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Author Topic: What is anti-semitism?


Alcuin
Administrator
Posts: 917
What is anti-semitism?
on: August 3, 2018, 17:59

"Working definition.. accepted around the world"? I don't think so. There's probably lots of money trying to achieve that.

I don't know what people make of the supposedly "international definition of antisemitism". I say supposedly international as it isn't accepted by the Labour Party in the UK, nor (I think) by the UK Parliament, nor (I suspect) by most British people. The new 'definition' seems another Zionist project.

Firstly, the supposedly "International" definition confuses racist "anti-semitism" (meaning anti-Jewish presumably) with being somewhat anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist or anti-Israeli. There is nothing wrong with being critical or broadly against all those three distinct groups.

Definition of antisemitism


Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

Manifestations might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour).
Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Unquote.

According to the definition, nobody may compare the state of Israel with Nazis, nor say that the Jewish people "do not have a right to self-determination (e.g. by [saying] that the existence of [the current] state of Israel is a racist endeavour)".

I don't say it, but I am free to make the comparison with Nazism (should I wish to) and I do think that the Israeli project is the work of Zionists (whether Jews or not). I don't consider Israel a democracy quite like "any other democratic nation". So I reject their definition. My definition of semitic comes from the dictionary...
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/semitic
I think the definition tries to address anti-Jewish prejudice but 'prejudice' is not a word mentioned in the pro-Israel, anti freedom of speech definition. Anti-semitic, taken literally, would be against people who spoke a certain "family of languages".

They say people shouldn't hold the Jews "collectively responsible for the actions of the State of Israel", but appear to muddle being a Jew, a Zionist and an Israeli all together, as if criticism of one must be considered "antisemitism" and criticism of all three groups.

I think the definition is about Israel and the Zionist project and not about racism or prejudice at all. I also think the definition tends to infringe on people's freedom of speech.

Religion and tribalism are nothing but trouble.



Godless
Calcium
Posts: 20
Re: What is anti-semitism?
on: August 3, 2018, 23:06

“I also think the definition tends to infringe on people's freedom of speech.”

Couldn’t agree more Alcuin. What an unnecessary minefield. Are we allowed to mention pork whilst facing in the direction of Israel?



Alcuin
Administrator
Posts: 917
Re: What is anti-semitism?
on: August 4, 2018, 22:13

Holy Cow! (Probably shouldn't mention those either! :-))
I note that we seem to get a new member or two almost daily, on the average. You can see the number (3129 at present) tick upwards at the bottom of the 'Forum' page. I think some people may be put off of commenting as the forum needs some technical attention.



Godless
Calcium
Posts: 20
Re: What is anti-semitism?
on: August 5, 2018, 15:45

I have wondered why there are so few posts when new members seem to sign up on a daily basis. Since I’ve joined (around a week or so) only you and I have posted. I’m not great with technology so I’m unsure what you mean by ‘technical attention?’ I haven’t encountered any technical faults yet though.



Alcuin
Administrator
Posts: 917
Re: What is anti-semitism?
on: August 5, 2018, 18:09

It depends what browser is used to load the site, I believe. I'm not very computer literate either (in my 60s). The person who deals with it is on holiday at the moment. That is part of the problem. Mostly, I think people just have Brexit and other things on their minds. The young people are probably more at home on Facebook and international sites like Atheist Republic..
http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums

http://www.atheistsites.net/

There are also humanist, skeptic and other sites for non-believers and secular sites and associations too. The young probably find this site very "basic". The 'non-believer' community is huge now. Most people in the UK don't believe in a god(s) at all and certainly not the three-for-one Christian variety. There are also sites for ex-clergy, ex-Muslims, etc.

Most sites have pm facility too (private messaging). This site doesn't, so if you want to contact me I have to put my e-mail address here: rad1@writeme.com (for a couple of days).

It struck me today that 80% of Brits want an 'opt-out' system for organ donation and it has been the majority position for many years. It is similar for faith schools but the UKgov isn't very responsive to what people want and have the Brexit emergency to deal with for the foreseeable future - probably years.



Alcuin
Administrator
Posts: 917
Re: What is anti-semitism?
on: August 5, 2018, 19:08

I've just tried to join the LibDems as I am concerned about Brexit (esp the no deal type). I didn't join because the LibDems have adopted this silly definition of "anti-semitism". I probably am a bit "anti-semitic" according to that and proud of it too.

The USAmericans and others made the same mistake in recognising the Armenian genocide as a genocide. It may have been, but that is for historians to examine and everyone should be free to form their own opinion. My objection is not necessarily to the definitions but to the fact that they are political. They interfere with internal politics and Zionists should consider if that is one reason people might be, quote, "accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations". This is an example of why some of us may feel somewhat justified in that opinion. It has seriously interfered with our internal politics in my personal case.

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