Billionaire musician and entrepreneur Kanye West was suspended from Twitter and Instagram this weekend after he made several antisemitic posts, including a warning that he intended to go to “death con [sic] 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” in subsequent posts.
The trouble appeared to begin with West’s interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, during which he claimed that Jared Kushner brokered the Abraham Accords between Israel and several Arab states solely because he appeared to be interested in making money.
There is currently a congressional probe into an investment by a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund into one of Kushner’s private equity firms. Saudi Arabia is not a party to the Abraham Accords but is known to support the agreement and may eventually join it.
However, critics noted that West’s comments — apparently motivated by resentment at Jared’s brother, Josh Kushner, over investing more in West’s ex-wife’s clothing company than West owned himself — came close to classic anti-Jewish stereotypes about money.
On Friday, West took to Instagram to post screenshots of messages he had exchanged with fellow hip-hop star Diddy, claiming: “Ima [sic] use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.” He was then restricted from posting to his account Instagram for violating the platform’s hateful language policy, and the site deleted his offending messages. Subsequently, the Jerusalem Post noted, he posted photos of himself on Twitter with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook owns Instagram) and taunted Zuckerberg, who also happens to be Jewish.
West then posted the offending tweet Saturday night, threatening Jews and claiming he cannot be antisemitic because “black people are actually Jew also” — a belief shared by the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, some of whose branches embrace racist and antisemitic ideologies.
I can't believe Kanye just said this "death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE, It's so hilarious and funniest thing ever pic.twitter.com/G2tf1vbf2L
— Deadinside (@dfrommyheart) October 9, 2022
(The term “death con” appears to have been a typo, referring to the “DEFCON” terminology used for U.S. war readiness.)
West was then locked out of his Twitter account. Jewish groups criticized his rhetoric, with the American Jewish Committee stating: “If he wants to have any credibility as a commentator on social issues, let alone as a musician, maybe he can start by figuring out how to make a point without fomenting hatred of Jews.”
In recent years, West has drawn controversy for supporting President Donald Trump, and for provocative statements, such as wearing a “White Lives Matter” at several events t-shirt last week.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.