I don't think Joe Rogan is antisemitic—but he did say something antisemitic.
Joe Rogan is controversial. He is the most successful podcaster in the world because he is provocative, funny and asks a lot of good question. And he's willing to go where others are not. On certain issues, he's liberal and on others, he's conservative. He is also very smart and even smart people say dumb things when you broadcast for three hours live every day.
I don't think Joe Rogan is antisemitic. Nevertheless, he did say something the other day that was absolutely, undeniably antisemitic (and heard by an estimated 11 million people). Before I tell you what he said, I don't doubt that many people will read or hear his words and think, “Yeah, that seems true.” I want to challenge that.
Ilhan Omer and the Benjamins
Rogan was defending Rep. Ilhan Omar from accusations of antisemitism, from when she said, about Jewish political influence, “It’s call about the Benjamins.”
"She’s talking about money," said Rogan about Omar. "It’s not an antisemitic statement, I don’t think that is. Benjamins are money. You know, the idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous. Listen, it’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza. It’s stupid. It’s [expletive] stupid."
Let me explain why this is indeed an antisemitic false stereotype. Equating Jewish love for money with Italians’ love for pizza is actually the thing that is stupid here. Claiming that the fact that Jewish Americans tend to succeed on a higher scale than others, is because they are “into money,” feeds the lie that the Jews control the world's banks.
When I was in high school, someone asked how the Jews got to the Middle East. The answer was, “someone dropped a quarter.” The fallacy is that Jews are cheap. But even though Jewish people make up only 2% of the population, they make up 25% of the most philanthropic people in the country, according to Forbes Magazine.
Who doesn’t want money?
Joe Rogan must be Jewish because he is into money! Spotify signed him to a $100,000,000 contract. Let’s be honest, everyone is into money. People of all ethnicities, races, religions and genders play the lottery because they too are “into money.” But being into money—buying a lottery ticket—does normally produce money. Deducing Jewish success as the result of being into money, as opposed to “into education” is indeed antisemitic. Just being “into money” does not produce wealth.
Furthermore, when Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted, “it's all about the Benjamins,” she was talking about Jewish people using money to buy influence in Congress. That is anti-Semitic. She was not saying that the Jews are into money, as Rogan interprets, but that Jews were using their gobs of money to lobby congress. She was targeting the pro-Israel group AIPAC (American Israel Political Action Committee). And the reason this is antisemitic is because lobbying Congress is not exclusive to AIPAC or Jews.
Dr. Qanta Ahmed, herself a Muslim, rebuked Congresswoman Omar saying:
"She fails to mention Muslim nations [like] Saudi Arabia [and] Qatar spend orders of magnitude, tens of millions of dollars more on lobbying, than AIPAC does. So there is an incredible bias that's disturbing and to me, [that] speaks of Islamist antisemitism."
Should we say that Saudi Arabia and Qatar or all about the Benjamins? And that they’re into money? They certainly have a lot of it, though it has more to do with being oil rich nations than it does with excelling in math, hi-tech or science. And if she’s concerned about bribing, she might want to dig in to how Qatar was awarded the most recent World Cup event.
Education brings wealth
Because of the Jewish commitment to education, Dennis Prager writes:
"It is not surprising that the American grandchildren of Jews [who came penniless from Russia] though numbering just over 2% of the population, have won almost a third of the Nobel Prizes awarded American scientists, are overrepresented in medicine, law, and mathematics by more than three times their proportion to the general population, in psychiatry by more than five times, and in dentistry by four times."
Are the Jewish Nobel winners simply “into money” like “Italians are into pizza”?
How to Recognize a Jew
Let’s talk a little bit more about Jews and their supposed lust for money and why repeating such things is dangerous. “In Lebanon,” where roughly 20 Jews live, “97 percent of people were reported to have a negative view of Jews.” despite the fact that most Lebanese people in Lebanon do not know any Jews, they are very educated about the wiles and cunning stratagems of the Jew.
Nabih Berri, the Speaker of the Parliament in Lebanon, was recently quoted in a Lebanese article titled “How to Recognize a Jew.” Berri gave the following advice:
"If you see a pregnant woman, get close to her and toss a piece of gold near her or at her feet. If the fetus jumps out from his mother’s womb and grabs the gold, you know he is a Jew."
In 2019, Muslim Imam Abu Haf gave a sermon at the Islamic Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany entitled “The Position of the Jews Towards Islam.” Let’s read a little bit of his powerful message:
"One of [the Jews’] wicked ways to fight Islam was to tear apart the unity of Muslims” and “It is well-known and does not need any further explanation that they are the most renowned of all people for their greediness and love of money” and “They are enamored with gold. They have been arrogant, especially their rabbis and their leaders. They would enslave people.”
Jewish history begins in Exodus in Egypt with Jews as slaves. It nearly ends in the Holocaust where 6,000,000 are murdered...But the Imam claims that it is Jews who enslave Muslims. That is similar to the claim that Israel is a Nazi state.
You see, it’s a very small jump from, “the Jews are into money,” to, “the Jews want my money,” to, "we better kill the Jews!" And in fact, this is what fuels both Islamic and right-wing antisemitism (left-wing antisemitism is fueled by painting Israel as a colonial power persecuting downtrodden Arabs.). This is at the very foundation of Nazism. The Jews appear to be white [which in their mind is a virtue], but really they are not. They want to enslave the whites. Since they control the banks and the media, we have to fight against them. (Ironically, while right-wing antisemitism says the Jews are not really white, left-wing antisemitism, says that Jews are not really a minority because they are white.)
When the white supremacists marched in khakis with tiki torches in Charlottesville, Virginia chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” they did not merely mean the actual Jews would not replace them, but that the Jews have a plot to bring in immigrants from all over the world to replace white people and white European culture. This is what John Earnest, the Poway Synagogue shooter believed. Bari Weiss summarizes his thoughts here from his 4,000 word manifesto:
"It seemed straightforward. But I wasn’t thinking enough like an anti-Semite. Behind the slogan 'Jews will not replace us' is the ancient anti-Semitic notion of the Jew as the evil puppeteer, the devil behind the curtain pulling the strings. In this case, they are pulling them on behalf of black and brown people. How? By controlling progressive politicians, by organizing caravans of illegal immigrants to storm the southern border, and so on."
So, Joe, you’re a funny guy but playing around with antisemitic tropes is no laughing matter.
 https://www.jta.org/2023/01/25/united-states/half-of-americas-25-most-generous-philanthropists-are-jews-few-give-much-to-jewish-causes  https://video.foxnews.com/v/6002584394001  Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism (New York: Simon and Shuster, 2003), 46.  Weiss, Bari. How to Fight Anti-Semitism (New York: Crown, 2019), 141.  Weiss, 139.  Weiss, 145.  Weiss, 67.