fbpx

Jewish Comedians Poke Fun at Ye’s Statements But Are Troubled By Them

Jews often respond to trauma with humor. And the recent antisemitic statements made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, are no exception. A number of Jewish comics who spoke to the Journal said the tirades are indeed troubling.
[additional-authors]
November 23, 2022
Elon Gold, performing at The Chosen Comedy Festival in Brooklyn. Gold said West’s words are troubling and he should seek mental assistance. Photo by Perry Bindelglass

“Great, now people are gonna say the Jews killed Yeezus,” comedian Eli Lebowicz posted on Twitter.

Jews often respond to trauma with humor. And the recent antisemitic statements made by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, are no exception. A number of Jewish comics who spoke to the Journal said the tirades are indeed troubling.

Lebowicz said he thought of the joke because Jews are scapegoated for many things, including killing Jesus.

“I know he’s super famous,” Lebowicz said, “But you can see there is really a lot more antisemitism than people might have even realized. How can people be so blind?”

Elon Gold, who along with Modi Rosenfeld will host the second Chosen Comedy Festival in Miami on December 14, said he was troubled by pictures showing people giving a “Heil Hitler” salute on the 405 with signs saying that Kanye was right.

“What’s more alarming and threatening is that his words can, and God forbid, should not, result in more attacks against Jews,” Gold said. “Obviously words matter and have real world impact. I don’t believe in cancel culture. I think he should be sent to a mental health and wellness institution. I think he needs to get well and needs help and needs to learn from his way of thinking not just about the Jewish people, but his people. To say Black people chose slavery, to say George Floyd was killed by anything but the cop’s knee on his neck, it’s inflammatory. It’s dangerous and all lies. This man is sick in the head. The entire world needs to be outraged. Hate speech is hate speech and leads to violence.”

Gold also said he finds it hard to believe that some online seem to believe the rapper’s antisemitic comments claiming the Jews have united to control everything.

“The board of my shul has fights about what to serve at kiddush and someone thinks millions of Jews are all together and control things?” – Elon Gold

“It’s comical that millions of people who can’t agree on anything could decide how to control businesses,” Gold said. “The board of my shul has fights about what to serve at kiddush and someone thinks millions of Jews are all together and control things? Are there Jews in prominent places in Hollywood, finance, music and in the media? Of course, there are. Sorry, we value education and family and everything Kanye is “jealous” of. A tiny minority rise to those positions in many fields from medicine to finance to the film industry. When I hear the Jews control the media, it’s laughable. CNN was started by Ted Turner. Fox was started by Rupert Murdoch. Disney was an antisemite himself. The Jews run Hollywood? So, where the hell is my sitcom for the last 10 years? What kind of a farkakteh nonsense is he spewing?”

On the Drink Champs podcast, Ye said that Dov Charney refused to release the “White Lives Matter” shirts and told him to visit a Holocaust Museum. Ye did not take Charney up on the offer. The comic Rosenfeld said this specific case is especially alarming and frightening.

“When celebrities make a mistake, they get mechila (forgiveness) by going to the Holocaust Museum,” Rosenfeld said. “There’s the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. As soon as some celebrity says something off, they go, and it’s done. This one is fully crazy and he’s not looking to back away from it. I don’t know what set him off. It shows you what’s inside, just like the insurrection showed us the hatred and what’s really under the carpet in America. A lot of people are in support of him. I’m very close with many survivors. Whenever we say ‘Never Again,’ in their hearts, they go ‘Never Again for a while. It’s going to come back up again.’”

Rosenfeld, who will perform at Sony Hall in Manhattan December 24-26, has a joke where he says it’s not the smartest move to send antisemitic people to a Holocaust Museum. He said while it may be done for public relations, there is value in that it gets written about in the media and people can Google it and learn.

“There’s a generation coming up now that has no idea there was ever a Holocaust,” he said. “I have three jokes where I mention the Holocaust. At The Comedy Cellar, you can see them turning to their friends going, ‘what’s he talking about? What’s a Holocaust Museum?’ That’s the importance of it.” He added that if the rapper feels wronged by people, he should single them out as individuals, not by their religion.

Strangely, in interviews Ye has suddenly said he is a Jew. “If he means what he says, he should have a circumcision,” Talia Resse said. “I think that’s the only move he has.”

Sivan Avneri, who has performed at comedy clubs in Tel Aviv, spoke from Israel and said nobody can be certain as to what triggered the rapper’s tirade.

“Maybe he hates the Jews because he dated an Israeli girl who told him his shirt was ugly,” she said.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Beauty Without Borders

I was amused by this scene of an elderly, ultra-Orthodox couple enjoying a coffee while a sensual French song came on. Do they have any idea what this song is about? I wondered.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.