That made it all the more surprising when Shapiro released his first-ever single on Friday — a collaboration with Canadian rapper Tom MacDonald titled “FACTS.”
Shapiro, the co-founder of “The Daily Wire” and a popular conservative commentator, appears in the music video wearing a sweatshirt that displays his catchphrase “facts don’t care about your feelings.” The release came just days after Shapiro appeared alongside Elon Musk on private tour of Auschwitz.
The song, most of which is performed my MacDonald, mentions a litany of culture war talking points, including guns, pronouns, defunding the police and “woke Karens.” In the chorus, MacDonald says, “I don’t care if I offend you, I was put here to upset you.” MacDonald, a former wrestler, is part of what has become known as “MAGA Rap.”
In Shapiro’s verse, he name-drops popular rappers Lizzo and Nicki Minaj — soliciting a response from the latter — and makes reference to his yarmulke: “Dawg, it’s a yarmulke, homie, no cap.” Shapiro ends by imploring his followers to download the song, saying, “I just did this for fun / All my people download this, let’s get a Billboard number one.”
The song has ascended to No. 1 on the iTunes Store top charts. Shapiro, who changed his profile on X to read “America’s #1 Rapper,” relished the success of the song, while Minaj congratulated him on topping the charts.
Happy Monday, fellow hip-hop legends! You girls play nice, now. pic.twitter.com/L63Je6HGAG
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 29, 2024
While Shapiro’s foray into rap appears to be more an ironic stunt than anything else, it comes just months after the music industry celebrated the 50th anniversary of hop-hop, which was heavily influenced and shaped by Jewish artists. Should Shapiro continue down a path toward rap, he would be joining a long list of accomplished Jewish rappers who have changed the genre.
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J Street drops Jamaal Bowman endorsement, saying his rhetoric ‘crossed a line’
WASHINGTON (JTA) — J Street pulled its endorsement of New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, citing his “framing and approach,” a sign of how alliances on the Jewish left are shifting after Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel.
Bowman was one of the earliest and most outspoken members of Congress to call for a ceasefire following Hamas’ invasion of Israel on Oct. 7 and the outbreak of the ensuing war in Gaza. He has also described Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as “genocide.”
J Street, while critical of Israel’s wartime conduct, has not called for a ceasefire in the conflict. The liberal Israel lobby also adamantly rejects the use of “genocide” to describe Israel’s counterstrikes after Oct. 7, and opposed South Africa’s bringing genocide charges against Israel in the International Court of Justice.
“We have been pleased to work with Congressman Bowman for over four years to promote a shared set of values and principles rooted in the pursuit of justice, equality and peace,” said J Street’s statement, which was issued on Friday. “The past few months have, however, highlighted significant differences between us in framing and approach.”
The announcement comes as Bowman faces a primary challenge in his district, which encompasses parts of Westchester County and a slice of the Bronx. His rival George Latimer, the Westchester County executive, has earned the endorsement of the PAC run by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
Bowman is seen as the most vulnerable member of the “Squad,” the group of outspoken progressive Democrats that is uniformly critical of Israel and its conduct of the war.
Latimer spoke Saturday night at the Westchester Jewish Council gala, where he received an enthusiastic reception. “You are not alone,” he said, a message that has resonated with liberal Jewish New Yorkers, some of whom have felt alienated by progressive criticism of Israel.
Bowman’s campaign did not reply to requests for comment.
The announcement is also significant as J Street is vying to act as the voice of mainstream Democrats on Israel, as opposed to its rivals to the right, including AIPAC and a more centrist pro-Israel PAC, Democratic Majority for Israel.
J Street, along with other Jewish Democrats, has for years accommodated and at times endorsed even the toughest criticism of Israel, including from Bowman. In its announcement on Friday, J Street pointed to Bowman’s support for a two-state solution, a signature issue for J Street. But since Oct. 7, some Jewish progressives have felt rattled by the rhetoric they’ve heard on the left, including from those who have downplayed the Oct. 7 attack or accused Israel of genocide.
In an interview with The Forward, which first broke the news of J Street dropping Bowman, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the lobby’s president, said Bowman’s rhetoric was a step too far.
“When the rhetoric, the framing and the approach go too far, that’s where we are going to hold our line,” Ben-Ami said. “And that’s when we felt that Bowman crossed the line here.”
Ben-Ami cited the use of the term “genocide”, which Bowman has used multiple times in the months since the war began, as a breaking point. “The rhetoric around genocide, the singling out of Israel, and at times Jewish people, that happens in some of these events — that needs to be called out in real time,” he said.
Policy was previously J Street’s only red line; before this, it has withdrawn an endorsement just once, in 2018, when Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib made clear late in the election cycle that she favored a single, binational state in place of Israel.
Another Jewish group, the New York-based Jewish Vote, which is affiliated with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, has endorsed Bowman. JFREJ has also called for a ceasefire and accused Israel of genocide.
“This is yet another in a series of poor decisions that J Street has made in recent months,” it said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
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Man arrested after brandishing knife at kosher supermarket in Golders Green, London
LONDON (JTA) — Workers and shoppers at a family-owned kosher supermarket in one of London’s most Jewish neighborhoods fended off a knife-wielding attacker who was demanding to know whether its owners supported “Israel or Palestine” on Monday.
Police arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of “racially-aggravated affray” after the man allegedly returned to the supermarket following a first confrontation with staff there.
The attack at Kay’s Local in the northwest London neighborhood of Golders Green took place on Monday afternoon. There were no injuries reported, despite a physical struggle outside the store.
“This guy came into the shop and started asking one of the cashiers: ‘Who do you support, is it Israel or Palestine,’” an employee called Moishe told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The 18-year-old declined to give his last name, citing security concerns.
“The cashier said: ‘We’re neutral, you can support who you want, I can support who I want,’” he added. “Eventually, he left the shop, but came back a minute later.”
The 34-year-old man, who was bearded and hooded, was ushered outside of the Hamilton Road store “where he started speaking about it again,” Moishe recounted.
The attacker then grabbed the neck of 18-year-old Yosef Chaim, who then tried to tackle the man. “I learned Krav Maga at school and other martial arts,” Yosef told the Jewish Chronicle.
Moishe said the assailant was clutching a blue knife behind his back. “He tried stabbing him, attacking him. [Yosef] took a trolley and pushed him over, and then he went into the shop again to try and protect himself.”
Those in the shop grabbed items including a broomstick and a children’s scooter as they tried to fight off the attacker. Yosef’s father, shopkeeper Eyvatar Reitman, 48, told the Jewish Chronicle, “I could see the hate in his eyes. He looked like he came in looking for a fight.”
The attacker was tackled by volunteers from Shomrim, a volunteer Jewish neighborhood watch group in London, and officers from the Metropolitan Police. Videos posted on social media showed him struggling with officers.
The incident comes as local Jews are on edge amid a spike in antisemitic incidents and sustained displays of anti-Israel sentiment in London since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Data from the Community Security Trust, a Jewish security group, indicated that antisemitic incidents in the United Kingdom rose to record levels since Oct. 7, with 2,093 incidents reported in the 68 days after the attack. In one notable incident last week that police are investigating as a hate crime, three Jews in London said they had been attacked by a large group because they were speaking Hebrew.
Nobody was injured in the fighting with the attacker, who crossed the road after being fought off. “He then went into his house and changed his clothes,” Moishe said. “He left his weapon in there.”
Kay’s Local is going to “try and get security,” Moishe said, adding, “London’s not safe.”
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that officers were called to respond “to reports of a man with a knife in Hamilton Road” at 1:27 p.m. Just over 10 minutes later, it said, it took a man into custody. “A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and racially-aggravated affray,” the police said.
The statement added that the incident was not being treated as “terror-related.”
Inspector Scott Barden-Marshall added: “I know this incident will cause concern in the community. Officers responded quickly and made an arrest within 10 minutes. An investigation is now under way to establish the circumstances.”
The Community Security Trust urged “the community to remain vigilant and alert.”
