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Entertainment, Politics, and Antisemitism Collide—and the Believer’s Response

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

Photo credit: Twitter @StopAntisemitism

Recently, Kanye West and former US President Donald Trump made headlines for a few days over comments they each made regarding the influence Jewish people have in America. It was sensational because, basically, both men were trafficking in Jewish stereotypes and well-worn tropes, and both men are wildly influential over different segments of society.

It seems like just yesterday Kanye West was singing gospel music. A lot can happen in a few years. This week he decided it would be a good thing to attack the Jewish people on Twitter, threatening to go “death com 3 (sic) on Jewish people.” He accused American Apparel owner Dov Charney of not carrying his White Lives Matter t-shirt because he is Jewish, but didn’t stop there: “Jewish people have owned the Black voice. Whether it’s through us wearing the Ralph Lauren shirt, or it’s all of us being signed to a record label, or having a Jewish manager, or being signed to a Jewish basketball team, or doing a movie on a Jewish platform like Disney.”

Some may point to Kayne West's recent comments about his relationship with God and being pro-life—which is great. But that doesn't cancel out over in blatant antisemitic comments. Jewish conservative commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted, "Back from the Jewish holiday now. As usual, two things can be true at once: Kanye's moves toward pro-life, faith, and family conservatism are encouraging; his 'death con 3' posts and Black Hebrew Israelite language are clearly anti-Semitic and disturbing."

It didn't take long for the real antisemites to being using Kanye West's comments to attack Jews. In the sign below the "Goyim Defense League" hangs a sign saying, "Kanye is right about the Jews."

Photo credit: Twitter @StopAntisemitism

Former President Trump actually seemed to threaten American Jews for not giving him the credit he feels he deserves.

Photo credit: Screenshot of President Trump’s post on Truth Social, accessed 10.19.22

There is no doubt that President Trump was very good to Israel. What he is doing by pitting evangelicals against American Jews and suggesting something bad could happen to American Jews if they don’t “get their act together” is antisemitic. I do not believe that Trump is antisemitic but simply angry that he feels he is not getting the credit he deserves for recognizing Jerusalem and moving the capital, amongst other things. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points out that Trump’s son-in-law is Jewish, his daughter converted, and his grandchildren are being raised as Jews.

“I think it reflects his frustration, which happens to many politicians when they feel they don’t get all the credit they deserve for the things they did. By the way, I have to tell you, I’m not an exception. All of us belong to that.”

He may be forgetting that 30% of American Jews voted for him in 2020 and were grateful for his pro-Israel policies. And many who didn’t vote for him appreciate his policies towards Israel but also believe that he has legitimized extremism, as expressed by groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

According to a recent poll, more than 70% of American Jews have an emotional attachment to Israel. Netanyahu confirmed this.

“American Jews, by and large, and a great majority support Israel warmly, and some – especially in the radical, progressive wing – do not. But the great majority in the Democratic Party do.”

With the rise of anti-Jewish rhetoric, we have seen a rise in violence against Jews. In 2021, antisemitic acts in America hit an all-time high and were 34% more common than the year before.

The Bible speaks of the day when all nations will attack Israel (Zech 14:1-2).

The Jewish people have been hated for millennia. No other people group has ever been targeted like Jewish people. Whether it was Haman or Hitler, there is always this fear of the Jew— “he must be stopped!”

But the ecclesia does not have to follow in the world’s footsteps. The Body of Messiah is called to provoke Israel to jealousy (Rom. 11:11). Let me challenge you to be an advocate for the Jewish people. Pray for Israel. God longs to see Israel re-grafted back into her own olive tree. The enemy is tireless in his effort to turn the Church against the Jewish people. We have to be proactive in not listening to stereotypes and tropes and get God’s heart for his ancient people. I’ll leave you with the words of Paul.

I speak the truth in Messiah—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.