Is Trevor Noah an anti-Semite?

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Trevor Noah

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Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah

Lately I’ve been getting “Dear Mark” emails from Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, asking me to sign an AJCongress petition calling on Jon Stewart not to “let a sexist anti-Semite be your successor.” And, moreover, because Daily Show heir-designate Trevor Noah is also “not funny.”

Now I realize that the Stewart-to-Noah question is as consequential for this century as the Cronkite-to-Rather question was for the last. I also acknowledge that since the demise of the Borscht Belt, the American Jewish Congress has served as the Sanhedrin of American humor.

Nevertheless, I reserve the right to explore the petition’s evidentiary basis, at least as far as the anti-Semitism charge goes. (I’ll leave the sexism and the “not funny” to those more qualified to pronounce, mostly.)

So here is the Noah tweet that trades on the stereotype of rich Jews:

And here’s Stewart (the Jew) trading on the same stereotype: “Now for you Jews out there who may know what yud zayin bet tamuz and tisha b’av are, [sotto voce] there’s a meeting tonight at 3 a.m. behind the Federal Reserve bank.”

Edging into the sexism territory, there’s this Noah tweet:

Surely Stewart (the Jew) wouldn’t go in for something so vulgar — unless, of course, he could give it a political twist. As in:

Netanyahu wrapped his speech up, and it was time for another ten minutes of applause. Whether or not Netanyahu achieved his goal of sabotaging a deal with Iran or mistakenly opened up a rift with In U.S. – Israeli relations, one thing is certain: The In-Chamber response to this speech was by far the longest blow job a Jewish man has ever received.

Over at Breitbart, John Nolte headlined his account of the remark, “JON STEWART USES NETANYAHU SPEECH TO MOCK JEWISH WOMEN AS FRIGID.” I’d say Nolte flunked high school health if he really thinks that frigidity is the issue. Do Jewish women consider the actual stereotype in question an insult? Just asking.

Finally, there’s this tweet of Noah’s:

I guess this is a Holocaust joke because it was the Germans who conducted the Holocaust (killing Jews) and so Noah thinks he would feel bad about hitting the careless Jewish kid with his Mercedes. Whatever, it hardly rises to the level of the infamous Anne Frank joke told by Ricky Gervais on the Daily Show.

Personally, I’m prepared to give Noah a chance to show what he can do when he’s not tweeting — as Stewart himself asks. And if the South African Jewish community is also prepared to give their landsman a chance, then maybe Rosen and company should at least defer judgment.

While they’re doing so, they might ponder the nature of identity politics, entertainment division, by watching Chris Rock’s famous stand-up routine, “The one time white ppl can say nigga.” And think about when gentile comedians can say “Jew.”

  • What is wrong with this sort of anti-semitism is the lie
    that somehow all Jews have money. It isn’t true.
    And the more Jewish people you know, the more you know this.
    So it takes an ignorant and intellectually lazy person to make this sort of joke.

    Lies don’t make good comedy.
    Comedy must be true in order for it to work.

    Charlie Hebdo knows more about ethnicities and because it is informed it makes better jokes.

    Trevor Noah is too shallow, incurious and uneducated to make a true “wise”crack.

    Trevor Noah is the sort of ignorant person Steven Colbert used to make fun of. That’s the depressing part of his being chosen to replace him.

  • James Carr

    He is a comedian, get over it.

  • Tim J

    Don’t make fun of any race, it’s common sense that Jewish people have endured horrible nightmares in past centuries and it’s not okay to be an anti-Semite. Just like how African Americans are still healing from past wounds and any word that has negative connotation inflicts further pain and must be removed from all spoken and written vocabulary. Hurts and pains inflicted in the past will take centuries to heal. Be human and show respect. #respect #kindness #behuman.

  • James Carr

    No sense of humor? There are characteristics in all races that are funny, so let the comedians do their job.

  • 1D

    Agreed! That tweet is not only crass but also offensive!

  • Susan

    It isn’t just antisemitic, it is sexist too. As a Jewish woman, I am greatly offended by the “Jewish chicks don’t go down easy.” line. He may be a comedien, but it’s not even funny.

  • DeaconJohnMBresnahan

    It is very rare that I agree with Atheist Max. But on this one I find him “spot on.”

  • Doc Anthony

    Response for Mr. Max:

    Charlie Hebdo is nothing but demon-possessed anti-religious (AND anti-semitic) brainless Foolio-Trash straight from the stopped-up unflushed oozing Toilet of Hades’ sour Bathroom. The entire planet — nay, the entire Solar System — retches at the slightest whiff of Charlie Hebdo. Rumor has it that if the Space Aliens decide to attack Earth, Charlie’s first on their Total Vaporization Forever list.

