Joe Rogan criticized for defending Ilhan Omar's anti-semitic 'all about the Benjamins' remarks

"That’s not an antisemitic statement. I don’t think that is. Benjamins are money. The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous, that’s like saying that Italians aren’t into pizza."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Joe Rogan defended progressive Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's (D-MN) notoriously antisemitic tweet "it's all about the Benjamins" on his podcast on Saturday. 

In 2019, Omar wrote in response to criticism of her about her previous criticism of the US alliance with Israel, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby." The comment was called out as antisemitic for invoking Jewish stereotypes and tropes.

Last week, Omar was kicked off the House Foreign Affairs Committee for her well documented antisemitic comments. She was ridiculed on social media after stating on CNN before she was booted from the committee, “I wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money. That has been a very enlightening part of this journey. I voted for every single resolution — no Republican can say that — condemning antisemitism.”

On Saturday, while talking to Breaking Points hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on his podcast, Rogan defended Omar’s antisemitic comment.

Rogan said, "She’s apologizing for talking about ‘it’s all about the Benjamins,’ which is just about money, she’s talking about money. That’s not an antisemitic statement. I don’t think that is. Benjamins are money. The idea that Jewish people are not into money is ridiculous, that’s like saying that Italians aren’t into pizza."

Ball concurred and said there is an "obvious reason" why there is bipartisan consensus when it comes to the Jewish state then asked, "She could have phrased it a different way so that people would have less of a freakout. But can you not talk about the influence of money in DC?"

She continued, "There’s a very obvious reason why for my entire life there’s been a uniparty consensus about our policy vis-à-vis the Israeli government and a total inability or unwillingness to criticize the Israeli government, and it has everything to do with organization and yes, money, just like every other f*cking interest in DC."

Rogan added later regarding Omar, "She, whether you agree with her or not, she has a bold opinion, and that opinion is not her own, there’s many people that have that opinion, and they should be represented. The point is, she’s sitting next to Adam Schiff (who was removed from the House Itelligence Committee) and no one says sh*t. She doesn’t say ‘Yeah I shouldn’t have said that, hey mother*cker, what did YOU say?'"

Rogan said that Schiff "said some crazy sh*t that wasn’t true at all."

Ball said regarding Schiff peddling false conspiracies about Trump and Russia, "He fed it so hard, and then you look at that, and what a disservice it was, what a giant elaborate conspiracy was constructed to distract the American people from so many more important things that were going on," adding that Schiff is, "very likely to be the next senator from California."

Enjeti said regarding Omar that he doesnt' "think it should be out-of-bounds to talk about influence of any government, including the Saudi government, of which a lot of these people are on the take of. The hypocrisy drives me f*cking crazy."

"It’s crazy," Rogan agreed.

The exchange was panned across social media from both sides of the political spectrum.

Former New York Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind said in a video that Rogan has “legitimized” the antisemitic trope of Jews and money spewed by the likes of Omar and Kanye West. “You have made it kosher, Joe. You’re supposed to be a good guy.” Hikind, who operates Americans Against Antisemitism added that Rogan is “one of the most popular individuals” in the country. “Please figure out this Joe. You’ve just made a huge, huge mistake, a dangerous mistake.”


Liora Rez, Executive Director of Stop Antisemitism said in a statement, “Joe Rogan is once again spewing antisemitic misinformation to his millions of followers, this time irresponsibly spreading an age-old trope about Jews and money, and then minimizing it by comparing it to Italians and pizza. Last time we checked, Italians weren’t the victims of genocide for their love of pizza. Guest Krystal Ball then adds insult to injury when she doubles down by defending the antisemitic comments of Rep. Ilhan Omar, stating that the Congresswoman should not have apologized, and goes on to propagate antisemitic vitriol by asserting that Israel is untouchable because of Jewish money influencing Washington D.C.” 

She added, “Joe Rogan can no longer be protected by free speech when his horrific rhetoric will ultimately lead to further violence against Jews. StopAntisemitism is calling on Joe Rogan and Krystal Ball to apologize for their remarks and for Spotify and The Joe Rogan Experience to invite guests on to have a conversation about antisemitism and how comments like his and his guests are not just controversial, but dangerous for the Jewish people.”


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