Ye, Kyrie and the rise of antisemitism

Rapper and Brooklyn Nets star both promote dangerously false beliefs.

Ye+faces+backlash+after+posting+antisemitic+content+on+Instagram.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ye faces backlash after posting antisemitic content on Instagram.

Hannah Larson , Editor-in-Chief

The evil of antisemitism was on full display in recent weeks after rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, and Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving each posted false and offensive remarks about Jewish people. In an Instagram post, which has since been deleted, Ye insinuated that Jewish people control the United States and its money. Irving tweeted a link to an antisemitic film and, in a press conference, refused to say definitively that the Holocaust happened. Irving initially refused to apologize for his remarks, finally doing so only after the Nets announced they were suspending him for five games without pay.

Spewing vitriolic remarks about Jewish people is reprehensible and deserves immediate condemnation. The dangerous recent uptick in antisemitic rhetoric and hate crimes demands a strong response since, if left unchecked, it has the power to gain momentum and inspire Americans to perpetuate acts of terror and violence against Jewish people simply because of their religion and heritage. 

ANTISEMITISM IN LOS ANGELES

The ripple effect of Ye’s untrue and inflammatory statements was glaringly obvious in Los Angeles after an antisemitic hate group hung a banner, which said “Kanye is right about the Jews” above Interstate 405, then stood behind the banner with arms raised in a Nazi salute. Next to the banner, demonstrators hung an American flag and a poster with Scripture references, brazenly abusing God’s Word to justify venomous remarks against God’s people. 

Less than a day after the banners were hung, residents in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Westwood found antisemitic fliers on their lawns. In response to these incidents, the Los Angeles City Council approved a definition of antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance which categorizes antisemitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.”

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón excoriated the hateful freeway demonstration on Twitter.

“We cannot tolerate the #AntiSemitism that was on full display today on an LA Fwy,” Gascón said in the tweet. “#WhiteSupremacy is a societal cancer that must be excised. This message is dangerous & cannot be normalized. I stand with the Jewish community in condemning this disgusting behavior.”

CHRISTIANS RESPOND

Talbot School of Theology graduate Mitch Glaser, who developed the Masters of Divinity in Messianic Jewish Studies program at Biola, wrote a piece titled “In Opposition to Growing Antisemitism,” which was published on the Talbot’s “Good Book Blog.” In the article, Glaser called Christians to take a public stand against rising antisemitism and implored the church to recognize the demonic forces behind this despicable ideology.

“Antisemitism is fundamentally a spiritual issue,” Glaser said. “The devil, who never stops trying to destroy the Jewish people, is at the heart of antisemitism. He wants to overturn the plan of God and, throughout Scripture, we see his diabolical efforts to destroy the Jewish people and to thwart God’s unfolding plan of redemption. God’s people should be involved in serving the Jewish community and therefore involved in countering antisemitism and enlisting the help of the broader church in doing the same.”

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