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Roseanne Barr talked trash about Palestinians and Muslims for years, without regrets

Media Analysis

Roseanne Barr lost her popular show on ABC two days ago after she tweeted a racist and Islamophobic comment about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. The network’s response was fairly instant, and Barr launched into apology mode.

But as many have pointed out, Barr has a long history of hateful speech about Palestinians and Muslims, and of describing supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) aimed at Israel as Nazis. And she did not suffer career-wise for those comments.

This comment from Barr, about putting Palestinians in ovens, is particularly repugnant.

Barr was referring to a photo shoot in which she played Hitler, for Heeb magazine in 2009. Richard Silverstein capsulizes:

Roseanne volunteered for an inexplicably offensive photo shoot/article for Heeb Magazine titled, That Oven Feelin’, which featured her dressed as Adolf Hitler with moustache and Nazi armband. Pictures from the session show her eating burned “Jew cookies” fresh from the oven. Though both she and the magazine initially defended the tasteless stunt, the article no longer appears on the Heeb site.

She also called financier George Soros,a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, a Nazi collaborator.

Many leftwingers on twitter got angry tongue-lashings from Barr. Glenn Greenwald described the exception for hate speech against Arabs on Democracy Now!

I had a very vitriolic exchange, in fact several of them, with Roseanne, several years ago about Israel. She has become a very fanatical defender of Israel. And in the course of defending Israel, she often spewed some of the most grotesque and overt naked racism against Arabs and Palestinians that you’ll hear from any public figure this side of, say, David Duke. She deleted a lot of those tweets but I do remember them because some of the exchanges are still online, in which she was talking about Arabs and Palestinians being inferior, being prone to violence, deserving to be slaughtered and killed.

She had previously said similar things about Susan Rice that she said about Valerie Jarrett. So obviously her comments yesterday received a lot of attention because she now has a show and they were so grotesque—just viscerally grotesque and racist to any person with a conscience–that ABC had no choice. But it wasn’t like this was something new for Roseanne. This is stuff that she has been saying about lots of different groups, including African Americans, but especially Arabs and Palestinians, for a long time. It’s just that Arabs and Palestinians, racism towards them tends to be more acceptable.

Barr had an anti-Zionist phase. Silverstein on Barr’s previous statements about Israel:

In 2009, the Jerusalem Post quoted Barr as calling Israel a “Nazi state.” On Kathleen Wells’ radio show in 2011, she called Israel a “brutal and undemocratic theocracy…which has the world’s fourth largest army.” In the same interview, she decried the 2009 Israeli invasion, Operation Cast Lead, as “terrible crimes against humanity” that made her “weep and sweat at night.”…

She praised the courage of Rachel Corrie, who died defending Palestinian homes in Gaza,  and she hailed the Gaza flotilla that broke the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

Then Barr converted to right wing Zionism in 2013. She said Barack Obama was anti-Israel, attacked the Labor Zionist leader Isaac Herzog as a puppet of Obama, started calling supporters of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Nazis. She also posted many Islamophobic comments, including a graphic likening Islam to Nazism. Silverstein:

Perhaps her most infamous and outrageous public statement came after the UC Davis student government voted to endorse BDS.  She posted to her social media account, “I hope all the jews leave UC Davis & it then it gets nuked.” After deleting that tweet, she followed with, “Nuke all UC Davis Jew-Haters.” She falsely accused Davis students supporting BDS of receiving “terror funding” from King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Barr unleashed a stream of vitriol at students supporting BDS, in tweets that Ali Abunimah saved.

In 2014, she wrote:

“If israel doesn’t nuke iran, then nothing makes sense anymore,”

This spring when the actress Natalie Portman refused to attend a ceremony with the Israeli prime minister at which she was to receive the Genesis Prize, Barr called Portman a nincompoop and said she wanted to move to Israel herself and run for prime minister. She endorsed Zionism as rooted in Torah, and said that the presence of Jewish activists in the BDS movement “threatens our existence.”

“Jews who are against other Jews is always been our problem since the first story in Torah. So maybe this time we could do something about it. And change it. We need to love each other. Jews need to love each other.”

Ron Fox, a longtime peace activist in the Boston area, writes to us that he had unpleasant exchanges with Barr on line.

In late 2015 and early 2016, while tweeting about, as usual, the oppression and brutality of Israel’s occupation, I was suddenly faced with tweets that were vicious, insulting, hateful and racist from @therealroseanne.

For a short period  of time, I was unsure that this was actually Roseanne Barr but, for some reason, with a little research, I was convinced that it was she.

