My close friend and one of my great Jewish heroes, Dennis Prager, last week defended his protege, Candace Owens, who has been stalwart in protecting her ally, arch antisemite Kanye West, as he has characterized Jews as being essentially thieves, bloodsuckers and parasites. Why would a great man like Dennis do this?
Before I delve deeper into the story, let’s first seek how Owens rewarded Prager’s friendship and all that he and Ben Shapiro have done to promote Owens’ career.
Immediately after Prager’s column, Owens retweeted a post from Max Blumenthal that said: “White American Jews are living through a golden age of power, affluence and safety. Acceptance of this welcome reality threatens the entire Zionist enterprise, from lobby fronts like the ADL to Israel, because Zionism relies on Jewish insecurity to justify itself.”
“White American Jews are living through a golden age of power, affluence and safety. Acceptance of this welcome reality threatens the entire Zionist enterprise, from lobby fronts like the ADL to Israel, because Zionism relies on Jewish insecurity to justify itself.”Max Blumenthal
First, the idea of Owens promoting Blumenthal, the single most skin-crawling, stomach-turning, and repulsive antisemite in America is itself sickening. How abhorrent is Blumenthal? When the great Elie Wiesel died in 2016 he wrote just hours after, “Elie Wiesel went from a victim of war crimes to a supporter of those who commit them,” by which he meant Israel. “He did more harm than good and should not be honored.”
Second, Owens is promoting the idea that Jews are living through a golden age of security? Tell that to the 11 dead Jews of Tree of Life in Pittsburgh in 2018. Tell that to Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was murdered at Chabad of Poway in 2019. Tell that to three murdered in Jersey City and the orthodox Jew macheted in Monsey, New York, both in December 2019. Blumenthal is a savage hater. But Owens is breathtakingly ignorant.
Which leads to how we got here. It all started the day that West went on the Tucker Carlson show in October and voiced horrible attacks against Jews, which Tucker promptly edited and refused to air.
West has excelled at everything he’s touched, from music, to production, to fashion, to shoes. So it only makes sense that he should excel at antisemitism. In the space of just a month, West has gone from someone whose views on Jews was ambiguous to being the foremost antisemite in America. Kudos, West. You’re hatred of Jews is not just regular, noteworthy, or extraordinary. It’s positively Biblical.
That one of America’s biggest celebrities is spewing vile and dangerous antisemitism is odious. But that famous and noteworthy pro-Israel pundits are, unbelievably, defending him or defending those who defend him is unforgivable.
FIRST, LET’S establish just what a loathsome Jew-hater West is.
On October 7th West wrote, “I’m going death con 3 on Jewish people.”
On October 15th, he said “The Jewish people have their hand on every single business that controls the world.”
On 18 October 18th he said, “There’s so many black musicians signed to Jewish record labels. It’s like modern-day slavery.”
I could go on with his other revolting attacks against Jews, with words that sound almost like quotes from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but I have to type this column and I’m already about to puke.
West was condemned by many celebrities, like Jamie Lee Curtis, whose father, Tony Curtis, was Jewish.
Yet Owens, who owns her rise in part to my dear friend Prager and who is employed at the Daily Wire by Shapiro, actually defended this vicious antisemite. After his tweet about going “Death con 3 against Jewish people,” Owens wrote on 11 October, “If you’re an honest person you did not think that this tweet was antisemitic.” Get it? She is the woman defending diabolical antisemitism and is the honest person. We, who are calling him out, are a bunch of liars.
But Owens wasn’t finished. She added, “You cannot even say the word ‘Jewish’ without people getting upset.”
Owens, you think we have any issue with people saying the word Jewish? Umm, not really. We do have an issue with people saying they’re going to war with greedy, bloodsucking Jewish parasites.
If I were truly unkind I would add that in December 2018, Owens famously said, “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well – ok, fine.” But I have no wish to be unfair and I believe strongly the quote was taken out of context and that Owens was simply defending nationalism, as opposed to defending antisemitism, albeit in a supremely ignorant way.
