Jewish groups demand Michael Che apologize for his 'anti-Semitic' joke about Israel's vaccination program on SNL

 At least two Jewish organizations are demanding an apology from Michael Che after a joke he made on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

During the 'Weekend Update' segment, which Che co-hosts with Colin Jost, Che made light of the vaccination efforts taking place in Israel.

'Israel is reporting that they've vaccinated half of their population,' Che says as he sets up the joke.

'I'm going to guess it's the Jewish half,' Che concluded.

Michael Che is in hot water for a joke on Saturday Night Live deemed to be anti-Semitic

Michael Che is in hot water for a joke on Saturday Night Live deemed to be anti-Semitic

The joke immediately started an uproar, with accusations that the joke was anti-Semitic.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) quickly began circulating a petition Saturday Night Live 'retract its outrageous claim and apologize immediately.'

'The claim is categorically false: every Israeli, regardless of religion or ethnicity, is eligible for the COVID vaccine, and more than two thirds of Israel's Arab citizens over 60 have already been vaccinated,' the petition reads.

'Saturday Night Live's 'joke' isn't just untrue—it's dangerous, a modern twist on a classic antisemitic trope that has inspired the mass murder of countless Jews throughout the centuries.

'In the Middle Ages, thousands of Jews were burnt at the stake after being blamed for the Black Death and accused of protecting only themselves. 

'In the 20th century, the Nazis accused Jews of spreading disease and seized on that falsehood to justify imprisoning Jews in ghettos and carrying out the mass murder of European Jewry.

'Words have consequences, and Jews are at risk when a major American TV company joins with those who claim Israel is favoring only a portion of its citizens in its admirable efforts, praised by Dr. Anthony Fauci and others, to vaccinate all of its residents.'

StandWithUs, a pro-Israel advocacy group, is also demanding an apology. 

As of Sunday night, Saturday Night Live has not issued any sort of apology or retraction.

'Unsurprising coming from SNL as they have a long history of antisemitism', tweeted former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

'But Michael Che or whoever wrote that 'joke' is obviously also ignorant of fact that Israel has Arab citizens who’ve received the vaccine according to the same qualifications as Jews! @nbcsnl is the joke!'

'Last night’s @nbcsnl segment by #MichaelChe was not funny. It only perpetrated age old Antisemitic stereotypes & blood libel. Was also an outright lie. I hope #SNL take action now, starting with immediate, unreserved apology & program of education for Che & the writers involved,' tweeted Arsen Ostrovsky.

David Harris tweeted the joke was 'totally outrageous' and 'an antisemitic lie.'

Israel is seen worldwide as one of the vaccination leaders against the COVID-19 virus.

The Christian Science Monitor reports 43 percent of Israel's Arab residents 60 and over have been vaccinated, compared with 75 percent of Jewish residents belonging to the same age group.

Vaccinations are ongoing in Israel, which is seen as a leader in the fight against COVID-19

Vaccinations are ongoing in Israel, which is seen as a leader in the fight against COVID-19

The disparity is likely linked to either the Arab population's mistrust of the Israeli government or the geographical divide.

Nevertheless, Israel is attempting to improve their vaccination rates for various religious groups.

Reuters reports that Israel has agreed to vaccinate around 100,000 Palestinians who cross into Israel for work.

'From a medical perspective, we think vaccinating the Palestinian workers is very much the correct thing to do,' said Nachman Ash, who is leading Israel's COVID-19 response.

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