I apologize that I cannot recapture her actual tweets.

However, I did find tweets from some of the other trolls that joined her in basically overwhelming my tweet account for about 10 days.

The routine was that @therealroseanne would tweet something offensive and @EternallyJewish and/or @RisingRedStorm would then support her by Replying to @therealroseanne but directing their comments to @ronfox

It was unnerving, to say the least….What is disturbing is how many have been enablers of her during these many years she has been an extremist, a racist and a proponent of conspiracy theories.

Mondoweiss Editors

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42 Responses

  1. just on June 1, 2018, 12:32 pm

    All of this begs the question:

    Why did ABC give her a show in the first place?

    • Citizen on June 1, 2018, 2:04 pm

      U could say they wanted to put one sit-com on that did not constantly show the liberal POV, or U could say ABC brass decided they could make billions by putting on a sit-com that would express the Trump base POV.

  2. Marnie on June 1, 2018, 1:12 pm


    Hey, Lefties …

    I’m a Jew, Quit Lynching Me!!

    5/31/2018 7:02 AM PDT

    Roseanne Barr Claims Liberals Are Lynching ‘a Jew’

    Roseanne Barr is getting torn apart, unfairly mind you, by liberals out to attack “a Jew” … at least according to Roseanne Barr.

    Despite her twice issued threat to get off Twitter for good, Roseanne continued tweeting up a storm late Wednesday … replying to the barrage of comments about her racist tweet and ABC swiftly responding by yanking “Roseanne” off the air.

    In one tweet she said, “I’m not sure, but I think I spent the last 24 hours watching the party of inclusion, diversity, understanding, and acceptance, lynch a Jew.”

    Whatever you say roseanne. Everyone knows you are the real victim, as always.

    Katie, your painting is perfection.

    • Arby on June 2, 2018, 4:42 pm

      Juan Cole is a faker. I just had a quick look at the linked-to article and found this: ‘Only a tiny number of them has any affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, which since the 1970s has been a peaceful civil society organization.” He’s wrong about that. Very, very wrong.

  3. Marnie on June 1, 2018, 1:41 pm

    In a 2016 Public Religion Research Institute poll, 60 percent of whites reported that racism against white people in America is as big a problem than racial discrimination against nonwhites.

    Those white Americans who are most anxious about group power and maintaining the superior social status of white people over nonwhites in America voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.

    White voters who want to keep America a white Christian nation were also much more likely to vote for Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump is a professional white victim. His voters and allies are attracted to and support him because of that fact. They share his perverse and unfounded anxieties and fears of white obsolescence and white oppression.

    Roseanne and America’s white victim complex: Why canceling her …

    • Keith on June 1, 2018, 6:57 pm

      MARNIE- “Those white Americans who are most anxious about group power and maintaining the superior social status of white people over nonwhites in America voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.”

      A lot of those same people had previously voted for Barack Obama who, you may have noticed, was not white while the Republican was. Obama then proceeded to screw his base by pursuing militarism and neoliberalism. Trump picked up support from disenchanted working class voters that the Democratic liberals look down on. Many who voted for Trump are hugely disappointed in his performance as they should be. The reality doesn’t conform to your simplistic interpretation. Besides, Wall Street and the corporations more-or-less run the empire, the political system administers the political economy for them resulting in only minor deviations between administrations. Each new administration seems worse than the last as we accelerate towards the cliff.

      • Marnie on June 1, 2018, 11:41 pm

        ‘My simplistic interpretation’? You mean this article from Salon?

      • Citizen on June 2, 2018, 8:19 am

        Many voted for Trump also because he ran on an anti-regime change foreign policy, pointing out the fraudulent catastrophes of Iraq and Libya. Candidate Hillary told the audience she would go higher on the ladder to no sky between US and Israel. Trump, of course, reversed himself once in office, signing himself and the GOP party to serve Sheldon Adelson’s agenda, going way up Hillary’s ladder (held up by Haim Saban)..

      • Keith on June 2, 2018, 12:13 pm

        MARNIE- ‘My simplistic interpretation’? You mean this article from Salon?”

        Sorry, Marnie. I assumed that your comment reflected your actual opinion, your point of view. Now you are suggesting that isn’t true? That you copied and pasted sections of an article from Salon without quotation marks or attribution to the actual author, Chauncey DeVega? That this “simplistic interpretation” is his, not yours? My apologies. I will try to be more careful next time.

      • Marnie on June 2, 2018, 12:31 pm

        Sorry all – I don’t believe I normally forget quotes. The entire post was from the article, which I provided the link to. As far as what the reality is, simplistic or not, white victimhood is not a real new phenomena, surely got its start in the 60s, but has really ramped up since the election of the poster boy for neonazis and the KKK.

