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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:20 PM
Original message
Wikiality, Truthiness, Orwell and Anti-Semitism
Stephen Colbert with his exposure of the "Wikiality" idea exposes a problem that has plagued humanity for years, namely the alteration of events, terms and anything else in the course of discrediting one idea and supplanting it with another.

Orwell spoke of this as "Newspeak" in his definitive novel 1984. In the most recent edition of Newspeak detailed in the novel, all references to something being bad were removed. Things could only be good, plus good or double-plus good. For a more definitive look at Newspeak, please check out the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak . (Irony intended)

Truthiness is much the same as both but deserves it's own special listing, as truthiness is anything that "feels" like a fact, without actually having any facts to back it up.

This is why of course Stephen Colbert is one of the greatest satirists of our century; his brilliant ability to bring to life the "wikiality" and "truthiness" of our culture.

Which brings me to my last point, chiefly the term "Anti-Semitism" and it's related terms "Anti-Semitic" and "Anti-Semite". Best estimates find it's coinage around 1860 and it was used to describe hatred of Jews as a race. It continued to be used for that purpose for a very long time...

Fast forward to today. "Wikiality" and "truthiness" have been at work on the term, for at least 10 years, though I believe longer. White-supremacists and so-called "anti-zionist" movements out of the Islamic Jihad crowd have long been working on changing the meaning of "anti-semitism" so that instead of meaning "hatred of Jews" it means "hatred of semitic peoples as a whole"; this way it confuses the issue and creates a situation where an Arabic person could, for example, paint swastikas on a Jewish shop, then be "immune" to charges of being an anti-semite since he himself is semitic. It is also an attack on the term itself to make it useless, as the usual argument is "Well most Jews are no longer from the Middle East, so it cannot truly be called anti-semitism"; this is pure Orwellian Newspeak. This is wikiality. The changing of a term originally created to define the overwhelming racism Jews have endured for centuries, into a term that no longer has any meaning at all.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. an excellent point...
...and one that I largely agree with. But you must admit that one very important reason that people try to water down the "antisemitic" label is that it is so freely brandished as a very broad brush. What DO you call people who oppose Israeli state policies but make no connection between those policies and the fact that Israel is a jewish state? I mean, I opposed apartheid and racial oppression when it was performed by South Africans and they weren't jewish (for the most part, I presume). Ethnic cleansing is evil whether it is performed in the Balkans, in Africa, or in the occupied territories.

The real irony is that the sort of society that fundamentalist islam is likely to produce-- the sorts of societies likely to emerge from a pot stirred by Hamas, Hiz'bollah, or the Islamic Brotherhood-- are themselves anathema to progressives, but while we might be able to tolerate them with our noses pinched as examples of multiculturalism and the right of people to choose whatever form of government they wish, Israel makes the point moot by BECOMING the oppressor, and therefore offering a WORSE alternative than dictatorial theocratic moralists offer. So I'm neither antisemitic nor do I have any stomach for islamic fundamentalism, but what DO you call someone who opposes the immorality of Israel's actions without respect to its state religion?

That is the problem-- too many are eager to wield the antisemitism brush at the first hint of opposition to Israel the state.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. What mike_c said...
:thumbsup:
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. It Is Not That Simple, Sir
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 09:14 PM by The Magistrate
It would be nice if it was. But there are two distinct elements that ought to be considered in assessing this.

First, we here are mostly, for good or ill, products of Christendom, reared in a society shaped by the dominance of that religious and cultural pattern for at least seventeen hundred years. Cultures and societies are engines for self-replication of mores and mental habits, that are inculcated to some degree in all members, even the most rebellious. It is a fact that hate and fear of Jews is far and away the oldest such prejudice in Christendom, being rooted in the founding documents and contraversialist literature of that pattern of religiousity. The patterns of this include particular elements that have persisted across time, among which are the ideas that Jews are a unity in standing conspiracy against non-Jews, and that Jews exert a secret control over events and activities of the society of non-Jews, making non-Jews act in ways that are against their own interests but to the benefit of Jews.

Second, among the critics of Israel, there are indeed a number of people motivated by hatred for Jews along the ancient lines. The truth of this can be readily demonstrated by anyone with a strong stomach and an inclination to rummage about in the electronic attic of the internet. Further, many of the most implacable Moslem enemies of Israel have adopted lock, stock and barrel the traditional patterns of Jew-hate honed in Christendom down the centuries, and grafted these onto some incidents in the early career of Mohammed to create an exceptionally heady brew quite useful to their political agitations and recruitments.

