Jon Stewart speaks at USO awards show
Jon Stewart speaks at USO awards show US Defense Dept

South African comedian Trevor Noah, the newly-named replacement for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, is facing harsh criticism because of comments he made about Israel and Jews.

One tweet, from June 2010, was made shortly after the Mavi Marmara debacle in which Turkish terrorists viciously attacked IDF soldiers:

The other uses the “rich Jew” stereotype:

When followers asked him what he was referring to in the second tweet, he replied:

Iovine was rapper Dr Dre's partner in Beats Electronics, a company which was purchased by Apple for $3 billion in May 2014. However, he is Italian and not Jewish.

Writing about the tweets in Tuesday, Joel Pollak notes, with regard to the first tweet, that “South Africa’s media and political elites are virulently anti-Israel, a prejudice that Noah’s comment reflects. In mitigation, it should be noted that his target is not Israel but his fellow, stereotypically disorganized, South Africans.”

Regarding the second tweet, he notes that “The 'BeatsbyDreidel' hashtag is a clever, though inapt, Jewish pun on Dre’s name. Again, in mitigation, the joke seems intended to take Dre down a peg, not to target Jews.”

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the second longest-running program on Comedy Central after South Park, and has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Around 1.5 million Americans per night watch The Daily Show, according to reports. Describing itself as a fake news program, it is popular among young audiences, with the Pew Research Center suggesting that 74% of regular viewers are between 18 and 49, and that 10% of the audience watch the show for its news headlines, 2% for in-depth reporting, and 43% for entertainment.