Connect with us
Advertisement

U.S Politics

How a luxury handbag mogul used the Kanye West controversy as fuel to fight antisemitism

A luxury handbag mogul whose clientele includes A-listers like Kris Jenner, Paris Hilton and Lil Baby was inspired to fight antisemitism after he sold a one-of-a-kind Birkin bag to Kanye West for $275,000 just months before the rapper and record producer went on a public antisemitic tirade.

Advertisement

Jeffrey Berk, CEO of the luxury handbag resale marketplace Privé Porter, used the money he made from that sale to fund his new organization, Truth Tells. That group is aimed at holding politicians accountable when they make antisemitic remarks or are anti-Israel.

“There are some politicians who are promoting a socialist ideology that is an overt threat to our freedom and the American Dream itself,” Berk says. “And those who hate American greatness unfailingly also hate Jews.

“Yet even Jewish congresspeople don’t stand up to their hate-filled colleagues. They are actually — secretly — elevating these antisemites to leadership positions. That incensed me so much, I decided to put my money where my outrage is.”

Advertisement
Jeffrey Berk, founder and CEO of Truth Tells and co-founder of Privé Porter.
Jeffrey Berk, founder and CEO of Truth Tells and co-founder of Privé Porter. (Jeffery Berk )

YE, AKA KANYE WEST, DOUBLES DOWN AFTER FALLOUT FROM ANTISEMITIC COMMENTS

Berk, a Jewish American living in Palm Beach County, built Privé Porter with his wife Michelle over the past decade, and they opened their first brick and mortar store in Miami in 2020.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Berk described Kris Jenner, famous “momager” of the Kardashian and Jenner brands, as someone who raised his company’s profile by epic proportions.

“We had a pop-up shop in Aspen in the summer of 2015. And just by dumb luck, Kris Jenner came into the store a few times, and we hit it off. She bought two bags, concocted a whole bunch of social media stories. She posted us the next day. And we went from a nice $500,000-a-month business to a one and a half million-dollar business.” Berk said.

Advertisement

As the business grew into an international success, Berk says the idea for Truth Tells was born while he started to play a passive and silent role in some political causes and even mulled a bid for Congress in early 2022.

Kanye West attends the Givenchy Womenswear show as part of Paris Fashion Week in October 2022 amid antisemitism controversy.
Kanye West attends the Givenchy Womenswear show as part of Paris Fashion Week in October 2022 amid antisemitism controversy. (Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Through that process, he said, he “found a lot of hypocrisy and laziness from our Jewish leaders that they’re not trying to push back on the growth of more socialist, antisemitic, anti-Israel congressmen,” he said, pointing to the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

“The fulcrum of our narrative is, like, how could there be a progressive caucus of 100 congressmen, and how does Rashida Tlaib get elected to be vice chair? How does Omar get elected by these people to be third in command, as the deputy, as the whip?

REP. ILHAN OMAR PRESSED ON OLD COMMENTS: ‘WASN’T AWARE’ THERE WERE ‘TROPES ABOUT JEWS AND MONEY’

Advertisement

“What is [Florida Democrat Lois] Frankel thinking? What is [Tennessee Democrat Steve] Cohen thinking?”

But it wasn’t until Kanye West, who now goes by “Ye” and is a former Privé Porter customer, spewed things like “going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE” in a tweet last fall, and dozens of other antisemitic comments, that Berk realized Truth Tells needed to speed up its work.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens as acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee July 18, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens as acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee July 18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“First, it was shock. Then, you kind of hold your breath that it’s some joke or weird PR stunt,” Berk said of his reaction to the comments. “When, instead, there is doubling down, over and over, you realize there are still people on this Earth with otherwise massive intellect and capability who truly subscribe to not just hatred of Jews, but advocating the rid of them.

“We realized this issue was infinitely bigger and there was a greater urgency to get the word out and demand conviction to overcome that from our political leaders.”

Advertisement

Berk took the money from the Ye sale and added to what was already invested in Truth Tells to build out both a nonprofit and political arm, which launched in June 2022 with the goal of evaluating Jewish politicians according to their voting records and their support or denouncement of antisemitic colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Members will receive a letter grade, and their constituents will be informed via TV ads and social media campaigns.

Truth Tells’ Q2 ad budget this year is over $1,000,000.

Democrats Cohen, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Jamie Raskin of Maryland have received a preliminary grade of “F” because they allowed lhan Omar, D-Minn., to become second in command of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., to keep her position as a vice chair.

Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., conduct a news conference about being removed from committee assignments Jan. 25, 2023.
Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., conduct a news conference about being removed from committee assignments Jan. 25, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Berk also mentioned Rep. Adam Schiff’s CNN interview with Dana Bash earlier this year amid Republican calls for Omar to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee for her pattern of antisemitic comments. The California Democrat failed to condemn the comments in the interview.

Advertisement

“He sidestepped the issue and, as far as I’m concerned, her disqualifications for being in on that committee is the legislation she has voted for and tried to incorporate,” Berk said. Truth Tells produced a 60-second ad against Schiff for the interview, noting that he received an “F” rating from the organization for “staying silent in the fight against antisemitism.”

SCHIFF, SWALWELL, OMAR RESPOND AFTER SPEAKER MCCARTHY KEEPS THEM OFF COMMITTEES: ‘POLITICAL VENGEANCE’

While Berk says he’s committed to ensuring Truth Tells remains nonpartisan, he said that’s recently been challenging, noting that every Jewish Democrat in Congress voted against removing Omar from her committee seat.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was mistakenly labeled a Republican by a CNN chyron recently.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was mistakenly labeled a Republican by a CNN chyron recently. (CNN)

“If you’re a Jewish congressperson, you don’t get a pass that you just voted for Iron Dome funding. And so what if you make the trip over there and shake hands?” he said. “What are you doing to stop the root of antisemitism here?

Advertisement

“I firmly believe that the normalization of this, the breadcrumbs go back to 2018 when these Squad members were introduced. And, in swift time, they all became little rock stars, and they’ve got tens of millions of followers. And those tens of millions of followers … the majority of them haven’t done their homework about Israel and Palestine before they’re getting forced a vantage point.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“And I don’t think this forest fire of New York City’s students being beaten up on campus and mezuzahs being stripped off the door at University of Denver and Zionism being banned at Berkeley … like it’s all commingled to me,” Berk said.

“And if this is a forest fire, it’s the Jewish politicians like Cohen and Frankel and Nadler and Raskin that continue to give these people the oxygen to keep this thing going.”

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending

X