Tag Archives: Scarlett Johansson

Jew Hatred will grow even worse if Jewish people find it acceptable

When Michael Che of Saturday Night Live made his joke about Israel only vaccinating the Jewish half of the country, it struck me as ironic that he was sitting next to a man who is married to a Jewish woman. Chances are some time soon after he made his joke he proceeded to head to what is likely a fairly nice home paid for by the salary he earns from the jokes he tells on a program created and run by a Jewish man.

Yesterday we learned of Myers Leonard, a fairly useless basketball player, playing for a team owned by a Jewish man, in an organization run by a Jewish man, comfortably and exuberantly using the term “kike” on a video game live stream.

Che’s joke, was presented in SNL’s satirical newscast this past February. The joke went as follows:

Israel is reporting it has vaccinated half of its population, and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.

The joke, which clearly expresses the opinion that Israel is a country that only cares about its Jewish population, is in its nature an ant-Semitic one. While I think cancel culture is running amok, I am not ashamed to say that in one joke most of the appreciation I had for Che’s talents evaporated into nothingness. But what struck me even more was the grin on the face of his partner in the segment, Colin Jost. Jost is married to Scarlett Johansson who herself is Jewish, and somehow seemed to find a joke likely to strengthen the resolve of Jew haters not only acceptable, but funny. Understanding that sometimes people react instinctively to something and regret it later, I googled during the week that followed and saw that Jost did indeed have a concern regarding his partner Che. His concern was that he didn’t know what to buy Che for his upcoming wedding. Meanwhile as the week went on and people expressed their disapproval for the joke, not a word from SNL’s Producer and Creator Lorne Michaels. However I realized that too might have been OK. Maybe his way of handling it was by having Che make an apology during the following week’s segment. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, not a word from Che, and from Michaels, crickets.

In the case of the Myers Leonard incident, unlike some, I do not demand immediate action. Personally I will be satisfied to wait a few days as long as the action is appropriate. So while I take issue with the internal reaction to Michael Che, as I write this it is too early to speak to the actions of Miami Heat owner Micky Arison, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, both Jewish men. The Heat have said that Leonard will be away from the team and the NBA has said it is investigating, so let’s see how this is handled moving forward.

But as Jews we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to tolerate other Jews in power turning a blind eye to Jew hatred, particularly when we are speaking of Jews who seem to have zero tolerance for hatred towards other segments of society. It is appropriate to express anger and disapproval towards the Ches and Leonards of the world, but if we sit back and accept cynical apathy from our fellow Jews, we ultimately will find ourselves in very big trouble. People like Che and Leonard will certainly not care what we think, if the Jews that employ them tolerate their behavior. Part of our responsibility is to make our voices heard by our fellow Jews who speak of and work for social justice except when it comes to their fellow Jews. In doing so we are not just holding them accountable, we are holding ourselves accountable as well.

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Taking the Fizz out of Hypocrisy

M7u7PRhAs someone who is always keeping his eyes open for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment, something that most honest people know to be one of the same, I tried to find evidence that the banning of the SodaStream ad from the Super Bowl by FOX was one more example of hatred of the Jewish people.  Despite any solid evidence to back this up, the ripple effects of this story have been enormous in a variety of ways.

Although diminished over the years, I have a personal connection to SodaStream.  This personal connection has caused me to pay a little extra attention to the company and the success it has generated.  When I heard that Scarlett Johansson had agreed to be a spokesperson and would be in a commercial airing during the Super Bowl, as was the case with many other Jews and Zionists, I felt a tremendous degree of excitement and pride.  Not only was this a blow to the BDS  (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement  inasmuch as it had a major Israeli company on the public stage, it also represented a high profile, popular and beautiful actress showing the character and strength to support an Israeli company with no apparent concern for the backlash she might receive from others within her industry and from other industries.

But it gets better.  As many already know, SodaStream is an example of everything that is right in modern Israeli capitalism.   Here is a company, providing a good product, environmentally sound and beneficial to its users, seemingly providing great success to its owners and management team while providing fair and equitable employment to residents of the areas of Israel where the product is manufactured.  Let me repeat that for Roger Waters and other proud supporter of the BDS Movement.  Providing fair and equitable employment to residents of the areas of Israel where the product is manufactured.  That encompasses what they like to refer to as the “occupied territories”. 

The best news of all however, is that not only despite the fact that SodaStream’s ad was pulled from the Super Bowl but maybe even because it was, the company has become more well known in the past few days than it may ever have dreamed of becoming.  In some ways I’ll go as far as saying that a situation that was supposed to be nothing more than a business venture has turned into a political gain for the State of Israel.  The United States of America, a country I am proud to call my home, is now the setting for one of the most blatant examples of corporate censorship you will ever encounter.   The control that Coca-Cola and Pepsi have over the Super Bowl is so tremendous they have basically forced the network covering the event to not allow an advertisement that attacks their product.   The fact that the company that manufactures this product, SodaStream, is being unjustly attacked for making a product at the expense of the human rights of others, will totally expose those whose activism against Israel is based on anti-Semitism rather than a genuine, albeit misguided pursuit of justice.   The irony practically makes me giddy and although I myself am not a soda drinker, the impact this has had will cause me to purchase SodaStream as a gift for someone at my first opportunity.   

Of course the one sobering fact is that logic and truth have never stood in the path of those who have wished to cause pain to and destruction of the Jewish people.  With that said the fight needs to continue on many fronts, and today as a Jew and Zionist I thank Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream for what in the minds of many is a victory in one of the many battles we will unfortunately continue to have to fight.  Then again the personal connection I mentioned earlier makes it very easy to believe that SodaStream would be in the middle of something so significantly helpful to Israel’s image at a time it needed it the most.