The Orwellian Universe that is X –and the lesson I learnt from Jamie Foxx

By Rolene Marks

If you have been harbouring thoughts that the world has gone fully meshuggah (crazy), join the club. I wake up on a daily basis wondering what fresh crazy the day will bring. All one has to do is take a trip to social media world. It is chock-full of nutjobs – and there is no issue that cannot be convoluted, misrepresented or mined for any conceivable offence.

Ladies and gentlemen (am I still allowed to say that?) step right up and enter the Orwellian universe that is the newly renamed X. In case you were not aware, social media platform Twitter has been rebranded as X. It could be because everyone considers themselves x-perts.

Now normally I try follow the mantra “don’t feed the trolls” in other words, don’t respond to the crazies – they love it – but sometimes the accusations and insults are so alarming, so astounding that they cannot be ignored. Sometimes the ludicrous insults are harbingers of very, very dangerous trends – like the example below:

I have been called many names recently – seditionist, anarchist, leftist, traitor, Zio Nazi, right wing Zio – you name it. Being called an antisemite because I am a proud Zionist is a definite first.

Antisemitism is the world’s most irrational hate.  Antisemitism did not end in 1945. It took a short nap. Now the beast has woken up – hungry and more menacing than ever.

After the Holocaust, many thought NEVER AGAIN could a genocide so barbaric, focused on eradicating world Jewry ever happen again. It could. If anyone doubts the level of hatred that many have, just spend time on social media. Antisemitism is different to other forms of racism and discrimination in its ability to metastasize and take on different forms and iterations. The latest trends are the denial or attempt to erase Jewish history and cast doubt on Jewish peoplehood and demonising Zionism, our national liberation movement to the point where Zionists are now called antisemites.

In every generation, the world’s oldest hatred takes on a different iteration. For the last couple of decades, anti-Zionism and relentless attacks on the State of Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people has been the popular choice.

It is a daily battle to maintain good physical and mental health in the face of such onslaughts. It is an imperative that we show up to fight – it gives courage to others to do the same and we remember a time when we had no platforms, no voice to stand up for ourselves. Now we do – and we must use it.

There are glimmers of hope.  A valuable lesson recently came from the most unlikely teacher (although he is completely unaware of it) – actor, Jamie Foxx.

A few weeks ago, the actor posted this to his social media. Now, when I saw this I felt a deep sense of unease but thought let me try to understand why he would post something like this. I can understand why it upset and angered so many – including me, at first glance.

Deep Regret. Famed film star Jamie Foxx apologized for an Instagram post seen by some as antisemitic explaining the offense caused “was never my intent.”

For centuries, Jews have been blamed for deicide (the murder of Jesus Christ). This has resulted in the persecution and often murders of Jews, so one can understand the anger and fear that many had. In 2011, Pope Benedict has rejected the idea of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus Christ’s death. Tackling an issue that has led to centuries of persecution, the Pope argued there is no basis in scripture for the Jewish people to be blamed. The Catholic Church officially repudiated the idea in 1965. Unfortunately accusations of deicide persist.

In his message, Foxx alluded to friends who had betrayed him and I attempted to chalk it down to a very dangerous and irresponsible message – but without intentional malice towards Jews.

This opened channels for conversations, and many on social media who asked why Jews were offended and why many said this message was antisemitic, approached me. When I explained the accusations of deicide, I was impressed at how open and empathetic the vast majority were, and how it had opened their eyes to our lived experience.

Several from the American black community, who explained that in their culture, accusations of Judas referred to situations when friends committed a betrayal. At a time when antisemitism is rising and there are several hate-filled characters who seek to foster division between our communities, these conversations were extremely valuable – and necessary. Those of us who engaged with each other, gained important insight into each other’s cultures and sensitivities.

This was a vital lesson in the importance of engagement. Where we can engage in constructive dialogue, we must endeavor to. There will be those who we will never convince or will be open to conversation but there are many who are. Talk to them; invite them to have a conversation. Let us also be cautious not to reflexively call everything antisemitsm when there is the possibility it is not. Let us start conversations – even if they are just between you and me.

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).


  1. That warped Dame Linda is known for her vicious anti-Israel and anti-Semitism

    She needs to be called out in public what she actually is.
    She has nothing positive to say about anything
    Adrian Wolff

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