LOS ANGELES, JAN. 3 -- An American Jewish group today demanded a compact disc by pop star Madonna be taken off record-store shelves, saying some of the words are dangerous, are antisemitic and could incite hatred against Jews.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, described one track on Madonna's "Justify My Love" CD as "dangerous and an insult to every Jew."
"The notion that an icon of American pop culture should, for whatever reason, zero in on the most notorious antisemitic quote in the Bible is totally unacceptable," he added.
In a statement issued by Warner Bros., her record company, Madonna said, "I certainly didn't have any antisemitic intent when I included a passage from the Bible on my record.
"My message, if any, is pro-tolerance and anti-hate. The song is, after all, about love."
The passage in question was taken from the New Testament Book of Revelation of St. John and reads, "And the slander of those who say they are Jews, but they are not, they are a synagogue of Satan."
The center is the largest institution in the United states devoted to the study of the Holocaust.
In a letter to Madonna's agent, Freddie DeMann, Cooper asked DeMann to have the record recalled and also demanded a public explanation as to why the phrase was used.
Cooper said he was informed of the use of the biblical phrase by a sound technician involved in the mixing of the CD, who objected to it.
"We were very grateful to the gentleman for bringing it to our attention. The idea of the synagogue of Satan was a very powerful weapon used against Jews in the Middle Ages, and the Nazis depicted Jews with horns in the image of the Devil."