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ADL Says "Crown Heights" Distorts History and Refuels Hatred

New York, NY, January 27, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says a new play based on the 1991 Crown Heights riots "distorts history and refuels hatred" and could do significant damage to years of healing in Crown Heights.  "Crown Heights" was co-written by Fred Newman and is a production of the All Stars Project, a group co-founded by Newman and Lenora Fulani.  Newman and Fulani have a long record of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

A fictionalized account of the events in Brooklyn leading up to the 1991 riots, "Crown Heights" opened on January 16 in a theater near Times Square.

"With all of the progress made between the Black and Jewish communities of Crown Heights, it is sad that we now have this fictionalized rendering of events that is a distortion of history," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "Both communities want desperately to heal, and we feel this production does a great disservice to the healing process.  We fear that this play will only exacerbate conflict and refuel hatred.

"It is outrageous that Fred Newman and Lenora Fulani, who have a long record of sowing discord, are involved in a production that could do significant damage to years of healing in the Crown Heights community," Mr. Foxman added.

Newman was founder and leader of the now-defunct New Alliance Party and has a record of anti-Semitic remarks and highly inflammatory criticism of Israel and Zionism.  A longtime Newman associate, Fulani has been involved in political organizing.  She has been a strong supporter of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

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.

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