‘Likens Jews to rats’: Tucker Carlson accused of inspiring antisemitic acts

“Hate can inspire antisemitic acts. Carlson must recognize the impact of his hatred.”

By Andrew Bernard, Algemeiner

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and B’nai B’rith International on Wednesday condemned right-wing talking head Tucker Carlson for his description of Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky as “rat-like” and a “persecutor of Christians,” along with other antisemitic tropes during the debut of Carlson’s new opinion show.

“Given his history of incendiary statements, it is no surprise that Carlson would traffic in antisemitic tropes in criticizing the Jewish leader of Ukraine,” AJC told The Algemeiner.

“But it is also no less vile when he likens Jews to rats. Hate can inspire antisemitic acts. Carlson must recognize the impact of his hatred.”

Speaking on the debut of his new Twitter-based show on Tuesday, Carlson accused Ukraine of being responsible for destroying the Russian-controlled Kakhovka Dam. In doing so, Carlson also criticized the character and appearance of Zelensky, who is Jewish, using what are widely regarded as antisemitic tropes.

“Now if you see him on television, it’s true you might form a different impression,” Carlson said of Zelensky. “Sweaty and rat-like. A comedian turned oligarch. A persecutor of Christians. A friend of BlackRock.”

The founder and CEO of the investment company BlackRock, Larry Fink, is Jewish.

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Carlson also added that Zelensky was “shifty” and “dead-eyed.”

B’nai B’rith International told The Algemeiner Wednesday that Carlson “is recklessly trafficking here in antisemitic tropes. These kinds of charged polemics only feed negative perceptions of Jews and add to a climate of bigotry.”

By Wednesday, Carlson’s video had racked up more than 78 million views.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington declined to comment on Carlson’s monologue, telling The Algemeiner that they did not want to give Carlson “any credibility to talk about Ukraine, its president or people.”

Carlson, who was fired from Fox News in May in the wake of Fox’s settlement of a defamation lawsuit over claims that the 2020 election was stolen, has been accused of engaging in antisemitism and other forms of racism in the past.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2022 called for Carlson to be taken off the air for his promotion of the “Great Replacement” theory, which posits that white Christian Americans are being demographically replaced by ethnic minorities for the benefit of “elites.” Though Carlson has not explicitly identified those elites with Jews, that is a common view on the extreme right, exemplified by the neo-Nazi chant “Jews will not replace us” at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

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The ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt welcomed Carlson’s ouster from Fox.

“It’s about time,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter at the time. “For far too long, Tucker Carlson has used his primetime show to spew antisemitic, racist, xenophobic and anti-LGBTQ hate to millions. ADL has long called for his firing for this and many other offenses, including spreading the Great Replacement Theory.”

Carlson did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.