Famous American rapper Jay-Z's new music video "The Story of OJ" contains the line "Credit. Have you ever wondered why Jews control all property in the US? Here's how they did it."
Leaders of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) harshly condemned the video, saying it perpetuates historical stereotypes that Jews control money and property.
"We do not believe it was Jay-Z's intent to promote anti-Semitism," ADL said. "On the contrary, we know that Jay-Z is someone who has used his celebrity in the past to speak out responsibly and forcefully against the evils of racism and anti-Semitism."
"However, the lyrics play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money. The idea that Jews 'own all the property' in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false. Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish 'control' of the banks and finance."
Neither Jay-Z nor his representatives have responded to the accusations, but sources close to Jay-Z rejected the claims that Jay-Z holds anti-Semitic beliefs. According to entrepreneur and music company owner Russell Simmons, Jay-Z intended to compliment the Jewish community on its financial conduct.
"Mischief makers would like to take Jay's statements about the culture and practices that exist within some parts of the Jewish community... The fact is this culture that promotes good business and financial well being is and has been a guiding light to the black and specifically the hip-hop community," Simmons tweeted.
"From music to film, television, fashion, technology + financial services, the hip-hop community including myself have partnered with Jews where there were no blacks to partner with…Jay Z was celebrating that bond that was built when no other community gave and continues to give us as much support in our fight for liberation in this very white country."
Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, wrote on Instagram, "If you read the lyrics out of context I can understand why people are jumping to that conclusion.. But if you listen to the song in its entirety you will hear that the whole of the song is based on exaggerated stereotypes to make a point."
"He's attempting to use the Jewish people in an exaggerated way to showcase a community of people that are thought to have made wise business decisions... In my opinion, Jay is giving the Jewish community a compliment.. "