, octogenarian leader of the unIslamic, anti-white Nation of Islam, has been active ever since the 1960s, sowing the seeds of racism, anti-Semitism and hate for our blessed American nation. So why worry about an aging bigot today? Suddenly, Farrakhan’s life’s work is paying off, winning accolades from the far right to the progressive left. Hatred is seeping into the mainstream of our political culture, not hidden in smoky backrooms or behind anonymous social media postings, but proudly touted on the internet and in interviews—a guaranteed path to gain name recognition, recruit voters and grab media attention.

Here are examples from the Republican side of the aisle:

· In California, John Fitzgerald, a proud Holocaust denier, captured 23 percent of the vote in the “open primary” in a California congressional district northeast of San Francisco. This made him the official GOP candidate and, initially, won him the automatic endorsement of the State Republican Party which inexplicably waited two months before it rescinded the endorsement. Among Fitzgerald’s eye-popping platform planks: endorsement of the Farrakhan’s scurrilous pseudo-history, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” falsely alleging that the tiny number of colonial Jewish merchants “dominated” the massive slave trade between Africa and the Americas.

· In Illinois, “The Land of Lincoln,” Arthur Jones, who boasts that he was once head of the American Nazi Party, ran unopposed and won a GOP congressional primary in a district including parts of the city of Chicago, defending the position that: “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.” Republican Governor Bruce Rauner hesitated before declaring that the GOP faithful should vote for anybody, even a Democrat, other than the Neo-Nazi Jones.

· In Wisconsin, in retiring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district, Holocaust denier Paul Nehlen vaulted to the front of would-be successors. Before Twitter suspended his account, Nehlen photoshopped an image of Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s biracial American bride with the face of Cheddar Man, the dark-skinned man supposed to be the first modern Briton.

Lest Democrats be complacent, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) not long ago said: “I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him. I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being.” Asked specifically about Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic statements, “Davis was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.” But then Davis backtracked—or sidestepped—stating that he would like to know what Farrakhan has said about Jews “recently.” Only belatedly did Davis criticize Farrakhan.

Congressman Davis is an old inner-city politician from Chicago. Even more disturbing was Farrakhan’s intergenerational political romance with Tamika Mallory, co-chair of January 2017’s Women’s March. Mallory, an avowed Farrakhan admirer, showed up at his recent annual Saviour’s Day Address and had her photo taken with him. Far from apologizing, she doubled down, proudly sharing her attendance on Instagram. She even likened Farrakhan to the crucified Jesus: “If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader! Study the Bible and u will find the similarities. Ostracizing, ridicule and rejection is a painful part of the process . . . but faith is the substance of things!”

In California, Maria Estrada, the Democratic candidate for State Assembly from Los Angeles, had this to say last year on Facebook: “Democrats turn a blind eye to the genocide against Palestinians and justify it by bringing up the Holocaust,” she wrote last year. “As if what happened 70 years ago justifies it. Anyone who believes they are one of ‘God’s chosen people’ automatically feels superior and justified in all they do. Religious fanaticism is used to justify apartheid and crimes against Palestinians and no one shuld be okay with it. #FreePalestine… It is extremely problematic when delegates are being flown to Tel Aviv by AIPAC, and even more problematic when Palestinian children are being arrested, taunted and murdered in the name of Zionism…  The complete denial and/or justification of what is occurring in Gaza in the name Zionism is hypocritical and inexcusable.” Estrada who absolved Hamas of any responsibility tweeted “I, for one, enjoy listening to Farrakhan’s sermons.”

Like Farrakhan and other anti-Semites before him, Estrada has taken a page from Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish playbook and invoked ‘God’s Chosen People’ to justify her vilification of Jews, not just Zionists. She apparently took no notice that Farrakhan’s hateful dog whistle also transcends the racial chasm between Black Nationalists and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville this past August. Alt-right Charlottesville guru Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan, to work together toward “the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.”

Fifty years ago, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired young people of all races to dream of a color blind America. Today, we are witness to bigots from the far Left and the far Right who praise Farrakhan, energized by his divisive demagoguery. These extremists are hard at work wending their way into the mainstream of our society.

Younger generations of Americans—Democrats, Republicans and everyone else in between—better wake up and decide whose vision will guide our nation in the 21st century.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Global Social Action director.

Dr. Harold Brackman is long-time consultant for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance and co-author of From Abraham to Obama: A History of Africans, African Americans, and Jews (Africa World Press, 2015).

Deputy DNC Chair Says Questions About Ties to Farrakhan ‘Offends Me’

Photo from Flickr.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair Democratic National Committee (DNC), said he was offended when he was confronted about his prior ties to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.

Ellison was asked by a Jewish student about the matter at an April event hosted by the Harvard Institute for Politics. Ellison responded to the question by downplaying the Nation of Islam’s influence.

“They don’t have any influence,” Ellison said. “Nobody listens to them. They don’t have any answers for anyone. Nobody’s paying any attention to them. I’m telling you, they’re not.”

Ellison proceeded to claim that efforts to tie him and others to Farrakhan are nothing more than “a smear.”

“It is frustrating to be pulled out and be in and it’s like it’s your daily moment to denounce anti-Semitism,” Ellison said. “We denounce it. We absolutely denounce it. We think it is reprehensible, murderous, and genocidal. And it offends me that anyone would insist that I do it one more time.”

Ellison also cited criticisms against the Congressional Black Caucus for their connections to Farrakhan as “offensive.”

“The Black Caucus has fought for justice more than any other caucus in the United States Congress, period, and that’s who is being questioned about whether we really stand against hatred,” Ellison said. “It’s offensive.”

Ellison was involved with the Nation of Islam for at least a decade – contradicting his claims that he was only involved with them for 18 months – and repeatedly defended Farrakhan from accusations of anti-Semitism under the bylines of “Keith Hakim” and “Keith X.” When Ellison ran for office in 2006, he claimed that he had renounced his past associations with Farrakhan, but he reportedly met with Farrakhan at least three times since he has been in Congress.

Scores of other congressional Democrats have ties to Farrakhan as well, including Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and James Clyburn (D-SC), as well three Women’s March leaders.

In addition to his ties to Farrakhan, Ellison has allegedly claimed that “Jews were themselves oppressors”, said that the 9/11 terror attacks were analogous to the Reichstag fire and defended Kwame Ture, also known as Stokely Carmichael, who once wrote, “The only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.” A donor to Ellison also reportedly called for Israelis to be bombed.

H/T: Daily Wire

The Golden Calf of Leftism

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, the Nation of Islam called the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) a “racist spy agency.” “Sisters” Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour bullied Starbucks into dropping the ADL from co-leading its diversity training. Students with Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine were arrested at an Israeli Independence Day celebration in New York City for setting an Israeli flag on fire and assaulting another student. And Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut called Muslim reformer Zuhdi Jasser “anti-Muslim.”

No one on the left had anything to say about any of this. Indeed, it was just another week in the descent of the left into tribal, anti-feminist, anti-Semitic illiberalism. Or more simply: #woke.
But it was not another week entirely. At the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 28, comedian Michelle Wolf’s venom-filled monologue was so egregious that a handful of “names” from the left, including two New York Times reporters, tweeted afterward their horror and embarrassment. Wolf had crossed a line, creating a crack in the status-obsessed leftist orthodoxy.

Will it shatter from this? Doubtful. The left still hasn’t processed the fact that President Donald Trump didn’t cause the left to go off the deep end into this intolerant groupthink. Trump is a result of the left having already gone off this cliff. The most glaring example: the disallowance of any criticism of former President Barack Obama, no matter how respectfully it was voiced.

Yes, of course, the right has its own version of this. The right’s thought police won’t allow you to criticize Trump’s vulgar, dehumanizing language. It won’t allow you to say that many Americans who own guns are obsessed with them in a disturbing way. That building a wall on the United States’ southern border is not the most rational idea.

But I don’t think it’s going out on a limb here to say that the number of extremists on the right are far fewer than those on the left, that most people who still consider themselves proud members of the Democratic Party have bought into this leftist orthodoxy to some extent.

Today’s golden calf is the anti-Semitic, illiberal propaganda. 

Otherwise, how to explain the fact that Mallory and Sarsour remain unscathed — even after showing the world their bigoted, illiberal agendas? That criticizing them — as the ADL did — will just get you thrown to the ground and stomped on by every virtue signaler needing a status boost? That thousands of professors have remained silent while their universities have turned into propaganda machines, where freedom of speech is considered fascist?

The genius of classical liberalism is that it can instantaneously call the bluff of hypocrites on both the left and the right. It’s like a mirror to your political soul.

