Samsung Condemns Antisemitism After South Korean Media Blames ‘Jewish Money’ for Opposition to Merger Deal
Korean business conglomerate Samsung denounced all forms of antisemitism on Sunday after South Korean media blamed “Jewish money” for opposition to a proposed merger between two subdivisions of the company.
“We are a company that is committed to respect for individuals and enforces strict non-discrimination policies,” Joo Hwa Yoon, CEO of Cheil Industries, and Chi Hun Choi, CEO of Samsung C&T, claimed in a July 12 letter to Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “We condemn antisemitism in all its forms.”
At least two South Korean media outlets published antisemitic claims blaming Jews for attempting to block the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T, according to the ADL. One publication promoted allegations of a “robust” Jewish power network, while another said that “Jewish money has long been known to be ruthless and merciless.”
Last week, the ADL called on the South Korean government to condemn the remarks.
In response to the letter, the watchdog on Monday welcomed the “clear and public stand against antisemitism” by both South Korean companies involved in the merger.
“We are heartened that these South Korean corporate leaders are taking a clear and public stand against antisemitism,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. “This statement makes unequivocally clear that antisemitism has no place in South Korea and within their companies.”
A recent ADL survey of antisemitic attitudes in South Korea found that 53 percent of Korean adults hold antisemitic views of Jewish people. The survey showed that 59 percent of South Koreans believe “Jews have too much power in the business world” and 57 percent are convinced that “Jews have too much power in international financial markets.”