ADL Condemns Effort to Incite Tension Between Memphis African-American and Jewish Communities

Atlanta, GA, February 11, 2008…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the distribution of a flyer that attempts to incite tension between the Memphis African American and Jewish communities.

The flyer makes the repugnant charge that "Steve Cohen and the Jews hate Jesus."  It purports to be from Reverend George Brooks of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and calls on African Americans to select "one black Christian candidate" to challenge Representative Cohen. It describes Cohen as an "opponent of Christ and Christianity."

"The flyer is contemptible for a number of reasons," said ADL Southeast Regional Director Bill Nigut. "It makes an outrageously false claim about Jews' attitudes toward Jesus, and it attempts to drive a potentially dangerous wedge and incite tensions between African Americans and Jews in Memphis."

Nigut called the flyer an early indication that some of those who oppose Cohen will seek to use his religion to divide the Memphis community along religious and racial lines. Although ADL is a 501 (c)(3) organization that neither supports nor opposes political candidates, Nigut promised that the organization will shine a bright light on such anti-Semitism and will call for community condemnation of the politics of hate and fear.

The League has previously called on all candidates for public office to refrain from making appeals on the basis of race or religion. It is part of ADL's core mission to speak out against anti-Semitism wherever it occurs.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.