Shalom Life | July 23, 2014

Russell Simmons Likens ADL’s National Director to Louis Farrakhan

Abe Foxman calls comparison “outrageous and ugly”

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: June 22nd, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Russell Simmons Likens ADL’s National Director to Louis Farrakhan

Russell Simmons appeared at the Israel Presidential Conference in Jerusalem this week with his Foundation for Ethnic Understanding co-founder, Rabbi Marc Schneier. During the conference, the hip-hop legend defended his friendship with the Nation of Islam leader, explaining that just as Farrakhan had alienated Jews, Abe Foxman has alienated African Americans.

This statement has obviously enraged the Anti-Defamation League national director.

“What’s surprising is that Simmons did it in Jerusalem,” Foxman began.

“What’s disappointing is that someone who has a history of having a blind spot to one of the most vociferous and ugly anti-Semites would be given a platform in Jerusalem. And what’s outrageous is how divisive and ugly his attack on us was. And, finally, what’s shocking is that his colleague and partner, Rabbi Marc Schneier, stood by in silence,” Foxman concluded.

While speaking with JTA, Rabbi Schneier explained that Simmons was “winking” while making the comment, and the audience understands it was in “jest”.

“I find it sad that Abe would expend so much time and energy attacking Russell Simmons, who is one of the greatest friends of the Jewish people and a tireless advocate for the state of Israel,” the Rabbi said.

In the past, Foxman has praised the Def Jam founder for his work and outreach between Jews and African Americans, but has also expressed concern with Simmons’ praise of Farrakhan. Rabbi Schneier also expressed that he has “profound disagreements” with Simmons over Farrakhan, but understands that the goal of their joint organization to facilitate such disagreements.

Simmons and Schneier were in Israel to not only attend the conference, but also to bring their mosque-synagogue twinning project to the country. This annual project, brining together Muslim and Jewish faith, was originally launched in the U.S but now occurs in various countries.

Backstreet Boys Cancel All Three Sold-Out Shows in Israel Backstreet Boys Cancel All Three Sold-Out Shows in Israel TrendingAdam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated Adam Levine is Officially Married, Jonah Hill Officiated TrendingWoody Allen Shares His Thoughts on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Woody Allen Shares His Thoughts on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Trending
 

Shalom, Mauritius: A Jewish Culture Guide

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Shalom, Mauritius: A Jewish Culture Guide

In 2000, Rabbi Silberhalft officiated the first Bar Mitzvah in the nation since World War II.

Read More

Robert Downey Jr. Is Still The Highest Paid Actor in Hollywood

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Robert Downey Jr. Is Still The Highest Paid Actor in Hollywood

The 'Iron Man' star raked in $75 million last year.

Read More

Woody Allen Appears On His First-Ever Podcast

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Woody Allen Appears On His First-Ever Podcast

The famed director spoke to Josh Horowitz, admitting he doesn't even know what a podcast is.

Read More

‘Louie’ Renewed For a Fifth Season, Only 7 Episodes

July 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
‘Louie’ Renewed For a Fifth Season, Only 7 Episodes

FX has announced another season on Louis C.K's popular show

Read More

The Love Jewce: Third Time's A Charm

July 22, 2014 | By Andria Kaplan
The Love Jewce: Third Time's A Charm

Sometimes you can't get to know someone after one fateful meeting on Instagram. Sometimes, it takes a few tries

Read More

CNN Poll Shows Most Americans Side with Israel

July 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
CNN Poll Shows Most Americans Side with Israel

A new poll shows that the majority of U.S. citizens agree with Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas

Read More

Study: 80% of British Jews Feel They Are Being Blamed for Gaza Conflict

July 22, 2014 | By ShalomLife Team
Study: 80% of British Jews Feel They Are Being Blamed for Gaza Conflict

"Most respondents (over three-quarters) maintained that they hear the Israel/Nazi parallel in Britain at least occasionally"

Read More

European Officials Condemn anti-Semitic Rallies

July 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
European Officials Condemn anti-Semitic Rallies

Foreign ministers from Germany, France and Italy will fight "acts and statements that cross the line to anti-Semitism"

Read More

More Headlines