(FinalCall.com) – Music mogul Russell Simmons has refused to bow to pressure from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to denounce Minister Farrakhan as being anti-Semitic as part of Mr. Simmons’ involvement with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s new campaign to raise awareness of anti-Semitism.
The program involves actors and musicians to film public service announcements identifying with the Jewish people and denouncing worldwide anti-Semitism.
The ads are called “I am a Jew” and work to promote cross-cultural dialogue.
“While it is important that the public be informed and educated about the current state of anti-Semitism in the world, it is unfortunate that one of those promoting this campaign is Russell Simmons. Despite our meeting and repeated requests over the years, Mr. Simmons has continued to make apologies for Minister Louis Farrakhan and his long record of anti-Semitism,” wrote ADL National Director Abraham Foxman, in a released statement. “It is hypocritical for Mr. Simmons to lead a charge against anti-Semitism, while failing to denounce manifestations of anti-Jewish hatred within his own community.”
Mr. Simmons and Minister Farrakhan have a long history of working together with great admiration between the two. Cedric Muhammad, of blackelectorate.com, recently interviewed Mr. Simmons on his support for the Minister.
“What he (Minister Farrakhan) has done for American Blacks; people went home after the Million Man Marchâ„¢ and changed. No matter what they say. I know so many people who have. I saw the half-a-million people at the Million Family March in the crowd and they were crying. And they don’t do what he said; they do what he says,” Mr. Simmons explained. “That is why Minister Farrakhan can speak to so many Christians and so many non-Muslims in a way that is inspiring. He’s not teaching tolerance as much as he is teaching love.”
The Black community is not the only group that sees the ADL’s request as preposterous. On the website Jewlicious.com, a cartoon calls the situation a “senseless fight.”
Another person wrote, “Simmons has been honored by the UJA-Federation of New York, has worked with Israeli Consulate in New York, has consulted for AIPAC. Simmons is all about rapprochement and, in that respect, has also had ties with Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.”
Many in the Black community are watching this war of the wills and are praising the strong stance of Mr. Simmons.
“I heard about the ADL’s demand and just held my breath for a moment,” said Jason Washington, a student at Howard University. “I was wondering what Mr. Simmons was going to do. I’m glad he didn’t do it. I heard about the time when Black leaders were denouncing the Minister. We don’t need that today. We need unity.
Russell Simmons Responds to Abraham Foxman’s attacks (FCN, 10-04-2005)
Toward Black-Jewish Relations Outside AIPAC-ADL Construct (BlackElectorate.com, 06-19-2002)
Judge rules that libel judgment against ADL stands (FCN, 05-15-2001)