    Other than that, I totally agree with the rest of your post, 100 pecent. (An extreme rarity, of course!)

  • James,

    “He’s a comedian.”

    So was Yahweh.

    “I had to drown everyone but, oh, what the heck, I’ll give you a rainbow” – Yahweh (Genesis 9:13)

  • Doc,

    Charlie Hebdo is doing important work. They poke fun at everybody including themselves.

    If someone asks for respect – that is fair if they have earned it.

    But if someone insist on respect without having earned it – insisting everyone must also respect their beliefs and their Gods – then that person needs a good hard kick in the posterior. And mocking such a foolish person is exactly the remedy required.

  • Doc Anthony

    “Important Work” ?!!?? Oh no no, Max.

    Anytime you force the kings of liberalism at the New York Times to censor your filthy devil-dog pole-cat var-mint mal-odorous anti-semitic anti-religious anti-human cartoons, you know you ain’t working a dead-termite lick anyway and probably could use some quality federal supermax time, to boot. And CHARLIE is 100 percent guilty of it all!!

    (…and Mr. Trevor Noah, if you’re reading this thread, you are 200 percent guilty and you need super-maxing twice as quick! Plus 10 years on the rock pile, just for laughs!)

  • Doc,

    Trevor Noah is ignorant. I didn’t say he should be outlawed.

    You seem to want certain speech outlawed. Even the worst speech should be protected – and that is the difference between you and me.

    If you outlaw some speech you will build resentments. Some of the Swastikas on college campuses are probably simply a side-effect of so many colleges shutting down free speech.

    I say let the Anti-semites speak. We can argue them down very effectively as we have done to the KKK and other racist groups. Society can shame them with very little effort and they don’t get a foothold.

    Outlawing free speech encourages the very evil you are trying to avoid.

  • Doc Anthony

    Oh come on, Mr. Max. I have no desire to repeal the First Amendment for anybody, not even for Eviloids like Noah and Charlie (who clearly deserve a little federal supermax time just to keep them honest..).

  • The Great God Pan

    “So here is the Noah tweet that trades on the stereotype of rich Jews”

    Not so fast. The stereotype about Jews and wealth is not simply that they are rich, but that they are rich because they are devious parasites who secretly manipulate the world’s economy in order to concentrate wealth among themselves and keep it away from gentiles.

    Noah’s little joke cannot be fully understood unless you are aware of the belief (popular among Afrocentrists, Free Palestiners and the rest of the “social justice” crowd) that Jews controlled the Atlantic slave trade. The point of his joke is much more than, “Boy, them Jews sure got a lot of money! That’s funny!” What would the joke there even be? Why do you suppose the joke involves a rapper rather than, say, a country singer? The actual intended message is that slavery may have technically ended, but Jews are still vampirically extracting wealth from black people. This trades on the more general stereotype that Jews have a specific animosity toward black people. It’s difficult for me to escape the conclusion that these views are antisemitic, as would be any joke that reinforced them.

    Feel free to consult this handy article for more information on the background to Noah’s joke:

    The good news for Noah is that his paranoid, anti-Jewish politics likely make him a good fit for a show that appeals to “social justice”-oriented Millennials. As long as the network has instructed him to always say “Zionist” instead of “Jew,” he should be fine.

    PS: The Stewart joke you cite (about a secret meeting behind the Federal Reserve building) mocks the idea that Jews manipulate the economy. Noah’s reinforces it.

  • Fran


    Yes, Yahweh drowned the wicked ones in the days of Noah because they deserved it. Noah and his family were preserved alive because they were righteous and made an ark just as Yahweh had instructed to be built. Noah was a preacher of righteousness to those wicked people but they ignored what he had to say until it was too late.

    The same is true of our days now, the last days of this wicked era. The wicked ones are being warned to change their ways; or they will meet the same fate as those wicked ones in Noah’s day. That is certainly no laughing matter or comedy since it concerns life or death.

    As Noah and his family survived the flood in their day, so will there be a grand number of survivors when the end of this wicked era takes place by God’s kingdom and all wicked ones are put out of existence (Psalm 37:10,11), never to make life on earth miserable again.

  • Fran

    P.S. The rainbow from God was a promise from him that the earth would never ever suffer from a worldwide deluge or flood again. I am definitely A-OK with that!

