“Saturday Night Live” and star Michael Che have been criticized for a joke some are claiming is anti-Semitic, the New York Post reported on Sunday.
“Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half,” Che said during the show Saturday.
Israel, which has become a world leader in COVID-19 vaccination, is almost three-fourths Jewish.
Vaccination rates of Israeli Arabs are much lower than Jews, in part due to distrust of the government in the Arab sector, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
Former New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind slammed the joke, writing on Twitterthat it is “Unsurprising coming from SNL as they have a long record of antisemitism,” adding that “ Michael Che, or whoever wrote that ‘joke,’ is obviously also ignorant of fact that Israel has Arab citizens who’ve received the vaccine according to the same qualifications as Jews!”
Another person pointed out that “43% of Israel’s Arab citizens have been vaccinated – and that already large # would be even higher if the kind of hateful propaganda spread by Michael Che weren’t around,” according to the Post
Others, however have defended Che’s comment, saying he was making a statement about Israel not extending the vaccination program to the West Bank and Gaza.
One woman tweeted, “Leave Michael Che alone. Israel is not vaccinating the millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem & Gaza – all of which is ultimately under Israeli control. As a Jewish woman of conscience, I find this medical apartheid appalling.”
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