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JK Rowling: 'non-Jews should start shouldering the burden' of fight against antisemitism

In series of tweets, the Harry Potter author called out online antisemites

    (Photo - Getty Images)

    JK Rowling has said that “non-Jews should start shouldering the burden” with regard to fighting antisemitism, referencing the amount of bigotry British Jews are facing on social media.

    In a series of tweets sent yesterday, the bestselling Harry Potter author showed examples of antisemitism and apologetics for it, and described how “UK Jews are currently having to field this kind of cr*p.”

    Ms Rowling had retweeted the comedian David Baddiel, who had screenshotted a tweet someone had sent him which said: “You disgusting yid, nobody is proud of you. I bet you can smell the change in my pocket”. The comedian had sarcastically captioned it “antisemitism isn’t a real thing.”

    Ms Rowling, who also writes the Cormoran Strike novels under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, then began to screenshot some of the replies she was getting on the subject of antisemitism. In response to one person who tweeted saying “Judaism is a religion not a race” in an attempt to deny that antisemitism is racism, she said “most UK Jews in my timeline are currently having to field this kind of cr*p, so perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden.

    “Antisemites think this is a clever argument, so tell us, do: were atheist Jews exempted from wearing the yellow star? #antisemitism.”

    After retweeting a “Basic test for Antisemitism” formulated by David Schneider, another Jewish comedian, Ms Rowling showed another response she had received, which suggested that “arguing against antisemitism is extremely culturally insensitive to Muslims.” She described it as “mind-boggling.”

    The author then tweeted that “The 'Arabs are semitic too' hot takes have arrived,” a reference to a bad-faith argument (that Arabs are technically Semites too and so cannot be antisemitic, despite the phrase being coined in 19th century Germany specifically to describe hatred of Jews).

    On the same topic, she then tweeted a picture of the dictionary definition antisemitism, which is “hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” Along with the definition, Ms Rowling wrote: “Split hairs. Debate etymology. Gloss over the abuse of your fellow citizens by attacking the actions of another country's government. Would your response to any other form of racism or bigotry be to squirm, deflect or justify?”

    Finally, in response to someone who claimed that she was “tweeting against Labour again”, the author said: “No, I was tweeting about the antisemitism that's rife on Twitter. You then jumped into my mentions to imply that 'antisemitism' is widely-accepted code for 'Labour' these days. You might want to rethink that career in PR.”

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