Letters from a Member
Updated: Jul 20
Day by day, anti-Semitism is become more acceptable around the world, even in the United States, which has been a remarkably safe have for Jews since its founding. Most big time Jewish organizations are paying lip service to fighting it. They're focusing on anti-Semitism from white supremacists and from the Right side of the political spectrum. Everything else is ignored or downplayed. Anti-Semitism coming from the Left-wing, or from Muslims, or from anyone else doesn't matter to them.
That's why it's important that we all speak up. One way of speaking up is responding to newspaper articles. MJAC Co-President, Ed Kohl presents two great examples of how it's done. He wrote two letters.
This one went to the Detroit Free Press.
Regarding Mitch Albom’s July 12 “Anti-Semitic posts – and tepid reactions – should enrage us”:
I applaud Albom’s historical narrative of Jew hatred, the unfortunate back-up of DeSean Jackson’s regrettable remarks by other athletes and the extolling of Louis Farrakhan by those who have no idea how dangerous he is.
“…there was no mass outrage from his industry, and no immediate punishment from his team…. For all the bigoted garbage stirred up against Jews last week, it was disturbingly quiet out there. We should think twice about why that is.”
That’s right – except for NFL Jewish players Julian Edelman and Mitchell Schwartz not one comment from the NFL front office or Jewish organizations.
Only the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and a Holocaust survivor inviting Jackson to tour Auschwitz.
The ZOA commented: “Jackson purportedly apologized for his posts, but his “apology” instead demonstrated his failure to appreciate that his actions were hateful and hurtful. Jackson claimed that he “really didn’t realize what this [anti-Semitic] passage was saying.” He also outrageously claimed, “Anyone who feels I have hate towards the Jewish community took my post the wrong way” – even though his posts plainly demonstrated his hatred toward Jews.
From USA TODAY - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is concerned that the anti-Semitic views spouted by former NBA player and activist Stephen Jackson, along with NFL player DeSean Jackson, can lead to what he fears most: "apathy to all forms of social justice," which he dubbed the "Apatholypse." ……Abdul-Jabbar was quick to point out that while the apologies from DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson largely fell flat, the lack of condemnation from most others in sports and entertainment, compared to the rise in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, was troubling.
Mr. Albom states “And before you make any assumptions, I don’t think DeSean Jackson needs to be fired. True, others have lost their jobs for far less. But continuing that trend doesn’t improve things.”
But ZOA’s Mort Klein stated, “the Philadelphia Eagles must show zero tolerance for bigotry against Jews by firing Jackson immediately.” - to set an example that bigotry and hate does not belong anywhere, especially where hi-profile celebrities set negative examples for young people.
We suggest another option – Jackson should be made to wear a Yellow Star on his jersey and clothing for a week, or maybe a month.
Michigan Jewish Action Council
Regarding the July 15 “ViacomCBS drops Nick Cannon, cites ‘anti-Semitic’ comments” -
From Reuters “At issue was a June 30 interview on his “Cannon’s Class” podcast with Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, who left rap group Public Enemy after telling The Washington Times in 1989, “The Jews are wicked. And we can prove this.”
On the podcast, Griffin made the unsubstantiated claim often asserted by hate groups that Jews control the music industry and the media.
Cannon responded to Griffin’s comments, saying: “You’re just saying what you’re saying, you’re speaking facts.”
It’s time that someone has been disciplined for hate speech against Jews after DeSean Jackson’s regrettable remarks, the Black Lives Matters and Antifa Jew hate demonstrations and the burning of synagogues in Los Angeles.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in USA TODAY – “is concerned that the anti-Semitic views spouted by former NBA player and activist Stephen Jackson, along with NFL player DeSean Jackson, can lead to what he fears most: "apathy to all forms of social justice," which he dubbed the "Apatholypse.”
Abdul-Jabbar was quick to point out that while the apologies from DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson largely fell flat, the lack of condemnation from most others in sports and entertainment, compared to the rise in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, was troubling.”
The distant horrible memories of the 40’s are re-emerging today in Europe, South America and the Middle East.
It’s time to stop the anti-Semitism here.
Michigan Jewish Action Council
We thank Ed for speaking up. He's speaking up, not only for MJAC, but for the entire Jewish community. We all need to speak up. Nobody is going to do it for us.