The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published a full-page ad in The New York Times on Friday warning of the anti-Semitic lies that have spread in the aftermath of the release of the anti-Islamic film that has been widely accused of sparking the recent surge of protests throughout the Muslim world.
Under the headline, "All it Takes is One Lie to Reignite anti-Semitism," the ad urges the public to make their voices heard and implores journalists "to strive toward the highest standards of reporting and fact-checking."
"It is distressing that more than 60 years after the Holocaust, big lies still have the power to generate anti-Jewish hatred," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "When the lie spread that a Jew was behind the video, anti-Semitism surged in the Islamic world. At the root of it is the continued potency of stereotypes and conspiracy theories about Jews as poisonous and powerful. So when a controversy erupts and a lie is disseminated about Jewish involvement, it confirms in the minds of anti-Semites what they already 'know.'"
In media interviews, the individual responsible for the anti-Islam film titled “Innocence of Muslims,” initially identified himself as a Jewish producer and claimed he had made the film with funds from 100 Jewish investors. The claims turned out to be false, and the man was later identified as a Coptic Christian who lives in Los Angeles.
The lies, however, have continued to circulate on the Internet and around the world, prompting new conspiracy theories about Jewish involvement that have appeared in the Arab media and have been repeated by government and religious leaders of Muslim and Arab nations.
"This was a seminal moment,” Foxman said. “In the age of computers and instant communication, the dangers of the big lie take on new meaning. This ad is intended to remind people that the potency of classical anti-Semitism remains at a high and dangerous level. We need good journalism and we need leaders to take seriously the expressions of Jew hatred, particularly those coming out of parts of the Islamic world."