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Kanye West Apologizes to Jewish Community in Hebrew After Months of Antisemitic Remarks

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Dec 27, 2023

Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, issued an apology to the Jewish community on Monday in a statement written in Hebrew on his Instagram account. This comes after months of antisemitic comments and outbursts from the rapper and designer.

Background on West’s Antisemitic Remarks

West has made numerous antisemitic statements over the past couple of months across interviews and social media platforms. Some examples include:

  • In October, he tweeted that he was “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” He later clarified it to be “specifically…the Jewish media.” His Twitter account was restricted following the tweet.

  • In early December, he praised Hitler and Nazis in an interview with Alex Jones. He also denied the Holocaust happened. This led to his suspension from Twitter.

  • On the Drink Champs podcast later in December, West claimed Jewish people control the media and that Jews had “owned” Black voice. The episode was later removed.

West had been hesitant to apologize or walk back his comments up until now. His remarks were condemned widely, with celebrities and brands cutting ties with the rapper. It has been estimated he has lost over $2 billion in deals and partnerships as a result.

Details on West’s Apology

On Monday December 26th, West issued his first apology regarding his recent antisemitic comments by posting a statement in Hebrew to his Instagram account:

I wholeheartedly apologize to the Jewish community for the hurtful things I've said over the past few months. What I said does not reflect who I am or what I truly believe. I take full accountability for my actions and I am sorry for causing you pain. I will do better and I appreciate you holding me accountable. With love, ye

The statement translates the above from Hebrew to English. The post received over 1.5 million likes in the first few hours.

This apology comes shortly before West is supposedly set to release a new album titled “Vultures” on Friday. There has been speculation that the timing of West trying to make amends is intentionally right before the album drop to drum up publicity.

However, some Jewish leaders have said the apology seems sincere. The head of the American Jewish Committee, Ted Deutch, issued a response saying:

“Ye’s apology is welcome, but only actions will count. We’ve seen this before and are wary, especially given his failure to apologize for his praise of Hitler. If Ye seeks to do teshuvah, he certainly knows how to find me.”

Teshuvah refers to repentance in Judaism. So Deutch indicates West will need to show true change in behavior beyond just words.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also reacted with cautious optimism, but emphasized it is only the first step:

“An apology is an important step, but Ye still has a long way to go.”

So Jewish leadership is paying attention to see if this apology precipitates actual change from West.

Mixed Reactions Beyond the Jewish Community

The wider public also had mixed takes on the supposedly Hebrew apology post.

Some felt it was a reassuring gesture, like music artist Sean Paul who said:

“I’m hoping that he’s very sincere in his apology to the Jewish community.”

Others argued West would need to explicitly disavow his hateful ideology around Jewish people controlling events for the apology to matter. Activist Jessica Bennett tweeted:

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Until Kanye West specifically acknowledges the antisemitic conspiracy theories he helped spread and makes it clear he no longer adheres to them, this is meaningless.

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It does not appear West directly walked back conspiracy claims like Jewish control of media in this latest statement.

However influential figures indicating a willingness to accept the apology if West follows through may be what convinces others the apology has value. Ultimately West will be judged by his conduct going forward.

What Comes Next

In the immediate future, speculation is West will go forward with dropping his “Vultures” album as rumored on December 30th. Some music critics have theorized the name Vultures is a reference to West believing Jews have exploited him. It remains to be seen if the content will include antisemitism along those lines.

West also has an open offer from the Holocaust Museum in LA for education about the Holocaust. Willingness to take them up on that could demonstrate legitimate personal growth.

There will undoubtedly be skepticism until West consistently refrains from antisemitic speech going forward. But this statement opens the door for potential redemption. One Jewish educator summed up the general sentiment that the apology is a start but needs follow through:

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Is this #Kanye’s first step toward contrition and atonement? I hope so. It surely couldn’t have been easy for him to do this. My religion teaches that apology, atonement, forgiveness and redemption are possible for nearly everyone. Let’s see what comes next.

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So the saga continues with this apology statement from Kanye West. Whether he actually makes amends remains to be seen based on his conduct going forward. But after standing defiant for months, West opening the door to reconciliation with the Jewish community is a meaningful development.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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