If you truly are a racist, classical liberalism will out you in a second. But it will also out you if you don’t believe in freedom of speech or if you think journalists or professors should be biased. And it will most especially out you if your compassion is merely a show for status. Maybe this is why classical liberalism is so hated by many on the left today, where protecting one’s status is far more important than standing up for liberal principles.

I have come to think of the election of Trump as an act of God, a Biblical act meant to teach all of us a lesson. Kind of like Moses throwing the Ten Commandments to the ground after descending from Mount Sinai and seeing the golden calf.

Throughout history, each and every time the left has gotten off the classical liberal path and descended into illiberal orthodoxy — communism, socialism and now, Islamist-led leftism — disaster has been the result.

You might think Trump is a disaster. And you have every right to do so. But if you haven’t yet considered the possibility that the way the left worshipped Obama — “utter only sanctimonious praise or I will publicly scream racist at you till you disappear” — led to Trump, or the way the left is now handling Trump — when they go low, we go lower — then we are still a long way from learning something from this saga.

Today’s golden calf is the anti-Semitic, illiberal propaganda — victimhood! identity politics! intersectionality! — emanating from self-proclaimed activists whose real agenda is so diabolical that only the most impetuous (Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Sarsour) dare speak its name.

And so the question remains: Who is going to burn today’s golden calf?

Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic.

What the Israeli Left Can Teach the American Left

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

“The American left is quite different from the Israeli left,” said American-born Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi during a talk last week in New York City. “There is a sobriety, a maturity, to the mainstream Israeli left that you often don’t find here.”

Right on cue, a few days later, Women’s March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory were back in the news, this time over derogatory statements about the Anti-Defamation League’s involvement with anti-bias education at Starbucks; and Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman, the 2018 Genesis Prize winner, decided to boost her American-leftist status by announcing she would boycott the award ceremony in Israel.

All of which will no doubt give Halevi, who moved to Israel in 1982, more to talk about as he embarks on a tour for his new book, “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” out in May.

While the American left celebrates victimhood, Halevi said, “Zionism is a profound rejection of victimhood.” Even the Israeli left finds victimhood “incomprehensible.”

“There’s no nobility to being a victim,” said Halevi, who as a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute has been active in coexistence efforts with American Muslims. Indeed, there isn’t. But somehow, following lockstep with Palestinian propaganda of the past 50 years, leftist (i.e., illiberal) propaganda has ennobled certain victims (notably not all victims) to the point of sainthood.

The maturing of the American left would entail an understanding that it’s been played.

As Portman, whose family moved to the U.S. when she was 3, essentially took the Hamas/BDS line in citing “recent events” when detailing her decision not to attend the prize ceremony, Halevi talked about how in Israel “the Jewish army is treated like a Jewish life force: our soldiers are our children and our security.” Meanwhile, members of the far-left group Breaking the Silence, which aims to monitor the Israel Defense Forces, are considered “pariahs in Israel — no one takes them seriously.” Perhaps most notably, “there’s never been a serious draft resistance in Israel. Our army is us.”

How does Halevi recommend maturing the diasporic left, especially young Americans? “We need to tell our truths, our story — who we are, what our experiences have been,” he said. And we need to do it in the “traditional form of one generation passing on our stories to another. We need to stop worrying about whether millennials will ‘get it.’ We need to stop indulging millennials.”

Indeed. What has this indulgence led to? Two-thirds of American millennials surveyed in a recent poll could not identify what Auschwitz was, and 22 percent said they had never heard of the Holocaust.

At the same time, millennials — and much of the left in general — believe that every aspect of our existence must be politicized. They have been taught that there is no separation between life and politics.

As Hen Mazzig, an Israeli writer and speaker, put it in an open letter to Portman in The Jerusalem Post: “It’s not about criticism, which we welcome here, it is about the way you do it, at this moment in time. I know you are used to a different type of political debate in the U.S., but we don’t need you to bring it here.”

The truth is, the American left — in its current descent into illiberalism — can learn a lot from the Israeli left.

“Palestinians threaten with their powerlessness,” Halevi said. It is the same powerlessness or victimhood that promotes anti-Semitic propagandists like Sarsour and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to positions of influence on the U.S. left. It is the same victimhood that enables Muslim migrants in Europe to kill or maim Jews on a routine basis.

The maturing of the American left would entail an understanding that it’s been played. That ideas like “intersectionality” and “identity politics” have been manipulated for nefarious propagandistic purposes by individuals and groups whose sole mission is to single out and malign the Jewish state.

Ironically, just as Israel and Arab countries are becoming allied in a fight against Iran, the American left puts Sarsour on a panel about anti-Semitism; and Palestinian professors and activists rewrite Jewish history on a daily basis at American universities.

Creating an atmosphere where Israeli-born Americans like Portman feel a need to regurgitate the Hamas/BDS line in order to retain status on the left is as evil as it is brilliant. Can real liberals like Halevi and Mazzig help put the American left on a corrective course? Let’s hope so.


Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic.

Democrat D.C. Councilman Won’t Apologize for Donating to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam

Screenshot from Facebook.

Trayon White, the Democrat councilman in Washington D.C. who has come under fire for saying the Rothschilds control the weather, reportedly donated to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and is refusing to apologize for it.

According to The Washington Post, $500 from White’s Constituent Services Fund that is supposed to be allocated for his D.C. constituents went to the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day event in February. At that event, Farrakhan railed against “that Satanic Jew” and declared that “powerful Jews are my enemy.”

White claimed that he didn’t know about the donation, although his treasurer claimed that White had ordered him to make the donation.

In a April 21 Facebook Live video, White defended the donation, stating that he was asked by a couple of his constituents to do so.

“I am not resigning, I’m not backing down, I’m not discouraged, I’m not depressed, so run all the media stories you want because my people support me,” White said.

White added that it was perfectly fine to donate to the Nation of Islam even he didn’t agree with everything Farrakhan says.

“That’s my brother, that’s my sister, that’s my uncle, that’s my father,” White said. “So you can choose your friends. But my grandmother taught me you can’t choose your family.”

The American Jewish Committee of Washington D.C. (AJC) excoriated White in a statement, calling on the councilman to condemn Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam as well as “dramatically change his behavior.”

“Time will tell if he can move forward from these incidents or if these events will indelibly undermine his ability to lead,” the AJC stated.

White is already under fire for repeating the longtime anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that the European Rothschild banking family controls the weather as well as for his behavior at the D.C. Holocaust Museum. White left early from the museum tour without providing explanation, although he later said that he didn’t feel comfortable with a Post reporter following him around. The reporter claims he was never asked to leave.

Before White left the museum, he claimed that the Nazis were “protecting” a girl in a photo who was wearing a sign stating that a Jew had “defiled” her. One of White’s aides also called the Warsaw Ghetto a “gated community.”

The Washington Post called White’s behavior at the museum “beyond shocking” in an editorial.

“This event combined with Mr. White’s anti-Semitic pronouncements last month indicate that Ward 8 is in need of adult leadership,” the Post editorial states.

Why Israel?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. The government of Israel responded to that atrocity, as well as Iran’s use of Syria as a thoroughfare for weapons transfers to terrorist groups like Hamas, by bombing Syria’s T4 airbase. The media responded by castigating Israel: for example, the Associated Press headlined, “Tensions ratchet up as Israel blamed for Syria missile strike,” and accompanied that story with a photo of suffering Syrian children targeted by Assad, making it seem that Israel had targeted the children.

That media treatment was no surprise — the week before, the terrorist group Hamas used large-scale protests against Israel on the Gaza border as a cover for terrorist attacks on Israeli troops. When Israeli troops responded with force, the media falsely suggested that Israel had indiscriminately fired into the crowd. Meanwhile, reporters touted the story of a supposed photographer killed by Israeli forces; it turns out that the photographer was a known Hamas officer.

A few weeks earlier and some 2,000 miles away in France, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was stabbed 11 times and her body set on fire by a Muslim neighbor who knew her well, and had convictions for rape and sexual assault. In 2017, there were 92 violent anti-Semitic incidents in France, a 28 percent year-on-year increase.

Moving across the English Channel, Israel’s Labor Party finally was forced to cut ties completely with the leader of the U.K.’s Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime anti-Semite who has routinely made nice with terrorists and defended open Jew-hatred in public. And, of course, in the United States, the alt-right’s anti-Semitism continues to make public discourse more crude and the Women’s March continues to make nice with anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan.

In other words, there is a reason for Israel to exist.

Israel’s self-interest is good for the Jews, good for the West and good for the world.