  • Fran


    I totally agree with you there! Today’s comedians are very crass and disgusting when it comes to “making fun of people,” no matter their race, religious affiliation and/or gender!

    I remember the marvelous days of those “roasts” done by Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin way back in the day when you were laughing so hard, because the comedy was clean and tasteful, that you had a stomach ache….not any more!!

  • Be Brave


    A broken clock . . .

    But please note that even when the clock was working, it was still made by someone.

  • Be Brave


    Just as long as you never insist that atheism deserves respect you can at least be considered worthy of a place in the public forum.

    Now it most certainly be defined as comedy, but only when the rare occasion of non-violence results from atheistic endeavors. If that ever happens.

    I mean, how many people were just murdered and or committed suicide, died of a drug overdose yesterday in secular America? Couple thou right?

  • Be Brave

    Notice who and what stole the rainbow?

    Now we at least know what the banner looked like that King Bera marched under right?

    I mean you seem to like cruising the Bible. Look up King Bera.

    Then again, if we are just animated dust people . . . which is the absolute truth of atheism then why care about anything (?). Dawinism speaking that is.

    Man the hilarity of atheism. Side splitting slap stick.

  • BB.

    “Atheistic Endeavors”

    What on earth are you talking about? We Atheists have no book which says this:

    “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn’t help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight!” – (JEREMIAH 15:1-7)

    No mercy. How can you believe this is merciful?

    Fortunately, there is no evidence whatsoever that Yahweh actually exists. The enemy of civilization is not Yahweh – it is the idea that Yahweh is real and by extension, the nonsense of Jesus.

  • @Fran,

    “The rainbow..was a promise…that the earth would never suffer from a worldwide deluge or flood again. I am A-OK with that”

    And I am tremendously relieved that the Big Bad Wolf died in the Pig’s chimney. We thankfully don’t have to worry about that Wolf anymore either.

  • The minute you say “The Jews do this” you lose your argument.

    You are including little children in that statement! Jewish Children like Anne Frank.
    Shame on you.

    If you have any decency you will see that Jewish people were forbidden by law to own farmland and property for thousands of years – the only jobs Jewish people were allowed to have were in Academics, Mercantilism, Medicine and Banking.

    As a result Jewish culture FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS has been connected to those parts of the broader culture.

    How despicable is it that Christians who were the dominant culture, demanded these specific areas for Jews! THEN HELD IT AGAINST THE JEWS that they did the best they could within those limitations!

    It is another reason to hate religion – and to hate the effects Christianity has had in dividing humanity so despicably along racist garbage found in Jesus himself:

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine Who would NOT HAVE ME as their king, and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    What a despicable parable and what a despicable not-so-very-veiled reference to JEWS!
    Shame on you.

  • opheliart

    Oh, wow … what have we here? The harbinger of discord … or should we just call it hatred? Resulting in indecent and criminal acts against CHRISTIAN children? You sure do like to pick and choose what suits your HATE agenda.

    Max’s Love Journal: HATE JESUS … use everyone and everything to score points for his love of hating Jesus.

    Dizzying? Or just plain OLD disingenuous Max Methodology.

  • Opart:

    “max…harbinger of discord…”

    Excuse me? I object to Jesus calling me a pig. I did nothing to deserve his racist, bigoted hatred of me:

    “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    Jesus directs that at all of these people:

    All Gentiles
    Women who refuse to obey their men
    Adulterers (anyone who has sex divorce)
    All Pharisees
    All Saduccees
    All homosexuals
    All people who have dreams (Leviticus)
    All people who eat shellfish
    All people who put up trees in their houses (Jeremiah)
    and on and on…..

    But I cannot hate Jesus – evidence shows he probably didn’t exist.
    I hate the legends about Jesus. These are despicable claims he made.
    He is inhuman and cruel on every level. Even the so called ‘love’ messages are corrupt and corrupting.

    Some people don’t like hearing the truth. But ignorance is not only what you don’t know – it is also what you refuse to know!


  • opheliart

    Are you talking to me?

    Sorry, are you speaking pig latin?

  • @Reverend Steven Lewis,

    “Atheist Max was a Evangelical fundie…”

    No, I wasn’t. I was a Catholic.

    “Atheist Max is a tame Zionist and Israeli and Judaism supporter.”

    I support all human beings everywhere, every nationality and every ethnicity.

