Is this anti-Semitism? Looking for advice.


By mattpryor
August 23, 2010
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I'm becoming increasingly alarmed by the rhetoric in comments on the Times website these days, particularly whenever a story mentions Israel or Iran and the same people keep posting the same rubbish again and again.

Some examples - all in response to one story regarding the recent activation of the nuclear plant at Bushehr:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article2696922.ece (£)

The United States has said that the Bushehr Nuclear power plant is not a proliferation risk. The only country on Planet Earth complaining is Israel. Which is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The argument is not about Iran having a peaceful nuclear power programme rather what Iran's intnetions are. At the moment there is no proof that Iran is pursuing to weaponise their nuclear knowledge, and Hans Blix has it right a war based on the fact that Iran might have the intention to weaponise their nuclear programme would be illegalunder International Law.

Another day of Israeli's and Israel firsters screaming the sky is falling the sky is falling. Most of it being smoke and mirrors to cover Netanyahu's behind as a central election promise was that the nuclear power plant at Bushehr would not be turned on.

And:

I am sick to death of Zionists and their supporters trotting out the lie that Ahmedinijad said he would wipe Israel off the map.

What he actually said was "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad"

Word by word translation: Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

The key word being rezhim-e which means what it sounds like Regime. The persian word for map is "nagsheh" which does not appear anywhere in the original Farsi quote. It is important people are clear about this as people are using a quote that doesn't exist to send our young men and women to war on their behalf.

So although I can understand the alarm of the Netanyahu's and Liebermans of this world it is the regime not the nation that Ahmedinijad was referring to.

and:

Fully agree

Which is why the Zionists, Israeli Firsters and AIPAC are trying to change the political reality in the entire Middle East in Israel's favour whilst they continue to pursue Greater Israel by using regime change as it's main tool. But they are clever enough and the populations of the West are gulliblee enough to ensure that Israel is not involved in any wars.

and:

i don't think so unless the Zionists attack Iran to stop the Peace talks getting underway on 2nd September which is a classic zionist ploy to prevent the dissolution of Greater Israel.

However what is more positive way of thinking about this is that Netanyahu made it a central plank of his election campaign that Iran would not be able to have a peaceful nuclear power programme under his watch. Which is exactly what has happened and Netanyahu failed in his attempt to get the UK and the US to go to war on Israel's behalf like we did in Iraq.

The man is posting utter nonsense with a nasty edge, but is this anti-Semitism? It is certainly ringing bells with me. But I don't know whether it's best to ignore it or challenge it.

Please advise.

Thanks
Matt

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 19:55

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All are sheer igorant drivel but none is an antisemitic comment.

The best guide to what is and what is not antisemitic is here:

http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/AS/AS-WorkingDefinition-dra...


mattpryor

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 20:01

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Thanks Jonathan.

The problem is, when Ahmedi talks about "Zionists" he clearly means Jews. What's different when it's one of his advocates?


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 20:08

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To clarify: all these comments are by the same person. He may well be a hater. But none of the comments of itself is AS. I would hope that the Times Moderators would delete them if they were.


raycook

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 22:19

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I agree with Jonathan


happygoldfish

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 00:05

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matt, his "wiped off the map" comment is actually correct … the word map was not used

if you google the phrase, you'll find plenty of reputable sites that give the same translation

some prefer "be eliminated" to "vanish", and apparently ahmadinejad's whole quote itself a quote from some imam, except that one word has been changed (from memory, i think it was "history" to "page")

however, i consider that "wipe off the map" is an acceptable english idiom for "eliminate from the page of history (or time)" … the latter is clearly intended to be much stronger than simply "will be removed" … it suggests a complete elimination, including blotting out the memory … the standard english phrase for which is "wiped off the map"

if you wish to challenge him, i think his only antisemitism is in his use of "zionists" and "israel firsters"

(he's mentioned israel, so he doesn't have the excuse that he needs to use "zionism" instead of "israel", so …) people usually only use "zionists" when they mean "jews" or "jews who …", either of which is racist

as to "israel firsters" (a more respectable code for "elders of zion" or "worldwide jewish conspiracy"), i suggest you google the phrase (and particularly look at the unpleasant israelfirsters.com)


mattpryor

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 13:47

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Thanks Jonathan, Ray and happygoldfish.

My reply:

As usual Linthwaite (is it Peter or Christopher this week?) has nothing new or constructive to say, but that doesn't stop him saying it anyway. Regurgitated nonsense from conspiracy theory websites and frightening echoes of Ahmedinejad's Jew-hating rhetoric.

What a disgrace.

Did not get published!

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