Roseanne Barr on BDS: listen to what Jews living in Israel have to say

Roseanne Barr speaks at the March 28 "Stop the Boycott" conference in Jerusalem. Credit: Twitter.

(By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman/ American actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who gave remarks at the March 28 “Stop the Boycott” conference in Jerusalem, told regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that “people should listen to what Jewish people say that live here, in Israel, rather than those people that live in Chicago and especially those that aren’t even Jewish.” 

“Jewish people need to be the ones to talk about [BDS]—not [Pink Floyd’s] Roger Waters or the pope. It’s a Jewish subject. The rest of the people should keep their mouths shut and listen for a change,” Barr said in a phone interview after the conference, which was organized by Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet.

In her talk at the conference, Barr said she sees pandemic anti-Semitism on Twitter. Since many social media users at first didn’t realize her Jewish roots—“perhaps because no one thought I was Jewish being from Utah”—she was privy to witnessing uncensored things non-Jews say about Jews, things they might not have said if they knew they were speaking to a Jew.

“It was shocking when I realized that what I considered criticism of Israel became garden variety anti-Semitism,” Barr said. “BDS is right-wing and fascist….BDS [members] do not want peace, nor do they want peace negotiations.”

Barr, whose Israel trip was hosted by the pro-Israel education organization StandWithUs, said she thinks many celebrities are afraid to speak up for Israel because they’re afraid of being maligned in the media, at conferences, on campuses, or even in synagogue. 

“I think people are afraid. Have you ever been shouted down by these BDS people?” she said. “People are afraid of being targeted….[They are] protecting their lives and their families.”

Posted on March 28, 2016 .