CAM Demands NBC Apologize for Anti-Semitic ‘Saturday Night Live’ Joke on Israel’s COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign
The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) strongly condemns the recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that featured an anti-Semitic joke about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
In the long-running NBC comedy show’s “Weekend Update” parody news segment on February 20, co-host Michael Che quipped, “Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half their population, and I’m gonna guess it’s the Jewish half” — falsely implying that Israel discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens, when in fact vaccines are freely available to all Israelis, regardless of background.
CAM Executive Director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa stated, “NBC must apologize for this heinous anti-Semitic libel. There is no place for such ill-informed prejudice on television. We love jokes, but this crossed a dangerous line, and humor cannot be used to play on ancient stereotypes and stoke the world’s oldest hatred.”
The outrage from Jewish groups in response to the skit has been uniform, with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations saying, “NBC should know better, and must not only stop spreading harmful misinformation, but take action to undo this damage caused by propagating Jew-hatred under the guise of comedy.”
Petitions organized by the American Jewish Committee and StandWithUs call for an apology and a retraction by NBC.
The joke in question can be viewed below:
It’s all fun and games until you start promoting antisemitic myths, @NBCSNL.
Every Israeli citizen—Jewish and Arab, Muslim, Christian, of any or no faith—is eligible to be vaccinated; 2/3 of Israel’s Arab citizens over 60 already have been.
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) February 21, 2021