Roseanne Barr: BDS is a Nazi-style boycotter of Jews

At Jerusalem event, actress is defiant over her racist tweet and calls for anti-Zionist Jews to be censored

By
January 27, 2019 22:00
Roseanne Barr: BDS is a Nazi-style boycotter of Jews

Roseanne Barr in Israel . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Roseanne Barr railed against foes of the Jewish state in a sweeping and defiant speech in Jerusalem on Sunday night.

Barr said anti-Zionist Jews should be censored, said Hamas has representatives in Congress, called for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount and said BDS is a Nazi-style boycott during her address.

The actress spoke at an event titled "Hollywood and Hasbarah" at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, alongside her friend and mentor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Labor MK Hilik Bar.

Barr opened her speech - a not-so-fashionable 45 minutes late - by noting that she wrote 19 other drafts of her address before settling on the final version, which she delivered in front of more than 300 people.

The event was originally slated to be held in a room at the Knesset, but that idea was nixed when - less than 48 hours after the speech was announced - the Knesset dispersed ahead of elections on April 9. Bar (no relation) explained that Knesset bylaws prevent him holding an event in the Knesset during an election season. 

At times emotional and at times outraged, Barr used her speech to recount moments from her childhood, spoke about her love of studying Torah and her conversations with God, and slammed ABC for firing her from her hit TV show, Roseanne, last year.

"I was silenced because I was defending Israel," said Barr on Sunday, repeating something she told The Jerusalem Post earlier this month. "It was one tweet, one line out of a three-month conversation with people all over the world, specifically people in Iran... the most important freedom we have which is freedom of speech, and freedom to explain your tweet."

Her voice shaking, Barr added: "I have in my life, stood up for what is right, and what is so painful to me is that I would have my tweet misconstrued.... it hurt me very badly that anyone would think that I would make a racial slur at someone, because that is in no way what I ever intended."

While for months Barr took an apologetic tone after her firing, on Sunday she was fiery and unrepentant. When an Israeli reporter asked Barr if she wanted to apologize for the tweet, she berated him for spreading fake news, said he was the real racist in the room and called him a terrible person.

Barr's fall from Hollywood grace last year was swift and merciless. Less than 24 hours hours after she tweeted that former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett was the result if "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby," Barr's smash hit revival Roseanne was canceled by ABC.

It was far from Barr's first inflammatory tweet, but it was the final straw for ABC executives who said the tweet was "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values." At other times Barr tweeted the false claim that Chelsea Clinton is married to a nephew of George Soros and that Soros is a Nazi who turned in his fellow Jews - a long debunked antisemitic trope. She also once told Haaretz's Rogel Alpher to "stfu privileged fat skinhead"; called Hillary Clinton an antisemite and said her top aide, Huma Abedin was "a filthy Nazi whore"; and said that she hopes "all the Jews leave UC Davis & then it gets nuked" after the university voted in favor of BDS.

Speaking in Jerusalem on Sunday, Barr said BDS is "an actual boycott of Jewish businesses worldwide. It's a Nazi boycott.... and they never stop. If they don't win for a while, they take 70 years off and they always come back. That is our history - every 70 years a generation will rise up against us."

She also said that the BDS movement is driven by those who want to see conflict continue, and who profit off of ongoing war.

"It's just to keep people fighting so we don't watch when they are unloading their trucks of money and driving away," she said.
In her often rambling remarks, Barr recounted her childhood growing up Jewish in Utah, said her Hebrew name is Shayna Rivka and said she would talk to God as a child.

"If you have a vision from heaven or from something higher than this earth, they do think you're crazy," she said. "But I did. And I heard someone talking to me. And that voice told me you'll be alright, you'll live... I had an imaginary friend, like many children, but mine was God. And I did talk to God all the time."

Barr said today she studies Torah and Kabballah, quoted the Zohar, and said her goal is to visit every mikva in the State of Israel. 

"I'm a religious Jew," she said. "I'm a real Jew Jew. And tonight I'm speaking as a Jewish grandmother, from the holiest city in the world to me, which is Jerusalem. My hope is that someday soon I will be able to pray at the holiest site in the world, free of arrest - because it is against international law for a Jew to pray at the Temple Mount. Now why is that?" 

It is not against international law for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, but it is against the status quo enforced by both Israeli and Jordanian officials.

Later, while sitting and speaking to Boteach and Bar, the conversation turned toward American politics. When Barr said she voted for Trump ("he's good for the Jews"), the Jerusalem crowd erupted with applause. She also, in a conversation referencing two new congresswomen - Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib - said they were "Hamas in Congress." She then, despite Boteach's protests, said that there are no Democrats in Congress who support Israel.

Despite speaking passionately earlier in the evening about the freedom of speech, Barr took a different tone later, while taking questions.

"The Jews who are out there turning on Israel, who align with people who say they're going to genocide us, and drive us into the sea... those Jews need to be censored. They need to be confronted. And they're in all leadership roles. They lull us into a false sense of security. Don't be tricked."


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