#JewishPrivilege is trending on Twitter. In fact, on Sunday it was the top trending hashtag, but not for the right reasons. It was being used to promote the idea Jews are a privileged group who, as well as controlling the world, are responsible for all of its ills, including police brutality.
#JewishPrivilege was also being used to silence Jews speaking out against antisemitism.
Especially those who had the chutzpah to politely object to the antisemitic vitriol spewed by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, in the wake of which the world remained deafeningly silent — perhaps because antisemitism doesn’t generate the same fury as other prejudices.
So Jewish Twitter users — and their supporters — flipped the script. Overnight, they had appropriated the hashtag for their own experiences of #JewishPrivilege. The idea was started by writer Hen Mazzig, who called on his 30,000 followers to tell their own stories and experiences of being a Jew.
“I received tons of requests from young Jews from all over the world telling me how heartbroken they are to read this hashtag that implies that by being Jewish you enjoy more privileges than the rest of society which is a complete antisemitic trope that is equal to saying that Jews are rich or that Jews are all powerful,” Mazzig told Breitbart.
“That’s why I thought I would share the story of my grandparents who came from Iraq and north Africa and who faced violence for being Jewish and I encouraged by 30,000 followers to do the same and they did. the following morning I woke up to see that the hashtag was trending again but this time for the right reasons,” Mazzig added.
“It was a small victory for our people,” he added.
Here’s a roundup of some of Jewish Twitterati’s hashtag takeover.
I’ll begin with my own.
1/2 #JewishPrivilege is growing up among micro-communities in inner city London where racism, bigotry and xenophobia are rife. But the thing that binds those communities? Good ole Jew hatred.
— Deborah (@danandeborah) July 13, 2020
2/2 #JewishPrivilege is being told at 7-years-old by your (minority) best friend's mum that "all the Jews should burn in hell. Except for you Debbie, you're aiiiiiight." And feeling strangely special.
— Deborah (@danandeborah) July 13, 2020
— Omer (@OmerLevy9) July 12, 2020
#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 Jews they arrived to Israel with nothing, only spoke Arabic, and lived in a tent/tin shack for years.
— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) July 12, 2020
In Iran I got beat up by Muslim kids for being a "dirty jew".
In England I got my nose broken by skinheads for being a "dirty jew".
In US, after I became a doctor, a neo-Nazi spat in my face while I sutured his bleeding wound in ER.
Still a proud Jew.
— Afshine Emrani MD FACC (@EmraniMd) July 13, 2020
Whenever I travel, right before I get off the plane, I have to decide whether I think it's safe to identify openly as a Jew. More often than not, I remove the kippah from my head and fold it into my jeans pocket, hoping no one around me noticed.
That's my #JewishPrivilege.
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) July 12, 2020
I'll use my #JewishPrivilege to tell you the most profound joke I know:
A Jew meets God upon dying, and God asks him if he knows any good Holocaust jokes. The Jew says yes and tells him one, and God says "I don't get it." The Jew replies, "eh, you had to be there."
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) July 13, 2020
My #JewishPrivilege: I’ve never spent a night hungry. There was always a roof over our heads. Never went to jail or onto food stamps. First cousin froze to death escaping Babi Yar. Attended the top school in Los Angeles. My cousins Eva & Miriam Kor were a Mengle Twin experiment. https://t.co/rUQui5JDP0
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) July 12, 2020
I’m Muslim and #JewishPrivilege is when you have amazing Jewish friends and people from other beliefs tell you to “be careful” and to unfriend them “because Jews are pigs who prostitute their women” and “they have Satan’s blood flowing through them.” It’s all Antisemitic garbage.
— Imam of Peace (@Imamofpeace) July 13, 2020
I guess #JewishPrivilege is losing 1/3 of your family to the Holocaust and Pogroms, then living as 2nd class citizens in the USSR, then losing family and friends to terrorism due to daily attacks in world's only Jewish state while it is disproportionately targeted for criticism.
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) July 12, 2020
— Susan (@SammdSusan) July 13, 2020
#JewishPrivilege now trending 🏻
The most targeted religious group in the U.S., per FBI.
Murder & violence on Jewish holidays.
Pentagon-like security at synagogues.
Is that even religious freedom? Much less privilege?
This American Muslim stands in defense of American Jews.
— Omar Qudrat (@omarqudrat1) July 12, 2020
My #JewishPrivilege is knowing that if my in-laws has not survived their respective death camps and death marches the man I love as my husband would not have made it onto this earth.
— Senator Linda Frum (@LindaFrum) July 13, 2020
#JewishPrivilege means one of your childhood teachers murdered in a terrorist attack in Buenos Aires, along with other 87 people. And 25 years later, still waiting for justice pic.twitter.com/WjnkKtzjRn
— Mauricio (@mksUdeChile) July 13, 2020
#JewishPrivilege means being the minority with the highest number of attacks on you- physical, mental, verbal- in the ENTIRE world, but still not being able to self-define what bigotry against you constitutes. pic.twitter.com/abHMvAhJDT
— Talia (@taliasings) July 13, 2020
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) July 12, 2020
Not all the #JewishPrivilege stories were negative. Many people expressed pride at being Jewish. Head of American Jewish Committee David Harris wrote that his #JewishPrivilege was to be “part of an ancient people” who gave the world “monotheism, life’s sacredness, equality, pursuit of justice, quest for peace” among other things.
My #JewishPrivilege is to be part of an ancient people that’s offered some revolutionary ideas:
-Pursuit of justice
-Quest for peace
-Liberty unto the land
-Compassion for vulnerable
-Welcome for the stranger
-Humility before the Divine
— David Harris (@DavidHarrisAJC) July 13, 2020
To be sure, the Twittersphere is still running strong with the original, antisemitic #JewishPrivilege tweets. Mazzig noted one tweet, a screenshot from anonymous imageboard site 4chan, in which he was called a “checkmark k*ke” for “flooding the hashtag with victim narrative bullshit.” The tweet called on people to re-appropriate the hashtag, writing “BLM is right about Jewish Privilege,” and urged people to use quotes about Jews from black leaders including notorious antisemite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Users were also told, “Don’t forget to add #FreePalestine to add the seething.”
4chan do not like that jewish privilege is trending. pic.twitter.com/QEM2tanstT
— أماني (@Amani90__) July 14, 2020
Mazzig initiated what he called the “social media flip” in part to highlight the inaction by social media giants, especially Twitter, in curbing online antisemitism.
“They’re doing it for other minorities but for the Jewish community it’s like, we don’t matter enough,” he said.