A woman places a lawn sign with the slogan “Stand Up To Jewish Hate” during a scene from a Super Bowl advertisement from the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. (Screenshot)
A woman places a lawn sign with the slogan “Stand Up To Jewish Hate” during a scene from a Super Bowl advertisement from the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. (Screenshot)

What is ‘Jewish hate’? Super Bowl ad leaves some confused

This story was originally published in the Forward.Click here to get the Forward’s free email newsletters delivered to your inbox.

When millions of Americans tuned in to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, they were also shown a 30-second advertisement meant to condemn antisemitism. But the ad, which used the slogan “stand up to Jewish hate,” left some viewers confused.

The confusion lay around just what “Jewish hate” actually meant.

“The ad was referring to antisemitism — that is, hatred *of* Jewish people — but some folks seem to think it meant hatred exhibited *by* Jewish people,” Avi Mayer, former editor of the Jerusalem Post, said on X, formerly Twitter. “Yikes.”

Others, including Hen Mazzig, the popular pro-Israel influencer, and Sharon Nazarian, a former executive at the Anti-Defamation league, tried to clarify the ad.

“Stand up to anti-Jewish hate,” Nazarian wrote.

“Standing up against anti-Jewish hate is the only team we must be on,” Mazzig added, a reference to the advertisement screening during the most-watched sporting event in the world.

The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the slogan.

Slogan spreads to wider audience

While the Super Bowl provided the largest platform for the slogan, which is conveyed by the hashtag — #StandUpToJewishHate — it has been featured in national television advertisements and on social media since last spring. It was created by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, a charity funded by Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots.

The advertisement featured Clarence B. Jones, a speechwriter for Martin Luther King Jr., describing what he might write for King today: “I’d remind people that all hate thrives on one thing: silence.”

As Jones speaks, a series of scenes are shown, including a burning cross, a Jewish man and Muslim woman painting over Islamophobic graffiti, a Black woman wearing a “Say Their Names” shirt, and a rally where demonstrators hold signs reading “stand up to Jewish hate” and “stand up to all hate.”

“When we stand up to silence, we stand up to all hate,” Jones concludes. The screen fades to black and is filled with the #StandUpToJewishHate hashtag and a small disclaimer that it was funded by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.

The video won plaudits from many Jewish leaders, and also received praise from Derrick Johnson, chief of the NAACP. 

‘Hitler was right’ reference thrills white supremacists

A number of antisemitic figures on social media also sought to seize on the “Jewish hate” slogan to spread, well, hatred toward Jews. “We must all resist Jewish hate before it consumes us,” read one representative sample from an anonymous account on X that included a link to “Europa: The Last Battle,” an antisemitic film that Jews started World War II.

But far-right influencers also reveled in the fact that the Super Bowl ad, meant to combat antisemitism, flashed an example it — a Twitter post reading “#hitlerwasright,” a popular antisemitic hashtag among antisemites.

“100 million people just had this on their TV lol” wrote Andrew Torba, who runs the far-right social media platform Gab and has a long history of posting antisemitic messages online. 

Jack Posobiec, another far-right figure with a large following online, also noticed the advertisement: “Just looked up at Super Bowl and saw ‘Hitler was right’ on the screen,” Posobiec wrote. “What is happening?”

His replies were filled with people endorsing the sentiment, while others on the platform also joked about how much they had enjoyed the appearance of the antisemitic message on their television.

Antisemitism has soared on X since the website was purchased 18 months ago by Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who has promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories on his own account.

Others riffed on the appearance of an antisemitic Tweet from an ironic distance. “Congrats to the Chiefs and Adolph Hitler,” added Corn, a humor account with more than 1 million followers on X., after Kansas City won the game.

Some Jewish observers said they understood the advertisement’s intended message, but still quibbled with the phrasing.

“Why spend millions of dollars on a Super Bowl ad and end up this way?” asked Owen Alterman, a journalist with the Israeli news channel i24.

This article was originally published on the Forward.

Arno Rosenfeld
Arno Rosenfeld

Arno Rosenfeld is a reporter at the Forward. He is a former J. intern and has worked as a correspondent for JTA and The Times of Israel.