By Norman Rosenbaum – Washington Examiner
The disgraceful decision by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism to have Al Sharpton speak this morning at a plenary session of its conference in Washington, D.C., (titled “Consultation on Conscience”) sends a very dangerous and intolerable message to the anti-Semites among us.
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, not just in the form of shouts or graffiti but also the murder of Jews. It is thus incomprehensible how the Religious Action Center could have ever made this decision.
The advertising material promoting this event describes Sharpton as “founder and President of the National Action Network … a not-for-profit civil rights organization that was formed in 1991 … one of the nation’s most renowned civil rights leaders.”
We remember Al Sharpton for what he did in 1991. It was in August of that year that he led violent, murderous anti-Semitic rioters on a pogrom in Crown Heights. They terrorized that Jewish community for nearly four days, during which 183 people were injured and the innocent visiting Australian University academic Yankel Rosenbaum — brother to one of us — was murdered in cold blood amid cries of “Kill the Jew! Kill the Jew!”
It was Sharpton who rallied those rioters with calls of “No Justice, No Peace!” He disparagingly referred to Jews as “diamond dealers.” In an exercise of immense intellectual dishonesty, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism failed to mention any of this in its conference promotional materials. Nor is Sharpton’s reprehensible support of Tawana Brawley’s false rape accusations, nor his boycotting of Korean grocers in Brooklyn, nor his actions culminating in the arson of Freddie’s Fashion Mart on 125th Street. That is the Al Sharpton we know – then, now, and forever.
Sharpton has never apologized or shown any remorse for his actions during the 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom. Indeed, he has never apologized for any of his other reprehensible deeds.
And as he parades around as a supposed leader and champion of civil rights, Sharpton has never once called on his supporters to turn in to law enforcement the remaining 28 people yet to be brought to justice from the mob that attacked and murdered Yankel Rosenbaum.
In the time since, some in the media and in political life have actually sought to legitimize Sharpton and sanitize his actions. But in nearly 28 years since the Crown Heights riots, Sharpton has not changed. He is an anti-Semite.
And whether it be from willful blindness or gross ignorance, the Religious Action Center is unjustly providing Al Sharpton with a legitimacy he does not deserve.
How pathetic it is that the Religious Action Center’s conference is titled “Consultation on Conscience.” That organization, in having Al Sharpton speak, only demonstrates that it has none.
Norman Rosenbaum, whose brother was killed in the 1991 riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y., writes from Australia. Isaac Abraham is a longtime consultant to the Rosenbaum family.