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A Fearless Millennial Defending Israel and the Jewish People

The 35-year-old Scottish Jew is a prominent pro-Israel activist who speaks up about antisemitism on Twitter and her Substack, Blacklisted.
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April 7, 2022

Eve Barlow carries mace when she walks around Silver Lake, her Los Angeles neighborhood. Why? Because she’s scared that someone will attack her for being outspoken online.

The 35-year-old Scottish Jew is a prominent pro-Israel activist who speaks up about antisemitism on Twitter and her Substack, Blacklisted. She’s received death threats, been stalked and experienced endless hate from an online mob after Seth Rogen mocked her. Once a rising music journalist, she lost most of her gigs and contacts overnight after tweeting about how rioters vandalized LA synagogues during the BLM protests in the spring of 2020. 

However, she’s no victim. Despite being shut out of her industry, bullied and threatened, she has decided that it’s not going to stop her from defending Israel and her fellow Jews.

“We’ve come to a place in society right now where people are terrified to say what’s on their mind and how they feel, whether it’s about politics or the person they are in love with.”

“We’ve come to a place in society right now where people are terrified to say what’s on their mind and how they feel, whether it’s about politics or the person they are in love with,” she said. “It runs the gamut of people being afraid to show themselves and who they are. I want to live my life in the opposite way of that.”

Barlow grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, a city that’s home to around 3,000 Jews today. Despite the fact that she was a minority, she learned Jewish values at her primary school – the only Jewish one in the entire country – and was proud of her heritage.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “I had a really strong sense of my Jewishness because of my community. It was a small enough community with a big heart.”

Outside of her Jewish community, though, the world was not so friendly. Barlow said there has always been a problem in Glasgow, and the UK in general, with elitist intellectual circles who are often staunchly anti-Zionist. That attitude became more widespread in recent years as it passed down to the working class left as well.

“I was cornered in high school, where people would play the usual game of ‘What is Israel doing to the Palestinians?’ It was always put on me to answer that question. There was a lot of blatant antisemitism. Someone called me a kike on the school bus. I didn’t even know what it meant.”

“I was cornered in high school, where people would play the usual game of ‘What is Israel doing to the Palestinians?’” she said. “It was always put on me to answer that question. There was a lot of blatant antisemitism. Someone called me a kike on the school bus. I didn’t even know what it meant.”

When faced with hate, Barlow didn’t cower. Instead, it only reinforced her strength, ultimately preparing her for what was to come. 

“I remember feeling like I had to fight back, but when I came home to my parents’ house in the evening, I knew who I was,” she said. “I wasn’t ever going to let myself be threatened by it.” 

After graduating from college, Barlow started tweeting her opinions about music, and she landed a job as deputy editor of NME, a legendary British newspaper that covered music and pop culture. She spent seven years covering the biggest acts of the day like Lady Gaga, Haim and The Killers’ Brandon Flowers before she decided she wanted a change: she was going to move to Los Angeles.

“I had just turned 28 and I wasn’t in a relationship,” she said. “I was in a terrible flat share in East London and wanted to leave my job. It was the perfect moment to just kiss life on the face and fall off the cliff and jump at something unknown. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

From there, Barlow’s career only blossomed. She snagged bylines in New York Magazine, Pitchfork and the Los Angeles Times, and interviewed Billie Eilish, Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Sinead O’Connor and Alanis Morissette.

Noa Tishby, Bari Weiss and Eve Barlow

She had some wild times and made headlines – specifically, in 2016, when she interviewed Kim Kardashian. From her balcony in Malibu, Kardashian revealed to Barlow that she was “on the fence” about whether or not she’d vote for Donald Trump. When Barlow printed that tidbit of information, the story blew up; CNN called Barlow for confirmation of the quote for their prime time news program. Kardashian ultimately denied that she ever said it.  

Memorable stories include the time Barlow interviewed Charli XCX hanging halfway out of a speeding car on Las Vegas Boulevard. She also sat in a taxi next to Blondie’s Debbie Harry as it drove through the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and once threw up all over The Killers at the party for the tenth anniversary of their debut album.

Her work as an influential music journalist came to a grinding halt when, on May 31, 2020, she took to Twitter to express her frustrations with BLM. “Woke up to see that synagogues in LA have been graffiti’d during the riots with the words FREE PALESTINE and F— ISRAEL…

But her work as an influential music journalist came to a grinding halt when, on May 31, 2020, she took to Twitter to express her frustrations with BLM. “Woke up to see that synagogues in LA have been graffiti’d during the riots with the words FREE PALESTINE and F— ISRAEL, and that dua lipa is spreading antisemitic posts on her IG feed. How dare you bring the jewish nation and community into the killing of black american lives.”

On her Substack, she wrote that “all hell break loose … It was decreed that I was a racist by my entire industry.” 

Barlow was blacklisted – hence the name of her Substack. Her colleagues in the industry stopped talking to her and following her online. People wrote blog posts about how heinous they thought she was. Her work dried up.

“It’s a very unique phenomenon, experiencing that kind of public hatred. The thing that people don’t understand is that it has such an unreal impact on your offline life. It causes people to suddenly turn away from you.”

“It’s a very unique phenomenon, experiencing that kind of public hatred,” she said. “The thing that people don’t understand is that it has such an unreal impact on your offline life. It causes people to suddenly turn away from you. Your email inbox is weirdly empty after being jam-packed for years. No one answers your texts. The person pursuing you isn’t interested in you anymore. I can’t walk out of my apartment without carrying mace with me.”   

May of 2020 wasn’t the first time that Barlow had spoken up about antisemitism. Five years prior, she started writing about progressive politics in the UK, and particularly Jeremy Corbyn, then leader of the Labour Party, who was accused of enabling antisemitism in the party. She said she became part of an “unnamed group of Jews online who were trying to fight back against Corbynism on the internet and educate people. I had been fighting tooth and nail. I never stopped fighting that battle.”

