He’s not known for making big statements with his wardrobe, but during his concert at Madison Square Garden last night, Billy Joel came on stage for an encore wearing a very noticeable yellow Star of David on his suit lapel.Joel was reportedly protesting the growing visibility of neo-Nazi and antisemitic hate speech in the United States, and the equivocation on the topic by President Donald Trump. The star, of course, was a reference to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. Joel, who grew up on New York’s Long Island, was born to two Jewish parents, and has described himself as culturally Jewish.
Predictably, the move garnered mixed reviews on Twitter, with some calling him a “true hero,” and others wondering if he’d “lost his mind.” Hassidic writer and activist Elad Nehorai called it “epic and brave.”
Billy Joel doing is encores at MSG on 8/21 wearing one Jewish Star on his breast and another on his back. He is a true hero. pic.twitter.com/M42f6P1f8J— Eric Schultz (@EBS9291) August 22, 2017
Billy Joel, live, wearing a yellow Star of David. pic.twitter.com/eJbJ4swJl1— Don't Panik (@dpanikkar) August 22, 2017