Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
The ZOA demands that NBC’s Saturday Night Live (“SNL”) producer Lorne Michaels apologize for and terminate the writer of a “joke” which was not funny and in reality was a dangerous Jew-hating, Israel-bashing blood libel. In addition, this blood libel should be removed from NBC’s website and other fora where it may appear.
On SNL last night, SNL actor Michael Che stated, in a failed attempt at humor that: “Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it was the Jewish half.”
Antisemitic libels are not funny. In fact, in Israel, all citizens – Jewish, Muslim, Arab and Christian, are equally eligible and have the equal opportunity to receive the anti-Covid vaccine. The priorities are health care workers of all backgrounds (including Israel’s many Arab physicians and health care workers) and the elderly of all backgrounds. Approximately 70% of Israeli Arabs over 60 have already received the vaccine.
Israel also offered the vaccine to the autonomous Palestinian Authority (“PA”) and PA President/PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, even though Israel has no obligation to do so. The Oslo accords make clear that the PA is responsible for all issues affecting the health of the PA’s citizens. The PA and Abbas adamantly rejected Israel’s extraordinary, generous humanitarian offer. The PA also refused supplies to combat Covid delivered on the UAE’s airline because they were delivered through Israel. However, despite the PA’s refusal, Israel delivered vaccines and other supplies to combat COVID and medical training to the PA. The PA has been using the Israeli vaccines, without crediting Israel!
In addition, Israel’s Magen David Adom has been vaccinating PA citizens who hold permits to work in Israel.
It is especially dangerous to falsely imply that Israel is endangering the health of its Arab, Muslim and Christian citizens. This type of blood libel that Jews are causing disease or a plague has been perpetrated over the centuries, and has led to the massacres of large numbers of innocent Jews. In an era of rising antisemitism and demonization of Israel, this type of hideous falsehood is extremely dangerous.
Again the ZOA demands Lorne Michaels and Michael Che and Saturday Night Live(SNL) issue a strong public apology for this dangerous antisemitic episode as well as the firing of the person who wrote this calumny, and removal of this blood libel from NBC’s website and other fora.