That reason is biblical, of course: Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people and the wellspring of Jewish practice. God’s promise to the Jews is inextricably intertwined with the existence and future of the State of Israel.

But over the past few decades, too many Jews have forgotten about the practical need for the Jewish state. In the same way too many Jews ignored the Zionist movement, believing that assimilation into tolerant non-Jewish societies provided the best pathway to a decent life, too many Jews today see Israel as a remnant of a hackneyed and counterproductive ethnocentric worldview. That dislike for Israel’s very existence has led many Jews to demonstrate their “world citizen” bona fides by using every opportunity to criticize Israel.

But Israel’s existence is not about ethnocentrism. Israel is multiethnic and multicultural, of course: Judaism is a religion far more than an ethnicity, as Russian and Ethiopian Jews can attest. Israel’s existence, on a secular level, is about enshrining a state that is safe for Jews the world over — and that can defend Jews and Western values in the face of regional and international threats. When Israel stands up to Syrian atrocities, it is acting out of a Judaic commitment to prevent the degradation of human beings made in God’s image; when Israel offers a road for European Jews on the verge of extinction, it is acting not merely out of solidarity but out of decency. Israel is a decent country, because it was founded on a decent purpose — and because it was founded on the basis of a tradition of decency.

That doesn’t mean Israel’s government is mistake-free. Far from it. But Israel’s extraordinary treatment at the hands of the world community is a demonstration that Israel is an outlier — and that’s a good thing. The United Nations that condemns Israel is filled with repressive dictatorships and corrupt plutocracies; the supposed “family of nations” is more like a squabbling band of self-interested moral idiots.

When Syrian children, mostly Muslim, gasp from chlorine poisoning, it is Israeli jets that provide a possible respite. Israel doesn’t act out of the pure goodness of its heart; it acts from self-interest. But Israel’s self-interest is good for the Jews, good for the West and good for the world. Forgetting that means trusting that the better angels of others’ natures will persevere over their internal devils. Historically, that’s been a rotten bet.


Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and host of the podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.”

America Needs Progressives to Shun Farrakhan And Conservatives to Take on Bannon

Photo from Flickr/Public.Resource.Org.

19th Century English scientist Francis Galton invented the dog whistle to message canines at high decibel levels and great distances. In 2018, it seems political dog whistles are manipulating humans with ugly messages.

When President Trump praised departing Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, but also described him as a “globalist,” the president was accused of using an anti-Semitic dog whistle. That was nonsense, but it resonates when applied to a tweetstorm by Ann Coulter smearing every high profile Jew, right and left, as insufficiently patriotic “globalists.” Racking up thousands of “likes,” including from Neo-Nazis, Coulter lit up right-wing web sites, 4Chan and on Gab.ai, a micro-blogging service that does not censor hate speech.

If the extreme right developed hyper-acute canine hearing, the political left, is deaf and dumb. A case in point is their reaction to perennial anti-Semite, Reverend Louis Farrakhan. Born in 1933, the year Hitler came to power, he’s still going strong in his eighties spewing hatred of Jews and Israel.

Farrakhan’s favorite “Black Muslim” theological riff -inherited from NOI’s founder Elijah Muhammad, is the fantastic notion that “the evil white race” was invented by the Mecca-born mad scientist “Yakub” (Jacob) on the Aegean island of “Pelan”. Farrakhan keeps pushing the odious fantasy, even though Elijah Muhammad’s own son long ago repudiated it.

Farrakhan’s allure extends to many elites. Veteran Chicago pol, Congressman Danny Davis, declared: “I personally know [Farrakhan], I’ve been to his home, done meetings, participated in events with him. I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being.” Asked specifically about Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic statements, “Davis was dismissive and said that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.” But then Congressman Davis backtracked, stating that he would like to know what Farrakhan has said about Jews “recently.” Now, Davis has belatedly criticized Farrakhan.

Davis’ waffling is not surprising since he represents inner city Chicago neighborhoods, long Nation of Islam strongholds. But what about Farrakhan’s intergenerational political romance with Tamika Mallory, co-chair of January 2017’s Women’s March against the incoming Trump Administration? Mallory, an avowed Farrakhan admirer attended his recent annual Saviour’s Day Address and had her photo taken with him. Rather than apologize, she doubled down, comparing Farrakhan to Jesus and proudly shared her attendance on Instagram.

The left/right divide over Farrakhan came to a head on The View. “It’s not just that she attended,” co-host Meghan McCain stated. “She posted a photo to Instagram calling Farrakhan G.O.A.T. which means greatest of all time.”

When Valerie Jarrett jumped in to say that leaders sometimes have to work with people they disagree with, citing the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, McCain rejected the comparisons … “There’s a difference between meeting with someone who was a hate leader…He(Farrakhan) is in the same vein, to me, as David Duke. If you are so hateful and you think Hitler was a great man, I don’t think you deserve a platform.”

In 2018, there are obvious ideological differences between Farrakhan and White racist anti-Semites who marched in Charlottesville. Yet Nation of Islam and American Nazis like George Lincoln Rockwell started informally collaborating in the early 1960s, as did Holocaust Denier Willis Carto in the 1980s. Today, white racist Charlottesville organizer Richard Spencer wants to meet with Farrakhan to work together toward “the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.”

At his recent Saviour’s Day Address, Farrakhan escalated his attacks declaring the “powerful Jews…are my enemy… “Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through. You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed.” At the Academy Awards “time is up” means one thing. To Farrakhan it represents his everlasting threat against the Jewish people.

All this is happening as extreme right European nationalists are using variations on Holocaust Denial to rewrite their nations’ history, seeking to whitewash the crimes of collaborators during the Nazi Holocaust. Across the continent from France to Poland, far-rightists are mainstream power players. A few days ago, exiled While House political adviser Steve Bannon, seeking to become the dog whisperer of the far right on both sides of the Atlantic, lauded these movements in a speech before Marine Le Pen’s Nationalist Front in Paris.

To stop the hate from poisoning America, Conservatives must lead the way in repudiating the vile anti-Semitic dog whistle. Progressives must also finally denounce Farrakhan’s Jew-hatred.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Time’s Up for Faux Liberals

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

“Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through,” Louis Farrakhan, referring to himself in the third person, told a cheering Nation of Islam crowd of thousands in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

How nice that Farrakhan, 84, has been able to stay rhetorically on trend. Actually, his genocidal bigotry is so on trend that Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders of the Women’s March, was shocked — shocked! — that anyone would care that she attended this largely anti-Semitic rally, that she would get a shoutout from the good minister, and even pose for a photo with him on Instagram afterward.

Truth be told, Mallory had every reason to be shocked. When co-leader Linda Sarsour said that anti-Semitism is “not systemic,” that you can’t be a feminist and a Zionist — when she publicly embraced terrorist Rasmea Odeh — there was barely a peep from those left of center.

In fact, the unpleasant reality that Sarsour and co-leader Carmen Perez also have close ties to Farrakhan — the man the Anti-Defamation League calls “the leading anti-Semite in America”—didn’t stir any pot either.

So, why would Mallory think that the normalization of hate against Jews — a key part of the “intersectionality” that the Women’s March quartet touts — would cause such a ruckus?

What Mallory wasn’t counting on was the fact that Farrakhan’s blatant focus on Jews — not Zionists and Israel — would actually motivate the normally silent to open their mouths. Jews on the far left are often called self-haters for kowtowing to the likes of Sarsour. But clearly it’s not self-hatred — it’s more like they’re happy to hide behind an anti-Zionist cover when needed: regressive chic at its finest.

Not standing up for your own people for the sake of status is just as faux liberal as condoning hatred. So it’s good to know that when push comes to genocide, left-of-center Jews will not be silent. We can now call this the Farrakhan Line: Jews on the left will put their foot down when Israel is not mentioned.

Words, as Jews know in their veins, have consequences.

Indeed, a month before Farrakhan’s speech, the ADL published a report showing that 2017 saw a 67 percent rise in anti-Jewish hate speech, harassment, vandalism and violence.

This seems like a good opportunity to distinguish real liberals from faux liberals, whether they call themselves progressives or leftists or socialists.

Remarkably, the Wikipedia definition of liberalism has remained intact: “Liberalism is a political philosophy founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views … but generally support [the principles of] freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and gender equality.”

Not standing up for your own people for the sake of status is just as faux liberal as condoning hatred.

This is the key line: Liberals espouse a wide array of views. Meaning, you and I can disagree on how to enforce, for instance, freedom of speech. But if you don’t stand for the principle of freedom of speech, you can’t call yourself a liberal. (Social justice warriors on campus, please take note.)

