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Kanye West apologises to Jewish community for antisemitic comments

Rapper shared Instagram post written in Hebrew and said he was ‘committed to making amends’

Ellie Muir
Wednesday 27 December 2023 10:31 GMT
North West sings with Kanye in stage debut in Miami

Kanye West has apologised to “the Jewish community” for a series of antisemitic remarks he made in 2022.

In a statement written in Hebrew and posted on his Instagram account on 26 December, he said (as translated by Google): “I sincerely apologise to the Jewish community for any unintended outburst caused by my words or actions. It was not my intention to hurt or demean, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused. I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future.”

“Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity,” he added.

The rapper, also known as Ye, faced significant backlash in 2022 after making crude remarks on Twitter/X as well as sharing antisemitic conspiracy theories and claiming that he’d been “blocked” by the “Jewish media”.

In October 2022, he wrote on X that he was “going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE … You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

He posted a screenshot of a conversation with the rapper Diddy, in which West wrote: “Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threat en or influence me.”

The comments led Adidas to sever ties with West and end its lucrative Yeezy footwear partnership, calling the comments “unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous”. Clothing brand Gap, which had also collaborated with the rapper on a clothing line, stopped stocking products affiliated with West.

West’s comments intensified in December 2022, when he said there were “good things” about Hitler in an interview with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Following the interview, West also posted an image of a swastika blended with a Star of David.

Kanye West’s Instagram post in Hebrew (@kanyewest / Instagram)

In The Trouble with KanYe, a documentary about the rappers’ downfall, West’s former business partner and friend, the entrepreneur Alex Klein, recalled the fallout that followed West’s outbursts and allegedly used offensive turns of phrase directly against him.

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“We turned down $10m. Kanye was very angry, you know, he was saying ‘I feel like I wanna smack you’ and ‘You’re exactly like the other Jews’ – almost relishing and revelling in how offensive he could be, using these phrases hoping to hurt me,” Klein said.

Kanye West in 2022 (Getty Images For Balenciaga)

West is preparing to release his latest album, Vultures, which is expected on 12 January. The collaboration with vocalist Ty Dolla $ign, which was recorded in Saudi Arabia and also features appearances from Young Thug, Kid Kudi, West’s 10-year-old daughter North and others, was originally due for release on 15 December but was pushed back.

West addresses his earlier remarks in an unreleased song, which was heard at an album playback in Miami earlier this month, as he raps “I ain’t antisemitic” in a sexually explicit line. West’s appearance at the listening party sparked fury after he was pictured wearing a black pointed robe similar to those worn by the Ku Klux Klan.

The Independent contacted West’s representatives for comment.

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