Actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who once ran for president as a Green Party candidate, described her ideological shift after discovering that those she used to consider left-wing colleagues were “naked bigots.”
Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem Monday on how to combat efforts to boycott Israel, Barr said, “Everything I’d ever believed about the left was severely shaken, and the scales began to fall from my eyes in many ways.”
“I had to admit that many of those I considered comrades were naked bigots who had absolutely no interest in peace between Israel and Palestinians Arabs at all as I did,” said Barr, who has become an outspoken advocate of Israel on social media.
“It was shocking to realize that what I considered criticism of Israel many, many times gave way to the garden variety anti-Semitism that I’d heard all of my life, which is basically the code-word ‘Rothschild’” Barr said, referring to the well-known banking family of Jewish origin often used in anti-Semitic memes.
The Jewish comedian who was raised in Salt Lake City described the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel as “fascist.”
“BDS [members] do not want peace, nor do they want peace negotiations,” she said.
She described American universities as “BDS factories” that are “anti-truth,” and blasted the common occurrence on U.S. campuses where pro-Palestinian activists try to shout down and silence speakers whose opinions they don’t like.
“The truth is they work very hard to silence their opponents’ points rather than to engage in civil communication and dialogue that leads to the actual redress and employment of solutions which might actually work for the everyday people at risk. But to absolute fascists, negotiation means losing,” she said.
Barr accused anti-Israel activists of working to isolate Jews “until all of Israel will be Jew-free.”
“You cannot possibly make this s**t up, folks,” she said.
Barr described the European Union, United Nations and the “BDS left” as “crazy” for refusing to see that “Israel is a state full of millions of good people who want peace.”
At the same time, she said that Israel, like other countries, has much to improve.
“I’m certainly not here to defend the indefensible. … Israel has many things about it that need correction like every single other state and nation on earth,” Barr said.
The Jerusalem conference was sponsored by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonot and the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs.