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anti-semitism

These Celebrities Are Speaking Out Against Antisemitism

Mayim Bialik, Sacha Baron Cohen, Doug Emhoff, Debra Messing and Josh Gad.

It’s been an extremely difficult few weeks, especially for Palestinians and Israelis who have endured horrific and heartbreaking violence that claimed more than 240 lives before a ceasefire was announced on May 20.

In the wake of the unrest in the Middle East, Jews across the world and the U.S. are experiencing an uptick in antisemitic violence and incidents, including violent attacks at restaurants and the defacing of synagogues. What’s more, as Jordana Horn writes in these very pages, what’s making this violence even worse for some American Jews “is seeing how those whom we’ve aligned ourselves within the fight against bigotry in the past have been silent — at best — in our time of need.”

Despite the deafening silence from many activists and high-profile people, some Jewish public figures — as well as some non-Jewish celebrities — have made recent public statements on social media condemning antisemitism. If you, too, are feeling like not enough people are speaking out against the recent attacks against Jews, we hope you will find their statements heartening. Here are some of their posts.

Mayim Bialik

In the wake of an attack on Jewish diners at a Los Angeles sushi restaurant, Mayim Bialik made an emotional and vulnerable tweet on May 19, reflecting that she is feeling “speechless and devastated” after the attacks in her home community.

Olivia Munn

Actress and director Olivia Munn, who’s recently been in the news for her new relationship with comedian John Mulaney (who is devastatingly separating from his Jewish wife, Annamarie Tendler), spoke out about antisemitism on Instagram. The post includes a blue background with white letters reading, “I STAND AGAINST ANTISEMITISM.” The caption? “There has been a sudden rise in people singling out and attacking Jewish people and pretending it’s in the name of activism. Hate has no place here. Get outta here with that shit. #stopantisemitism 🙏🏼💙”

Sarah Silverman

Always vocal about the Jewish community and antisemitism, Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman repeated a phrase from her recent podcast in a tweet: “Jews in the diaspora need allies.” Retweeting a tweet about the antisemitic attack in LA, Silverman also cautioned against the danger of conflating Jews in the diaspora with Israel or the Israeli government.

Debra Messing

Jewish actress and Will and Grace star Debra Messing posted a long thread on Twitter warning against the threat of misinformation and how it has led to violence. Citing an enormous increase in antisemitic incidents, “Disinformation is gas on the fire of anti-semitism, and it is everyone’s responsibility NOT to amplify disinformation on social media,” she writes. “It hurts. If you are an ally, please act like an ally. We need you.”

Abby Stein

Jewish activist Abby Stein tweeted last Friday that all acts of antisemitism are condemnable. Additionally, she makes this important distinction “Also, calling out antisemitism where and when we see it, isn’t taking away from fighting for Palestinian rights. Duh.” Yes!

Douglas Emhoff

Along with his wife’s powerful statement, Jewish Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff — who was vocal about the risks of antisemitism at a recent Holocaust remembrance event — also condemned antisemitism on Twitter. He writes: “The horrific rise in anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish community is reprehensible. Acts of hatred have no place in our society. We must stand together and reject hate and bigotry in all its forms.”

Josh Gad

Jewish actor Josh Gad shared his disappointment over the lack of Jewish allies in a tweet over the weekend. Lamenting about how difficult it seems to be for people to speak out against antisemitism, he writes: “I will stand up against bigotry of all kind from Islamiphobia [sic] to racism. Wish others would do the same when it comes to anti-Semitism.”

Sacha Baron Cohen

Jewish comedian and Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen focused on the role of social media in this fraught moment. In a tweet, he called out Twitter for allowing antisemitism: “The surge in antisemitism on the streets is fueled by antisemitism on social media. @Jack, @Twitter — Why do you allow #HitlerWasRight ?!” We have to agree with this line of questioning.

Judy Gold

Along with a long status on Facebook advocating for allies against antisemitism (and elaborating on her views on Israel) Jewish comedian Judy Gold tweeted a blue square on Friday with the hashtags, “#notohate #stopantisemitism  #shabbatshalom.” While the blue square mini-trend echoes the black squares posted everywhere last year in honor of Black Lives Matter — and therefore problematic, as succinctly broken down here in a post by Jewish activist Adam Eli —  Judy’s hashtags send a clear message that we all need to unite to end antisemitism.

Michaela Watkins

Former “SNL” cast member and Jewish actress Michaela Watkins spoke out last week about hate crimes perpetuated against Muslim and Jewish people. She tweeted, “Jumping Jews in West Hollywood isn’t helping Palestinians either. Racism anti-Semitism, Islamophobia are ALL wrong regardless of who perpetuates it.”

Rabbi Sandra Lawson

One of our favorite Twitter rabbis, Rabbi Sandra, spoke out against the dangerous rhetoric and antisemitic pot-stirring of U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. As Rabbi Sandra reminds us, “Jews in the USA are being violently targeted & attacked b/c of the actions of a foreign government. Her comments will contribute to more violence.”

Mark Ruffalo

Actor Mark Ruffalo made a refreshing apology on Twitter, reflecting that misinformation and hyperbolic rhetoric is dangerous to all. He writes: “I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing “genocide”. It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.” We really appreciate this authentic reflection from a non-Jewish ally.

Michael Rapaport

Jewish actor and comedian Michael Rapaport posted a strongly worded video on Twitter in response to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comparisons of mask mandates to the Holocaust. Going as far to call Taylor Greene a “dumb animal” (and more), Rapaport says “you know what you can compare the Holocaust to? Right, nothing. Dumb b**ch.” While we are not fans of offensive name-calling — no matter who is on the receiving end — we do get the message, Michael.

Amy Spitalnick

A civil rights activist whose bio proclaims her as “suing the Nazis who attacked Charlottesville,” Amy Spitalnick reflects on Twitter, “Antisemitism is insidious. It constantly changes shape, even while relying on the same age-old tropes. And there will always be those ready to seize on a crisis to spread it.”

Reese Witherspoon

Multi-hyphenate mama Reese Witherspoon posted on her Instagram stories in support of Jewish people. On Friday, she wrote, “I am so upset to see the recent surge in hate crimes against Jewish people in the U.S. While we ask for peace is Israel/Palestine, we need to stop hate here.” Well said, Reese!

Kim Kardashian 

With 222 million followers, reality star Kim Kardashian has one of Instagram’s largest accounts. Last Wednesday, she posted a that read: “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace and safety.” This quote was originally posted by Jewish singer-songwriter and progressive Zionist activist Hilary Hawn, also known as HRH. Thank you, Kim, for using your massive platform to speak out!

David Beckham

On May 12, two days after the clash between Israelis and Palestinians began, soccer star David Beckham — whose maternal grandfather was Jewish — posted a portrait on Instagram in which he’s wearing a prominent Star of David necklace. While we can’t say for certain this counts as speaking out against antisemitism, we appreciate the gesture! (We also love how David gives a photo credit to his son, Brooklyn, who is engaged to Jewish actress Nicola Peltz.)

Header image via  Bruce Glikas / WireImage / Jeff Kravitz / Warner Media / Presley Ann / Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver / Rick Rycroft/Pool / Getty Images

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