Jewish Journal

Russell Simmons mixes up Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres in condolence

by Jana Banin, JTA

January 13, 2014 | 4:48 pm

Russell Simmons / Photo by David Shankbone

Russell Simmons / Photo by David Shankbone

Hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons was one of the many to publicly mourn former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who passed away on Saturday. He was probably one of the few, though, to mourn the wrong man.

“R.I.P. my friend Ariel Sharon great pleasure working with you.. special occasions, your work to promote tolerance was inspiring,” read the tweet that went out to his 3 million followers.

If only Simmons hadn’t made the mistake of using social media while exercising — a widely known no-no!

“On stair master… a little light headed. confused ariel sharon with longtime friend, shimon peres. sadly sharon promoted war, not peace,” read the follow-up tweet. The first message was deleted.

In case you’re left wondering just how much Simmons actually knows about the Middle East, he was sure to shoot out a small cluster of tweets on Sunday about his work with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, whose goal it is to promote Muslim-Jewish and black-Jewish relations.

“Last year, I spoke at Shimon Peres’ conference in Israel about our work at the ‪@FFEUny to bring Jews and Muslims together in peace,” Simmons said, adding: “During that trip to Israel, where I met with chief rabbi of Israel and grand mufti of Palestinian ppl, we launched 20 programs for ‪@FFEUny.”

He made no mention of how, during that trip, he compared the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, to Louis Farrakhan. Unless he deleted that one before anyone noticed.

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