Jewish celebrities fought back on Twitter against anti-Semitic posts using a hashtag — #JewishPrivilege — that was intended to gin up racism against Jews, but instead used it to recount centuries of genocide and persecution against their people.
The hashtag was first used by white supremacist Twitter profiles and bots with the intent of demeaning Jews. The users posted a mixture of conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial while attributing modern societal ails to Jews. Some even apologized for being Jews (if the profiles were to be believed) and “confessed” their privilege. One example was a Tweet that said: “It’s important we pay for that dominant role that hurt so many millions of blacks. We Jews are 1/3 of billionaires and MUST give much more to blacks.”
But Jewish celebrities and advocates pushed back and by the next day the hashtag had been essentially redefined.
“Guess we’re at the #JewishPrivilege part of 2020 because Neo-Nazis have a social platform. Where to start? Is it the privilege of my mom never getting to meet her grandparents because they were murdered or is it her parents being robbed of their childhoods by being put in camps?” actor Josh Gad tweeted.
“My dad getting the s**t kicked out of him everyday at school 4 being a kike to kids in NH throwing pennies at me on the bus to pastors in Florida calling for my death and telling their congregation that knocking my teeth out and killing me would be God’s work. #JewishPrivilege,” comedian-actress Sarah Silverman tweeted.
“My #JewishPrivilege? Garden-variety stuff. Eleven dead relatives at Auschwitz and in the Russian woods and a father who was a hostage and suffered PTSD years after the Jewish non-profit where he worked was stormed by angry dudes with guns & scimitars who threatened to behead him.” television producer David Simon wrote.
“It’s people emailing & tweeting to me that Jews need to be quiet now & that ‘that’s not just a suggestion’ or friends who don’t realize I’m Jewish making it clear how anti-Semitic they are or family members afraid to wear a Star of David in their own neighborhood.#JewishPrivilege,” former presidential contender Marianne Williamson wrote.
Rabbi Elchanan Poupko wrote: “#JewishPrivilege is my cousin Reb Nochum Moshe Twersky of the Chernobyl Hassidic dynasty being asked to come and bless Ukrainian soldiers just for them to shoot him dead later.”