The "Kosher Tax" Hoax:
Anti-Semitic Recipe for Hate

The Facts
The Lies
Bigotry Over a Beer Label
"You Don't Have to be Jewish..."

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The Lies

The most active right wing extremist sources of the "kosher tax" hoax are various Ku Klux Klan groups and the National States Rights Party, based in Marietta, GA. The Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (now based in North Carolina), through its Empire Publishing, offers a pamphlet titled "The Kosher Food Swindle" to its members and supporters. The pamphlet begins:

American families are paying tribute to Jews every time they sit down at the table to eat and in many instances, polish their shoes, silver or wrap the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Why? Because Jews have discovered a way to coerce business to pay taxes directly to Jewish organizations and pass the cost on to the consumer.

The racist and anti-Semitic National States Rights Party (NSRP), founded in 1958, became a focal point of violent opposition to the civil rights struggle in the South and has functioned as both a propaganda mill and a political party. The party's founder, Edward Fields, has served as its National Secretary, as well as the editor of the party's hate sheet, "The Truth At Last" (formerly "The Thunderbolt"). Fields was also the Grand Dragon of the now-defunct New Order, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

"The Truth At Last" published a special issue in June 1990 that dealt only with kosher symbols. Articles appeared in this edition with such titles as: "Six States Make Rabbis Kosher Policeman [sic]," "Secret Kosher Tax Boosts Food Prices," "How Kosher Blackmail Works," and "Kosher Tax Symbols May Be Changed to Hide Swindle."

"Describing" kashruth, Fields has written that 'All of this is superstitious nonsense and has absolutely nothing to do with improving the quality of any food product. Still, this clever scheme of requiring kosher labeling has become a multi-million dollar business today!" Another article in 'The Truth At Last" asserted that the "kosher tax" is paid to Orthodox Jewish organizations "just so an estimated 10% to 20% of Jewry will buy their products," and that "we are all forced to pay this Kosher Tax just to appease LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF THE POPULATION!"

Next: Bigotry Over a Beer Label

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This report was originally issued in January 1991

2000 Anti-Defamation League