But it wasn’t until Barlow began tweeting about antisemitism in the U.S. that she experienced a major backlash – the one that led to her downfall as a music journalist. “When I used exactly the same language and advocacy around the explosion of the BLM movement after George Floyd was killed, it was the first massive public shaming in America,” she said.

Things got worse during the outbreak of violence in the spring of 2021, when Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israel. She was part of what she called a social media pogrom, where any Jews who were expressing their support for Israel or defending the Holy Land were bombarded with hate. 

Things got worse during the outbreak of violence in the spring of 2021, when Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israel. She was part of what she called a social media pogrom, where any Jews who were expressing their support for Israel or defending the Holy Land were bombarded with hate. 

“Zionist Jews weren’t just being unfollowed for advocating for themselves and their brothers and sisters in Israel and Palestine, we were also losing access to direct message and comment abilities, having posts removed for violating community guidelines (while blatant antisemitism online almost never receives the same treatment) and having our accounts threatened with temporary suspension or closure,” she wrote in Tablet Magazine. 

She received hateful voice messages, including one from a British woman who sang about Barlow’s family burning in hell. People sent her elaborate death threats, and pictures of themselves pointing firearms at the lens and saying they were going to murder her and her whole family.

“Thank God, nothing has happened to me that has threatened my life,” she said. “I was not physically harmed by any of them.”

In the Tablet article, Barlow mentioned that people were calling her “Eve Fartlow” all over Twitter. Seth Rogen, who went on “WTF with Marc Maron” in 2020 and said he was “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel” and that the country “doesn’t make sense,” tweeted out a wind emoji, apparently putting his stamp of approval on the nickname. That only exacerbated the bullying.

“I’m not trying to be out here saying Seth Rogen ruined my life, because I don’t want to give him that power – and he didn’t – but he definitely set off a catalyst that has now been following me around ever since. He elevated my name beyond whatever happened before.” 

“I’m not trying to be out here saying Seth Rogen ruined my life, because I don’t want to give him that power – and he didn’t – but he definitely set off a catalyst that has now been following me around ever since. He elevated my name beyond whatever happened before.” 

Her feed is still littered with the unsavory nickname, the wind emoji and other hurtful posts from random people. “While you could argue it had an enormous negative impact, he also helped to increase the visibility around my work. I acquired followers and fans because of his inane stupidity and self-hatred. I thank him for it.”

Instead of dwelling on the bullying, she simply mutes people who tweet these names and emojis at her and looks at the bigger, sadder picture: She feels disappointed in her fellow Jews, like Rogen, who don’t stand up for their people.

“It’s a danger, because whenever you find a Jew who is fighting antisemitism, you also find a Jew who is appeasing antisemitism,” she said. “Antisemites will say, ‘We found this Jew over here who said it’s no problem, so let’s move on.’” 

She continued, “It’s sad for our people. I feel deeply ashamed of them to be honest.” 

In the past few weeks, Barlow has turned her focus to Ukraine, which, of course, is already being roped into the anti-Zionist narrative, with Gigi Hadid leading the way. 

“I am pledging to donate my earnings from the Fall 2022 shows to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine,” the Palestinian model wrote on Instagram on March 6.

“I was waiting for how long it was going to take the anti-Israel brigade to dance on the necks of innocent Ukrainians to propagate their anti-Israel messaging.”

The post didn’t surprise Barlow. “I was waiting for how long it was going to take the anti-Israel brigade to dance on the necks of innocent Ukrainians to propagate their anti-Israel messaging,” she said. “It only took 48 to 72 hours. It’s disgustingly opportunistic and echoes the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. It needs to be called out. We can’t be afraid of being bullied or erased by these people, because we have a voice.” 

When Barlow isn’t tweeting and waging battles online, she finds ways to have moments of peace. On her blog, she writes about the hikes she takes around LA and how she made a promise to herself to either see a sunrise, a sunset or both every single day.

“It’s the arrival and the departure of the sun every day that lets me accept the passage of time and the promise of another opportunity.”

“I moved here and became obsessed with the sky; the biggest sky I have ever seen,” she said in a recent post. “A blanket of the brightest blue that mutates into oranges and yellows and – on the most special evenings – pinks before blackening out and showing off the stars. But it’s the arrival and the departure of the sun every day that lets me accept the passage of time and the promise of another opportunity.”

Barlow isn’t particularly religious, but every Friday night, she lights her Shabbat candles with friends from all walks of life. “I think it’s beautiful to do with people, regardless of whether or not they’re of the faith,” she said. 

Since she’s no longer writing about music, and is instead focusing her time and effort on combatting antisemitism and anti-Zionism, she’s promoting her Substack. 

“You can’t do this work living off of thin air,” she said. “It’s not sending a tweet a day. It’s real work, and it comes with enormous losses. The Jewish community is figuring out how to support people who do this kind of advocacy. If someone has a paid subscription, they know in their heart they’re helping me continue to do this work. I can write about anything, which is a dream. I’m excited about where it’s going to go.”  

Even taking into account all the bullying, threats and blacklisting she’s faced, Barlow wouldn’t change a thing. After all, her work is inherent to who she is – and that’s something that can’t be ignored.

“It doesn’t matter if you love me or hate me, because I’m just showing who I am. I take things moment to moment, and I make sure I act as consistently as I can to hold onto my heart and my sense of self.” 

“It doesn’t matter if you love me or hate me, because I’m just showing who I am,” she said. “I take things moment to moment, and I make sure I act as consistently as I can to hold onto my heart and my sense of self.”

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