Why Should Jews be Nice to Susan Sarandon (and other antisemites)?

Gabe Zichermann
6 min readDec 4, 2023
Susan Sarandon getting an award or something (cc)

Since Hamas’ terror attack on Israel, we’ve seen plenty of progressive “allies” unable or unwilling to address their own antisemitism.

But one of the weirdest forms of latent antisemitism I’ve seen is this idea that Jews — uniquely — have to keep doing business with people who say racist stuff about them.

Time and again, commenters seem shocked that so-and-so (Susan Sarandon et al, or law school interns) have lost key business relationships with Jews due to comments perceived as antisemitic.

n.b. if you don’t understand why something might be called antisemitic even if it doesn’t seem wrong, I’ve written a decent primer on this topic for you.

Why is this surprising? If someone was a vehement MAGA anti-immigrant but wanted to be a supplier to a thriving Mexican-American restaurant chain, they might find that company unwilling to do business with them. You wouldn’t expect David Duke to be able to start a linen company supplying black churches would you? And you’ve probably forgotten all the time those same Jews also booted folks out for their anti-Black, anti-immigrant or anti-Trans behavior too.

Why do you expect Jewish people to keep working with you if you insult them? And why don’t market rules apply to our concerns?

In America, we generally agree that we can’t compel someone to BUY something from a business or person they don’t want to. Chik-Fil-A is free to be anti-LGBTQ (as much as it sucks), but I don’t have to shop there. Imagine the implications if you demanded I had to give them money as a consumer. What would be the limits to that?

We also agree that legal contracts are enforceable. So if you have a contract with a client you represent, say, and that client does something that breaks the contract, you can wash your hands of it. Moreover, regardless of what your contract says, if you do something that really pisses off the other party in an agreement, you can definitely expect them to start becoming “difficult” and looking for ways to separate from you.

That’s just how the world works. Why are people suddenly surprised that Jews would protect themselves?

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Gabe Zichermann

Author and Public Speaker on Gamification, The 4th Industrial Revolution, the Future of Work and Failure. More about me: https://gabezichermann.com