Milwaukee Jewish community speaks out after antisemitic remarks from two celebrities

NOW: Milwaukee Jewish community speaks out after antisemitic remarks from two celebrities

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- An NBA player is facing backlash for not condemning what some would consider his antisemitic behavior.

Earlier this week, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to a documentary criticized as antisemitic.

Irving has since apologized for the tweet

Today, the Milwaukee Jewish community is speaking out against the behavior.

Leaders in the Jewish community say people in power and influence should be held accountable for their actions.

Irving has since been placed on a five-day suspension. The Nets said Irving is currently unfit to be associated with the team.

The Jewish community here in Milwaukee say education is the only way to combat these issues.

"This is a moment in time for us to look at it, to stand together and to say we won't accept it," said the CEO of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Miryam Rosenzweig.

It's a battle that has been going on for decades.

"Antisemitism isn't new, it's the oldest hate," said Rosenzweig.

Words and actions of hate against the Jewish community making headlines. This time, with celebrities and influencers at the helm.

"I can say that I never imagined that in my lifetime we would be talking about safety and security of the Jewish community," said Rosenzweig.

In October, the rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, made national news, criticizing the Jewish community, spewing antisemitic comments and conspiracy theories.

Irving initially declined to say he has no antisemitic views.

But Milwaukee Jewish leaders say these actions can no longer be tolerated.

"Seeing this happen so quickly and so clearly, we have to question what is happening in our society and we need to look out," said Rosenzweig.

Leaders in the Jewish community saw we must continue to talk about these issues to form a better tomorrow.

"When people are talking about things that may be perceived as antisemitic use that teach people about what the Jewish people are, what Judaism is about, what our culture is," said Executive Director of the Friendship Circle, Levi Stein. "We have to come together and not wait, until we are so worried that the words will cause violence."

Since 2015, the Wisconsin Jewish community has seen a 50% increase in antisemitic behavior.

Milwaukee has the highest Jewish population in the state of Wisconsin.

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