By MARCY OSTER
NEW YORK CITY (JTA) –Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan blamed “the wicked Jews” for the crisis over anti-Semitism and the Women’s March.
“The most beautiful sight that I could lay eyes on [was] when I saw, the day after Trump was elected, women from all over the world were standing in solidarity, and a black woman is the initiator of it,” said Farrakhan, referring to Tamika Mallory, a leader of the Women’s March who has lionized Farrakhan and refused to condemn his pervasive anti-Semitism.
“The wicked Jews want to use me to break up the women’s movement,” Farrakhan continued on Sunday during his address at the Nation of Islam’s Savior’s Day conference in Chicago. “It ain’t about Farrakhan, it’s about women all over the world (who) have the power to change the world.”
He also praised Mallory’s co-organizers Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian American who has been highly critical of Israel, and Carmen Perez, who reportedly made anti-Semitic comments at Women’s March planning meetings.
Celebrities, activists and community leaders, Jewish and non-Jewish, have distanced themselves from the march and called on the national organizers to step down over claims that they have not done enough to disavow anti-Semitism.
During his address, Farrakhan returned to anti-Semitic tropes and bashed Israel.
There were several thousand people in attendance at the speech, which also was livestreamed.
Farrakhan was preceded by a known Holocaust denier Michael A. Hoffman II, who suggested that ancient Jewish texts are equivalent to teachings “from the church of Satan,” according to the ADL.