The New Antisemitism

Let me clarify my question.

Much of the world has been and continues to be antisemitic (I get confused on the spelling too). Most of the rest just doesn’t care. The Jews cannot trust the world to look out for them and to protect them from the Jew haters. History has proven that all too well. To many of us Jews, Israel’s existence helps to reassure the future safety of our people. To me, none of this is open to debate. If anyone wants to, well, the op was not intended to provoke it, and plenty of other threads are devoted to such issues.

Some who criticize Israel honestly have opinions that I find ignorant or stupid.

Occassionally there are some valid points. Hell, I’m no bigger fan of Sharon than I am of Dubya. I can be critical of both and still supportive of America’s and Israel’s respective wars on terrorism.

Some who criticize Israel do so out of Jew hatred.

How to tell them apart and how to respond when convinced that some one is part of the latter group, this is my question.

Mention of “Jewish media”, “Jewish bankers”, “you people”, etc. makes it easy. It isn’t usually easy. Clear distortion of the facts of history, imbalance, etc … raises the flag. Holding Israel to standards different than other countries does as well.

Making the accusation? I don’t unless it falls in the made easy group. It is unlikely do accomplish any good. Frankly I do believe that there are some on this board who seem to distort so persistently that one must suspect their motivations, but saying so would be unproductive.

But how to respond? Do you continue to engage with such people? At what point do you call a spade a spade?

Italian columnist Oriana Fallaci wrote a powerful piece describing antisemitism from her POV.

BTW, does anyone know who the Bishop is that she mentioned in the second paragraph adn what the story is about him?

As do some defenders of Israel’s policies. As do some defender’s of the PLO’s policies. As do some defenders of the USA’s policies. As do some who denounce Israel’s policies, etc.

Do you mean that you occasionally will buy into them, or that only occasionally are they actually valid?

And some of us are lesser fans of Sharon than we are of Dubya, and that’s not a very high opinion for some of us.

There are people who have perfectly legitimate reasons for questioning if these respective “wars on terrorism” are just that.

Agreed, and I find that abhorrent.

I’ll go along with this.

Some would say that Israel is also guilty of fact distortion.

Not different standards. I’ll say many of the same things about the Palestinians.

Colin Powell should have taken both leaders into a room and had a bitch-slapping fest.

If someone is truly anti-semitic, I don’t see any truly compelling reason to have to label them on this board. Most of the members are smart enough to figure that out on their own. A certain South African resident and board member comes to mind. No one needed to tell me that he was racist for me to see it.

I should probably add that if you are truly disturbed enough by someone’s actions to label them in such a way, take it to the pit where it belongs.

Ditto everything DMC just said.

I also don’t think the burden of proof should be on an Israel-critic to prove they’re not anti-semitic. If you want to call them anti-semitic, damn well prove that they are. I abhor what Sharon is doing, but I certainly haven’t been out burning any synagogues or signing up with Neo Nazis. Plenty of Israel-critics - including me - have a hell of a lot of sympathy and support for Israeli people. How does that make us anti-semitic?

Did I accuse you of being one?

Did I say that any critic of anything about Israel is a Jew hater?

Did I say that I would make that accusation even if I believed it?

Quit being so defensive. And no, an anrtisemite doesn’t need to be burning synagoges … hate can be damaging yet more subtle. And, no, I wouldn’t even bring it to the Pit because, again, it wouldn’t accomplish much.

The question, again, implicitly accepts that antisemitism exists and continues to exist and is a motivation of some. How do we Jews deal with it? Ignoring it? If so, up to what level of explicitness? Try to nip it in the bud, so to speak? If so, how?What have we learned from past experience with growing antisemitism?

Maybe GD isn’t the best forum for this, because I really do not have a position to defend, I have an issue that I am struggling with.

The best version I heard was a black man on a radio show discussing that American Blacks should only “play the racism card” with extreme caution … not because it isn’t often accurate, but because it isn’t productive, and in fact can be counterproductive. I think the same applies here. But do you ignore it entirely?

