Does Harry Potter's Jewish humour cross the line?

By Jessica Elgot
July 8, 2009

What's Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe's best Jewish joke?

"Did you hear how copper wire was invented? Two Jews fighting over a penny."

The 19-year-old actor, who is Jewish through his mother told the Guardian Weekend magazine that he was "very proud of being Jewish".

He said: "It means I have a good work ethic, and you get Jewish humour and you're allowed to tell Jewish jokes."

But does this Jewish humour, which plays on some serious prejudice, cross the line?

Of course, Radcliffe's only 19, although it says something about him that all the self-confessed atheist seems to take from Judaism is that it's a licence to tell offensive jokes. But how can the Guardian justify printing it? Do they think it's funny?

According to the Guardian's press office, they've had one complaint. And that's from the JC's Keren David, who said she found the joke "incredibly offensive."

It's a bit pathetic from Racliffe, but even more so from the Guardian. I would have expected better.


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