And speaking of words, I’ve been increasingly seeing the word “gaslighting” in relation to President Donald Trump. Gaslighting is “a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt … in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.”

Personally, I don’t see this as a conscious or unconscious Trump tactic. But I very much see this as a progressive/leftist tactic. From baseless attacks on Israel to Holocaust denial/minimization, to outright Jew hatred, progressives/leftists are, consciously or not, trying to gaslight Jews.

And so, I ask my fellow liberals: Why are you so desperate to be included in these “progressive” groups? Why not work to restrengthen the liberal center? Liberalism, by definition, includes both feminism and Zionism.

And I say to the leaders of the Women’s March: Time’s up for faux liberals and faux feminists.


Karen Lehrman Bloch is a cultural critic and author.

Not All Anti-Semitism Is Created Equal

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

This week, we found out once and for all that the dominant philosophy of the modern left — intersectionality — has no place for Jews. What else can we conclude after watching the spectacle of leftists from all walks defend the leaders of the Women’s March for their association with open anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan?

In February, Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory was caught on tape attending the Savior’s Day service with Farrakhan. At that service, Farrakhan stated, “The powerful Jews are my enemy,” adding, “Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew, and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through.” Farrakhan has famously praised Adolf Hitler.

Mallory still hasn’t apologized for her association with Farrakhan, instead defending her Nation of Islam connections by stating that she’s been attending such events for 30 years. She also added, “Jesus had a number of enemies, as do all Black leaders.” Meanwhile, it turns out that co-chair Carmen Perez was also a Farrakhan fan — she posted a photo from 2015 showing herself holding hands with him. Fellow Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour has also stood with Farrakhan, speaking at a Nation of Islam event.

Women’s March leaders have continued to hesitate in condemning Farrakhan, and that includes Jewish women. Judy Levey of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs was oh-so delicate when she told The Forward, “People don’t always express themselves on every single issue in ways that we would be comfortable, but it’s really important that when we share values, we work together to raise up urgent issues that we all face.”

In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low.

That’s the rub, here, naturally. A good number of leftist Jews are leftists first and Jews second; their religious identity runs second to their political identity. And the Women’s March is a deeply leftist institution — its leadership routinely pushes abortion-on-demand, government-paid child care and so-called anti-discrimination laws that target religious institutions. Jews who find this sort of agenda primary are willing to let a little bit of anti-Semitism slide, much in the way that Jews who preferred President Donald Trump were willing to wink at Steve Bannon.

Even more disappointing is the willingness of leftist Jews to let Jewish ethnicity slide into the background in favor of the intersectional coalition building. Intersectionality suggests that we can determine the value of viewpoints by looking at the “interlocking” group identities of the person speaking — so, for example, a Black lesbian has different experiences and, to the left’s point, more valuable experiences than a white straight man. Jewish ethnic identity, therefore, should play some role in the intersectional coalition of the left, which is dedicated to the proposition that America is a brutal place to those of minority status.

But there’s one problem: In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low. That’s because Jews are on average financially successful and educationally overachieving. And this means that Jews slandered by the likes of Louis Farrakhan or his Women’s March allies must take a back seat on the intersectional bus. Anti-Semitism matters less coming from minority victim groups than it does from others, apparently.

This has been the case for years. Last year, the self-titled Dyke March in Chicago banned rainbow flags with Jewish stars because they supposedly “made people feel unsafe” — pro-Palestinian groups were unhappy with the juxtaposition of gay rights and a flag that looked somewhat Israeli. The march was billed as an “anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience.” Tolerance was not extended, however, to gay Jews flying their flag.

Anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any guise. During the last election cycle, I spoke out repeatedly about anti-Semitism in the alt-right, and blasted the Trump campaign for failing to properly disassociate from the alt-right. Trump, thankfully, has disassociated from the alt-right publicly. The fact that so much of the left is willing to embrace the Women’s March leadership rather than calling them to account is a true shandah.


Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and host of the conservative podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.”

Ranking House Democrat Stood On Stage With Farrakhan in 2011

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Yet another congressional Democrat has been found to have past association with virulent anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, as Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the third-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, reportedly stood onstage with Farrakhan in 2011.

The Daily Caller highlighted an article from the Final Call, which is a news outlet promulgated by Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, stating that Clyburn attended a town hall featuring Farrakhan despite being urged by Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wisenthal not to go. Clyburn even stood onstage with Farrakhan and thanked the anti-Semite “for offering up a number of precepts that we ought to adhere to.”

Clyburn issued a statement to The Daily Caller that read, “I have fought all my life to advance the cause of social justice and equality, and I have always opposed bigotry in all its forms.” His statement did not mention Farrakhan and didn’t respond to The Daily Caller’s request to condemn Farrakhan.

Clyburn is the latest Democrat to face questions over previous ties to Farrakhan. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) has twice told The Daily Caller himself that he is personally fond of Farrakhan despite his anti-Semitism while Davis’ office keeps trying to downplay his warmth toward Farrakhan. On Mar. 8, Davis issued a statement denouncing Farrakhan, stating: “Let me be clear: I reject, condemn and oppose Minister Farrakhan’s views and remarks regarding the Jewish people and the Jewish religion.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, received a “four Pinocchios” rating from The Washington Post for claiming that his ties to Farrakhan ended before he ran for Congress. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel called on DNC Chair Tom Perez to address Ellison’s ties to Farrakhan.

“Keith Ellison’s long pattern of lies about his ongoing relationship with Louis Farrakhan, who the Anti-Defamation League calls ‘America’s leading anti-Semite,’ has put a stain on the Democrat Party,” McDaniel said. “Anti-Semitism has no place in American politics, Tom Perez must address this issue.

Another Democrat who is under fire for his past ties to Farrakhan, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), responded to such questions by attacking the Republican Jewish Coalition for calling on him and six other Democrats with ties to Farrakhan to resign and tried to claim the RJC was hypocritical for not condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Women’s March Issues Statement Addressing Farrakhan Controversy

Screenshot from Twitter.

After being under fire for one of its leaders attending a Louis Farrakhan speech, the Women’s March issued a statement on Mar. 6 addressing the issue.

The statement claimed that the Women’s March was committed to fighting against “anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia.”

“Minister Farrakhan’s statements about Jewish, queer, and trans people are not aligned with the Women’s March Unity Principles, which were created by women of color leaders and are grounded in Kingian Nonviolence,” the statement read. “Women’s March is holding conversations with queer, trans, Jewish and Black members of both our team and larger movement to create space for understanding and healing.”

They then claimed that they had been silent over the Farrakhan controversy for nine days because they have been “holding these conversations and are trying to intentionally break the cycles that pit our communities against each other.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt praised the Women’s March for their “strong statement”:

However, others felt that the Women’s March statement was too weak and didn’t adequately address the controversy:

The controversy started when Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory attended the Nation of Islam’s Saviour Day, where Farrakhan issued a speech that was laced with a variety of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Mallory and the rest of Women’s March leaders remained largely silent about it until the Mar. 6 statement.

Mallory and two other Women’s March leaders, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, have prior connections to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam that were not addressed in the statement.

Dem Congressman Doubles Down on Support for Farrakhan Despite His Anti-Semitism

Screenshot from Twitter.

A Democratic congressman doubled down on his support for Louis Farrakhan on Mar. 4, claiming in an interview that he is a believer in Farrakhan despite Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitism.

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) told The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson that Farrakhan’s numerous anti-Semitic comments don’t bother him.

“I know Farrakhan, I know the Middle East question, I know the Jews and Farrakhan — I know all that, but that’s not what I spend all my time focused on,” Davis said. “I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that.”

Davis later added, “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that and so forth. For those heavy into it, that’s their thing, but it ain’t my thing.”

The Democratic congressman had previously called Farrakhan “an outstanding human being.” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt recently wrote a post stating that Davis’ office had told the ADL that Davis was “misquoted,” but Davis shot that down in his interview with The Daily Caller.

“I don’t have no problems with Farrakhan,” Davis said.

The ADL told CNN’s Jake Tapper that they were “disappointed” with Davis’ comments:

Anthony Clark, who is launching a primary challenge against Davis, condemned the congressman’s support for Farrakhan:

Davis released a statement on Mar. 5 claiming that The Daily Caller was trying “to impugn my character.”

“I have a lifetime record of rejecting, condemning and actively opposing all forms of hatred, bigotry and separatism based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or language including specifically anti-Semitism,” Davis said. “Such views are antithetical to everything I believe and everything that I work for on a daily basis.”