DSeid - my comments were not aimed specifically at you. But on comments like December’s:

If I was going to isolate a comment from you that led to my post, it would be:

The first assertion I agree with. Undeniably, there are anti-semites out there who hate Israel for the sole reason it is a Jewish entity.

However as regards your second assertion - “how to tell them apart” - as far as I am aware you have not yourself accused anyone of anti-semitism. But others have been unfairly accused. And I would say to the accusers: unless you CAN tell them apart, unless you ARE convinced that the person’s views derive from a specifically anti-semitic opinion motivated by Jew-hatred not disgust at current Israeli policy, then the Israel-critic should be afforded the benefit of the doubt.

Sure - do you all you can to ascertain if they are an anti-semite - any such race-haters should be outed and their bigotry attacked.

As regards your other point: I am not sure how Jews - and non-Jews - should deal with the hideous problem of anti-semitism. Educating young people in tolerance and understanding is one way, but that’s too late for some. It’s an evil - a crime - like any other evil or crime that blights society, and there is just no easy answer.

I’m sorry my bad spelling seems to exclude me from being taken seriously. The critics of my spelling certainly haven’t come up with anything that counters any of the ideas I mention.

Over the years I’ve been called “self-hater”, “yiddified”, anti-semitic (got it right this time) and a lot of other things. But no-one has come up with an argument to convince me that I’m taking a road to ideological oblivion.

On the contrary, by opposing ALL forms of racism or anti-semitism consistently (and that includes racism against Palestinians), the false accusation of anti-semitism just doesn’t wash.

The problem comes when Jewish people who have never questioned the historic reasons and complex political history behind the setting up of the state of Israel or not had the information available prefer to simply accept everything we were taught as kids. I remember the zionist youth club, football team, family dinners, etc. - a world within a world. When I came home from school during the 6-day war I would ask my mother, “Are we winning?”. Meaningless drivel - I had about as much connection with the matter as I do now with genome research in Thailand.

Only later did I start to question it all, but in a wider view of the world, coming to the conclusion, as the saying goes, that no people can be free if it oppresses another and that racist ideas could be fought, not so much at an individiual level but collectively trying to attain a world where the conditions for racism no longer exist.

Istara writes:
“As regards your other point (referring to another poster): I am not sure how Jews - and non-Jews - should deal with the hideous problem of anti-semitism. Educating young people in tolerance and understanding is one way, but that’s too late for some. It’s an evil - a crime - like any other evil or crime that blights society, and there is just no easy answer.”

In a crisis-ridden world scapegoats are the easiest answer for some people, especially those on the receiving end of that crisis. Racism/anti-semitism is a tap that is turned on and off according to the needs of those running the system. You are right that there is no easy answer but it can and must be fought wherever it arises.

I promise to try and improve my grammar and spelling in future but I suspect that’s not the real reason behind the criticism, but rather the ideas I express.

Of course not. When such minutiae are attacked, it’s because they are the easiest target. Don’t stress about it, the rest of us are taking you seriously.

Istara, you state:

Unfairly? maybe and maybe not.
Occassionally I AM convinced … I’ll still keep my mouth shut most of the time, for the reasons already stated. Unlike the protrayal by POWER, there is no Zionistic ploy. I think it, believe it, much more than I’d ever say it. Most of the time I do more than give the benefit of the doubt. But I view the world informed by its history. Elements of the world have tried to destroy my people many times before … maybe someone quacking like a duck isn’t a duck … I have no proof … but in a world where Muftis call for killing Jews wherever they live, and where Arabs blow up schoolkids … forgive me my suspicious nature for questioning (to myself) the motives of those who blame that on Jews with distortions of history.

While I agree that there are people who will hide behind criticism of Israel when what they really want to do is rag on Jews for being Jews. However I do think that there is an awful lot of wolf crying when it comes to the present situation.

When the IRA where bombing the shit out of NI and London the same thing happened. The British forces and I include the RUC in NI where guilty of there own nastiness. When these events where brought up by people in the ROI/NI or Britain they where generally put down as Fenians bastards and IRA supporters. Granted some of them where but there was also a majority of right thinking people who thought that both sides where out of order. While the IRA where obviously at the top of the scale it doesn’t remove the responsibility from British forces to also play nice.

