Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan has provoked global condemnation and outrage for his controversial and anti-Semitic comments made during an interview at the Electric Picnic Festival in Dublin this past weekend.
Tiernan commented that "these Jews, these f***ing Jew c**ts come up to me. F***ing Christ- killing bastards. F***ing six million? I would have got 10 or 12 million out of that. No f***ing problem. Two at a time they would have gone. Hold hands, get in there, leave us your teeth and your glassesâ€¦"
The comments came after the comedian was asked whether he has ever been called anti-Semitic.
Before launching into the tirade, he said "Have you ever seen people whose eyes are so aflame with righteousnessâ€¦ the whites of their eyes are so pure and f***ing white. They're just one-stream people, they're not people, they're not people that have gaps for more than one train of thought."
The tirade was seemingly motivated from his disgust after being approached by two Americans who complained to Tiernan about his jokes after one of his shows.
Since the comments were made, religious and community leaders have spoken out against Tiernan's remarks. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin dedicated time at the end of his mass to state that the comments were "offensive to the Jewish community and offensive to all who feel revulsion concerning the Holocaust, one of the most horrific events in human history."
Tiernan has since issued a statement, rather than an outright apology, regarding his comments.
On his personal Web site, the comedian said he is "greatly upset by the thought that these comments have caused hurt to others as this was never my intention."
He added that his answers to the questions were not intended maliciously and were "taken so far out of context that I am quite bewildered."
Tiernan went on to defend his comments by saying the comedy stage "is about allowing whatever lunacy is inside you to come out in a special protected environment."
Tiernan stressed that a comedian's comments in front of a live audience "should never be taken out of context."
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Jerusalem, commented that "Tiernan's apology was totally unsatisfactory; it is simply an attempt to escape blame for an outrageous, insensitive and disgusting remark."
Tiernan is scheduled for a three-show tour of San Francisco and Los Angeles from October 14-17. There is no word yet whether the shows have been affected by the controversy.
The writer is a Legacy Heritage Fellow at The Jerusalem Post.