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The Schmooze

Sarah Silverman urges non-Jewish fans: ‘Stop rolling your eyes and be our allies!’

Sarah Silverman knows her podcast has been circling a certain theme lately.

“I feel bad, because I feel like this podcast has become very Jew heavy,” the comedian said on Thursday’s episode of her eponymous show, which went on to address the danger of stereotyping Jews as rich and powerful.

After recalling her childhood in New Hampshire, where “Jew” was often used as a verb, Silverman alluded to a recent incident where she saw a young comic joke at an outdoor venue that “All Jews already have vaccines because they know people.”

“Everyone laughed and no one had a problem with it — and she’s not Jewish, that’s key,” Silverman said. “And I was like what the actual f—k, man? Just these tiny, little, not so micro aggressions lately.”

The episode dropped on a week where an NBA player was heard to say the word “kike” while playing an online video game and a few weeks after “SNL,” of which Silverman is an alumnus, was accused of antisemitism for a Weekend Update joke.

Silverman cited the book “Jews Don’t Count” by British comedian David Baddiel, which outlines how stereotypes of Jewish wealth and control are not only false, but dangerous.

“The conceit that Jews are rich is why the Holocaust happened,” Silverman said. “That was the idea they were pushing that got people on board with Nazism.”

On recent episodes of her show, clips from which she posts on her Instagram, Silverman has addressed the problematic conflation of Jewish Israelis and the state of Israel and weighed in on why Jared Kushner, as the grandson of Holocaust survivors, could be complicit to the Capitol siege. This week she urged her listeners to reject the idea that Jews are immune from discrimination and to do their part to speak up when they see antisemitism.

“Stop rolling your eyes and be our allies!” Silverman said, noting the many Jews she knows who are social activists for others. “Who is here for us? Besides, you know, disingenuous pro-Israel evangelicals who need Jews to go back to Israel for the end days so they can go to heaven?”

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected].


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