Hasson responded by pointing out that Davis never actually disavowed Farrakhan in his statement:

Davis’ comments comes as Women’s March leaders are under fire for attending a recent Farrakhan speech where he railed against Jews’ “Synagogue of Satan” and slandered Jews supposedly controlling “the government and the FBI.” Tapper ran a segment on March 5 asking why the Womens’ March leaders won’t condemn Farrakhan:

James Hasson, a contributor to The Federalist, noted that there has been little media coverage over a litany of Farrakhan stories:

ADL Tears Into Women’s March Leaders for Attending Louis Farrakhan Speech

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), ripped into leaders of the Women’s March for attending a Louis Farrakhan speech the prior weekend.

Greenblatt prefaced his Medium post by noting that Farrakhan’s speech during last weekend’s Nation of Islam convention was laced with anti-Semitism, which included statements about how “Jews are part of ‘the Synagogue of Satan;’ that the white people running Mexico are Mexican-Jews; that Jews control various countries including Ukraine, France, Poland and Germany where they take advantage of the money, the culture and the business; that Jesus called Jews ‘the children of the devil’; and ‘when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.’” Farrakhan also promoted the anti-Semitic slander “that Jews control the government and the FBI and use marijuana to feminize black men.”

“The NOI uses its programs, institutions, publications, and social media to disseminate its message of hate,” Greenblatt wrote. “At last weekend’s convention they were heavily promoting, ‘The Secret History Between Blacks and Jews,’ a multivolume tract that blames Jews for orchestrating the transatlantic slave trade. It deserves a place on the shelf of every bigot alongside ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’ another work of libelous fiction used to foment little more than intolerance.”

Greenblatt also pointed to Farrakhan’s bigoted statements toward whites and gays and then noted that too many public figures “have a blind spot” and specifically called out a couple of leaders of the Women’s March.

“Consider that in the audience at last weekend’s conference was Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders of the Women’s March, who got a special shout-out from Farrakhan and who regularly posts laudatory pictures of him on her Instagram account — as does Carmen Perez, another leader of the March,” Greenblatt wrote. “Linda Sarsour, another March organizer, spoke and participated at a Nation of Islam event in 2015. Her most notable response to his incendiary remarks this year was a glowing post on Perez’s Facebook page to praise Farrakhan’s youthful demeanor.”

Perez simply dismissed Farrakhan’s bigotry by stating that no one’s “perfect,” according to Greenblatt. Mallory touted a tweet from rapper called Mysonne to show that she isn’t anti-Semitic, although the Washington Free Beacon noted that Mysonne once tweeted that Jews were responsible for the oppression of blacks.

Zioness Movement President Amanda Berman called on the Women’s March leaders to condemn Farrakhan.

“It is hypocritical beyond words that they continue to align themselves with Louis Farrakhan, who is an unapologetic bigot that spews hate targeting the Jewish community, LGBTQ community and others,” Berman said in a statement. “There is no ambiguity on this issue. Either the Women’s March leaders endorse the vilification of the Jewish people or they don’t. It’s that simple.”

Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) was also mentioned in Greenblatt’s post for recently praising Farrakhan, and when pressed on it Davis attempted to walk it back but has yet to publicly condemn Farrakhan.

CNN’s Jake Tapper launched a tweetstorm on Feb. 28 about Farrakhan’s speech:

The ADL has also recently criticized three Democrats, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), for attending a 2013 dinner hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Farrakhan was also an attendee at the dinner.

In addition to his bigoted statements, Farrakhan’s record includes lavishing praise on the Iranian regime and deposed dictators Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafi. Farrakhan also established a partnership between the NOI and the Church of Scientology and believes that an unidentified flying object (UFO) known as the “Mother Wheel” that “will rain destruction upon white America, but save those who embrace the Nation of Islam.”

ADL Criticizes Three Congressional Democrats for Dining with Iranian President and Louis Farrakhan

Photo from Flickr/Lorie Shaull

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt issued a statement on Twitter denouncing three congressional Democrats for attending a dinner hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 that Louis Farrakhan was at.

Greenblatt called it “extremely disturbing” that the three members, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is also the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Andre Carson (D-IN) dined with “hatemongers.”

“Yes, it may have been an ‘official’ event org by Iran govt,” Greenblatt tweeted. “However, this is one of the most repressive & aggressive regimes in world, a govt that specializes in state-sponsored #antisemitism, regularly commits #humanrights violations and actively engages in #terror.”

Greenblatt then lambasted Farrakhan for being “an unrepentant anti-Semite who has said Jews are Satanic & responsible for 9/11.”

“Some of those who attended have repudiated Farrakhan & his intolerance in the past. They should do so again,” Greenblatt wrote. “They owe it to their constituents + Jewish community to explain their rationale and remind the world that there is no statue [sic] of limitations on standing up to hate.”

A spokesperson for Ellison told National Journal editor Josh Kraushaar that Ellison and Farrakhan didn’t talk to each other at the event.

The reported 2013 dinner and 2016 visit with Farrakhan is the latest Farrakhan-related controversy for Ellison, who has been plagued with questions about his prior ties to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam (NOI) ever since he first ran for Congress in 2006. Ellison has repudiated the organization on multiple occasions; his defense is that he was only involved with NOI for 18 months although there is evidence to suggest his involvement with NOI and ardent defense of Farrakhan lasted for 10 years.

“Which is the real Ellison: The one who drafts earnest letters of apology to Jewish groups? Or the one who, as recently as 2013, saw it fit to dine with Farrakhan under Iranian auspices?” Commentary’s Sohrab Ahmari wrote.

H/T: Daily Caller

Dem Congressman: Louis Farrakhan Is ‘An Outstanding Human Being’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A Democratic congressman recently praised Louis Farrakhan as “an outstanding human being” despite Farrakhan’s record of rabidly anti-Semitic statements.

Rep. Danny Duffy (D-IL) told The Daily Caller that it was perfectly fine that Barack Obama took a photo with Farrakhan in 2005.

“I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people,” Duffy said.

When asked about Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, Duffy claimed “that many people in politics have a history of inflammatory comments.”

Here are some of the many anti-Semitic statements spewed by Farrakhan:

· “It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks. Israelis had foreknowledge of the attacks…we know that many Jews received a text message not to come to work on September 11.”

· “These false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing you down in moral strength. It’s the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It’s the wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic.”

· “Jews who owned the homes, the apartments and stores in the black community, we considered them bloodsuckers because they took from our community and built their community but didn’t offer anything back to our community.”

· “I believe that for the small numbers of Jewish people in the United States, they exercise a tremendous amount of influence on the affairs of government…yes, they exercise extraordinary control, and black people will never be free in this country until they are free of that kind of control.”

Farrakhan has also praised Adolf Hitler as “a very great man,” railed against whites as “the race of devils” and formed a partnership with the Church of Scientology cult.

Duffy’s comments come after the release of a 2005 photo showing Obama smiling with Farrakhan at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting; the photographer claimed that he hid the photo in order to improve Obama’s chances at the presidency. There are also photos from 2006 showing Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), among others, embracing Farrakhan.

Additionally, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was a member of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam and defended him for years before cutting ties from the Nation of Islam in 2002. However, according to the Wall Street Journal Ellison attended a dinner with Farrakhan that was hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and visited Farrakhan in 2016.

In 2015, progressive icon Linda Sarsour attended Farrakhan’s #JusticeOrElse rally and then gushed about Farrakhan afterward.

“The brother does not age,” Sarsour said. “God bless him.”

Tablet’s Yair Rosenberg noted that “Republican elected officials from Donald Trump on down have rightly faced heavy criticism from Democrats over their ties to and defenses of bigoted hate groups and individuals.”

“Whether Democrats will hold their own official, Rep. Davis, to the same standard remains to be seen,” Rosenberg wrote. “Thus far, all 20 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who served in Congress at the time of the Farrakhan meeting have declined to comment on it or condemn the man himself.”

WATCH: Ellison calls past praise of Farrakhan a ‘distraction’

This story originally appeared on

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Farrakhan praises Trump for not taking Jewish money, repeats claim that Jews behind 9/11

Donald Trump won praise from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for not taking Jewish money in his quest for the White House.

Farrakhan, who has made frequent anti-Semitic comments, lauded Trump during a sermon Sunday in Chicago, according to the Anti-Defamation League website the following day.

The praise from Farrakhan comes on the heels of a controversy in which the Republican presidential front-runner failed to immediately disavow the endorsement of David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

According to the ADL, Farrakhan said the billionaire Trump is “the only mem­ber who has stood in front of Jew­ish com­mu­nity and said I don’t want your money. Anytime a man can say to those who con­trol the politics of Amer­ica, ‘I don’t want your money,’ that means you can’t con­trol me. And they can­not afford to give up con­trol of the pres­i­dents of the United States.”

