[Final Call, Sept. 29, 1996]
(FinalCall.com) – The Jewish community has a major problem that is must address if it expects its relationship with the Black community to improve. That problem is Abraham Foxman, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish leaders who act irresponsibly in their analysis of Black/Jewish relations and how they motivate their troops.
Mr. Foxman’s presentation during a recent ADL meeting in Chicago serves as a prime example of his mis-leadership. During a presentation called “Black/Jewish Relationships and the Million Man March”, Mr. Foxman used clips from a “Black Holocaust” conference held prior to the march to summarize the relationship between the two communities. Though he characterized the Black Holocaust event as a “Farrakhan conference”, he did not use footage from Minister Louis Farrakhan’s speech at the march.
This is misleading and it is wicked. There were several forums and activities held independently of the Million Man March during that weekend, and the organizers had every right to hold them. Mention of the Jewish community played a very small part of the dialog in the Holocaust conference, according to Dr. Tony Martin, a professor at Wellesley College who participated in the conference and a man who has been the object of ADL smear campaigns. Yet, Mr. Foxman portrayed the conference to his listeners as some kind of anti-Jewish forum.
The fact is, Min. Farrakhan spoke very clearly for himself during his speech on the mall. And quite frankly, the overwhelming positive response from Blacks and Whites to the message– many whites saw and heard clearly his message for the first time during the live broadcast of the speech–worries Mr. Foxman.
Mr. Foxman is a masterful, although deceptive, fund-raiser, and his ADL needs the funds to stay in existence. To come to the table of dialog, as Min. Farrakhan has offered, and as we see other responsible Jewish leaders now beginning to make the same call, would mean that Mr. Foxman’s scare tactics would no longer work.
The Chicago Jewish Star, a paper which often carries the same slanderous rhetoric with regard to Min. Farrakhan and other leaders of the Black community, had a few things right in a recent editorial that mentioned the actions of the ADL and the Million Man March.
“Why, after all, should Blacks care what Jews think about this event?” Our sentiments exactly.
“… the Anti-Defamation League’s decision to break with other Jewish defense organizations and publicize its dissatisfaction with Farrakhan’s march appears to be show boating and headline grabbing.”
How else, other than through hysteria and headline grabbing, can Foxman make his troops think that a Black man, a victim of the world’s worst Holocaust, wants to cause mass destruction of Jews.
It’s time for level headed members of the Jewish faith to come to the table of dialog to resolve these serious and unfortunate issues.