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Anti-Defamation League Rips ‘SNL’ for ‘Offensive’ Weekend Update Joke About Israel

According to the ADL, Saturday’s joke about COVID-19 vaccinations in Israel was not the first to “inappropriately use Jews as the punchline”

The Anti-Defamation League said Monday night that a joke from last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” was “offensive.” And according to the ADL, a Michael Che joke during the “Weekend Update” segment about COVID-19 vaccinations in Israel was not the first to “inappropriately use Jews as the punchline.”

“Saturday Night Live’s ‘Weekend Update’ is known for sharp criticism and public takedowns, but Saturday’s deeply offensive joke about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination process not only missed the mark, but crossed the line — basing the premise of the joke on factual inaccuracies and playing into an antisemitic trope in the process,” said CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement posted to Twitter, which also called the joke “offensive.”

He went on, “I know they can do better. In that spirit, I reached out to Lorne Michaels over the weekend urging ‘Saturday Night Live’ to take action both to repair the damage that’s been done and ensure that this does not happen again.”

A representative for “SNL” did not immediately return a request for comment.

On Saturday’s episode, “Weekend Update” co-anchor Michael Che said, “Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population. I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” Watch the segment in question here.

According to the Associated Press, Israel began allowing the Palestinian Authority to deliver the first coronavirus vaccines to the Gaza Strip just last week.