Farrakhan, 82, stopped short of a full endorsement, however, stating: “Not that I’m for Mr. Trump, but I like what I’m look­ing at.”

The ADL said Farrakhan’s sermon also blamed Jews, whom he referred to as the “Synagogue of Satan,” for the Iraq War and 9/11 terror attacks.

Referring to former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Farrakhan said, “These are people sitting in the Pentagon, planning the destruction of Muslim nations.”

“Wolfowitz had 10 years now, to plan how they’re gonna clean out the Mid­dle East and take over those Mus­lim nations. They needed another Pearl Har­bor,” Farrakhan said, according to the ADL. “They needed some event that was cataclysmic, that would make the Amer­i­can peo­ple rise up, ready for war … they plot­ted a false flag oper­a­tion, and when a gov­ern­ment is so rot­ten that they will kill inno­cent peo­ple to accom­plish a polit­i­cal objec­tive, you are not deal­ing with a human …”

Farrakhan continued, “George Bush, and those devils, Satans around him. They plot­ted 9/11. Ain’t no Mus­lim took con­trol of no plane.”

Blaming the Jews for 9/11 was nothing new for Farrakhan, who said in a 2015 sermon that “it is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks.”

How do we regain black-Jewish love?

Of all the complicated issues running through American Jewish life, one of the most complicated is surely the relationship between Jews and African-Americans, which has frayed in recent years. A key question for both communities as we go forward is: How can we inject more love into the relationship?

There were times when the two communities were a lot closer. As Michelle Boorstein wrote in 2013 in the Washington Post, “Jews were extremely active in the civil rights movement, and they played a role that was especially remarkable in light of their making up such a small part of the nation’s population.”

Unfortunately, the good vibes of the ’60s didn’t last. By the 1980s and 1990s, the relationship was “strained by such points of contention as the opposition of some Jewish leaders to affirmative action and anti-Jewish comments made by black leaders Jesse L. Jackson and Louis Farrakhan.” More recently, the division over controversial Israeli policies has frayed the relationship even further.

There are also elephants in the room no one likes to talk about, like vestiges of racism and anti-Semitism. And let’s face it, as Jews became more and more successful, it became harder and harder to identify with oppressed minorities.

Like I said, complicated.

But I found a ray of hope last Saturday night at a movie screening dedicated to Black History Month. Hosted by the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, which houses the Malibu Film Society, an ethnically mixed audience of about 300 watched a 40-minute excerpt of an unfinished documentary produced by Spill the Honey, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the ties between the two groups, titled “Shared Legacies: Honoring the Jewish/Black Civil Rights Alliance.”

The film chronicles the intense bond between Jewish and Black activists during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. But the heart of the film is the deep affection between two giants, Martin Luther King Jr and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who famously marched together in 1963 during a civil rights march in Selma, Ala.

As much as I value complexity, what moved me most about the film was that it honored morality and holiness. King and Heschel were brothers bonding over a common cause. There was no agonizing. There was no doubt. There was no hesitation in their compulsion to fight for justice.

This sense of moral clarity and brotherly love came through in a panel after the screening that featured actor Louis Gossett Jr., Boston University professor Hillel Levine, King confidant Clarence B. Jones and Dartmouth professor Susannah Heschel, daughter of Rabbi Heschel.

Maybe it was the moonlight drive along the coast that put me in a wistful mood, but as I drove home, I couldn’t help but wonder: “How can we get this Black-Jewish love back?”

It was something Susannah Heschel said to me over the phone a few days later that got me thinking.

“Martin Luther King made the Hebrew Bible central to his civil rights activism,” she told me. “This brought tremendous pride to Jews. Here was the most important moral movement of the century, and King put our holy book at the very center.”

Her subtle point was that the relationship was a two-way street. As much as Jews honored Blacks by fighting for their rights, King honored Jews by elevating their holy story.

I found in her answer a sign of how Jews can bring more love to our relationship with the African-American community: We can show them we need them as much as they need us.

It was Rabbi Heschel himself who said that one of the greatest human needs is to feel needed. His great insight is that making people feel needed is an expression of the deepest love.

As much as Jews must do more soul-searching and increase our fight for economic justice for Blacks, we must also embrace areas where Blacks can help us– such as, for example, in the area of prayer.

“My father once said that hope for the future of Judaism in America lies with Black churches,” Heschel told me. “Their prayers reminded him of Chassidic shtibls. There is a passion of praying to God, of wanting to be heard by God.”

What a powerful thought: Blacks teaching Jews how to pray with more love and more passion. Maybe someone should start a Black-Jewish Prayer Alliance, where Jews of all denominations would regularly visit Black churches to feel the passion that so inspired Rabbi Heschel.

None of this will eradicate the dark impulses of racism and anti-Semitism. But if there’s one thing Jews need, it is for God to hear our prayers. If our Black brothers and sisters can show us the way, well, that’s a dream worth having.

ADL condemns Farrakhan’s claim that Jews were behind 9/11

The Anti-Defamation League condemned Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as the “leading anti-Semite in America” after a speech in which he blamed “Israelis and Zionist Jews” for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“At a time when anti-Semitic attitudes are at historic lows, Farrakhan’s unabashed promotion of anti-Semitism is a throwback to the intolerance of another era,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement issued Thursday.

Farrakhan, who has a long history of anti-Semitic remarks, delivered his speech Sunday in Chicago as part of his Saviors Day 2015 sermon.

“It is now becoming apparent that there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in the key roles of the 9/11 attacks,” Farrakhan said. “If they can prove me wrong, I’ll pay with my life, since they want to kill me anyway. Prove me wrong. We’re dealing with thieves and liars and murderers.”

Some of Farrakhan’s other claims in that speech relating to Sept. 11 include that “an Israeli film crew dressed as Arabs were filming the Twin Towers before the first plane went in” and “many Jews received a text message not to come to work on Sept. 11.”

Farrakhan’s religious group Nation of Islam, once led by Malcolm X, is labeled as a hate group by theSouthern Poverty Law Center. Farrakhan left the group in 2007 due to health problems but has continued to give public speeches promoting anti-Semitic claims in recent years.

Farrakhan: ‘I don’t hate Jewish people’

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, saying “I don’t hate Jewish people,” denied he is anti-Semitic during an address to the group’s annual convention.

Farrakhan, who is known for his diatribes against the Jews, in his three-hour speech on Sunday night in Detroit compared himself to auto magnate Henry Ford, saying that Ford was “a great man who was called an anti-Semite.”

“I feel like I’m in good company,” Farrakhan told a crowd of about 18,000 at Joe Louis Arena, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“I don’t hate Jewish people … what I hate is evil,” he also said, adding that “Satan is in control of Hollywood,” as well as TV, the media and money.

Responding to Farrakhan’s speech, Heidi Budaj, Michigan regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Detroit Free Press, “Expressing pride for being called anti-Semitic is shameful. A person in this day and age should be ashamed to say that.”

Farrakhan also reprimanded Muslims for fighting among themselves in the Middle East, saying they were killing each other for “America” and the “European infidel.”

He said that if the United States launched a war on Iran, “we ain’t fighting. We’re not killing no Muslims for these infidels.”

Farrakhan also touched on other topics, such as the African-American community separating from the rest of the world in order to better their lives and reinvesting in Detroit.

The quenelle: Et tu, Asterix?

Louis Farrakhan, watch out. Your slot on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of top 10 anti-Semites may soon go to an ancient fat man from Gaul and his short, blond friend.

The challengers are Obelix and Asterix, two characters from a popular French comic book series that offers a humorous depiction of first century French rural life.

Earlier this week, an image of the two superheroes —  or rather, two men wearing giant suits depicting them — was published in the online edition of L’express daily. In it, the two men were seen performing the quenelle, the quasi-Nazi salute which is sweeping France. The image was taken at the Asterix theme park near Paris and went viral after being uploaded to Facebook.

The quenelle — the name for a gesture in which one places an outstretched left palm on the right shoulder — was invented by the anti-Semitic comedian Diedonne M’bala M’bala to both mock and circumvent France’s laws against displaying Nazi symbols by offering a subtler, non-prosecutable version.

Although it represents a new peak of absurdity, the Asterix/Obelix picture fits in with the quenelle spirit, which ridicules France’s restrictive laws on the promotion of the anti-Semitic hatred and other forms of racism.

As the gesture’s popularity soared in recent months, some have taken to being photographed while performing the quenelle next to pineapples — a reference to an earlier invention by Dieudonne which combines the Hebrew word for Holocaust with the French word for pineapple, a coinage understood to cast doubt on the Holocaust without breaking the law prohibiting Holocaust denial.

