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December 15, 2021 4:05 pm
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‘Jews Don’t Count’ Author David Baddiel Explains to ‘Late Night’ Host Seth Meyers Why Antisemitism Is a Kind of ‘Racism’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

David Baddiel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

British comedian and writer David Baddiel discussed how antisemitism fits into the concept of racism during a Tuesday guest appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

The author, who was born Jewish but identifies as an atheist, published “Jews Don’t Count” in September. In it, Baddiel uses his “unique combination of close reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes” to argue “that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of antisemitism,” according to the publisher.

Baddiel argued to Meyers on Tuesday that antisemitism should be judged as a form of racism, though it is often not.

“It’s about the identity politics conversation and how in that conversation, which has intensified incredibly over the last 20 years, it seems to me that antisemitism, which is a very old racism [and] a very old form of discrimination, is kind of very low in the mix of that,” he said about his book. “It kind of feels like people aren’t so bothered about it.”

Baddiel told Meyers that in the US, it’s “more of a complex thing” and there “seems to a problem” with identifying racism and antisemitism.

He explained to the talk show host, “I’m an atheist, but that would get me no free passes out of Auschwitz. White supremacists don’t check whether I keep kosher before they think ‘I’ll burn down that Jews house.’ So for me, its an accident of birth that the racists hate me for and so, therefore, its racism.”

Baddiel also shared with Meyers how the German publishers of “Jews Don’t Count” said they could not publish the book with its current title, citing Germany’s role in the Holocaust as the reason. They ultimately sold the book under the title, “And The Jews?”

“It sounds creepier to me,” Baddiel said, as Meyers held up a copy of the German book. “It sounds more like something a [Nazi]  SS general would say to Hitler. Like that’s the last thing he would say in a meeting and then he just looks really cross.”

Watch David Baddiel’s guest appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in the video below.

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