Zoey Tur, a Jewish transgender reporter, is the one Ben Shapiro mocked at during his Yeshiva University event last week – where he was quoted saying that being transgender amounted to “a significant mental illness”
A Jewish transgender reporter who physically threatened conservative pundit Ben Shapiro on TV says Orthodox Jews are flirting with white nationalists.
“The Jewish Orthodox community is playing footsie with the alt-right,” Zoey Tur told the Forward in an exclusive interview.
Last July, Tur and Shapiro clashed on CNN’s Headline News over the rights of transgender people. Shapiro referred to her as “sir” and claimed that celebrating Caitlyn Jenner for coming out as trans was akin to “mainstreaming delusion.” Shapiro is also Jewish.
Tur, an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist who famously tracked down O.J. Simpson during a car chase, gripped the back of Shapiro’s neck. “Cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance,” she said. Shapiro filed a complaint against her that the Los Angeles Police Department soon dropped. Tur said she received a deluge of death threats from “alt-right” figures after the encounter.
The evening came up again last week when Shapiro mocked Tur in a speech at a Yeshiva University event hosted by College Republicans. Shapiro said being transgender amounted to “a significant mental illness” and compared that condition to paranoid schizophrenia. He called Tur “this fellow,” poked fun at her for having “a voice at least an octave below my own” and referred to her behavior during their encounter as “unladylike.”