The challenge for left and progressive persons who oppose Israel on the merits of the matter as they see them is to do so in ways that do not summon up some of the old Medieval devils on the one hand, and that do not align themselves with enemies of Israel who incorporate these, topped with a turban, so to speak, into their political platforms. Where criticism takes forms that seem to echo some of the old tropes of classic Anti-Semtism, some people are naturally going to wonder, and if emotionally committed and determined to prevail in debate at any cost, be tempted to reach for the handiest bludgeon. It will be, in most cases, both dishonest and low, but no more so than some of the stand-bys of their most fervent opponents, such as claiming to be unable to detect any difference between Israel and the Nazi Reich.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. What The Magistrate said...
:thumbsup:
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. well, I can only speak for myself, so you'll have to forgive me...
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 11:06 PM by mike_c
...for all the self referential examples. First, I'm an athiest, so while I do repudiate Judaism, I also repudiate Christianity and Islam, and cannot imagine that I show any favor for any of them. If anything, I regard my christian history as especially repugnant, since it's the one I specifically rejected, so my biases would tend to be in the opposite direction to the ones you suggest.

Nonetheless, I admit the essential point-- I was raised in a western christian culture, and cannot escape that. However, I was also raised in a highly charged racist atmosphere-- the American deep south, during the civil rights movement-- and while I have been accused of antisemitism numerous times in this community, I have never been accused of racism against african americans or black people in general. That is only tangential to the current discussion, but I submit that it is likely that if I were a racist in the ultimate sense that an athiest would have to be to be antisemitic, it stands to reason that I'd likely be a racist in the proximate sense as well, since that is surely more deeply ingrained in my psyche. After all, I actually experienced it. The persecutions of jewish people are history to me, at best, while the persecution of racial minorities in the south is part of my own living heritage.

Further, IF I were motivated by christian doctrine, it seems that nine centuries of war with islamic empires would predudice me against muslims as much as jews.

I must concede your second point-- I did not mean that all critics of Israel are free of antisemitism-- but likewise you must concede that many are. No doubt a range of motives exists, from completely free of antisemitism to completely consumed by it. That does not excuse the broad application of the antisemitic label, which is itself hateful.

Given the range of motives that likely inspire critics of Israel, your final point seems impossible to achieve: "The challenge for left and progressive persons who oppose Israel on the merits of the matter as they see them is to do so in ways that do not summon up some of the old Medieval devils on the one hand, and that do not align themselves with enemies of Israel who incorporate these, topped with a turban, so to speak, into their political platforms." In the end, the progressive thing to do is to judge the merits of each individual's arguments individually, and to not ascribe motives based upon the motives of others, however hateful they might be. I criticise Israel, and so do islamists blinded by antisemitism, as do arabs simply expressing legitmate grievances against the zionists who took their land. We are not a homogenous group, we critics of Israel. You do US the exact disservice that you accuse us of doing Israel by failing to recognize that.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. Pardon me...
but if I may, I would like to address a few of your points.

Nonetheless, I admit the essential point-- I was raised in a western christian culture, and cannot escape that. However, I was also raised in a highly charged racist atmosphere-- the American deep south, during the civil rights movement-- and while I have been accused of antisemitism numerous times in this community, I have never been accused of racism against african americans or black people in general. That is only tangential to the current discussion, but I submit that it is likely that if I were a racist in the ultimate sense that an athiest would have to be to be antisemitic, it stands to reason that I'd likely be a racist in the proximate sense as well, since that is surely more deeply ingrained in my psyche. After all, I actually experienced it. The persecutions of jewish people are history to me, at best, while the persecution of racial minorities in the south is part of my own living heritage.(Underline added by me for clarities sake of the point I am addressing, I did not want to take it out of context)

While I am NOT accusing YOU of being anti-semitic, I would submit that it is entirely possible and even likely that someone could be racist toward one group only.

Further, IF I were motivated by christian doctrine, it seems that nine centuries of war with islamic empires would predudice me against muslims as much as jews.

I think that would be more likely in Europe. As an American though, there is far more fresh hatred of the Jewish people. During World War II most of America turned a blind eye to Hitler's persecution of the Jews, in fact many U.S. companies were closely tied to Nazi Germany. Indeed the Nazi's were relatively popular here until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on us. So while we here in the U.S. may have a shorter history of anti-semitism, it is certainly a fresh racist undercurrent.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. I suppose, although frankly it seems illogical to me...
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 01:42 AM by mike_c
...for someone to be racist but only with respect to one group. People are generally racist because they believe their race to be superior. That tends to create LOTS of inferior groups, i.e. most everyone else. But I'll concede the point under the assumption that people don't always behave logically, if you'll concede that they equally often DO-- making it unfair to judge motives simply by lumping everyone into racist groups.

As for the second point, I agree with you that the issue is not particularly relevant in America. I was replying to The Magistrate's contention that the long history of Christiandom, since medieval times, influences bigotry against jews in nations dominated by christian culture. One can't have it both ways, IMO-- that long history of persecution and warfare should influence christians equally against jews and muslims alike, and indeed, we see a great deal of both racist perspectives in America, even despite its lack of involvement in the crusades or the long wars against the Ottoman Empire.

My initial point somehow got lost, or just not addressed-- the perjorative "antisemitic" label-- itself a form of hate speech when the accusation is misplaced-- is too broadly applied by some to anyone who criticizes Israel as a state.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Then allow me to say..
I suppose, although frankly it seems illogical to me...
...for someone to be racist but only with respect to one group. People are generally racist because they believe their race to be superior. That tends to create LOTS of inferior groups. But I'll concede the point under the assumption that people don't always behave logically, if you concede that they equally often DO-- making it unfair to judge motives simply by lumping everyone into racist groups.


Point so conceded that it is equally possible for one to be a racial supremacist, scorning all equally except one's own. However as far as it being illogical, hatred is about as illogical as a human being can get. The scary part is that hate can disguise itself as logic just as easily.

As for the second point, I agree with you that the issue is not particularly relevant in America. I was replying to The Magistrate's contention that the long history of Christiandom, since medieval times, influences bigotry against jews in nations dominated by christian culture. One can't have it both ways, IMO-- that long history of persecution and warfare should influence christians equally against jews and muslims alike, and indeed, we see a great deal of both racist perspectives in America, even despite its lack of involvement in the crusades or the long wars against the Ottoman Empire.

I think then that what we three are all saying on this point is equally true, it is simply a question of the context in which we see it.

My initial point somehow got lost, or just not addressed-- the perjorative "antisemitic" label-- itself a form of hate speech when the accusation is misplaced-- is too broadly applied by some to anyone who criticizes Israel as a state.

I would tend to agree with you that anti-semitism is a battle-cry frequently used by defenders of Israel, sometimes unjustly; I believe The Magistrate did address that point in his post above:

(this is admittedly out of context of the paragraph in which he pointed it out : underline added by me for sake of clarity)
Where criticism takes forms that seem to echo some of the old tropes of classic Anti-Semtism, some people are naturally going to wonder, and if emotionally committed and determined to prevail in debate at any cost, be tempted to reach for the handiest bludgeon. It will be, in most cases, both dishonest and low, but no more so than some of the stand-bys of their most fervent opponents, such as claiming to be unable to detect any difference between Israel and the Nazi Reich.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. Thank You For That Thoughtful Reply, Sir
It is far from my belief, and certainly not my intention to assert, that all or even most of the criticism of and opposition to Israel is rooted in a species of race-hate. The country's history, and its present actions, feature a great many wrongs, and there is certainly some justice to the view that its foundation included a great act of dispossession. My intention was simply to explain why on occassion supporters of Israel in debate honestly do feel that they are in the presence of Anti-Semitic expression, and sometimes disinclined to accept an opponent's protestation that no such thing has really been expressed. Nor is it my view that on all occassions when supporters of Israel claim to be in the presence of such expression they are correct, or even that they are always being honest in such charges. There certainly are instances when that charge is made simply because it promises to be effective in closing off lines of debate. Fervent partisans on both sides of this dispute have a regular armory of rhetorical bludgeons they are practiced in employing.
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Bhaisahab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. wow. this is the most polite DU discussion
I've seen in quite a while. (polite) *applause* for all the participants!
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. mike
There are many, many people who hate only Jews. You may have a harder time understanding it because of your atheism. But the "Jews killed Christ" meme is alive and well.

If you can try and get your head inside someone who devoutly believes the Jews culpable in the death of their Lord (who was supposed to die anyway - you have to check logic at the door), you might grasp the depth of this hatred.

It isn't like classic racism - you are OTHER and I HATE you. It is holding a race of people guilty for the sins of Judas.
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OrechDin Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #10
35. It seems the circle of the Far Right and the Far left meet
In their commen hatred of the Jews,and now a third dimension has been added,that of Islamist anti semitism. And a lot of the time the language is the same except it is cloaked in anti Israel or anti Zionism.
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
28. "exert a secret control over events and activities"?
But you support a post that is implying just this, except with a different set of actors?

The poster THINKS there is some conspiracy involving the 'enemies of Israel', wikipedia and the public? The poster THINKS there is a secret movement a foot to 'revise' traditional meanings so as to 'change' opinions and attitudes towards Jews, Israel and the racist violence?

I think Colbert was a little too flippant. Nothing on the internet is written in stone; nor is knowledge itself. It is always being 'revised'. It's just Colbert thinks there are people that do it professionally and the public doesn't have this training or ability.

However --

Study: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica

Wikipedia is about as good a source of accurate information as Britannica, the venerable standard-bearer of facts about the world around us, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature.

