Fight to the death

The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding has recently announced the launch of a campaign aimed at fighting anti-semitism. Titled “I am a Jew,” it is being spearheaded by Rabbi Marc Schneier and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. Said Simmons about the campaign:

Anti-Semitism is growing so quickly around the world… I want to do everything I can to fight it … People forget how quickly the world can change. I mean, it was only yesterday that [Jewish] people were being put in ovens.

Leonardo is a JewIndeed. Simmons plans on recruiting A-List celebrities. Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce Knowles and possibly Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere and more will be involved. Simmons has been honored by the UJA-Federation of New York, has worked with the Israeli Consulate in New York and has consulted for AIPAC. Simmons is all about rapprochement and in that respect has also had ties with Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. In 2001 he arranged a meeting between Rabbi Marc Schneier and Minister Farrakhan. Obviously the intent was to begin a dialogue between the vociferously anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Minister Farrakhan and the Rabbi in the hopes of creating better understanding. Russell Simmons can hardly be said to be an ardent supporter of Minister Farrakhan.

But that’s not good enough for the highly paid Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League. The ADL recently released a statement where they insisted Simmons immediately and publicly distance himself from Farrakhan. Good move Abe. Way to alienate a good friend.

The ADL’s actions in this case have been described as bizarre, and it has been noted that the “I am a Jew” campaign is similiar to the ADL’s 2004 “Anti-Semitism is me” campaign. Responding in the past to his association with Farrakhan, Simmons said “I have actively encouraged a dialogue between all of the leaders of the African-American and Jewish communities in hopes of improving relations.” Can’t we just leave it at that? Or do we really need Foxman to go apeshit every single time even a whiff of anti-semitism rears its ugly head. Shouldn’t we encourage the ADL to pick its battles a little better?

* Well Photoshopped photo of Leonardo courtesy of The Wandering Jew.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • How do we encourage the ADL to do anything differently? Do you have Abe Foxman’s email addy?

  • Good, now can you get us Russel Simmons’ email addy so we can write to him in appreciation?

  • Ask and ye shall receive. You may not know this but Paris Hilton’s T-Mobile phone was hacked today, and all the phone numbers have been posted on the Internet. One of them was Russell Simmons’ which is 1-212-840-9399

  • ­čść

    Hmmm, maybe I should call tomorrow. ­čść

    Anybody wanna point me to some decent online bio of this guy so I know who I’m talking to…

  • Eek… creepy. Nice idea for a campaign, though. Will we ever see it? And will someone just tell the ADL to be quiet for once?

  • Why does Paris Hilton have Russell Simmons phone number in her T-Mobile Sidekick but not Abraham H. Foxman’s number?

  • And ck has just put his finger on why perhaps it is time for Abe to opt for early retirement. If you’re not on Paris’s phone directory, you’re simply not a playa.

  • So you don’t have to be Jewish to be part of the “I Am a Jew” campaign? I’m not a Jew, so I don’t know. Or are Beyonce, Leonardo, and Sam all Jewish?

  • I agree with the writer. I think it’s obscene that the ADL has chosen to deride Russell Simmons for NOT confronting Farrakhan. No wonder everybody hates us. We don’t know how to accept help and support without tearing it apart. That’s like somebody offering you a car, and you complaining that they are not a good friend because they are not offering you a garage to park the car in.
    Russell Simmons needs to be praised and appreciated for his efforts. He doesn’t HAVE to do this at all. How dare the ADL belittle him for not doing what they feel is ENOUGH?

  • Antisemitism would be a dead issue in this country if Foxman and the ADL would keep their traps shut. They incite it by blowing remote issues like this WAAAAY out of proportion.

  • Naah, that’s untrue and unfair. They may blow some issues out of proportion, or take matters they shouldn’t and give them unnecessary publicity, but they have also been a very effective organization for the American Jewish community for many decades. This post is about a misstep, just as their attacks on The Passion were a misstep. However, to say the organization is causing antisemitism because of a misstep is false. In fact, some of the people who advocate this view are…the people under ADL’s careful watch. The ADL is doing just fine. In fact, if you consider imitation to be a form of flattery, we now have the Arab
    Anti-Defamation League. Where do you think they got the idea?