But the gesture’s growing popularity has also generated growing opposition. Earlier this week, six French Jews were arrested in Lyon on suspicion that they assaulted a man they had allegedly tracked on Facebook for posing while performing the quenelle.

Heeding calls by representatives of French Jewish communities, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced Friday the government was looking into banning all public performances of Dieudonne. The theme park offered its apologies and claimed the actors were not familiar with the dark origins of the gesture, the park’s spokesperson said in a statement to L’express.

“Asterix and Obelix will remain apolitical,” the spokesperson promised.

Nothing gray about it: Bill Gray was good for the Jews

Two stories came together for me this week: The death of Bill Gray and President Obama’s trip to Goree Island, the Senegalese island that is said to have been the spot from which countless Africans were sent to the Americas as slaves.

What’s the connection? Back in 1989, the summer after 10th grade, I took part in a black-Jewish coexistence program called Operation Understanding, which, among other things, involved a trip to Goree Island. The program, then just a few years old, was the brainchild of the late businessman-philanthropist George Ross and Gray, who was then a fast-rising member of Congress.

I can’t claim to have had any sort of relationship with Gray, who was the highest-ranking African American in Congress when he abruptly left his post as House majority whip in 1991 to become the president and chief executive of the United Negro College Fund (where he raised billions). But he certainly made an impression on me. And, more to the point, on our hometown — Philadelphia.

Gray was the kingpin of Philly’s rainbow coalition, a grouping of establishment/integrationist minority politicians and Jewish liberals that wrested power away from the more racially polarized camp of two-term mayor Frank Rizzo. Looking back, as a cynical seasoned journalist rather than an naive idealistic teenager, it’s easy for me to see the ways in which the Gray camp was not so different in practice than other big-city political machines. Still, coming off the racially polarizing Rizzo years and the divisive racial politics in places like New York and Chicago, Gray set an important, conciliatory and hopeful tone. Before Corey Booker had ever met Shmuley Boteach, Gray could talk the talk to Jewish audiences at a time when militants like Jesse Jackson (Hymietown edition), Louis Farrakhan and Leonard Jeffries  were setting a more divisive tone nationally.

And, as many Jewish activists from Philadelphia will tell you, he walked the walked as well.

Here’s a message I got from Betsy Sheerr, a JTA board member and, more relevant to this conversation, a longtime member of JAC , a bipartisan Jewish women’s political action committee “committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive choice and separation of religion and state”:

In its early days (the Reagan era), JAC was city chapter-based. When we called on [Gray] in DC as a national delegation advocating for our 3 issues (Israel, women’s reproductive rights and separation of religion and state), he offered to help start a Philadelphia chapter. He was our convener, so to speak, and hosted the JAC members frequently in Washington during his years as Congressman and Whip…. JAC had a very close relationship with him over the years — a fact that he recalled when I had lunch with him about a year ago! He liked the idea that we were not single-issue: though we were a pro-Israel PAC, we also cared about issues that impacted American rights and liberties.

As the Jewish Exponent notes in its obituary, Gray was there on Israel and Soviet Jewry.

Sadly, the obituaries in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times left the black-Jewish angle  out. (But that’s why we have the Exponent).

2012 Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs

1.  EGYPT’S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

Today effectively rules the Arab world’s largest and most important nation

MOHAMMED BADIE

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD’S MORAL GUIDE

“The Jews have dominated the land, spread corruption on earth, spilled the blood of believers and in their actions profaned holy places. Zionists only understand the language of force and will not relent without duress. This will happen only through holy Jihad.”

– Mohammed Badie

 

FUTOUGH ABD AL-NABI MANSOUR

EGYPTIAN CLERIC, HEADS RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENT FOR THE MATROUH GOVERATE

“Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters – Oh Allah, disperse them and render them asunder, Oh Allah, demonstrate your might and greatness upon them.”

At a nationally televised service at el-Tenaim Mosque attended by Egyptian President Morsi, cleric Al Nabi Mansour prays, Morsi was shown fervently answering “Amin” (Amen).

– Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, October 19, 2012 – source: MEMRI

 

2.  IRANIAN REGIME

MAHAMOUD AHMADINEJAD

PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

“It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs. And behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organizations in the world, they have been the decision-makers, to an extent that a big power with a huge economy and over 300 million population, the presidential election hopefuls must go kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their victory in the elections.”

– President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, July 1, 2012, Speaking to Ambassadors of Islamic Countries 

 

MAJOR GENERAL HASSAN FIROUZABADI

ARMED FORCES CHIEF OF STAFF

“The Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.”

– Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, August 5, 2012 

 

MOHAMED RAHIMI

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT

[The Talmud] “…teaches [the Jews] how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother.” As ‘evidence’ of Jewish control of international illegal drug trade, the vice president alleged that there isn’t “a single addict among the Zionists.”

At a ceremony in Tehran marking International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

 

3.  ISRAEL SLANDERED BY BRAZILIAN CARTOONIST

CARLOS LATUFF

CARTOONIST

During the recent conflict instigated by Hamas against the Jewish state, the Brazilian cartoonist slandered Israel and her Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for doing what every world leader would do against the onslaught of rocket attacks targeting innocent civilians.

November 2012

 

4.  EUROPEAN FOOTBALL (SOCCER) FANS’ ANTI- SEMITISM

The problem of anti-Semitic abuse at soccer matches which until recently has been limited to Eastern Europe, has been revived in Western Europe. The most serious situation has been a resurgence of anti-Semitic chanting toward one particular team, Tottenham Hotspur, which is based in a traditionally Jewish section of London. In a recent match against a rival West Ham United, sections of its fans chanted, “Adolf Hitler’s coming for you” and “You’re getting gassed in the morning” and making hissing noises like the sound of a gas chamber. A reporter for the Telegraph said, “We are not talking about a few isolated crooners here. A significant proportion of West Ham’s travelling support participated.“ Because Tottenham has the largest Jewish fan base in England, it has long been the target of anti-Semitism—so much so that the fans have adopted the slurs “Yid” and “Yiddo” as a way of deflecting abuse.

 

5.  UKRAINE’S ANTI-SEMITIC “SVABODA” (FREEDOM) PARTY

OLEG TYAGNIBOK

LEADER OF THE SVABODA PARTY

In recent elections the radical right party won 41 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament (12% of the popular vote). Tyagnibok has called for purges of the approximately 400,000 Jews and other minorities living in Ukraine and has demanded that Ukraine be liberated from what he calls, the “Muscovite Jewish Mafia.”

Oleg Tyagnibok

 

IGOR MIROSHNICHENKO

MEMBER OF UKRANIAN PARLIAMENT SLANDERS U.S. ACTRESS MILA KUNIS

MP Igor Miroshnichenko, recently labeled noted Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, a ‘zhydovka’, (dirty Jewess). Zhid is an insidious slur used against Jews since the times of the Czar and invoked by the Nazis and their collaborators as they rounded up the Jews to murder them at Babi Yar and in the death camps. Mila Kunis’ family, like countless thousands of other Ukrainian Jewish families, left the Ukraine in the first place because of anti-Semitism. The Wiesenthal Center has urged Prime Minister Azarov to publicly denounce the political extremists.

 

6.  GREECE’S GOLDEN DAWN PARTY

NIKOLAOS MICHALOLIAKOS

GOLDEN DAWN FOUNDER

Nikolaos Michaloliakos, Golden Dawn’s founder appeared to give a Nazi salute in the Athens City Council. He claims that it was merely “the salute of the national youth organization of Ioannis Metaxas.”

In May 2012, he told an interviewer that six million did not die in the Nazi

Holocaust. He called the figure an exaggeration. “There were no ovens. This is a lie…there were no gas chambers, either”

– Nikolaos Michaloliakos

See related Youtube: http://youtu.be/yXy7f17GXtQ

The Times of London reports that Golden Dawn’s member Artemis Matthaiopoulos, elected MP for the town of Serres, was the front man of the Nazi punk band Pogrom. One of the band’s songs, “Auschwitz” included anti-Semitic lyrics such as “f*** Wiesenthal”, “f*** Anne Frank”, “f*** the whole tribe of Abraham”, “Juden raus” and “The Star of David makes me vomit.” Matthaiopoulos is the second neo-Nazi rocker to represent Golden Dawn in the Greek Parliament.

