The American Jewish Committee is circulating a petition asking “Saturday Night Live” to apologize for a joke that suggested Israel is vaccinating only its Jewish population.
“Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population, and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half,” Michael Che, the co-host of SNL’s news parody, “Weekend Update,” said on the most recent broadcast.
“Saturday Night Live’s ‘joke’ isn’t just untrue — it’s dangerous, a modern twist on a classic antisemitic trope that has inspired the mass murder of countless Jews throughout the centuries,” the AJC said in a petition posted online on Sunday that referred to the ancient libel that Jews are responsible for plagues. The petition will be delivered to NBC, the live comedy revue’s broadcaster.
Israel’s government says that prior agreements and international law make the Palestinian Authority the responsible authority for West Bank Palestinian vaccinations, and it allowed the delivery of the Gaza vaccines after a short delay. Israeli officials acknowledge a lag in delivering vaccines to the Arab sector, and blame it in part on skepticism in the sector about taking the vaccine.
Israel’s envoy to Washington also called on the show to apologize. “I’m a big fan of humor but, perpetuating antisemitism is just not funny,” Gilad Erdan said Sunday on Twitter. “Your ‘joke’ is ignorant — the fact is that the success of our vaccination drive is exactly because every citizen of Israel — Jewish, Muslim, Christian-is entitled it. Apologize!”
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
.@nbcsnl I’m a big fan of humor but, perpetuating antisemitism is just not funny. Your “joke” is ignorant-the fact is that the success of our vaccination drive is exactly because every citizen of Israel - Jewish, Muslim, Christian-is entitled it. Apologize!pic.twitter.com/zQqtBmFqJ2— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) February 21, 2021