Barbara Streisand laments rise in antisemitism in SAG acceptance speech

‘Now I dream of a world where such prejudice was a thing of the past.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Legendary actress, singer, and director Barbara Streisand touched on the subject of antisemitism during her SAG lifetime achievement award acceptance speech.

Addressing the audience a the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, the 81-year-old Jewish icon mentioned the people who built the film industry, many of them Jews who felt they needed to change their names to avoid antisemitism.

Streisand said that accepting the award, she “can’t help but think back” to the people who established the film industry.

She included the man who changed his name to Samuel Goldwyn; Lazar Meir, who became Louis B. Mayer; and the four Eichelbaum brothers, who became the Warner Brothers.

Streisand added, “And now I dream of a world where such prejudice was a thing of the past.”

Streisand is the latest Jewish celebrity to raise awareness about the rising tide of antisemitism following the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel.

A few days after the attack, hundreds of Hollywood actors, comedians, directors, and executives signed an open letter addressed to President Joe Biden on Monday calling for the release of all hostages taken from Israel by Hamas.

Amy Schumer, Zoe Saldana, Seth Meyers, Adam Sandler, Orlando Bloom, Chris Rock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake, and many others signed the letter as part of a new campaign called #NoHostageLeftBehind.

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In addition, comedian Jerry Seinfeld made a solidarity trip to Israel in December.

The Jewish comedian met with family members of those still being held captive in the Gaza Strip, and afterwards could be seen in pictures wearing the ubiquitous dog tag that calls for the hostages’ immediate freedom.

Seinfeld posted on social media, “I lived and worked on a Kibbutz in Israel when I was 16 and I have loved our Jewish homeland ever since. My heart is breaking from these attacks and atrocities, but we are also a very strong people in our hearts and minds. We believe in justice, freedom and equality. We survive and flourish no matter what. I will always stand by Israel and the Jewish people.”

In a video advertisement designed to resemble a Super Bowl ad, actor and Israel advocate Michael Rapaport urged viewers to take direct action to help secure the release of hostages.

He encouraged viewers to log on to Lifeshiftr.com, a website that allows people to encourage their local representatives to make the release of hostages back to Israel a major priority.