A Jewish advocacy group with ties to the Civil Rights Movement is urging supporters to protest Jon Stewart’s support for new Daily Show host Trevor Noah, The Wrap reported.
The American Jewish Congress (AJC) criticized Noah in a letter sent to members on Tuesday. The group also posted a short statement denouncing the South African comedian on its website calling him a “sexist anti-Semite,” and urging readers to sign a petition opposing Noah’s selection.
“That’s right: Soon, one of the world’s most popular Jewish comedians will be replaced with an anti-Semite,” the statement read. “Take a stand against sexism and anti-Semitism.”
A screenshot of the petition can be seen below:
As Agence France-Presse reported, Noah came under fire shortly after being named Stewart’s successor on Monday, after online jokes dating back to 2009 that made fun of Israel came to light.
“South Africans know how to recycle like israel knows how to be peaceful,” one joke read. Another said, “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car.”
The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement that while Noah’s past humor played into “classic anti-Semitic stereotypes,” it was hopeful that he would be able to follow Stewart’s lead hosting the progressive comedy show.
“We hope that he will not cross the line from legitimate satire into offensiveness with jokes calling up anti-Semitic stereotypes and misogyny,” the statement read.
Stewart endorsed Noah when he returned to the air on Monday, saying he would “earn your trust and respect … or not. Just as I earned your trust and respect … or did not.”
The AJC was founded in 1918. In 1963, then-president Rabbi Joachim Prinz spoke during the March on Washington, which is best remembered for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
“The time, I believe, has come to work together,” Prinz said during his speech. “For it is not enough to hope together, and it is not enough to pray together, to work together that this children’s oath, pronounced every morning from Maine to California, from North to South, may become. a glorious, unshakeable reality in a morally renewed and united America.”