The JC Blog

We know antisemitism, so trust us when we identify it

May 04, 2016 18:47

It’s been a long week and I’m done.

Antisemitism - discrimination against Jews - is not special. It’s a type of racism like any other.

And like any other form of racism, it’s defined by the people who suffer from it, in this case, Jews.

Do you rely on people from your race or religion to tell you which terms it’s okay to describe LGBT people, Muslims, Asians, black people or any other minorities?

No, of course you don’t. You listen to those who are routinely faced with abuse over something which makes them anything other than a white, straight, cis-gendered male, and call them what they want to be called.

It’s why terms like “coloured,” “trannie” and “poof” have thankfully fallen out of common usage. When an epithet is meant harmfully, the people best at identifying how harmful it is are the people it’s aimed at.

It’s the same with offensive, far-reaching statements - which brings us to Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and the numerous other Labour MPs, activists and members who have been suspended recently.

When an MP says that Israel should be relocated to the US, and the Jewish community reacts with outrage: that is society’s cue to check themselves and appreciate that offence has been caused.

When a former Mayor of London mentions that Hitler supported Zionism, and Jews cry foul: trust them to know that they are offended.

The term “goysplaining” - the Jewish equivalent of when women are subjected to men “mansplaining” their problems back to them - has grown in popularity recently, and it’s with good reason.

We don’t need people telling us what antisemitism is. We know it when we see it. When we hear it. When it’s coming out of a prominent member of the opposition on live TV or radio.

Criticise Israel all you want, but don’t tell me this or that person was being anti-Zionist and ignore a community which knows prejudice inside and out just because you think you know better.

Jews know antisemitism. To think differently is to shut your eyes and ears to racism.

By JC reporter Josh Jackman

May 04, 2016 18:47

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