After 'Ben Shapiro gets gassed first' joke, prominent YouTuber's account suspended

"A few white supremacists successfully lobbied YouTube to suspend me, a Jewish dual citizen of Israel and USA, for antisemitism," said Klein.

 Ben Shapiro (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Ben Shapiro
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

After a joke about Ben Shapiro getting gassed first in another Holocaust fell flat and raised controversy in online spheres, prominent YouTube comedian Ethan Klein's podcast channel was suspended on Friday and the video in which the remarks were made was deleted.

"A few white supremacists successfully lobbied YouTube to suspend me, a Jewish dual citizen of Israel and USA, for antisemitism," Klein announced in a tweet. "Ben Shapiro and friends can virtue signal all they want but ultimately they are the ones platforming dangerous antisemites. All I did was point it out."

In the now-deleted video, Klein had been criticizing rapper Kanye West for his recent antisemitic remarks when he attacked Shapiro because the pundit's Daily Wire outlet employs political commentator Candace Owens. Klein shared in his opinion that Owens had taught West his antisemitic rhetoric.  

"If there's another Holocaust and people start rounding up the Jews again I hope Ben [Shapiro] gets gassed first. Or last," Klein had said. "Do you think it would be more justice if he got first or last?"

"A few white supremacists successfully lobbied YouTube to suspend me, a Jewish dual citizen of Israel and USA, for antisemitism."

Ethan Klein

A joke at Klein's own expense

On Friday, Klein explained, "The joke that I was suspended for simply points out that Ben, who is desperate to be accepted by his Christian nationalist friends as white, will only ever be seen by them as a useful idiot, and sadly for him, a Jew."

 Ethan Klein of h3h3productions (credit: Dorbein/Flickr/Wikimedia) Ethan Klein of h3h3productions (credit: Dorbein/Flickr/Wikimedia)

Shapiro had responded to Klein's remarks on Thursday, saying that "If there were another Holocaust, I would hope that Ethan and his family escaped. But maybe that's just me."

Klein responded to Shapiro, saying that it was a joke, and while perhaps in poor taste, a lesser evil than Shapiro's platforming of West by way of Owens.

"The joke that I was suspended for simply points out that Ben, who is desperate to be accepted by his Christian nationalist friends as white, will only ever be seen by them as a useful idiot, and sadly for him, a Jew."

Ethan Klein

Ethan Klein versus Ben Shapiro

Shapiro and Klein also clashed over positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"Soft-pedaling genocidal terror group Hamas and lying about the IDF while chortling over which Jews go first in the next Holocaust is also an interesting look," Shapiro also said in response to the video, sharing a statement by Klein from last year's Operation Guardians of the Wall in which the YouTuber criticized Israeli policy and put the onus on Israel for stopping the violence.

"Ben Shapiro, who was happy to perform a purity test on me and declare me a bad Jew for criticizing Israel, hosts Candace 'Hitler just wanted to make Germany great again' Owens on his website The Daily Wire, Klein fired back. "He is constantly excusing, enabling and platforming real antisemitism."

Klein also attacked Shapiro, drudging up an old tweet from 2011 in which Shapiro said that "bad Jews largely vote Democrat."

"Soft-pedaling genocidal terror group Hamas and lying about the IDF while chortling over which Jews go first in the next Holocaust is also an interesting look."

Ben Shapiro

Ethan Klein and H3H3

Klein apologized to his fans, since the suspension would mean he would be unable to publish a podcast for a week "because of another stupid joke."

Five months ago Klein was suspended when on a podcast episode he said that "someone should bomb" the building hosting an NRA convention in Florida.

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.

Shapiro and Klein on Kanye West's antisemitism

H3TV had been reviewing Kanye West's recent appearance on the Drink Champs Podcast, in which he expanded on a series of antisemitic theories and claims.

"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."

Shapiro had condemned West on his own eponymously named show.

"It's just pure unbridled antisemitism. There's just no other way to put it, there's no other way to read it. End of story. He is promoting every conspiracy theory about Jews that you can think of," said Shapiro. “What he is spouting is Der Stürmer-type anti-Semitism, and that is about as ugly as it gets, and nobody should be defending that.”

West had made a series of antisemitic comments on Instagram and Twitter last week, which resulted in both accounts being restricted.

"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, incorrectly referring to a stage in the defense readiness condition of the United States military, DEFCON. "You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone [who] opposes your agenda."

"It's super antisemitic, obviously Jewish people are not a monolith and there's not a conspiracy."

Ethan Klein

"Who do you think created cancel culture?" West posted in another tweet not long after the first remark.