Anti-Semitic hashtag #JewishPrivilege trended on Twitter on Monday and ignited online furore that emboldened many Jewish celebrities to share their experiences growing up as Jews.
Israeli writer and activist Hen Mazzig started the buzz around the hashtag after sharing his family’s experience with anti-Semitism.
“#JewishPrivilege is when my grandparents were violently forced out of Iraq and Tunisia for being Jewish with only the clothes to their back. Along with 850,000 other MENA [Middle East and North Africa] Jews they arrived to Israel with nothing, only spoke Arabic, and lived in a tent/tin shack for years,” Mazzig tweeted.
Stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman wrote she experienced “kids throwing pennies” at her on the bus and “pastors in Florida calling for my death and telling their congregation that knocking my teeth out and killing me would be God’s work.”
The anti-Semitic hashtag was reportedly triggered by Alt-Right and white supremacist Twitter accounts, using the trope at a time when America is undergoing social unrest over issues of racism and systematic discrimination.
The concerted effort pinned the hashtag within posts that raised classic conspiracy theories of Jews dominating and controlling the media, claims to deny the Holocaust and accusations of Jews orchestrating recent demonstrations across the U.S., according to Haaretz.
Speaking to CTVNEWS, vice president of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs Noah Shack said that the #JewishPrivilege hashtag has existed for years as an anti-Semitic trope, advocated by conspiracy theorists.
“A lot of these tropes are well known about Jews controlling media and government, and the economy and unfortunately, a lot of these conspiracy theories have ended in the past with violence,” Shack was quoted as saying.