Why Jews Shouldn't Meet With Farrakhan

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Abraham H. Foxman
National Director
Anti-Defamation League

November 1995

Minister Louis Farrakhan is a master of manipulation. Once again he has deflected media attention away from his message of hate by offering to dialogue with American Jews, this time in advance of his World Day of Atonement March near the United Nations.

When one talks about Minister Farrakhan's hatred, it is not a matter of an occasional statement here and there. It is rather that he uses the various institutions and programs of the organization he controls completely, the Nation of Islam, to disseminate his message of hate.
The offer is nothing more than a public relations gimmick -- an olive branch without leaves.

It is instructive how Minister Farrakhan goes about talking of the need for dialogue. He says he doesn't "wish to go into New York with the Jewish community feeling that I'm coming there to say or do things to ill affect them." Yet, he also says he has the "truth" about Jews.

Minister Farrakhan has shown no repentance, nor even a willingness to stop his hatred. Since the Million Man March one year ago, Minister Farrakhan and Nation of Islam representatives under his direction, have renewed their attacks on the Jewish community and on whites in general. The last year has seen him defend right-wing extremist groups known for their apocalyptic and anti-Semitic beliefs.

When one talks about Minister Farrakhan's hatred, it is not a matter of an occasional statement here and there. It is rather that he uses the various

We should not present him the gift of legitimacy that he has done nothing to earn ... until Minister Farrakhan atones for his own record of racism and anti-Semitism...
institutions and programs of the organization he controls completely, the Nation of Islam, to disseminate his message of hate.

The Nation of Islam newspaper, The Final Call, is a continuous source of hatred, division, and anti-Semitism. A major NOI publication, The Secret Relationship of Blacks and Jews, is one of the most significant anti-Semitic books produced in decades. An all-star collection of anti-Semitic works, including the infamous tsarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are routinely distributed at NOI speeches and meetings. All of this constitutes an organized effort of hatred deeply embedded in the philosophy of Minister Louis Farrakhan and the NOI.

It is in the context of an individual who indicates an unwillingness to atone for or even stop his own anti-Semitism and that of his organization, that one must ask: Why is Minister Farrakhan offering his olive branch, no matter how tainted?

Clearly, it is to further his struggle to gain legitimacy in the broader community as well as within the African-American community. Undoubtedly, because he has a "thing" about Jews, one component of which is the usual exaggerated belief in Jewish power, he would use any meeting with Jewish representatives to cleanse himself with a variety of groups and opinionmakers.

The simple fact is that good people everywhere look to leaders of the Jewish community's views regarding Minister Farrakhan because anti-Semitism is a special hatred that he has, although he also demonstrates bigotry towards Catholics, gays, and whites in general. We should not present him the gift of legitimacy that he has done nothing to earn.

Unless and until Minister Farrakhan atones for his own record of racism and anti-Semitism, publicly and consistently -- and unless and until he directs his followers to cease their message of hate and stop promoting anti-Semitic myths and distributing vile anti-Semitic literature -- there is no point in accepting the tainted olive branch he has extended to the Jewish community.

(This article originally appeared on the MSNBC website, November 3, 1995)




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2001 Anti-Defamation League