"If there's another Holocaust and people start rounding up the Jews again I hope Ben [Shapiro] gets gassed first. Or last," YouTuber Ethan Klein said on his H3TV podcast on Monday during a discussion on Kanye West's recent antisemitic rants and other political controversies.
Klein's employees and co-hosts looked visibly disturbed by the comment. Klein had hesitated before making the joke, remarking prior that it would be controversial.
"Can I not say that?" Klein, who is also Jewish, said to his podcast staff. "I'm not doing anything. I'm getting gassed too. Do you think it would be more justice if he got first or last?"
Klein attacked Shapiro because the pundit's Daily Wire outlet employs political commentator Candace Owens, who the YouTuber said had taught West his antisemitic rhetoric.
"Candace Owens also works for the Daily Wire, and he's [West] apparently getting all this fun antisemitism from her it seems like, and they just love it," said Klein.
If there were another Holocaust, I would hope that Ethan and his family escaped. But maybe that's just me. https://t.co/8zBZXdVro1— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 20, 2022
Shapiro responded to Klein's comments in a tweet on Thursday, saying that "If there were another Holocaust, I would hope that Ethan and his family escaped. But maybe that's just me."
"If there's another Holocaust and people start rounding up the Jews again I hope Ben [Shapiro] gets gassed first."Ethan Klein
Ethan Klein and H3H3
Klein attempted to appease his coworkers' concerns by reminding his audience "I am Jewish by the way. Just putting that out there. 99.7% Ashkenazi Jew, B***H. No one can even step to me. I'm the king of the Jews. Jesus ain't no king, I'm the king. You're afraid of gas? I was born in the gas," a play on a line by the character Bane from the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.
As one of Youtube's most prominent comedians, Klein has amassed millions of followers, with 6.13 million subscribers on his old channel H3H3 Productions, and almost 3 million subscribers to his newer podcasting channel.
Klein met his wife Hila, who is Israeli, at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial when Ethan was on a Birthright trip and Hila was serving in the IDF.
The podcast has seen its share of controversy besides the recent remark about Shapiro.
Five months ago Klein said on a podcast episode that "someone should bomb" the building hosting an NRA convention in Florida.
"If there were another Holocaust, I would hope that Ethan and his family escaped. But maybe that's just me."Ben Shapiro
Kanye West's antisemitic rants
H3TV had been reviewing Kanye West's recent appearance on the Drink Champs Podcast, in which West blamed "Jewish Zionists" for the reports that his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend Pete Davidson had sexual intercourse next to a fireplace, claimed that "Jewish people have owned the Black voice," and described Disney as a Jewish platform.
"It's super antisemitic, obviously Jewish people are not a monolith and there's not a conspiracy," commented Klein. "Just referring things to Jewish industries, it plays into the trope that there's a cabal of Jewish people that controls the world, which is what Hitler said — and you know it comes before violence."
West had "fallen into the deep end," said Klein.
"I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 [sic] on Jewish people."Kanye West
In the same Drink Champs podcast, which was removed from Youtube, West also claimed that Jewish people "came into money through the lawyers" divorcing Christians because Catholics refused to do so.
"You get used to paparazzi taking a picture of you, and you don't get money off it," West said. "You just get used to being screwed by the Jewish media."
West's social media posts
West had gone on Drink Champs to expand on earlier social media posts in which he had made seemingly antisemitic comments.
"I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 [sic] on Jewish people," West said in a tweet on October 9, likely incorrectly referring to a stage in the defense readiness condition of the United States military, or DEFCON. "You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone [who] opposes your agenda."
"Who do you think created cancel culture?" West posted in another tweet not long after the first remark.
West also addressed accusations of antisemitism, saying that "The funny thing is I actually can’t be antisemitic because black people are actually Jew [sic] also."
Three days prior, West had posted on Instagram screenshots of a conversation with fellow rapper Diddy, in which he had said "Ima [sic] use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me."
The now-deleted Instagram post was accompanied by a comment by West that "Jesus was a Jew."West has received a great deal of criticism within Hollywood and the music industry. West appeared on Piers Morgan's television show on Wednesday, in which he refused to apologize for his remarks, but said that "I will say I'm sorry for the people that I hurt with the 'death con.'" That I caused hurt and confusion."
West continued, "And I'm sorry for the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I had been through."