ADL Calls on Russell Simmons to Distance Himself from Minister Farrakhan
New York, NY, February 14, 2005 â€¦ Reacting to reports that hip-hop producer Russell Simmons is leading a new effort to raise awareness about anti-Semitism through a series of celebrity advertisements, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Mr. Simmons to publicly distance himself from Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader whom he has continued to defend despite Farrakhan's record of anti-Semitic speeches and rhetoric.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
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.
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. As recently as last December, in a typical conspiratorial diatribe against Jews, Minister Farrakhan said the war in Iraq was "Israel's war." Yet, we have never once heard Mr. Simmons make any attempt to denounce Farrakhan's anti-Semitism. Instead, he has continued to make excuses for it, or ignore it entirely.
The fight against anti-Semitism begins at home. Mr. Simmons needs to immediately and publicly distance himself from Minister Farrakhan's hateful rhetoric.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.