In a 16-minute interview with the aging rapper, MSNBC host Ari Melber gave Ice Cube a platform to deny he is anti-Semitic, despite his lengthy history of promoting animosity toward the Jewish community.
By Ezra Stone, United with Israel
While 51-year-old rapper and actor O’Shea Jackson, known as Ice Cube, remains dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism over song lyrics, social media posts, and support for hate-preacher Louis Farrakhan, MSNBC recently gave the entertainer a platform to downplay his troubling history of disparaging members of the Jewish community and their supporters.
Host Ari Melber, who identified himself at the outset of the interview as an “Ice Cube fan,” asked Jackson why he posted a mural on social media that has been widely slammed as a depiction of the anti-Semitic trope that Jews are responsible for oppression in the world.
According to the mural’s creator, “Some of the older white Jewish folk in the local community had an issue with me portraying their beloved Rothschild[s] or Warburg[s] as the demons they are,” alluding to the anti-Semitic conspiracy that the Jewish families form an evil cabal to rule the world.
“To be clear, you don’t look at [the mural] as … trying to say something about Jews?” asked Melber.
“Not at all … art is in the eye of the beholder,” responded Ice Cube, claiming that he is “getting caught in the wake of other celebrities,” which may have been a reference to Nick Cannon, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Desean Jackson, all of whom have been blasted during the last month for promoting anti-Semitic messages.
“I’m far from anti-Semitic,” added Ice Cube, a contention that Melber permitted to go unchallenged.
In reality, Ice Cube’s dance with anti-Semitism dates back over two decades, making several negative references to Jews on his 1991 album “Death Certificate.”
Ice Cube is also vocal supporter of Louis Farrakhan, an unrepentant anti-Semite who has called Jews “satanic” and praised Adolf Hitler as a great man.
The rapper again invoked anti-Semitic tropes in July when he took a swipe at NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar, who blasted black celebrities who promote Jew-hatred.
In a tweet, Ice Cube posted, “Shame on the Hollywood Reporter who obviously gave my brother Kareem 30 pieces of silver to cut us down without even a phone call.”
The phrase “30 pieces of silver” refers to “the anti-Semitic tropes of Jews having money and control, including the media,” wrote JNS at the time.
“The reference to ’30 pieces of silver’ is a nod to Judas, the disciple said to have betrayed Jesus,” explained a JTA report.
Despite Ice Cube’s consistent support for Louis Farrakhan, his lyrics, and a spate of social media posts featuring anti-Semitic conspiracies, Melber only asked Ice Cube about the mural and took at face value his denial that it was posted with anti-Semitic intent.
Perhaps MSNBC should select a correspondent who is not an “Ice Cube fan” to interview O’Shea Jackson next time.
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