  • Russel, you may want to check this website out called under web tv and then go to event coverage. They claim that the Hip Hop Summit that you had last year in Chicago was the Truth Hip Hop Summit

  • So where do you write to Russell Simmons? I’m sure the phone number has been changed by now

  • Here at We-dont-bang Foundation, Inc. We are declaring a ‘STATE OF EMERGENCY’. At first it was the Parents then the Clegry, Law Enforcement Angencies; and finally the Organizers of the street Gangs themselves crying out… We do not want to follow in our Parents are our Peers Footsteps. Acroos this nation, countless young men and women are vegitation in juvenile Halls and Youth Authorities and laid to rest in Cemeteries. More and more Prisons are being constucted to accommodate this generation. The question is …. Can these young folk become motivated enough to defy the expectations that many have of them? The concept of “We-Dont-Bang” (founded in March 2002) was the “brainchild” of then 11-year-old Joseph Adams, Who thought it was time to do something about this dominant but dreaded problem that plagued our youth for over three decades. We-Dont-Bang,Inc. is an Urban Based Non-Profit Organization founded to educate youth and adults of Urban Culture through entertainment, sports, and culture, and to preserve and celebrate it’s impact, legacy and history on promoting non-violence Worldwide.We believe that the “We-Dont-Bang” gear has the potential to change mind set. We believe that this Clothing Line will allow our youth “free pass” in the snese that they would not have to talk about who they are and what they stand for, the clothes would speak for themselves. We here at “We-Dont-bang” are cognizant that gang violence is present in every city throughout the U.S, given a opportunity we would like to do something about the problem through our clothes.Our Gaol is to evolve the clothing line into a cartoon in hopes of reaching the even younger child. We also plan to open Community Center where yputh are taught subjects regarding everyday life i.e. finances, investments, entreprepeurship, etc. Our hopes is to one day cerate a Reality Series geared to address problems dealing with Gang Membership/ Banging. Our Ultimate goal with your help is to form a Socio-economic Commission that will empower our Youth to achieve and not self-destruct. Visit his website and see his gear at

  • Abe Foxman, Russel Simmons and Minister Farrakhan.I am so elated that you guys are promoting the children with the we-dont-bang GOD knows we need it. Tips off to you guys I will help spread the word because it’s so positive.

  • My name is Jamal and i am from San Diego California. I just wanted to say thank you for promoting We-Dont-Bang it’s something positve for the kids and the community. I work in law enforcement and see kids come and go through the system on a daily basis. A lot of kids say if they had someone to talk to or something constructive to do with their time they would most likely not have ended up behind bars. Thanks again for promoting the We-Dont-Bang foundation and have a blessed day.

  • hello how are you doing today, i was wondering if there was a way for me to get a contact for russel simmons in any way, whether it be through email etc.

  • Minister Louis Farrakhan is the Best living example of following the examples of prophet Moses and all the prophets that have ever lived. Therefore he is an excellent example of a true Jew. “The Jew is not the Jew outwardly but inwardly due to the circumcision of the Heart(Mind)” – Jesus. Your race does not make you a Jew nor where you were born, according to what Jesus has said. But the condition of your Mind; if it has been cleansed of that spirit of rebellion and disobedince that is a natural part of the development in the human being. Just as the foreskin of the penis is natural to every male but must be cut away because it can harbor disease and filth while at the same time that organ gives life. So it is with the human Mind.

    (On Minister Farrakhan being Anti-Semitic)

    Semite-(n.) a member of any various ancient and modernn peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs.

    Canaanite-(n.) a membe of a Semitic people that inhabited parts of ancient Palestine and were conquered by the Israelites and largely absorbed by them.

    Source:The Random House Dictionary Of The English language, Second Edition, Unabridged

    Does this make the ancient Israelites anti-Semitic? And if modern days “Jews” are descendants of the ancient Israelites then your forefathers are part of an invasion and overthrow that destroyed a poeple and claims a promise that God made to a people that your ancestors “conquered and largely absorbed”.

    Outside of being emotional about what I’ve written, intelligently research aspect of what you’ve just read as a start to understand who the real anti-semite is and why Minister Farrakhan could never be anti-semitic.

    The truth is all Minister Farrakhan speaks and never does anyone call him a liar. Anti-Semite and hater and many other ugly names, but never a liar.

  • Jews have never been put in ovens in this country and it is a slur on the American people to even hint we would do this.

    Jews need to learn that they are human beings. There is nothing special about Jews except that they want to trap us into thinking everything boils down to Nazi/Jew or Palestinian/Jew. This is mind control, because they don’t want to be challenged about the Holocaust or the Israeli state.

  • I must have just used my mind control powers on myself because I think of you and I as Conspiracy Idiot/Jew

  • Ernest, you inferior being, go fetch me an apple. Peel it first. And don’t even think about asking me about the Holocaust or Israel or you’ll never find another job.

  • Fudge Packing Jews for Yahweh, if your Gay your not a Jew your a sodomite.

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