Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote the following letter to Pat Robertson to protest depictions of Jews in the Christian Broadcasting Network's children's video, "The Easter Promise." Foxman, who recently came under scrutiny by some American Jews for publishing a pro-Israel advertisement featuring religious right leader Ralph Reed, told Beliefnet that he wanted to distinguish Robertson from other conservative Christian leaders who support Israel. "The majority of evangelical supporters of Israel are not making their support conditional," Foxman said, explaining that they do not expect Jews to embrace traditional conservative Christian causes in return for their pro-Israel stances. "Pat Robertson is the one exception."

Robertson responded to Foxman, saying that he does "everything in [his] power to defend the rights of Jews," and alleging that Foxman is a 'secret agent' of the Democrats. Their full correspondence follows.

April 12, 2002

Dr. Pat Robertson
CEO and Chairman of the Board
Christian Broadcasting Network

Dear Pat,

I am shocked to learn that five years after writing to you in 1997, your movie "The Easter Promise" is still offered on CBN's 700 Club. The movie is saturated with sinister caricatures of Jews reminiscent of the anti-Semitic stereotypes promulgated only in the darkest periods of Christianity. It is imperative that you immediately remove this dangerous movie from the network.

There is no biblical, historical, or accurate theological grounds for the movie's depiction of Jews of the Sanhedrin plotting "to turn the people against Jesus" and "paying whatever it costs to make sure that Jesus is dealt with." In both image and words the movie conveys the clear message that Jews are greedy, immoral, ugly, and anti-Christ and that they are primarily responsible for the death of Jesus. As most Christian scholars and clergy now acknowledge, these anti-Semitic canards have historically led to violence against Jews.

The movie makes profound impressions on the young children to whom it is directed. It provides many with their initial and dominant impressions of Jews--ones that spawn hatred and lies.

All responsible Christian leaders have repudiated the vile stereotype and account that your movie projects. You must do the same. Surely there is a way to depict the Easter story that teaches Christian love of one's fellowman, rather than anti-Semitic prejudice and hate.


Abraham H. Foxman
National Director, Anti-Defamation League

Read Robertson's response

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad