Louis Farrakhan
Louis FarrakhanReuters

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) denounced this year’s Nation of Islam Savior’s Day conference, an annual event featuring antisemitic rants by Louis Farrakhan and other speakers.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is condemning Louis Farrakhan’s latest Savior’s Day antisemitic and anti-Judaic diatribes during the Nation of Islam’s annual conference in Chicago,” SWC said in a statement.

They slammed Farrakhan’s latest speech, “The War of Armageddon Has Begun,” in which he “unleashes a tsunami of Jew hatred.”

The address included accusations that Jews control world governments, the media and financial institutions. The Nation of Islam leader, 89, also again referred to the Jewish community as the “Synagogue of Satan.”

Farrakhan further repeated his claim that Jews control Black celebrities, defending Kanye West and Kyrie Irving.

He praised West as “a very great brother, a genius.”

SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, slammed Farrakhan for “four decades of non-stop vicious Jew-hatred.”

He noted that Farrakhan’s long record of antisemitism has “born poison fruit in the mainstream of our society.”

“Words lead to action and his toxic hatred has been absorbed by many including Kanye West,” Rabbi Cooper said.

“We urge all our neighbors to reject his hate and we must commit to strengthen our relationships for the betterment of all Americans whatever their color creed or orientation.”

He pointed out that SWC has tracked and condemned Farrakhan’s extreme anti-Jewish rhetoric for four decades.

“Yet, the godfather of hate has rarely been publicly criticized,” he said. “Indeed, access to this year’s speech was handled by Ticketmaster, at a time when American Jewry is reeling from violent antisemitic hate crimes.”

In early February, Jewish groups learned that US ticket giant Ticketmaster was selling tickets for the 2023 Savior’s Day event.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) penned a letter to the company’s CEO Michael Rapino expressing its misgivings, with ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt stressing in the letter than Farrakhan’s antisemitic speeches have been going on during the event for decades, such as in 1996 when he referred to Jews as “wicked deceivers of the American people” and went on to say, “You have sucked their blood…You are the Synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the US government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell.”

The ADL head also called on Rapino to “note that the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviors’ Day event regularly serves as a platform to amplify this hate and bigotry, not only from Farrakhan, but from extremists and conspiracy theorists who are often invited as guest speakers, including prominent Holocaust deniers and leading voices in the 9/11 ‘truther’ movement.”

Cooper castigated Ticketmaster for financially profiting from Farrakhan’s antisemitism.

“Farrakhan has rarely been held accountable for his serial Jew-hatred and in 2023, Ticketmaster and others have monetized his hate and expanded the reach of his hatred,” Cooper said.