    What the US tried to do in Israel is a help make safe zone for Jewish people – a country which would prevent further holocausts against Jews. Can they make it a fair country for everyone? Who knows? You certainly don’t.
    It was worth the attempt.

    Evangelical Christians send $100 Million Dollars each year to build settlements in Israel – and it is not the US government encouraging this! It is Evangelical Lobby.

    This Evangelical Juggernaut of money being sent to Israel is what has destabilized the situation and helped make such an imbalance.

    The Evangelical money is obscene since it is being dedicated to Israel for not to protect a people who have routinely been slaughtered. Instead it is baldly superstitious reasons – the second coming of JEEBUS.

    Argue with your Christian Evangelical friends about it – not me!

  • Jack

    If Trevor Noah were not to Mark Silk’s ideological liking, maybe he’d have a different opinion on the anti-Semitism charge.

  • Jack

    I wholeheartedly stand with Charlie Hebdo’s right to freedom of expression, but what “important work” does it do? That’s a pretentiously silly characterization.

  • Jack

    Pam’s a character. Keep him on Jewish and Israel subjects and he is wise and even penetratingly brilliant. Let him wander into cultural issues and the brilliance is replaced by fanatical droning. Moreover, on cultural issues, he ends up in bed with the same folks who are some of the worst Israel-haters on the planet.

  • Jack,

    You don’t know of Charlie Hebdo’s important work?

    Religion: “I demand you respect me”

    Hebdo: “Forget respect – especially since you have not earned it – I claim the right to say whatever I want about you. My speech is entirely free.”
    Religion: “Then I’ll kill you”
    Hebdo: “Then you are an uncivilized idiot and I shall make a joke of your stupidity – I shall paint you with a dunce hat!”

    If you think that is not the most brave, most serious work of a free society, you have no clue whatsoever of what an enemy looks like.

    Religion makes very important claims for itself. How dare it do that?
    Yet it has no evidence.

  • Jack,

    “The universe just came together — all by itself.”

    Isn’t it amazing how I fill my bathtub with water and when I’m done I open the drain and the water ALWAYS KNOWS HOW TO FIND THE HOLE AND DRAIN OUT OF IT??

    Isn’t it amazing how Ice just KNOWS how to form all by itself when it gets cold outside ? I never stop being amazed!

    Isn’t it amazing how the plants KNOW how to grow after they photosynthesize the sunlight into energy and mix it with Hydrogen and oxygen!? How do plants KNOW SO MUCH??

    Your ignorance of science is not an argument for God.
    It is an argument for you to get an education!

    Your reading assignments are:
    “A Universe from Nothing” – by Lawrence Krauss
    “The Magic of Reality” – by Richard Dawkins
    “The Origin of the Species” – By Charles Darwin
    “The Sixth Extinction: an Unnatural History” – by Elizabeth Kolbert

    Then maybe you’ll be able to discuss these things.

  • @Jack,


    “High opinion of the Jewish people”

    I never said that!
    I have a high opinion of ALL people – not just Jewish people!

    Stop connecting criticism of religion to the people who believe in it!
    There is simply NO connection.

    Passover is pointless because God does not probably exist.
    That is not a generalization about Jews!

    Leprechauns are pointless too.
    That does’t mean I’m making a claim about Irish people !

    Many beliefs are incredibly stupid.
    It DOES NOT FOLLOW that the Believer is stupid!

    If I criticize Thor that doesn’t mean I’m disparaging Vikings!

    You are willfully ignoring logic and reason.

  • Susan

    “Passover is pointless because God does not probably exist”

    No Passover is not pointless even for atheists. I have been to Passover seders where God was never mentioned. I don’t have the time to explain now, but I will later.

  • Susan,

    I’m saying it is pointless to think a God cares whether you are going through the rituals of Passover.

    Religion is damaging when people make the ridiculous claim that God is absolutely real. Childish.

  • Susan

    Do I think that God cares whether I observe the rituals of Passover? I doubt it. Passover isn’t just about rituals. It is about liberation, spiritual and physical. It is abut social justice, too. Do I think that God is absolutely real? It depends what you mean by God. Do I believe that there is a God on a throne in Heaven? No I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in God. I don’t think that is childish.

  • I find it alarming that people can always describe the God they don’t believe in. Yet the one they claim is real is the one they can’t describe.

    This is the definition of delusional.
    Israeli archeologists have shown that the Exodus didn’t really happen. Am I to disagree with them?

    When we apply Faith to invent Yahweh, we cannot be upset when Muslims invent Allah using the identical methodology.

    Faith is the problem. Not Passover.