Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has called for a truce with Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
In a statement sent to the Daily Beast, Simmons said that comments he made in a speech last week in Israel in which he defended his friendship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan were misinterpreted. Simmons had said that just as Farrakhan had alienated Jews, Foxman had alienated African Americans. An outraged Foxman called the comments by Simmons “outrageous and ugly.”
Simmons, a co-founder with Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, said that his comments at the conference were undermining the work he has done on behalf of the Jewish community to build synagogues and promote tolerance.
Foxman has publicly praised Simmons for his outreach work, but also has faulted him for his praise of Farrakhan, who for years has peddled anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. — jta