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Awful times?

by: Rabbi Jeremy Rosen - Last updated: 2005-05-20

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen

I must apologize. For over four years now I have been haranguing you all about how awful the intellectual and political climate in Britain and Europe have become for Jews and I have contrasted it with the United States.

I remember saying such things as ‘They wouldn’t get away with something like that in the USA,’ or ‘American Jews would never allow such things to happen,’ and other expressions of confidence that our USA cousins (or brothers and sisters) were less cringingly apologetic appeasers and ‘Ma Yofis’ Jews than we are. ‘Ma Yofis’, by the way, is the Yiddish equivalent of ‘I’m alright, Jack.’ But now I have to eat my words.

Louis Farrakhan is known, amongst other things, as a rabid and crude anti-Semite. It is true he also anti- White, Catholic, Chinese, Mexican, Uzbeki, Japanese, and probably Falkland Islanders too. Yes, he is an amateur violinist who plays Mendelssohn’s ’s violin concerto passably with an angelic look on his face (but then so did lots of Nazis). And one might even give him some credit for trying to give hopeless, criminal and despairing Blacks a sense of pride. But, sadly, he does so by encouraging them to hate other people. Here is a selection of Farrakhanisms I have lifted from an article by American journalist, Don Feder:

In a February 27, 2005 speech in Chicago, the Nation of Islam leader proclaimed: ‘Listen, Jewish people don’t have no hands that are free of the blood of us (Blacks) (sic.). They owned slave ships. They bought and sold us. They raped and robbed us.’

In 1995 and 1998, at the same venue, Farrakhan disclosed that besides running the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jews also financed the Holocaust. ("German Jews financed Hitler right here in America.")

‘The war in Iraq is not your war; that’s Israel’s war… The rudder that is turning America is not your elected officials; it’s that small, influential group of (Jewish) neo-conservatives that are using America’s power to destroy the enemies of Israel.’

‘You Jews are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews (who everyone knows were Black) You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the US government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell… But if you choose to crucify me (subtle reference to the deicide charge), know that Allah will crucify you.’

Notorious anti-Semitic tracts--like ‘The Jews and Their Lies’, ‘The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews’ (purporting to ‘document’ Jewish control of the slave trade) and, that favourite of Aryan Nation-types and holy warriors alike, ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’–are always on sale at Farrakhan events, as they were at the 1995 March.

‘White people are potential humans…they haven’t evolved yet.’

Now this loveable, sweet man is planning a Million More March (scheduled for October 14-15, 2005, in Washington, D.C.). The event will mark the 10th anniversary of Farrakhan’s so-called Million Man March of 1995 (most estimates put it as far, far fewer by a mile). And if he were alone in organizing it that would be grounds enough for concern.

But he has co-opted as co-organizer another sweet, lovable and entirely harmless man, Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the anti-Semitic and racist New Black Panther Party. At a 2002 protest in front of the B’nai B’rith building in Washington DC, Zulu Shabazz told the mob: ‘Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel. Goddamn little babies. Goddamn old ladies. Blow up Zionist supermarkets!’

Now, you might argue that free societies should allow deluded fanatics to spew their hatred unimpeded. After all, Britain has been allowing it for a very long time though, even Britain balked at allowing Farrakhan in. So my gripe is not that a couple of hundred thousand Blacks will gather to excoriate Jews as slavers (conveniently forgetting of course that far more Muslims were involved in the slave trade and, indeed,  still are today, and that most Black African slaves were rounded up and sold by Black Chieftains and middlemen anxious to make a buck or two--not that that in any way excuses the catastrophic inhuman disaster the trade was).

What worries me almost as much is that Bill Clinton is on board, both supporting the event and planning to speak at it. This is the loveable Bill who gets Anglo Jewish women swooning in their thousands at JIA events. In an exclusive interview with the Amsterdam News, a Black newspaper published in New York City (and posted on its websiteon May 4th), Clinton calls the Farrakhan project ‘a very positive idea.’ Elaborating, the ex-President explains, ‘Jesse (Jackson) and Mr. Farrakhan and Rev. Sharpton probably have some internal domestic differences, but they’ve agreed on’ the rally’s importance. Clinton also retroactively endorsed the 1995 event, explaining that Farrakhan and friends, ‘were basically standing up for the dignity of the family and asking African American men and fathers to be more responsible.’ Moreover, ‘it was totally non-violent and got a big participation….’

But if that were not enough the so-called Anti-Defamation League, supposedly the guardian of tolerance, with a Holocaust survivor director who is never backward in coming forward to hog the limelight and milk the publicity mill for all it’s worth, is saying virtually nothing and doing nothing.

On the ADL’s homepage (www.adl.org) you’ll find a statement posted on May 2nd confessing that the group is ‘saddened and disheartened’ by the involvement of prominent Black leaders in the Farrakhan/Shabazz event. It plaintively inquires, ‘When will someone in the African-American community stand up and say that the Million Man March has a positive message, but the pied piper is a racist and an anti-Semite?’  But action? Don’t see any. Protests? Not heard any. Neither from the ADL nor any other major Jewish organisation.

Coming after a year of several examples of American academic institutions making life uncomfortable for Jewish students, holding one-sided anti-Israel conferences and, in the case of Columbia University, a total whitewash of concerns that to be pro-Israel singles you out for humiliation and marginalization, I wonder if, for a change, the English disease hasn’t began to affect the USA.