define antisemitism


By steveabbott
February 24, 2010
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Avraham Reiss 24 2 2010

Avraham – criticism can often be constructive. I tell you why we need to have say re Israel. Firstly, the UK is an uncritical ally of the Jewish state, I am a citizen of the UK, and I do not agree with the position of the UK in this matter. It is claimed that Israel is a strategic ally of the UK (war on terror and all that nonsense…..) In point of fact, Israel is a strategic liability. Its actions complicate our ability to engage positively with its Arab neighbours, and put us at increased risk of terrorism. Secondly, why should any state in the world today be ringfenced from criticism – from whatever source? I have strong opinions on Zimbabwe, China, Iran, the USA, and a host of other countries – why am I disqualified from questioning their actions, simply because I do not live in those places. Come on Avraham – we are all global citizens, and one of the consequences of globalization is that we are connected.
Anti Semitism is disgusting, as is racism, and many other isms’. Criticism of the Israeli state is not anti-Semitism, and is not de facto criticism of Jews. And if people continue to debase the term, it devalues the power of opposition to genuine anti-Semitism.
As for foreign minister Lieberman – this is a guy who argues for the transfer of Palestinians out of the west bank, and even out of Israel proper. Not a fit person to to be a nightclub bouncer, let alone Israeli foreign minister. Do you remember Kurt Waldheim - president of Austria, and exposed to be a national disgrace because of his Nazi past. It is a tragedy that Lieberman sullies the name of Israel in a similar fashion.
You need to have a more open and inclusive attitude. Israel claims to be a part of the western tradition, with emphasis on freedom, democracy, and small case liberalism. Let’s encourage the Israeli state to be something better than it has become. Something to light up the Middle Eastern sea of dictatorships, something for all its citizens to be proud of, something for the other peoples in the region to aspire to emulate.
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COMMENTS

John Gold

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 23:39

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steve.

I'm glad you carried the topic on, because more couldn't be added to the original post?

Avraham.

To quote you.

"I for example, don't get into blogs run from Zimbabwe, Ireland, New Zealand etc and comment on their affairs."

But you no longer live in the UK and this paper is a UK based publication?

"But why are you involved here? Even if you were Jewish, you would have no moral right to criticize, in the same way that I, possessing a British Passport (not recently used ..) have no moral right to criticize Britain because I don't live there or pay taxes there. (Unless, of course,, they do something involving me)."

But if Jews are linked to Israel through ancestry and religion - and the country represents them, then of course we have a right to take issue with policies.
In fact in a 'free country' we are allowed to form views on any country for example Zimbabwe etc..


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 08:17

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Anti-Semitism, some communal wags say, is hating Jews more than is absolutely necessary. I've even heard that some esteemed members of staff in the Jewish media use that definition, too.
A favourite ploy is to shout Auschwitz at any critical mention of Israel, as if that terrible place is the sum of the shouters' Jewish experience, culture and religion.
But seriously, folks, anti-Semitism is basically hating Jews and blaming them for all the world's ills.
Just pouncing on any criticism of Israel's actions and claiming it to be anti-Semitic is a cop-out. It just gives those who believe criticising Israeli actions is anti-Semitic can absolve themselves and Israel of any need to discuss these actions.


Yvetta

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 11:20

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Yes, but constantly harping on about Israel's faults, real and imagined, while ignoring human rights abuses in other countries, not least the Arab world, is a tad suspicious.
As I said before:
Antisemitism is believing in/stoking/speading deleterious stereotypes about Jews (like Spinning Jenny did when she trundled out a version of the Blood Libel) or denying Jews (and Israel) the rights all other people/states are accorded, and denying Jews/Israel the right to exist with their Jewish identity intact and holding that Israel's existence is not absolute (as that of other nations is) but contingent upon that country's behaviour.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 16:36

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The JC isn't "attacking" Israel, Avraham. Some of its contributors and bloggers are raising a few tough questions. And if Israel is the state of the Jewish people, as Bibi Netanyahu wants the Palestinians to recognise, then Jews have not only a right but an obligation to tell it where it is going wrong. To paraphrase the American revolutionaries of the 18th century: no criticisation, no representation.


Yvetta

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 19:25

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Disturbing report on the JC's news page re Hamas's antisemitism in the UK, eh, Moshe?


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 20:14

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I don't believe everything I read in the papers. Do you, Yvetta?

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