Roseanne in Jerusalem

Roseanne blamed the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement against Israel for her fall from grace, saying she was “BDS’ed by ABC.”

Roseanne Barr (MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
American Jewish entertainer Roseanne Barr visited Israel recently, and made several appearances in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with New York’s celebrity rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, in which she defended her good name to sympathetic audiences.
On January 27, Roseanne was the guest of Labor MK Hilik Bar at Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center for her first appearance in Israel since her popular TV show was canceled by ABC last year over her controversial tweet against Valerie Jarrett, a key negotiator of the 2015 Iran deal.
The tweet, which read, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj” apparently accused Jarrett, the former White House adviser under President Barack Obama who happens to be black, of being the product of Muslim extremism and the mob mindset of the 1974 science fiction film in which human beings and intelligent apes fight for control of the planet.
Roseanne blamed the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement against Israel for her fall from grace, saying she was “BDS’ed by ABC.”
She said: “I think that I was silenced because I was defending Israel. The tweet that I sent was one line out of a three-month conversation with people all over the world, specifically people in Iran, about how the Iran deal turned their country into a place that could very well be explained by the Hollywood movie, ‘Planet of the Apes,’ because there is a ruling class which decides what the human beings, the slaves, can really say or do.
“So the tweet I sent was about that, and was in solidarity with the women in Iran, to have the kind of freedom that the women in Israel have. And I do wish that for women all over the world, the same freedom that we have in the USA, the most important freedom that exists, and that’s freedom of speech and freedom to explain your tweet. And also the respect and dignity given to somebody with a 30-year-career on the frontlines of fighting for civil rights, for Israel, for gay and lesbian rights, children’s rights, a woman who had to hire armed security to stand on top of her house to protect her children because she was never afraid to stand up for what’s right and she never will be.”
What is so painful, Roseanne said, is that her tweet was misconstrued and she was called a racist. “It hurt me very badly that anyone would think that I would make a racial slur at someone, because that is in no way what I ever intended. In fact, I did not even know the woman I was talking about and her race is totally irrelevant to what I was saying.”
She thanked her Israeli hosts for giving her the opportunity to explain herself and warn that, despite her support for President Donald Trump, “in the United States, antisemitism has grown and grown and grown and grown, and it’s very frightening to me and to many Jewish people.”
Roseanne, 66, who lives in Hawaii and has five children and six grandchildren, is a practicing Jew and ardent Zionist. As I sat in the audience listening to Roseanne’s rant, I felt for her. Although she has a reputation for making outrageous remarks, the Jarrett tweet ruined her career. Her record-breaking reboot of “Roseanne” came to an abrupt halt and she was summarily fired. She later issued an apology to Jarrett for “making a bad joke,” but it wasn’t accepted.
Our global village, whose pace has been scarily boosted by the Internet, is quick to judge and slow to forgive. Roseanne’s lesson should be one to us all: Think before you tweet.