 

ILIAS KASIDIARIS

SPOKESPERSON FOR THE GOLDEN DAWN PARTY

During a session of the Greek Parliament that was discussing an assault charge against Kasidiaris, he read from the notoriously anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’s” protocol #19. It alleges that Jewish leaders seek to discredit patriots as part of their attempt to take over governments: “In order to destroy the prestige of heroism, we shall send them for trial for theft, murder and every kind of abominable and filthy crime.”

– Ilias Kasidiaris

 

7.  FAR-RIGHT HUNGARIAN JOBBIK PARTY

MARTON GYONGYOSI

FOREIGN POLICY CABINET

On October 26, Marton Gyongyosi, far-right party leader criticized Hungary’s foreign ministry for supporting Israel and raised the specter of dual loyalty by calling for background checks on Hungarian Jewish citizens. “I think now is the time to assess how many people there are of Jewish origin here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament who represent a certain national security risk of Hungary.”

– Marton Gyongyosi

Gyongyosi’s remarks spurred other lawmakers to wear Jewish stars in protest and led to public demonstrations.

 

8.  NORWAY HONORS PROMOTER OF ANTI-SEMITIC CONSPIRACY CANARDS

TROND ALI LINSTAD

Trond Ali Linstad’s website warns readers to “beware the Jews” and the “influence they have in newspaper, in other media, and in many political organs.” Linstad depicts violence against Israel as a “great success” and supports use of the slogan -”Kharibat Khybarj” a jihadist term for terrorism against Jews. He also alleges “every president in the US must adapt to the Jewish lobby,“ which he says undermines US policy.

Trond Ali Linstad

Despite his notorious record, in 2012 Linstad was nominated by King Harald V for the Royal Service Medal, which recognizes people for work in the arts, science, industry and public service!

 

9.  INFLUENTIAL GERMAN MEDIA PERSONALITY’S BIGOTRY

JAKOB AUGSTEIN

OWNER/EDITOR, DER FREITAG WEEKLY

CONTRIBUTOR, SPIEGEL ONLINE

“With backing from the US, where the president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups, and in Germany, where coping with history, in the meantime, has a military component, the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant.”

“Israel’s nuclear power is a danger to the already fragile peace of the world. This statement has triggered an outcry.Because it’s true. And because it was made by a German, Guenter Grass, author and Nobel Prize winner. That is the key point. One must, therefore, thank him for taking it upon himself to speak for us all.”

“Israel is threatened by Islamic fundamentalists in its neighborhood. But the Jews also have their fundamentalists, the ultra-orthodox Hareidim. They are not a small splinter group. They make up 10% of the Israeli population. They are cut from the same cloth as their Islamic fundamentalist opponents. They follow the law of revenge.”

“The fire burns in Libya, Sudan, Yemen, in countries which are among the poorest on earth. But those who set the fires live elsewhere. Furious young people burn the American, and recently, the German flag. They, too, are victims, just like the dead at Benghazi and Sanaa. Whom does this all this violence benefit? Always the insane and unscrupulous. And this time it’s the U.S. Republicans and Israeli government.”

“Gaza is a place out of the end of times….1.7 million people live there on 360 sq. kilometers. Israel incubates its own opponents there.”

All translated quotes from Spiegel Online

Jakob Augstein

 

Respected Die Welt columnist Henryk M. Broder, who has testified as an expert in the Bundestag about German anti-Semitism, labeled Augstein a “little Streicher” adding: “Jakob Augstein is not a salon anti-Semite, he’s a pure anti-Semite…an offender by conviction who only missed the opportunity to make his career with the Gestapo because he was born after the war. He certainly would have had what it takes.”

 

10.  Louis Farrakhan

In the past, Louis Farrakhan has claimed that Jews controlled the slave trade, the US Government, and continue to seek world domination. In 2012, Farrakhan intensified his anti-Semitic rhetoric.

“Jews control the media. They said it themselves… In Washington right next to the Holocaust museum is the Federal Reserve where they print the money. Is that an accident?”

October 21, 2012 at Mosque Maryam in Chicago

“…Did you know the Koran says that Jews are the most violent of people? I didn’t write it, but I’m living to see it.”

February 26, 2012 – Savior’s Day Speech, Chicago

“Brothers and sisters, you’ve gotta stop being guided by the controlled media that is owned by Zionist forces that want to make you pawns in the struggle of Israel and Zionism.”

“Guidance in a Time of Trouble” speech in San Diego, 5/27/12

“I don’t know how many Jews were killed. I know something happened in Nazi Germany, and if it’s one million, two million, three million; it’s one million, two million, three million too many. But to deny a person the right to challenge your articulation of numbers and to put you in jail if you deny aspects of the Holocaust… You can’t speak about Jews. You can’t criticize Jews. If you do, you’re an anti-Semite.”

Farrakhan: How many of you are lawyers? Only have one in the house? No wonder we go to jail so much, brother! But at the top of the law profession, who are the top in law?

Audience: Jews.

Farrakhan: Sorry I didn’t hear you.

Audience: Jews!

Farrakhan: Any doctors in the house? Ain’t got no doctors? Oh there’s one way in the back. At the top of the medical profession, the top in that are members of the Jewish community. Anybody in media? Who’s the top in that field?

Audience: Jews.

Farrakhan: Anybody a rapper in the house? There’s rappers. You can rap, ain’t nothing wrong with that, but at the top of that are those that control the industry. Any of you have Hollywood ambitions, Broadway ambitions? Who’s the top of that?

Audience: Jews.

Farrakhan: Same people! They’re masters in business. Well I’m not a businessman I’m a banker. Well who’s the master of the bankers?

Audience: Jews.

Farrakhan: TALK TO ME!

Audience: Jews!

– Holy Day of Atonement Keynote Address, Mosque Maryam, Chicago

Ahmadinejad meets Farrakhan, other religious leaders

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Nation of Islam leader the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and other religious leaders.

The meeting on Tuesday in New York City was reported in an English translation of the Iranian president’s Web page, according to the Daily Caller, an online news site.

According to Ahmadinejad’s web page, the night before his address to the UN General Assembly, Farrakhan and seven other leaders of “Abrahamic religions” listened to the Iranian president’s desires for a new world order, the major theme of the Iranian’s UN speech, the website reported.

None of the other participants at the meeting were identified.

Ahmadinejad reportedly made his case for his country’s nuclear program. Iran, he said, has a right to develop clean energy. He also stressed that “US animosity” against his country stemmed from Washington’s desire to control Middle East energy resources.

“He further pointed to the western countries contradictory approach regarding their opposition to the atomic bombs and said if they are true with their claims why do they not destroy their own nuclear bombs first?” Ahmadinejad’s web page said.

The New York Post also reported that Ahmadinejad met at the Warwick Hotel, where he was staying, with Farrakhan and members of the New Back Panther Party.

“This is part of reaching out to the fringe that supports him,” Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told JTA.

Russell Simmons calls for truce with ADL’s Foxman

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has called for a truce with Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

In a statement sent to The Daily Beast on Sunday, Simmons said that comments he made in a speech last week in Israel in which he defended his friendship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan were misinterpreted. Simmons had said that just as Farrakhan had alienated Jews, Foxman had alienated African Americans. An outraged Foxman called the comments by Simmons “outrageous and ugly.”

“My statements at the Presidents Conference were not meant to compare Abe Foxman to Minister Farrakhan, as some in the press liked to note,” Simmons wrote. “They were meant to point out the kind of results you get from the public attacks of many African-American leaders by Abe over the years, namely that these attacks have alienated millions of blacks. Many black people around the country believe that when Abe attacks their leaders, it is an attack by the Jewish community on them as well. This type of behavior stings for a long time.”

Simmons, a co-founder with Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, said that he was proud to have worked to strengthen the relationship between the African-American and Jewish communities. He said his comments at the conference were undermining the work he has done on behalf of the Jewish community to build synagogues and promote tolerance.

“Rabbi Marc Schneier and I had a remarkable week in Israel where we met and convened with some of the most important religious leaders in the country, including the Chief Rabbi of Israel and the Grand Mufti of the Palestinian people,” Simmons wrote. “We had difficult conversations that have not happened before, and we are determined to break through barriers that have been in existence for decades.”

Foxman has publicly praised Simmons for his outreach work between African Americans and Jews, but also has faulted him for his praise of Farrakhan, who has likened Judaism to a “gutter religion” and for years has peddled anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

“What’s disappointing is that someone who has a history of having a blind spot to one of the most vociferous and ugly anti-Semites would be given a platform in Jerusalem,” Foxman said last week in a statement. “And what’s outrageous is how divisive and ugly his attack on us was.  And, finally, what’s shocking is that his colleague and partner, Rabbi Marc Schneier, stood by in silence.”