NEW YORK, NY- Americans have watched the slow decline of Saturday Night Live from a cheeky and funny show with the likes of Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley, Will Ferrel, Adam Sandler, Dan Akryod and other comedians through the years who were generally hilarious into a politically motivated dark comedy that quite frankly stopped being funny over a decade ago.
This weekend, without President Donald Trump to keep the show afloat with its remaining hardcore progressive audience, SNL pulled out the anti-Semitism humor, claiming that the nation of Israel has only vaccinated Jews and not any other religions. In a time in America where anti-Semitism is on the rise, SNL understandably is catching heat for it.
SNL actor Michael Che said, “Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half of their population…and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.”
It's all fun and games until you start promoting antisemitic myths, @NBCSNL.
Every Israeli citizen—Jewish and Arab, Muslim, Christian, of any or no faith—is eligible to be vaccinated; 2/3 of Israel's Arab citizens over 60 already have been.
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) February 21, 2021
“Last night, SNL falsely accused Israel of vaccinating only its Jewish citizens. @NBCSNL‘s “joke” is a modern twist on a classic antisemitic trope that has inspired the mass murder of Jews,” said the American Jewish Committee.
Is Che’s off-color joke based on truth? All Muslims and Palestinians living in Israel are eligible and are receiving COVID-19 vaccines, but since the areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are under the control of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Israel faces several difficulties in sending vaccines to non-Israeli citizens living in those regions. The Gaza Strip is currently under the control of Hamas.
According to the BBC however, “[Israel] has also started to transfer some doses to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, so that vaccinations can begin for frontline health workers. In occupied East Jerusalem, all Palestinians are entitled to be vaccinated against Covid by Israel, as are medics working at the six Palestinian hospitals there – many of whom come from other parts of the West Bank and Gaza.”
Israeli citizens who have settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are also eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations from Israel, regardless of their religion.
Getting COVID-19 vaccines into the Gaza Strip, which is under Hamas control has also been a logistical problem for all involved, the BBC reported. According to the Christian Science Monitor, many Israeli Arabs are also refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine citing mistrust of the vaccine itself.