ADL Calls for ‘Sincere Apology’ From Photographer Rankin for Anti-Semitic Comments; Blasts ‘Independent’ for ‘Lapse of Editorial Judgment’

February 19, 2014 10:44 pm 4 comments
Scarlett Johansson filming her first SodaStream commercial. Photo: SodaStream.

Scarlett Johansson filming her first SodaStream commercial. Photo: SodaStream.

Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League said an apology issued by British photographer Rankin for anti-Semitic remarks he made didn’t go far enough.

The group also blasted the United Kingdom’s The Independent newspaper for publishing the offensive comments.

“Rankin made a feeble attempt to justify his remarks when what is called for here is an acknowledgement from him that the views he expressed are anti-Semitic,” ADL Director of International Affairs Michael A. Salberg said in an email to The Algemeiner recently. “It is not too late for Rankin to offer a sincere apology.”

“Including Rankin’s quotes in the story was a lapse of editorial judgment by The Independent,” Salberg added. “We have come to expect more of The Independent and believe they also owe their readers an apology.”

Rankin’s comments, published last week, were made in response to a question about Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson’s recent decision to end ties with global charity Oxfam over “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.” Johansson was first criticized by the charity for her endorsement of Israeli company SodaStream because it operates a factory in the West Bank.

“I’ve got a lot of time for her,” Rankin, whose full name is John Rankin Waddell, said about the actress, “but I’ve got a very negative view on SodaStream.”

“The thing is, I think the reason that she’s not backed down is because in America the Jewish zealots are so powerful. Especially in the entertainment industry, what they could do to her career.

“But the main thing in all this for me is that kind of extreme Judaism. That extreme belief that this is their homeland and those people are worthless to them. That’s very powerful in America. They will blacklist you. They will blacklist you. It’s worse than McCarthyism. You are pro-Palestinian? F**king forget it.”

The ADL said, “Rankin’s remarks reek of classical anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jewish control of the media and excessive power. His references to ‘Jewish zealots’ and ‘extreme Judaism’ leading to vengeful retribution for anyone who disagrees with some assumed ‘correct’ position regarding Israeli policy, is just plain ignorant.”

In his subsequent apology Rankin said he regretted the language and offense caused by his statements, but did not address the substance of his claims.

“In an interview that was set up with The Independent about the launch of [a fashion magazine], I regret responding so glibly to off-topic questions on such a difficult and sensitive subject,” he said. “Of course this is not my official position and I apologise wholeheartedly for my use of language and any offence this may have caused.”

Speaking to London’s Telegraph newspaper, a representative of Britain’s Community Security Trust also said that Rankin should go further and repudiate his remarks.

“It’s allegations about Jewish power over the media that distinguishes anti-Semitism from other forms of racism,” he said. “Rankin may well not be an anti-Semite, in which case he should learn not to spread the stink of antisemitic claims about Jews running the media and Hollywood.”

Rankin specializes in portrait and fashion photography. His subjects have included Britney Spears, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Cate Blanchett, Queen Elizabeth II and Tony Blair.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Blogs 10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    10 New Hollywood Movies That Aim to Show Support for Israel (SATIRE)

    Ten major film studios are currently in production on projects that promote a decidedly pro-Israeli narrative. In famously liberal Hollywood, such a development has left mouths agape and set tongues a wagging. Since the Jewish State began defending itself from the thousands of rockets that Hamas has hurled at it – as well as ongoing terror attacks and murders, the overwhelming number of Tinseltown’s producers, directors, actors, and studio moguls have remained indifferent to the plight of millions of Israeli [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Sports So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    So Close: Israeli Judoka Loses Crown in World Cup Final, Finishes With Silver (VIDEO)

    Israeli Judoka Yarden Gerbi (63kg), 25, of Netanya, on Thursday lost the final round at the Judo World Cup, and her world title to Clarisse Agbegnenou of France, at a match held in Russia. “I have mixed feelings,” Gerbi told Israeli Army radio. But, “I shouldn’t assume that I’d win the world Judo championship twice in a row,” she admitted. Gerbi won gold in Rio De Janeiro last year. “When I made my decision, I knew it was going to [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    Surviving the Holocaust by Hiding Their Faith (REVIEW)

    “Jews Out!” was just the name of a child’s game that three little girls played in World War II Europe. But all is not as it seems because the three girls were Jewish, but hiding their true identities. In award-winning author R. D. Rosen’s riveting non-fiction work, Such Good Girls, “Jews Out!” wasn’t a game; it was a struggle for survival. The girls, Sophie, Flora, and Carla, grew up at a time and a place that did not allow them [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    Twenty Years On, the Real and Radical Legacy of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

    JNS.org – “He was part hippie, part yippie, part beatnik, and part New Age,” wrote Elli Wohlgelernter in a Jerusalem Post eulogy in 1994, following the Oct. 20 passing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Twenty years later, more robust accounts of Carlebach’s life have come to the surface. Earlier this year, Natan Ophir published the book Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission & Legacy. This past summer, Rabbi Shlomo Katz’s The Soul of Jerusalem hit the shelves. But even the authors will admit [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    Beatlemania Invades the Gaza Strip (SATIRE)

    As Hamas loses its grip on power in the Gaza Strip as a result of war, poverty and disillusionment, the Islamist terrorist group has developed an ingenious way to raise the morale of the 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs it was elected to serve. While currently focused on delivering a rocket into every Israeli home, Hamas has not left its own people behind. To gently wipe away the tears of children strategically placed inside kindergartens as human shields, the Hamas Interior Ministry [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.