TEL AVIV — The Anti-Defamation League on Sunday slammed Rep. Danny Davis, an Illinois Democrat, for praising anti-Semitic preacher and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as an “outstanding human being.”
“It is unfortunate that the congressman apparently can’t muster up the courage to denounce Farrakhan’s blatant anti-Semitism and instead chose to praise him,” an ADL spokesman told JTA.
Davis lauded Farrakhan as “an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate,” according to an interview published in The Daily Caller.
In his defense, Davis said that his remarks were misunderstood and asked the ADL for more information regarding Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. The ADL then provided Davis with a litany of Farrakhan’s vicious verbal attacks on Jews over the decades.
In a more recent interview with the Daily Caller, Davis dismissed the allegations of anti-Semitism.
“I know Farrakhan, been knowing him for years and years and years and years and years, and every once in a while some writer or somebody will I guess try to think of something to say about Farrakhan, but nah, my world is so much bigger than any of that,” he said.
“We are deeply disappointed with Congressman Davis’s statements about Farrakhan, an avowed anti-Semite who leads a group that traffics in hate not just towards Jews but also the LGBTQ community,” the ADL spokesman stated. “Hate should not be difficult to denounce. Once again we’re calling on the congressman to denounce anti-Semitism and all forms of hate.”
Last week, Farrakhan delivered a particularly rancorous anti-Semitic attack on Jews at the 2018 Saviour’s Day event in Chicago, calling Jews members of the “Synagogue of Satan” and claiming that Jesus called the Jews “the children of the devil” and “when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.”
“Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through,” the Nation of Islam leader said.
Progressive Zionist group Zioness charged three high profile leaders of the Women’s March with aligning themselves with Farrakhan.
“No one expects progressive leaders — who are humans — to be perfect. We expect them to be inherently good, as opposed to profoundly racist. It would be absolutely unacceptable to Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour if a leader made heinous and hateful comments about their respective communities. And we would join them in loudly condemning that leader,” Zioness director Amanda Berman said in a statement Friday.
“Thus, it is hypocritical beyond words that they continue to align themselves with Louis Farrakhan, who is an unapologetic bigot that spews hate targeting the Jewish community, LGBTQ community, and others,” she continued.
“There is no ambiguity on this issue. Either the Women’s March leaders endorse the vilification of the Jewish people or they don’t. It’s that simple. This episode only reaffirms the need to activate and empower new leaders in the feminist movement who show up to fight for the civil and human rights of all people, not just some people.”
The Nation of Islam is an extremist group. Since Farrakhan became its leader, he has come under heavy fire for his anti-Semitic tirades. The Anti-Defamation League noted conspiracy theories peddled by Farrakhan, including the accusation that the Jewish people are “responsible for the slave trade as well as the 9/11 attacks, and that they continue to conspire to control the government, the media, Hollywood, and various black individuals and organizations,” the group said.
In her defense, Mallory posted a series of tweets saying, “Funny how folks interpreted my mention of one having enemies the same as Jesus, as me describing a certain group of people. That’s your own stuff.”
Perez, who was criticized by the ADL for posting “laudatory posts” on Farrakhan on social media, said in response that “there are no perfect leaders.”
Sarsour, who spoke at a Nation of Islam event in 2015, responded to Farrakhan’s “incendiary remarks this year [with] a glowing post on Perez’s Facebook page to praise Farrakhan’s youthful demeanor,” the ADL said.