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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Institutional anti-Semitism

What is institutional anti-Semitism? There's probably a definition somewhere, but for me, it would mean that the organisation in question, is more sluggish to investigate Jew hatred, than it is of other forms of racism. It might also mean that punishments for Jew hatred are lighter than for other forms of racism.

So is the Labour party institutionally anti-Semitic? I don't have enough information to be able to form a judgement, but I think the way to find out, is to look at complaints of anti-Semitism, and complains of Islamophobia, and see if there's a difference in how long it takes to investigate. I would also want to compare the weight of sanctions, but that's more difficult, because how can you compare like with like.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission have decided to investigate the Labour party. I hope that they can finally excise the cancer of anti-Semitism from the Labour party - if indeed there is institutional anti-Semitism, and if it is possible to cut it out.

2 comments:

  1. A very fair and balanced comment.

    My understanding is that the term Semite has always referred to peoples of the Levant region in general; speakers of languages in the Semitic language group. So one could argue that Islamophobia towards Arabs (and other Muslims of the region) is technically anti-semitism.

    Semite: "A member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs.

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  2. The English language isn't as simple as you think. Words don't always mean what their components would imply.

    You're right about the word "Semite", but "anti-Semite" doesn't mean that they hate people who speak a Semitic language. It means that they hate Jews. And remember - most Jews today do not speak any Semitic language.

    Likewise "Islamophobia" does not mean "Fear of Islam", which is what the components of the word would imply. It means "hatred of Muslims".

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