Concerning Joke about Israel

This joke on SNL led to the conversation that follows:

“I am going to guess it’s the Jewish half, Michael Che called anti-semitic for this joke about Israel already vaccinating half its population.

Cousin:  I find it interesting that the ones who shout the loudest are GOP, the very anti-Semites that don’t allow Jews in their clubs. Fact is Israel has a bit of an apartheid going on with their Arab brothers and sisters. I’m a Jew and I’m not alone in my disgust for this policy. I’ve always felt Israel’s biggest mistake is not recognizing Palestinianpeople as a kindred people, both discriminated against by the rest of the world. The heights they could achieve working together…

Cousin’s FB friend:  I watched and was floored that comment was intended to be a joke. Che (and his writers) deserve to be slammed.

Cousin: If these so-called offended gentiles really cared about Jews you wouldn’t be seeing the masses of anti-Semite White-supremicists

Me: Interesting, though, how many of their political allies are staunch supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel and how, far too often, leaders of powerful Jewish organizations and independent Jews support such people. I have relatives to prove the point. Trumpites because they saw Trump to be a strong supporter of Israel. Throughout the reign, I barked about those who told me they supported at least so of Trumpism because he supported Israel, mad at me because I was a Jew who didn’t support Jews, a “self-loathing Jew.” Yes, to loath loathsome Israeli policy was (still is) equated by too many as being anti-Jew, translated, so as to diminish the horrible meaning of the term, anti-Semitic.

FB Friend of Cousin:  

Ever since living in Israel for a year during my junior year in college I’ve been deeply concerned for its survival. I agree with the two state plan that President Biden will undoubtedly try to get back on track. As a progressive, I realize I hold a minority opinion on the subject but what disturbs me in conversations I’ve had with fellow progressives is their inability to make a distinction both between Israel and the Jewish people and the right wing is really government and the Israeli people. So anti-Semitism often becomes a person’s position on our foreign policy toward Israel…

I know Israelis that have opposing opinions but you have it exactly right about people assuming Israel and world Jewry are united. The government of Israel is repulsive and those in power aim to keep it that way. Lots of money to be made with aggressive policies


 This is a really important concern, not just in regard to issues involving Israel but in understanding biases that lead to thinking that is dangerous to a sane and humane future. Israel is a country. Jewish is a religion and ethnicity. Anti-Israeli sentiment as well as pro-Israeli sentiment is about a political entity and a very problematic entity for the way it was created (re-created if you wish). The blurring of distinctions to get to the point where it is “logical” to call one who has problems with the Israeli state and its actions is dependent upon a flaw in logic that makes people who are the actual haters appear the humane and those who are actually sane and humane, inhumanely crazy, in a word, anti-Semitic.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

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