Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday said he is “extremely pleased” with the “overwhelming reaction” to recent antisemitic comments from rapper and fashion designer Ye, also known as Kanye West.
“We’re all concerned by antisemitism all over the world. It’s antisemitism, it’s racist, it’s racism, xenophobia – these are the challenges of the era, but history teaches us, usually it starts with hating Jews, with blaming Jews, with terrible rhetoric that people say,” Herzog told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” when asked about antisemitism in the United States and the situation surrounding West.
“And that’s why I’m extremely pleased, objectively, as an Israeli, and Jew, and human being – I’m extremely pleased to see this overwhelming reaction against the comments by Kanye West,” he continued.
Herzog’s response followed a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden earlier Wednesday, during which the White House said Biden “condemned the persistent scourge of anti-Semitism,” and came amid a corporate backlash against Ye for antisemitic comments and wearing a shirt with the slogan “White Lives Matter.”
In the recent weeks, retailers, social media platforms, celebrities and fashion and entertainment companies have peeled away from business alliances with the rapper.
In early October, he wore a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt and dressed several Black models in clothing with the same phrase at his YZY runway show at Paris fashion week; the slogan has been linked by the Anti-Defamation League to the Klu Klux Klan.
Ye also recently said “I can say antisemitic sh*t and Adidas cannot drop me,” during a tirade against Jews on the Drink Champs Podcast, as well as threatened on Twitter to “Go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Adidas and others have since ended partnerships with him.
Herzog told Blitzer on Wednesday that when it comes to antisemitism, “the lessons are clear.”
“It’s a global problem,” he said. “We see it in many places. We also assume that whenever you have an energy crisis, another economic crisis, the first ones to be blamed, unfortunately, throughout history, are the Jews. The lessons are clear.”
“We raised our voice loud and clear on this issue. It’s an issue of morality which goes way beyond any other issue of the relationship that we have with others nations. We raised our voice loud and clear on this issue. “