(JTA) — Billy Joel wore a yellow Star of David on his sports jacket during the encore of his monthly concert at Madison Square Garden.
Photos of the legendary singer wearing the star began appearing on Facebook shortly after his performance Monday night. At least one tweet bore the hashtag #Charlottesville. Others called Joel “a true hero,” and his decision to wear the star “Epic and brave.” One tweet read: “So dope seeing Billy Joel live and seeing him take a stand to the hate in our country. Wearing the star of david is a huge statement.”
Other tweets, however, took issue with Joel’s statement.
“What is Billy Joel protesting? A president with part Jewish kids? The fact that Muslim immigrants in the US tend to be anti-semitic? WHAT!?” The tweet was in response to another that said, “Ok, so Billy Joel has lost his mind.”
Joel’s parents are Jewish but he was not brought up with the faith. He has been described as a secular Jew and an atheist.
At the concert, Joel invited singer Patty Smyth on stage to sing her hit song ““Goodbye to You” with him while a screen behind them flashed pictures of fired White House staffers including chief strategist Stephen Bannon, press secretary Sean Spicer and communications adviser Anthony Scaramucci.
Billy Joel doing is encores at MSG on 8/21 wearing one Jewish Star on his breast and another on his back. He is a true hero. pic.twitter.com/M42f6P1f8J
— Eric Schultz (@EBS9291) August 22, 2017
Billy Joel and patti smythe play "goodbye to you," showing photos of trump staffers pic.twitter.com/s8DxtAuG62
— Pete Catapano (@pcatapano) August 22, 2017