Wiesenthal Center Dean Calls for Essel Apology
NORTH HOLLYWOOD–Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called on City Council Candidate Christine Essel to apologize Monday following a mailer she sent out that shockingly used Holocaust and skinhead imagery to depict her opponent, Paul Krekorian, as an anti-semite, the Krekorian campaign reported.
“The flyer was disgusting and inappropriate,” said Cooper, dean of one of the world’s leading Jewish human rights organizations. “She should apologize.”
Last week, Essel flooded mailboxes throughout CD2 with a two-sided piece. One side featured a black-and-white image of City Hall shrouded in barbed wire that hearkened back to Nazi death camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau. The other side featured hateful images that accused Krekorian of sexism and anti-semitism despite the clear and pronounced lack of any basis for her wildly outrageous claims.
In concert with Rabbi Cooper, Krekorian said, “I was appalled at the heinous piece of mail Essel sent out and stand in solidarity with Rabbi Cooper in demanding that Essel apologize to the Jewish community for this grave insult to those who have been the victims of hatred and intolerance.”
On KPCC this morning, when asked about the demand for an apology, Essel dismissed Rabbi Cooper.
“There are different views on that subject from different sides of the Jewish community,” she said.
As the leader of the Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Cooper is one of the world’s leading voices against hatred and intolerance. The Wiesenthal Center operates the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and the Center for Human Dignity in Jerusalem, and is a global center in the struggles against anti-Semitism, extremism, and terrorism.
Rabbi Cooper’s denunciation followed remarks by other Jewish community leaders who also took extreme umbrage at Essel’s insensitive attack on the Jewish community.
“I was saddened to see Christine Essel send out this last minute attack using abusive Holocaust imagery to gain political points,” Rep. Brad Sherman said.
Los Angeles Board of Education Member Tamar Galatzan, a former Associate Counsel at the Anti-Defamation League, and current community prosecutor, also called out Essel.
“These disgusting and outlandish political stunts demonstrate that Christine Essel is even willing to demean the memory of one of the most tragic events in world history just to win a political seat,” she said. “I can personally tell you that Paul has been a friend and ally of the Jewish community for years.”
The Special Election is tomorrow, December 8th.