In the fall of 2022​, Kanye West made multiple controversial comments about Jews. In a particularly notorious example, he tweeted, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going ​​death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” which the media has interpreted as a reference to the DEFCON 3 military preparedness system.

When celebrities make antisemitic comments, the consequences are magnified dramatically through the number of people they can influence, including white supremacists on the fringe who become emboldened to air similar views—or worse, act out violently, according to experts in the Boston area.

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