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Whoopi Goldberg stirred up a storm last week after the passé star with the odd Jewish stage name posited that the Holocaust was “not about race” because it involved “two white groups of people.” Putting aside that the platform for her remarks, ABC’s daytime talkfest The View, is possibly the most myopic, vainglorious specimen of fake moralism on the woke landscape, it seems to me that the attention heaped on this A-minus list celebrity’s attempt at historical analysis was entirely disproportionate.

Antisemitism has been on the upswing for several years running, the alarming statistics documented on these pages. Street assaults against Jews are no longer confined to the capitals of Europe; whether in Brooklyn, Beverlywood or Boca, a Jew is always a potential target. Synagogues here too require security from crazed attackers. Jewish students on college campuses must be on their guard – and guard their tongues. The media (social and traditional), academics, corporations and other power brokers promote the world’s most ancient hatred with impunity by packaging it as anti-Israelism.


In other words, we’ve got plenty of real problems on our plate.

Goldberg may be spectacularly wrongheaded, and her remarks did nothing to advance Holocaust education, but she is not an antisemite. Focusing on her and her opinions gives them more consideration than they deserve and diverts attention from combating our true enemies.

The “Squad” members in Congress are dangerous Jew-haters possessing actual political power, yet I don’t recall them getting this much opprobrium for their slurs and maneuvers against the Jewish State and all of us who stand with it (with the possible exception of Omar’s “Benjamins” remark). Indeed, Tlaib was just revealed to have paid out $170,000 in campaign funds to a consulting firm run by the aptly named Rasha Mubarak, a rabid anti-Israel activist. Hear any uproar about that? Neither did I.

And while everyone was whooping over Whoopi last week, Amnesty International issued a hideous report branding Israel an apartheid state and demanding its international isolation. While “human rights” organizations are about as credible as The View when it comes to Israel, Amnesty is a spoke in the well-oiled wheel of the global BDS movement and its libels merit a meaningful, coordinated response.

Hollywood elites consider themselves important voices on the public stage. They relish sounding off on everything from Covid to climate change to CRT as the flashbulbs bounce off their faces. But there’s no reason to ratify that perception by treating their rantings seriously. We all remember Mel Gibson’s guttural antisemitic diatribes. Second-rate celeb Nick Cannon (who fathered four children in six months with three different women) trotted out unvarnished “Jews control the world” tropes on his podcast a few years ago, while rapper Ice Cube and NFL player DeSean Jackson got themselves in hot water for their vile tweets portraying Jews as oppressors. Mark Ruffalo accused Israel of “genocide” last year, and Harry Potter alum Emma Watson recently Instagrammed her allegiance to the suffering Palestinians. These are just a handful of examples from the bottomless pit of wisdom proffered by The People Who Knew Too Little.

So here’s my question: Why should we care what any of them has to say?

Ah, you might counter, don’t we have to worry about their gazillion fans and followers, the viewers of The View or consumers of whatever medium the latest blow-horning comes from? If we don’t refute their claims, aren’t so many clueless Americans going to be misled?

Some response might indeed be called for, especially when solicited – but the less dignified the source of the rant, the less we should dignify it. No hysterical hand wringing, no flooding the media with ever more headline-grabbing condemnations. A simple refutation as much to the point as possible, avoiding, as with a tantruming child, giving into the play for negative attention. Would we enlist our top interlocutors to answer the ramblings of the village idiot? Framing these outbursts as the passwords of ignorance they are does more to undermine their credibility than entering into in-depth arguments about matters that should not be open for debate.

Instead of trying to school the fools or reform celebrity culture, let’s focus our efforts where they matter: electing the right leaders, keeping our communities safe, protecting and defending Israel, bringing effective Holocaust education and Jewish history (i.e., Israel’s story) to the next generation, waging lawfare to ensure that those who attack Jews are brought to justice, and engaging with those with whom we can work together constructively for mutual benefit.

Sorry, Whoopi – your 15 minutes of infamy are up.

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Ziona Greenwald, a contributing editor to The Jewish Press, is a freelance writer and editor and the author of two children's books, “Kalman's Big Questions” and “Tzippi Inside/Out.” She lives with her family in Jerusalem.