Billy Joel Dons Yellow Star Of David At MSG As U.S. Neo-Nazi Activity Grows

first_imgLast night, Billy Joel returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time since the end of Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run. For his Monday performance, Billy Joel made a bold anti-Nazi statement, attaching a yellow Star of David to his lapel and the back of his blazer. The Star of David that Joel donned harkens back to the Holocaust when Nazis forced Jews to identify themselves as a lead-up to the Nazi-led concentration camps that killed six million Jews in Europe.Self-described as “culturally Jewish” and born to Jewish parents, Joel’s act was a strong statement against the rising neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements growing in the United States. In the past, Joel has gone on the record as saying that he doesn’t appreciate political messaging during concerts. In June, the famous 68-year-old musician told Rolling Stone, “I try to stay out of politics. I am a private citizen and I have a right to believe in my own political point of view, but I try not to get up on a soapbox and tell people how to think.”However, Joel’s wordless actions on Monday night were a clear change of heart, perhaps spurred by the “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend that left one counter-protesters dead and many others injured. The yellow Star of David that Joel donned harken back to the Holocaust— the Nazis forced Jews in Germany and Nazi-occupied territories to wear Stars of David or armbands for identification, with those who failed or refused to wear such garments facing severe punishment including death. This act of mass public identification less than one hundred years ago came ahead of the horrific mass-murder of six million Jews in Nazi concentration camps.Statement from Alexa Ray Joel, Billy Joel’s daughter [H/T People]; Cover photo: Myrna Suarez via Katie Lee’s Instagram]last_img

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