  4. Mooser on June 1, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Did Roseanne also, in this imbroglio, tweet about Soros ‘collabarating with the Nazis’, a tweet which was re-tweeted by Trump Jr.?

    • Maghlawatan on June 1, 2018, 3:32 pm

      Soros has nothing to do with Beitar Jérusalem.

      • Mooser on June 1, 2018, 4:05 pm

        Roseanne was in a spat with Chelsea Clinton;

        “This prompted Roseanne to reply to Chelsea Clinton in this manner:
        Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you!I Please forgive me!
        By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?”

        And Donald Trump Jr. retweeted.

    • Keith on June 1, 2018, 7:31 pm

      MOOSER- “Did Roseanne also, in this imbroglio, tweet about Soros ‘collabarating with the Nazis’, a tweet which was re-tweeted by Trump Jr.?”

      One should be less concerned about Soros’ childhood activities than with his current NGO/CIA instigated destabilizations. Soros was instrumental in the Ukrainian coup which brought notorious neo-Nazis to power. Svaboda and Pravi Sektor are hard core neo-nazis which the US supported with Zionist (Victoria Nuland) complicity. All of this Zionist talk about the rise in European anti-Semitism even as the Zionists support neo-Nazis. And financial terrorist George Soros is once again involved. That George Soros is considered a “liberal” tells you all you need to know about the current state of “liberalism” in our neoliberal world.

      “Leaked memo proves George Soros ruled Ukraine in 2014, minutes from “Breakfast with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt” (Alex Christoforou)

  5. Kay24 on June 1, 2018, 2:02 pm

    She should do what she likes to do – move to Israel. She would fit in beautifully with the zionists, she has that same viciousness, and ruthlessness, and will feel very much at home with the illegal settlers.

  6. Citizen on June 1, 2018, 2:13 pm

    Glenn Greenwald’s reference above:
    “I had a very vitriolic exchange, in fact several of them, with Roseanne, several years ago about Israel. She has become a very fanatical defender of Israel. And in the course of defending Israel, she often spewed some of the most grotesque and overt naked racism against Arabs and Palestinians that you’ll hear from any public figure this side of, say, David Duke.”

    David Duke has been supporting the Palestinians for years, just saying. He couldn’t find some other example?

  7. Citizen on June 1, 2018, 2:15 pm

    I’ve been blocked by @TheRealRoseanne twitter account for a long time.

  8. Ossinev on June 1, 2018, 2:28 pm

    “She should do what she likes to do – move to Israel. She would fit in beautifully with the zionists, she has that same viciousness, and ruthlessness, and will feel very much at home with the illegal settlers”

    Absolutely and with her wonderful singing voice she could be the next Zioland entrant for the Eurovision song contest following on from the Chicken Song and Netta ( who looks a little like her grand-daughter):

    • Kay24 on June 1, 2018, 9:26 pm

      Good suggestion. She also has some crude gestures to go along with the songs.

  9. Maghlawatan on June 1, 2018, 3:27 pm

    Roseanne Barr has some kind of serious mental illness. Her zionism may be a symptom

  10. atime forpeace on June 1, 2018, 4:07 pm

    A missed opportunity or more evidence of the special relationship between CAMERA/AIPAC and the MSM press. How about the Joy Reid gaffe? Each time i have seen this story reported on the msm not once have they mentioned Israel or AIPAC, but they did not miss the opportunity to try and associate her with some kind of conspiracy theory connection with Joy and the 9/11 conspiracy theory crowd.

    REVEALED: Joy Reid Wrote About Possible ‘Dual Loyalties’ Of Pro-Israel Americans, Said That AIPAC ‘Holds The Whip Hand’ Over U.S. Politicians

  11. on June 1, 2018, 8:01 pm

    Nothing particularly shocking about a Zionist being a racist – Barr just needs better handlers to assist in watering down her racism. Plenty of “liberal” Zionists have been incredibly successful in maintaining their racism and careers. Bari Weiss, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, and Howard Stern to name a tiny few.

    Should the fact that Roseanne is a Zionist be discussed in relation to her obvious racism? If a white christian or Muslim middle easterner made those remarks wouldn’t the media investigate whether he/she was a member of a group or subscribed to an ideology that promoted racism/bigotry?

    There are plenty of articles and news clips about the virulent racism in Israel by US/European Jews against Africans and Palestinians.

    Like Roseanne Barr in her tweets, the Zionist Jews in the Max Blumenthal and Abby Martin vids spoke freely about their racist views (many of them seem to be European or America).

