Kanye West apologizes to Jewish community for antisemitic remarks

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The artist formerly known as Kanye West issued an apology to the Jewish community on Tuesday for his antisemitic remarks that sparked criticism, saying he sought forgiveness and regretted any pain his words caused.

“I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community for any unplanned outburst…. It was not my intent to hurt or disrespect, and I very much regret any pain I may have caused,” the musician, who now calls himself Ye, wrote on Instagram in Hebrew.

The artist sparked outrage last year with his antisemitic social media posts, including one that appeared to show a swastika symbol inside a Star of David. He also tweeted that he was going to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

“I am committed to begin with myself, and to learn from this experience in order to ensure greater sensitivity and  understanding in the future,” he wrote on Instagram. “Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to repair and to advancing unity.”

‘Actions will speak louder than words’: ADL

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an advocacy group that documents antisemitism, had described the musician’s remarks as inflammatory and conspiratorial. It said he was directly referenced in 59 antisemitic incidents tracked by the group during 2022.

“After causing untold damage by using his vast influence and platform to poison countless minds with vicious antisemitism and hate, an apology in Hebrew may be the first step on a long journey towards making amends to the Jewish community and all those who he has hurt,” the organization said in a statement sent to USA Today.

“Ultimately, actions will speak louder than words but this initial act of contrition is welcome.”

After he went on a string of antisemitic rants in interviews and on social media, Ye lost his partnership with Adidas and Gap for Yeezy products. His remarks also led to restrictions on his social media accounts at the time.

WATCH | Rabbi ‘surprised’ by Kanye West’s apology over antisemitic comments:

Rabbi ‘completely shocked’ by Kanye West’s apology over antisemitic comments

American rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, issued an apology to the Jewish community Tuesday for antisemitic remarks he made last year. Rabbi Mordechai Ben Avraham says he was ‘completely shocked’ to see the apology from the rapper.

The rapper’s comments on social justice issues have also sparked controversy, including in 2022 when he used a racial slur against comedian Trevor Noah. The same year, he wore a shirt with “White Lives Matter” on it at Paris Fashion Week. 

Rabbi Mordechai Ben Avraham, an Orthodox rabbi currently living in Jerusalem, said he was surprised by Ye’s apology but questioned whether it may be tied in to the fact he has an album coming out.

“He just last week had another rant where he was talking about Zionists,” Ben Avraham told CBC News. “So I’m not sure if this apology is about what happened last week in his last rant or is he just dealing with before with the Defcon 3 statement.”

Ben Avraham also questioned if Ye’s statement was sincere or whether he was making fun of the Jewish community.

“Why does he have to write a letter? Why can’t he sit down and talk to people like myself in a public platform and really just talk this whole thing out,” he said.

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