Saturday, February 17, 2007

Suzanne Scholte's letter

Below is the letter Suxzanne Scholte of the North Korean human rights group Defense Forum sent to Korean American groups and politicians (as she put it, her Korean friends). She told me that she was very pleased with their response and that they had wanted to go as far as having a press conference with Rabbi Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center. Apparently this urgency and will to action was somehow lost between these people and the Korean news media, whose reaction went from "Jews in America have small numbers but they have the strongest influence, so Koreans living in America are worried that the troubles and arguments with Jews over this comic book will spread." to "Some say the reaction to the part of the book about the Jews taken out of context was overly sensitive."

Dear Friends:
This is the first time you've ever gotten
an email from me that was not related to North Korea, but I very much would appreciate your help on a matter of great concern to Rabbi Cooper, our dear friend and colleague on the NK human rights issues. Many of you are familiar with his great help to us on the North Korea human rights issues: his hosting a conference at the Museum of Tolerance for us and serving as the vice chairman of our NK Freedom Coalition. It has come to our attention that a popular South Korean writer and Professor has produced comic books that are very offensive to Jewish Americans and anti-semitic (and anti-American, as well). I hope that several leaders in the Korean American community would consider making a strong statement of outrage at this and I immediately thought of you all as leaders in the Korean business and the church community. All that would be needed is some quotes (a paragraph is fine) that we can provide to Rabbi Cooper that he could use in future statements and releases on this issue -- it would mean so much to come from all of you who are successful, accomplished Americans, who believe in tolerance and respect for other faiths. I know also that many Koreans, especially pastors, hold the Jewish people as very dear and travel to Israel often. Please see below the release from today and the attachment for an example of what these offensive cartoons depict about the Jewish people. Rabbi Cooper is always counseling me to keep speaking out for the North Korean people and reminding me that silence is acquiesence. I hope we can show him that we are willing to speak out for the Jewish people as well.
If you or any of your colleagues are willing to make a short statement please send along to me and I will put them together for Rabbi Cooper.
Suzanne Scholte

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