Dave Chappelle’s Jokes about “Space Jews” May Be in Poor Taste, but That’s No Reason to Jump on the Cancellation Bandwagon

This past week, two American comedians managed to spark controversies regarding anti-Semitism. The first came from Dave Chappelle, whose most recent stand-up routine included two jokes that played on ugly Jewish stereotypes, and an even uglier view of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. While some Jews have condemned Chappelle—joining in the louder clamor over his comments about transsexuals—Ruthie Blum cautions against taking humor too seriously:

To be sure, the implication [of these jokes] is appalling, not amusing. The trouble is that the outcry against Chappelle for rejecting “woke” political correctness isn’t funny either. On the contrary, his “blasphemy” against the language and thought police is like a breath of fresh air in a polluted societal environment. Moreover, he’s an equal-opportunity offender. In his routine, he repeatedly uses the “N-word,” refers to women [with a crass epithet], and claims that “what the feminist movement needs to be successful is a male leader.”

[A] piece of advice . . . for the American Jews who were horrified by his anti-Semitism: expend more effort combating the vile phenomenon where it most matters in the United States these days—in the Democratic party. This might be a tall order, though. The vast majority of those concerned by the likes of Chappelle not only belong to that side of the aisle [politically] but have contributed greatly to, if are not mainly responsible for, the current climate that borders on cultural totalitarianism.

It’s fine to call a comic to task for crossing a line. Doing so is what free speech is all about. Prohibiting comedians from being sacrilegious, on the other hand, is a sign of a sad—and dangerous—society.

Something similar can be said about the Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman, who raised sincere complaints about Gentile actors playing obviously Jewish roles—while other instances of cross-ethnic acting invite the ire of the politically correct. Though there is undoubtedly a double standard, Jonathan Tobin argues that Jews should not race to jump on the woke bandwagon:

Jews need to realize that they have thrived because America is a place where you are judged as an individual, not solely as a member of a group—be it privileged or unprivileged—which is the way critical race theory categorizes everyone. Aligning with the woke frame of reference about casting may give a few more juicy Jewish roles to Jewish actors, yet doing so would mire us further into the morass of entitlement and moral panic about race that is antithetical to the best interests of Jews as well as everyone else.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Cancel culture, Comedy, Political correctness

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship