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‘Jews don’t count?’: Racism and anti-Semitism debate

The FBI caused widespread fury when it announced that a gunman had taken a rabbi and three others hostage at a Texas synagogue that was not “specifically” aimed at the Jewish community. Thai.

In a statement after suspect Malik Faisal Akram was fatally shot 11 hours after his death at a Colleyville synagogue on Saturday, Matthew Desarno, boss of the FBI Dallas Field Office, said the attacker was “indicated” focus on one issue and it is not specifically relevant to the Jewish community”.

Akram, a British national, “is calling for the release of terrorist Aafia Siddiqqui from a nearby Fort Worth prison”, Daily mail reported. But critics say that “a sympathizer of a radical Muslim element choosing to take a synagogue hostage is not a coincidence”, the paper added.

The time of the attack, during Shabbat service in the church, was “apparently intentional,” says The Jerusalem Post, which the FBI described the claim as “absurd”.

Representative of the American Jewish Committee Avi Mayer tweeted that there would be “attempts” to make an attack “on everything under the sun – except anti-Semitism”. “Don’t let that happen,” Mayer wrote, adding: “This is an anti-Semitic act, plain and simple.”

Are Jews not a ‘true minority’?

Writer and comedian David Baddiel also tweeted criticized the FBI’s statement, asking if the US security agency would take a similar stance “if it were another minority community center or place of worship”.

Baddiel published a book last year, Jews do not count, which explores whether and why racism against Jews might be treated differently from other hate crimes.

David Baddiel

Described by HarperCollins as published as a book on “how identity politics has undermined a particular identity”, the bestseller argues that Jews are not seen as a “real minority”. action” by those who consider themselves “on the right side of history” in “fighting the good fight against homophobia, disability, homophobia and especially discrimination” racism”.

Baddiel points to examples including the lack of outcry when the work of artists accused of expressing anti-Semitic views, such as Roald Dahl, TS Eliot and Alice Walker, is given a background .

Double standards

American novelist Walker, author of Purple, “Has been flirting with anti-Semitism for years”, according to Vox. Critics have pointed out her poem Our (Dreadful) quest is to study the Talmud, published on her website in 2017, and her endorsement of an anti-Semitic book by conspiracy theorist David Icke.

However, in what Baddiel cites as a rough double standard, actor Seyi Omooba has been dropped from the West End adaptation of the film. Purple After being accused of posting homophobic messages on Facebook, “the musical went on” despite the ongoing controversy surrounding Walker.

Baddiel also attracted the attention of senior figures, who have dismissed Jewish concerns about anti-Semitism allegations within the Labor Party under Jeremy Corbyn. “A little part of me died” when actor Robert Lindsay tweeted regrets the passing of Corbyn in October 2020, Baddiel wrote.

Evoking that sentiment, Financial TimesRobert Shrimsley asked: “How, with the Holocaust still a living memory, satisfy many on the Left by putting aside fear of one of the most persecuted peoples in the world. history?”

‘Jewface’ row

Baddiel points to the depiction of Jewish characters in film and on TV as further evidence of how “Jews don’t count”. A variety of non-Jewish actors have been cast in notable Jewish roles – a term Baddiel describes as “Jewish” – including Gary Oldman playing screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz in Mank, and Kathryn Hahn portray Joan Rivers in the upcoming series The girl is back.

But while support is growing for gay roles for gay actors, for example, Maureen Lipman has faced backlash after telling Jewish Chronicles that she is uncomfortable because Helen Mirren, who is not Jewish, plays Israeli leader Golda Meir in the upcoming film Golda.

Maureen Lipman with her DBE

In a recent article for Guardians

Baddiel continued that “yes, actors should be allowed to act. But that’s not the world we or casting directors live in today, and the question then must be asked: why are things so different for the Jews? ”

‘Unconscious bias’

Anti-Semitism became a hot topic in the theatrical world last year, after a play at the Royal Court came under fire for a celebrity’s seemingly Jewish name. The manipulative tycoon is said to be based on Elon Musk.

“Clearly [the Royal Court] claimed that they did not recognize ‘Hershel Fink’ as a Jewish name,” tweeted Baddiel. “Hmm,” he added, “somehow, that seems very fitting for a billionaire conquering the world.”

After the outcry, the theater changed the name of the character in the play, rare earth temperament, and admitted that giving him such an apparently Jewish name was “an example of unconscious bias”. Baddiel described the incident as a “very disciplined Jew”.

‘Misunderstanding of Judaism’

Baddiel has various theories as to why the crime of anti-Semitism can be viewed differently from other forms of racism. He suggests that one possible reason is that the majority of Jews identify as white and that in the eyes of many progressives, white people “cannot be racist”.

Another theory is that the stereotype of Jews as wealthy capitalists has over the centuries been so strong that they are “not seen as inferior or marginalized,” says Shrimsley. know in the Financial Times.

Baddiel also pointed out “the misunderstanding of the Jews as a religion rather than an ethnicity”. But “how far is racism,” he explained in an article for Time Last year, religion was “inappropriate”.

“I am an atheist, but I think that will not get me any free tickets out of Auschwitz,” he wrote.

https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/religion/955428/jews-dont-count-the-debate-over-racism-and-anti-semitism ‘Jews don’t count?’: Racism and anti-Semitism debate

Fry Electronics Team

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