Actress Susan Sarandon on Saturday apologized for her recent antisemitic remarks during a pro-Palestinian Arab rally which led to her dismissal from her acting agency, UTA.
During the rally in New York, Sarandon mocked the fear Jewish people have experienced amid the outbreak of antisemitism that followed the Hamas massacre of over 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7.
"There are a lot of people that are afraid, afraid to be Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence,” Sarandon said. She also joined in the genocidal chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a call for the destruction of the State of Israel and the extermination of its Jewish citizens.
In a statement posted to Instagram, the actress acknowledged that her choice of words was inappropriate and misrepresented the historical persecution faced by Jews.
“Recently, I attended a rally alongside a diverse group of activists seeking to highlight the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call for a ceasefire. I had not planned to speak but was invited to take the stage and say a few words,” said Sarandon.
“Intending to communicate my concern for an increase in hate crimes, I said that Jewish Americans, as the targets of rising antisemitic hate, ‘are getting a taste of what it is like to be Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence.’ This phrasing was a terrible mistake, as it implies that until recently Jews have been strangers to persecution, when the opposite is true. As we all know, from centuries of oppression and genocide in Europe, to the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, PA, Jews have long been familiar with discrimination and religious violence which continues to this day. I deeply regret diminishing this reality and hurting people with this comment. It was my intent to show solidarity in the struggle against bigotry of all kinds, and I am sorry I failed to do so,” she added.
“I will continue my commitment to peace, truth, justice, and compassion for all people. I hope that we can meet with love and willingness to engage in dialogue, especially with those with whom we disagree,” the actress concluded.
Antisemitism has been on the rise in the US, and around the world, since the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7.
Last week, three antisemitic attacks were committed in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush. All three attacks occurred within a short period of time on Shabbat.
Several days earlier, the Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation, located in Mercer Island in the Seattle metropolitan area, was vandalized with messages including "Shame" and "Shame on Israel".
In another attack, the fence outside the Michigan vacation home of Obama-era White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was spray-painted with the word “Nazis.”
Previously, a grenade was found taped to a pole near a synagogue in Lakewood, New Jersey. It was removed by a bomb squad which was called to the scene.