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‘‘He’s Got a Knife!’: Kosher Supermarket Employees in London Stave Off Attempted Terror Attacker
Police in London on Monday arrested a man who attempted to carry out a knife attack on employees of a kosher supermarket in the heavily Jewish Golders Green section of the British capital.
Video of the attempted assault filmed by witnesses showed the 34-year-old man grappling with two employees outside the store as voices off-camera shouted the warning “He’s got a knife!” in Hebrew.
Ignoring appeals to “go away” and “calm down,” the man began swinging a kitchen knife with a large blade as the employees attempted to fend him off by pushing a shopping cart in his way.
“I told Shomrim to come, but I didn’t see he had a knife,” one employee can be heard saying, referring to a voluntary communal organization that assists victims of antisemitic violence.
The same employee is then heard on the phone making an emergency call to the police. “Somebody outside our store has got a knife,” he is heard saying. As the assailant departs the scene, the employee adds, “He’s going up Hamilton Road. Urgent, urgent.”
The assailant, who has not been named, was later subdued by police officers and Shomrim volunteers and placed under arrest on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and racially-aggravated assault.
Jewish people attacked in Golders Green, London – a kosher supermarket.
With a KNIFE, in plain daylight . 2024.
— miha schwartzenberg (@miradulescu) January 29, 2024
A statement from the UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) noted that the man had “demanded that staff answer his questions about events ‘in Palestine’. The staff responded that they did not wish to ‘talk about politics’, at which point the man allegedly brandished a knife.” It added that the “brave staff kept the man at bay using shopping trolleys and called police and Shomrim, who arrived promptly. At this point the man had entered a building and emerged having attempted to change his appearance and donned traditional Muslim garb, at which point he was apprehended.”
One of the store employees later told the London-based Jewish Chronicle that he had defended himself from the assailant using the krav maga, an Israeli martial art, that he learned at school.
“I could see the hate in his eyes. He looked like he came in looking for a fight,” 18-year-old Yosef Chaim Reitman said. “He came to ask about Israel Palestine and seemed to want us to say we were pro-Israel so he had a reason to attack.”
The CAA — which has issued several appeals to police to the prevent weekly pro-Hamas protests in London that have rendered large swathes of the city as no-go areas for members of the Jewish community — said that Monday’s incident “clearly did not take place in a vacuum. We have repeatedly warned of the dangers of hatred going almost unchecked on the streets of London. Those who have failed in their duty to uphold the law and defend British Jews cannot decry this incident without recognizing that they are responsible for creating the perfect environment in which criminal hatred thrives.”
A torrent of antisemitic hate crimes has continued unabated in London for several years. The city recorded an unprecedented number of such incidents in 2023, which massively spiked after Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7. According to an Algemeiner review of MPS data, antisemitic offenses in London increased 202 percent in 2023 through November, with 1,662 incidents eclipsing the full-year totals of 550 in 2022 and 845 in 2021. The MPS began issuing public data on the city’s anti-Jewish offenses in 2018.
Antisemitic hate crimes in London were already on pace to exceed last year’s figures before the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, which led to a global surge in antisemitic outrages. Between January and September, the MPS recorded 487 incidents. In October and November, city police recorded a staggering 955 hate crimes targeting Jews — twice as many as occurred in the first three-fourths of the year.
Orthodox Jews in the Stamford Hill section of the city have been targeted disproportionately for being visibly Jewish, as shown in a spate of incidents reported by Shomrim, a Jewish organization that monitors antisemitism and also serves as a neighborhood watch group.
In December alone, an Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted by a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, two attackers brutally mauled a Jewish woman, and a group of Jewish children was berated by a woman who screamed “I’ll kill all of you Jews. You are murderers!” A similar incident occurred when a man confronted a Jewish shopper and shouted, “You f—king Jew, I will kill you!”
Staff writer Dion Pierre contributed to this report
The post ‘‘He’s Got a Knife!’: Kosher Supermarket Employees in London Stave Off Attempted Terror Attacker first appeared on Algemeiner.com.