    Although Roseanne is not an Israeli she has cozied up to them and Zionism. I wonder whether Zionism is like a “gateway drug” for newbie racists before they go on to traduce other larger groups like blacks or Africans or non-Jews.

    • Marnie on June 1, 2018, 11:39 pm

      “Like Roseanne Barr in her tweets, the Zionist Jews in the Max Blumenthal and Abby Martin vids spoke freely about their racist views (many of them seem to be European or America).”

      Yep, they’re just good ol’ boys and girls who left the confines of polite societies of their motherlands to the wide open spaces of another’s land where they can be as free and foul as they wanna be.

  12. eljay on June 1, 2018, 8:48 pm

    Roseanne Barr is mentally unstable (far beyond just being a Zionist).

  13. on June 2, 2018, 9:18 am

    Watched a CNN clip yesterday on Roseanne and they stated in a headline at the bottom of the screen that she had made racist and anti-Semitic tweets. Nothing about the tweet being Islamaphobic – it seems that any chance the MSM gets to flaunt antisemitism they take while essentially downplaying or ignoring Islamophobia.

    Watch “Ex-‘Roseanne’ writer feared being fired by Barr” on YouTube

  14. inbound39 on June 2, 2018, 9:58 am

    I have always queried her personal description work wise as being a comedian. She is more like a professional hand grenade……nothing funny about her at all.

  15. Cazador on June 2, 2018, 11:07 am

    Roseanne Barr’s singing is totally awful. Her thinking is totally awful, obviously, when she behaves like a shameless zionist, although I’m not sure shameful zionists exist… She must be doing that to promote her need for another show with lots of $$$. She obviously knows who’s got money, lots of it, tons of it…

    • DaBakr on June 3, 2018, 10:31 pm

      Except she opened up the network US tv industry to the inclusiveness that far left so-called progressives orgasm about. How many women comedienne owe their careers in part to Barr? But hey, Bee had no serious repercussions. She was supported by her network. But the left has been tone deaf to their own hypocrisy for many years.

      • Qualtrough on June 4, 2018, 11:53 am

        DaBakr – Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore and many more long before Barr ‘opened up network US tv industry’ [sic].

      • Mooser on June 4, 2018, 1:25 pm

        “Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore”

        All the way back to Fanny Brice, who famously sang:

        “I swear I’ll do my wifely job,
        Stay at home, become a slob!”

        And when did Roseanne improve on that?

  16. captADKer on June 2, 2018, 12:31 pm

    like tens of millions others, including roseanne,
    obama 2013 triggered the movement that is making america great again and israel plain great!

  17. CHUCKMAN on June 3, 2018, 2:54 pm

    This Roseanne stuff keeps swirling around in the news, and that does seem odd for such an inconsequential thing as a rehashed long-in-the-tooth sit-com.

    The truth is – and I grew up in Middle America, so I know something about the environment – the Roseanne of the old series was exactly the kind of American who you would expect to speak the way the current Roseanne just did.

    That kind of language in real life certainly went along with the kind of semi-slovenly and slack-mouthed character of the original show. It would not be unusual, at all, to hear that kind of speech in the kind of household portrayed in the original show. And they would all be laughing at the remark, not expressing horror at it.

    I always regarded the liberal pretensions of the original show as quite unrealistic and out-of-place. And I am a “small-l” liberal.

    I never liked the original show and never understood its popularity, but it seems a great irony now that we have this situation over such a point.

    The information offered here only adds to my point.

  18. Qualtrough on June 4, 2018, 12:10 am

    I think Eljay has it right about mental illness. As a teenager Barr was struck by a car and suffered an extremely serious head injury, requiring months-long hospitalization. Shortly after she was released she left her family and struck off on her own. At some point she claimed to have been molested by family members, which shocked both her family and friends. Not too long ago she somewhat walked back those claims. As a totally unqualified observer, I would suggest that it is quite possible she suffered damage to her prefrontal cortex, which is known to have behavior changing effects, among them impulse control.

    Moving on from that issue, Barr grew up in a Jewish family in Utah that functioned as Mormons in order to get along, so her pro-Israel stance didn’t come totally out of the blue.

    As the psychiatrist observed about Basil Fawlty, “There is enough material there for an entire conference.”

  19. Ossinev on June 4, 2018, 10:05 am

    She orginally blamed her comments on the side effects of the sleeping pill medication she was taking;

    Perhaps pharmaceutical companies if only avoid potential litigation should make it clear on medication labelling that “racism” is not a side effect.

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