From Ed Kohl to Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Dear Asher,

Regarding the June 4 “Join JCRC/AJC and the Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity for Important Discussions” –

I’m surprised, no - shocked that you will feature Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist in a “racial disparities” event when he has a record of anti-Israel (e.g. anti-Semitic) statements.

He may have apologized to satisfy his political needs, but he said these words.

- In at least three separate tweets from January 2009, Gilchrist threw his support behind Hamas and accused pro-Israel supporters in the United States of "kissing Israel's ass."

- "I'm suck of politicians and Evangelicals kissing Israel's ass regardless of what they do in the name of ‘defense' [sic]," he wrote in one missive.

- "Obama speaking could be the signal the beginning of a new American approach; an end to the ‘Israel-can-do-no-wrong' approach, [sic]" Gilchrist wrote in another.

- "Hamas is a legitimately elected party that only rose to power b/c of Israeli aggression & Western complicity/enablement," he stated in a third tweet.

Garlin Gilchrist, is on record as supporting Hamas whose Charter in Article 7 requires its members and supporters to murder every Jew on Earth.

Gilchrist's support of Hamas puts him diametrically opposed to the wisdom and prescience of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who in December 1967 said: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking Anti-Semitism".

Asher, is it too much to ask that the Coalition for Black and Jewish Unity not host someone who has thrown Dr. King under the bus?

Also - my letter to you below from April 28 is pertinent.

From: Ed Kohl

Subject: A Note on Black anti Semitism

Date: April 28, 2020 at 1:18:39 PM EDT

Dear Asher,

Black anti Semitism has been rising. Louis Farrikahn has been welcomed with open arms to Detroit over the years as he was this year. He was even given the key to the city a number of years ago but there has been silence from the Jewish community.

Farrakhan in his books and in his speeches insists that black people are the true children of Israel, that white Jews are responsible for the transatlantic slave trade, and that Jews continue to oppress blacks in their efforts to rule the world.

We have incendiary anti-Israel and anti-Jew rhetoric from politicians of color such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who have, among other things, likened Israel to Nazi Germany, and the anti-Semitic tropes that fill black Rap artists such as Jay-Z songs.

Now we see that the NFL has hired Jay-Z as their entertainment expert.

The same Jay-Z that refused to stand at the last Super Bowl during the national anthem. The same Jay-Z that is a Colin Kaepernick supporter. This NFL abomination will certainly negatively influence the young black population.

As early as 1948, James Baldwin wrote in Commentary Magazine

The Negro, facing a Jew, hates, at bottom, not his Jewishness but the color of his skin. It is not the Jewish tradition by which he has been betrayed but the tradition of his native land.

But just as a society must have a scapegoat, so hatred must have a symbol. Georgia has the Negro and Harlem has the Jew."

As the JCRC/AJC has built relationships with the Black and Muslim communities, I hope that you can influence them to speak out against the Farrikahns, Omars and others who preach Anti-Semitism.

Yet some of us go out of our way to stand against bigotry aimed at them.


Ed Kohl

Co-president MJAC