The mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in the media

“The Daily Beast” is one among many outlets that unapologetically print blatantly anti-Semitic articles. This should not be tolerated.

Mayim Bialik. Source: Twitter.
Mayim Bialik. Source: Twitter.
Farley Weiss
Farley Weiss is chairman of the Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) and former president of the National Council of Young Israel.

In an article in The Daily Beast on Aug. 12, entertainment reporter Tirhakah Love bashed actress Mayim Bialik, one of the stars of the hit sit-com “The Big Bang Theory” and recently tapped host of the program “Jeopardy!”

In the piece, Love attacked Bialik, an Orthodox Jew, for her 2014 donation towards bulletproof vests for the “genocidal” Israel Defense Forces.

Love went even further, deriding Bialik for encouraging women to dress modestly, and called into question her selection as “Jeopardy!” host. But Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, not only is a perfect choice for the trivia show, but is an audience favorite.

Love’s assault, then, had nothing to do with Bialik’s credentials or skills Instead, it focused on her being a religious Jew who supports Israel. This is anti-Semitism, plain and simple.

On Aug. 13, the day after the article appeared, Love was asked by a Twitter follower to “define Zionism.”

Love replied in a tweet, “[It’s] a faux ethno-religious liberation movement that is staunchly imperialistic as it’s an extension of British colonialism and an articulation of white supremacy.”

In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) formulated the “working definition of anti-Semitism,” which since then has been widely adopted around the world, including by the U.S. State Department.

According to the IHRA, manifestations of anti-Semitism “might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity, [though] criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism … is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.”

By this measure, Love’s description of Zionism as an “articulation of white supremacy” perfectly meets the IHRA criteria for being anti-Semitic.

The question must then be raised: What action has The Daily Beast taken against Love? The answer, as of today, is “none.” The article is still on the publication’s website, and Love is still on its staff.

The only tweak was made in response to outrage expressed by members of the Jewish community: The Daily Beast replaced the word “genocidal” with a quote from an April 2021 Human Rights Watch report falsely stating that some of Israel’s actions “amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

In other words, the publication traded one blood libel for another.

In so doing, The Daily Beast is either promoting anti-Semitism or, at the very least, is complicit in its spread.

This isn’t the first time that The Daily Beast has been on the wrong side of anti-Semitism. In a March 2019 article, contributing editor Justin Baragona berated comments I made during a Fox Business Network interview with Stuart Varney. In response to a question by Varney about whether U.S. House Reps Ilan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) had said anything about Hamas’s firing rockets on Israel, I said, “I haven’t heard anything from [them], and I think that we shouldn’t hold our breath to hear anything from them. They don’t seem to side with Israel; they seem to side with the terrorists.”

In May, when Hamas launched more than 4,000 rockets at innocent Israeli citizens during “Operation Guardian of the Walls,” Omar, Tlaib and several of their colleagues not only failed to condemn Hamas; they condemned Israel—on the House floor. Omar even lamented that it was unfair for Israel to possess the Iron Dome missile-defense system, while Hamas did not have access to it.

Hamas, a terrorist entity under U.S. law, calls in its charter for the death of all Jews. My remarks to Varney two years earlier that the two Congresswomen “seem to side with the terrorists,” thus, was actually prescient.

The legitimization of anti-Semitism has led to violence against the Jewish community across America. This includes physical attacks in Los Angeles and New York.

It’s extremely dangerous when nothing is done about well-known publications like The Daily Beast employing anti-Semites and publishing anti-Semitic diatribes, such as Love’s against Bialik. It’s horrifying that this has become commonplace.

Anti-Semitism should have no place in America, certainly not in Congress. Nor should it be tolerated in The Daily Beast.

Only by speaking out against the spouting of anti-Semitism on Capitol Hill, and the printing of anti-Semitic garbage in mainstream media outlets, can we hope to reverse the rise of the phenomenon in America and around the world.

Farley Weiss, former president of the National Council of Young Israel, is an intellectual property attorney for the law firm of Weiss & Moy. The views expressed are the author’s, and not necessarily representative of NCYI.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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