The hashtag #JewishPrivilege trended on Twitter on Monday as users of the social media platform shared their experiences of antisemitism.
Writer Hen Mazzig took to the social media site saying: “#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.
“I want all my Jewish followers to share the “Jewish Privilege” them and their families experienced.”
After his post was retweeted more than 1.4 thousand times, famous tweeters around the world began sharing stories of racism, including actress and comedian Sarah Silverman.
She said: “My dad getting the shit kicked out of him everyday at school 4 being a kike to kids in NH throwing pennies at me on the bus to pastors in Florida calling for my death and telling their congregation that knocking my teeth out and killing me would be God’s work.”
Comedian David Baddiel also contributed, saying “Jews don’t always feel “white, if by white you mean, to put it bluntly, safe”.
Describing early antisemitic experiences, he said “as a 12-year-old at a new school when one teacher was overheard to say of me, venomously, “Jew”, and other replied: “of course.”‘
He added: “I didn’t feel white when I was actually being beaten up in London in the 1970s”, nor when a “man behind me at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea stadium, started shouting repeatedly “F*** the f***** yids! F*** the f****** Jews”.
He added: “And this is without getting into most of my mum’s family being murdered, obsv.”
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) July 12, 2020
London-based writer Darren Richman added: “I see #JewishPrivilege is trending because people are convinced it’s a thing. Wish someone had let my grandfather know when he was on a cattle truck headed for Auschwitz.”
Speaking to Jewish News about the campaign, Mazzig said: “The idea that there is an inherent “Jewish Privilege is antisemitic.”
“When I saw the hashtag trending last week I was dumbfounded. I encouraged my followers to share family stories to flip the conversation and expose how insane this idea is.”
It quickly went viral with more than 100,000 tweets of Jews from all over the world. I find it to be the best way to combat antisemitism online, flip it on the antisemites.”
The Campaign Against Antisemitism criticised Twitter, saying it “should have acted immediately to ban the hashtag”, and “it’s yet further evidence social media networks must be regulated.”