“If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well – ok, fine.”Candace Owens
But on West there is no doubt. Owens has come to the public rescue of her friend, West, who is an appalling, depraved, and despicable antisemite.
And here’s where Shapiro, the founder of The Daily Wire entered the fray. Those of us who admire his ardent defense of Israel were shocked when he refused to condemn Owens’ remarks.
I WANT to be clear. I reject cancel culture and I do not believe for a moment that Shapiro should have fired Owens. But I do believe in the First Amendment and in Jewish pride. And Ben should have immediately and publicly rebuked her unforgivable defense of a putrid antisemite.
Instead, he said, “On a personal level, I get Candance defending her friend.” He also tweeted that while West’s comments are “clearly antisemitic and disturbing,” the rapper’s “moves toward pro-life, faith, and family conservatism are encouraging.”
Please! So Shapiro, you’re saying that while West clearly detests Jews, at least he’s opposed to abortion?
This is where all this gets rather sickening. What Shapiro is guilty of, as are an increasing number of Jewish Republicans, is putting Conservatism and the Republican Party before decency, fighting hatred and defending the Jewish people. Why is Shapiro putting party before principle and politics before his people? Are we going to see the Daily Wire give West an award for being the foremost pro-life, pro-faith, and pro-Conservative antisemite in America?
And here I have to do something I do not otherwise wish to do. I love Prager and I know him to be one of the great Jewish activists and leaders of our time. His ideas and thoughts, not to mention his profound love and friendship, have had an indelible effect on me for which I will always be both indebted and grateful but those of us who put Dennis on a pedestal are supremely troubled at his surprising defense of Owens. I don’t care how right-wing Owens is, there is no excuse to defend antisemitism.
Here is what Dennis wrote: “Candace Owens has now been charged with antisemitism – for defending and not condemning her friend West after his antisemitic outbursts. Ideally, she would have. She could have said something like what Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said about President Ronald Reagan when, during the Cold War, in a show of support for West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Reagan visited Bitburg, a World War II German military cemetery where 49 Nazi Waffen-SS soldiers were buried. Peres said, “When a friend makes a mistake, he remains a friend but the mistake remains a mistake.”
“Candace Owens has now been charged with antisemitism – for defending and not condemning her friend West after his antisemitic outbursts. Ideally, she would have. She could have said something like what Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said about President Ronald Reagan when, during the Cold War, in a show of support for West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Reagan visited Bitburg, a World War II German military cemetery where 49 Nazi Waffen-SS soldiers were buried. Peres said, “When a friend makes a mistake, he remains a friend but the mistake remains a mistake.”Dennis Prager
Firstly, are we really comparing Owens to Peres and West to Reagan? Second, is West’s repeated description of Jews as slave masters and parasites merely a mistake? And third, Prager, as a world-class Jewish activist, knows the rest of the story.
In April 1985, just before he thanked Reagan for giving him the Congressional Gold Medal of Achievement at the White House, the incomparable Elie Wiesel immediately begged Reagan not to travel to Bitburg. Wiesel uttered the immortal words: “That place is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the SS.”
In other words, not only was Wiesel not silent in the face of the most powerful man on earth who was a great friend of Israel but he rebuked him!
The result? Wiesel told me that Reagan never forgave him. But so what? We’re supposed to speak truth to power, not suck up to it.
What my great friend Prager should be saying to Owens, defending the unforgivable, is, “Candace, that friend is not your friend. Your friends are the Jewish people who have always stood by you. Not those who seek the our people’s destruction.”
Prager is a giant of American Jewry. Blacks and Jews have always been brothers and sisters, equal children under God. Let us, Right and Left, protect the peacemakers and rebuke those who seek to tear us apart.
The writer, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the author of Holocaust Holiday: One Family’s Descent into Genocide Memory Hell. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @RabbiShmuley.