In the Middle-East at the moment Israelis are going through an incredibly hard time. I’ve nothing but sympathy for a community that has had to go through the hell that they’ve gone through.

The Palestinians have had their cross to bear as well. Jenin camp ‘horrific beyond belief’ is the kind of thing I’m talking about.

I can feel sympathy for both sides and also disagree as I see fit with what either side has done to achieve their goals.

Racists should always be dismissed.
People who are asking honest but possibly uncomfortable questions should be encouraged to ask, learn and understand(if possible)

No, your spelling as well as your entry onto the boards for the purpose of Israel-reviling (in company with a slew of brand new anti-Israel and/or antisemitic posters, who’ve popped up on the SDMB after 9/11 like toadstools after a rain) had me questioning whether your stated background was accurate. We’ve unfortunately seen dubious “facts” set up for debate before.

What excludes you from being taken seriously is the tone and temper of your remarks, most specifically the comparison of Israelis with Nazis. I suggest you do a search on Godwin’s Law and reflect on the fact that this sort of comparison 1) denigrates true Holocaust victims, and 2) makes it clear that you have no understanding of history.

What precisely are you questioning about this person’s stated background?

You seem to be the one that either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or cannot read, consequently how can anyone take you seriously?

Barsa Loner quoted someone, it was not her statement.

You’re wrong. If you did a search on Barsa Loner’s posts, you would see that he/she first posted quite a long time ago on a totally different subject, refugees. Before 11/9 as well.

And there is a difference between Israel-reviling and Israel-criticism. Try reading Barsa’s post again. What is there that “reviles” Israel? On the contrary, he specifically criticises “These elements leading Israel today” rather than the entire population/country.

jackmanii… I find you to be awfully rude, as well as quite uninformed to not mentioned overtly paranod.

The kind of remarks you make about 9/11 and ‘…like toads after a rain’ seems fueled by the kind of ugly suspision and resentment between peoples that is the ground for specifically 9/11 and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tone down the demagog statements will you!

see I can’t spell either… should be paranoid of course…what does that make me?

I think you missed something. Specifically, the reference to the population of Israel as psychotic. And Barsa approves of the characterization of Israeli leaders as Nazis. This goes well beyond fair criticism into the realm of unbalanced hatred. These sorts of statements make reasoned debate impossible.

Sparculees, I’ll settle for you learning how to quote accurately. I did not insult amphibians through comparison to anyone posting here.

Review the favorite subjects of newcomers posting here in the last few months to get an inkling of what I’m talking about.

Hey toadstools and toads… big difference. Fungi have rights as well! Soooo sorry for the fast typing…I’ll use the quote function next time.

In any case that wasn’t my point. My point is that you didn’t make yours very adroitly, but rather came across as being inclined to dismiss all things said by Barsa Loner based on the suspicion that he was only out to vilify Israel.

Argue them the way you argue them in response to my post! That makes more sense.

Regarding the posts…couldn’t that have just as much to do with the current state of affairs in the world? People obviously are concerned and need to express this. But this is an all-together different debate and not for this thread.
Personally I am highly divided on the issue Israel Palestine, enough so to not feel inclined to voice my confused view, but I find it most interesting to read other people’s views. That’s why I bother to ask for debate and not banter.

So Jack,

Am I anti-semitic for being an open opponent of Israels current policies in relation to the Palestinians?

Or is everyone who fails to post views similar to yours a Jew-hater?

Take a step back, and stop trying to read things into Barsa’s postings that aren’t there.

Ahem. Can anybody name any names of real, live anti-Semites who post on this board? Or did for more than a couple times before being banned as jerks, racists, and hate mongers? A majority of Straight Dopers who have expressed an opinion on the subject in the time I’ve been here disagree with at least some of the policies of the Israeli government. Can Jackmannii or anybody else cite specific statements by any of them that would indicate that they are anti-Semitic? How about the governments of (most) of the people who post here? Their local news organizations? Or is this “widespread” anti-Semitism a paranoid delusion?