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December 21, 2021 1:01 pm
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Sarah Silverman Expresses Support for Zionism, Existence of a ‘Jewish State’ on Podcast Episode

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Sarah Silverman during the Dec. 16 episode of her show “The Sarah Silverman Podcast.” Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Sarah Silverman talked on Friday’s episode of her podcast about the existence of a “Jewish state,” the misplaced criticism that Israelis and American Jews face, and her support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

“Zionism by definition means that you believe Israel has the right to exist; that there should be a Jewish state. And hey, there are many Muslim states, many Muslim countries. We here in America, we are basically a Christian country. So there can’t be one, just one, Jewish state?” the host of “The Sarah Silverman Podcast” told her listeners.

The comedian and actress, whose sister Susie lives in Jerusalem, began by saying that she believes the term “pro-Israel” has become “very muddied” and “co-opted by the far-right.” She thinks there is a “spectrum of pro-Israel and a spectrum of Zionism that makes it very unfair to blanket define everyone under the definition of Zionism.”

She then added, “I have very close brilliant, warm, loving, liberal family [members] that consider themselves liberal Zionists. And then there’s the Democratic Socialists of America, which I am a member [of], and they consider themselves to be anti-Zionists, which makes me sad and feel nervous. In their mind, it equals anti-racism.”

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On Monday, former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan applauded Silverman for explaining Zionism “so beautifully and courageously, knowing people from her party might disagree.”

Idan said in an Instagram post, “When I was in Israel I spent almost every day with the Silvermans and they made me feel at home. They’re passionate loving activists who not only care for Israel but human rights and equality. I wish to see more progressives follow in their footsteps and not fall for the propaganda and fake narratives media benefits from. Being a Zionist doesn’t mean you don’t care for Palestinians, it means you care for co-existence between two people but with extremists that always seem to be forgotten.”

During her podcast episode, Silverman, whose location on Twitter is marked as “Palestine,” also reiterated her longstanding support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians while accusing Israel of “occupation.” She told listeners, “In my far away view, I say King Solomon that s–t. Cut her in half, half Palestine and half Israel. Side by side. … Occupation is wrong, any way you slice it. I believe there should be a state of Palestine as much as I believe there should be an Israel. … The occupation must end.”

Silverman was born Jewish but now identifies as an atheist. She explained on her podcast that when she posts anything Jewish-related on social media, she is flooded with comments from people asking “What about Palestine?” She then questioned why Jews in America and Israelis are being faced with such harsh backlash for actions of the Israeli government.

“Let me put it this way, the Chinese government has one million Uyghurs Muslims in concentration camps in China and thank God people don’t hate Chinese people in China, or Chinese-Americans here, or wherever they are, for what their psycho government is doing. That would be insanely racist and very sh—y. But boy when it comes to Israel … Jews that have nothing to do with Israel or Israelis that have nothing to do with what their government is doing [are being criticized].”

Addressing calls to sanction Israel, she said, “let’s do that maybe with China too. My sister Susie says, ‘Why demonize everyone in Israel?’ She said so much of this is not about the occupation, it’s about our existence. And I can see her point of view, very, very well.”

Listen to Sarah Silverman’s full podcast episode below.

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