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Farrakhan Speaks at Penn As Jewish Students Protest

April 18, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

As Jewish students at the University of Pennsylvania marked Yom Hashoah last Wednesday, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told a large, overwhelmingly black audience in another building on campus that “a deal was struck with Hitler in the Third Reich that Jews would be brought out of Germany and settled in Palestine.”

Farrakhan then compared those Jews’ treatment of the Palestinians to the way European settlers treated American Indians.

An hour before Farrakhan’s scheduled 7 p.m. speech, more than 1,000 Jewish students rallied across the street from the auditorium where he was to speak, carrying signs with such slogans as “Unity yes, hatred no” and “Farrakhan promotes hatred.” A police estimate of the crowd ranged from 1,000 to 1,200 protesters.

Addressing the tiny percentage of Jews in his audience, Farrakhan said, “I would like to see you live in peace, but when you try to fulfill the vision given in the Bible without the Messiah, you run into problems.”

“Now I believe in the Torah,” he continued “but the way I read the Torah–maybe we have a theological disagreement–but the way I read the Torah, the Jewish nation was to wait for the Messiah.”

The controversial leader said that since “Jews do not believe that Jesus of Nazarcth of 2,000 years ago was in fact the Messiah, and the Jews are still awaiting that Messiah,” there can be no State of Israel.

“God will give the Messiah to you and he will give you the promised land,” the Farrakhan said. “Theodor Herzl was not the Messiah. Golda Meir was not the Messiah.”

He also said that after World War II, the Palestinians greeted Jews who settled in what was then Palestine with open arms “even as the Indians opened their arms to the whites who came over, but as the whites who came had another design, the Jews who went to Palestine also had another design.”


Earlier in his more-than-two-hour speech, Farrakhan appeared to blame Jews for instituting black slavery in America. “We did not come over on the Mayflower, or the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria, we were in the holds of ships,” he told the mainly black audience.

“Some Jews owned some of the ships that brought us over. I did not read this in some anti-Semitic book, I read it in the Jewish Encyclopedia,” he said, drawing loud cheers.

Adopting a Yiddish inflection, he then mimicked imaginary Jews as saying, “Those darkies from Africa, they’re not even human.”

Returning to his normal voice, Farrakhan continued, “So I will not obey the law that God has given through Moses: a life for a life, an eye for an eye; I’ll just make these (people) subhuman and say: ‘I won’t have to pay anything for what I do to them since they’re animals.'”

Farrakhan began his talk by telling the nearly 2,000 people in the audience that the controversy of his visit “was not created by me, but by others about me. I did not come here tonight to incite violence, nor have I ever.”

At the 45-minute-long protest rally, leaders of the Penn Community Against Farrakhan spoke and read letters of support from U.S. Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), columnist Chuck Stone and the Black-Jewish Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

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