A speaker affiliated with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, attending a rally this week in Washington, allegedly called a Jewish city councilwoman a “fake Jew.”
“Elissa Silverman talking about Brother Farrakhan can’t come into D.C. no more. That will never happen. You got your nerve to say Farrakhan can’t come back to D.C. What nerve are you, you fake Jew?” Abdul Khadir Muhammad, a Mid-Atlantic representative for Farrakhan, said about Silverman, a D.C. councilwoman, at the rally Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
“What is the fake Jew that calls themselves Jews, the ADL, the JDL,” Muhammad also said at the rally, outside of City Hall, referring to the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Defense League.
He also reportedly ended the roughly 10-minute rally by shouting “Termites!” -- a reference to Jews.
The intent of the rally, attended by about 25 people, was purportedly to garner support for embattled D.C. Councilman Trayon White Sr.
White recently sparked controversy by allegedly repeating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on his Facebook page and in a meeting with the D.C. mayor and city council.
He also donated $500 from a constituents' fund to a Chicago event at which Farrakhan said Jews were his enemy, according to The Post.
In addition, White has lauded the community efforts of Nation of Islam members in his impoverished ward. However, White neither promoted nor attended the rally.
The so-called “unity rally” was organized by an appointee of Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, Joshua Lopez, who Silverman, an Independent, now wants removed.
Lopez reportedly first said rally organizers would correct misstatements by speakers, then that Muhammad was not an invited speaker and that he’d privately told him that his comments were unacceptable.
Silverman said: “It is unconscionable that event supporters brush off these repugnant words of prejudice simply as ‘wrong things’ to say and speakers going ‘rogue.' This was a deliberately misleading, intentionally designed attempt to stir up division and hatred.”
Lopez on Friday offered a full apology, in part saying, “I do not stand for any level of hate. And I want to offer my sincerest apologies -- especially to my Jewish brothers and sisters-- for not having better mechanisms in place to ensure the spirit of the rally -- solidarity and peace -- was preserved.”
However, Lopez said he would not resign from his appointed post on the board of the city’s housing authority.
“I will not step down,” he said. “Instead, I will continue to push forward with the message of unity building.”