Over the last couple of weeks, Wikipedia, the free, open-access encyclopedia, has taken a great deal of flak in the press for problems related to the credibility of its authors and its general accountability.
....
In the end, the journal found just eight serious errors, such as general misunderstandings of vital concepts, in the articles. Of those, four came from each site. They did, however, discover a series of factual errors, omissions or misleading statements. All told, Wikipedia had 162 such problems, while Britannica had 123.
Zdnet

So the experts are no better than the public in relating accurate information. The moral of this story -- don't believe everything you read and make a point of surveying a large body of contrasting material to make up your own mind, including 'primary sources'.

doublethink: "the power of holding two contradictory propositions in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them"
The book itself...Chapter 9 -- now isn't that a strange reference ;-)



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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #28
45. That Comparison Of The Encyclopedias, Sir
Edited on Tue Aug-08-06 02:23 AM by The Magistrate
Dealt only with scientific topics. Many of the people who post on such subjects to Wikipedia are commenting on fields they are trained in, or pursue a dedicated amatuer interest in. The further from such "hard" subjects the entries in the Wikipedia go, the greater the proportion of tenditious nonesense one will encounter, though it is true their administration does a pretty good job of cleaning up over time.

As to the spefic point posed at the start of this particular discussion, that some persons have been engaged in attempting to alter the meaning fo the term Anti-Semitism is a readily observeable fact. Doubtless these are mostly individuals who thought it up themselves, and felt awfully clever when they did, and certainly some have seen someone else attempt it and thought, "Now that would be damned useful in scrapping about this topic. I'll have to remember that...." The actions of a quantity of individuals in eager pursuit of what each thinks will serve his or her own interests best can often give the appearance of co-ordinated action in unison, but that impression is false.
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Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
42. Bravo, Sir, and
'hear hear' from the ex-communicated Jew who believed mankind's only salvation was a committment to Reason.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
27. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Vocabulary is constantly in flux , so to those whose argument is
contructed with "sound bites " and "catchphrases " : tough luck.

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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. I see a less nefarious purpose
To point out that Sephardic Jews and Arabs are both Semite people I see as an appeal, to both groups, to see each other as brethren.

This is why it is so painful for me to see this conflict between two groups which I see as my kin.

And I feel powerless to stop it.

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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. I would see it as an appeal if...
...the move towards it had not been initiated by the likes of David Duke and other notable... shall we say, unsavory characters?
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #11
26. Guilt by association
So if David Duke says the sky is blue, I have to argue that it's green?

Why do some people assume liberals spend all their time reading racist websites?
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Wonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. If you want to call people "Jew haters" and have no room for confusion
you could just refer to them as Jew haters.

Unless, that is, you have some particular desire to "own" the term anti-semitism, even though the term was coined by a Jew hating German trying to make hatred of the Jews seem rational and sanctioned by scientific knowledge?
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Actually...
the term seems to have most likely been coined by a Jewish scholar named Moritz Steinschneider, as a counter to Ernest Renan's notions of "Aryan" superiority to the "Semitic" races. Wilhelm Marr then used the newly coined word "anti-semitism" to use as a pseudo-scientific term for the hatred of Jews, so it would sound more rational.

It has nothing to do with "ownership" of a word because word cannot truly be owned. A word must also not be twisted into meaning something it is not. Anti-semitism means the hatred of Jews; it should not be changed to mean a different thing which is already covered by another word.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
:kick:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. I don't care what you call it..or who the people are..
Whenever a thrid party "gives" something to someone, and it's being used/lived in/worn/whatever by yet another person (who may not even know his/her presumed property is being given to someone he/she does not even know)...there will be trouble.. BIG trouble...

religion is not the issue at all.. It's property rights, hurt feelings and frustration.
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. So what exactly are you saying?
I don't want to infer anything from what you are saying, because it sounds very troubling without some clarification.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Just saying that there will always be trouble in the middle east
because of the way it was carved up by outsiders.. that's all
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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Ok..
but that wasn't what I was posting about.

I was posting about the Orwellian way in which the term "Anti-Semitism" is being/has been shifted away from it's meaning in an effort to discredit it's existence.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. There has been a lot of rancor around here lately..so I have deliberately
tried to keep out of the hateful threads :hi:

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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. OK
:hi:

Well this was never intended to be a hateful thread, merely informative. :)
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well done!
You did a fantastic job! :applause:

Whenever I hear the ridiculous arguments that anti-Semitism applies to Arabs, it reminds me of the idiots that say "homophobia" is not accurate because they do not 'fear' gays. Sometimes words are not as precise as one would like. Some words have, indeed, changed over time. Others, will always be what they are.
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emanymton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 05:04 AM
Response to Original message
23. KKK Is Not Anti-Black. KKK Is Pro-White.
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 05:05 AM by emanymton
Language matters. Orwell's "1984" is a warning. We really are at risk.

Hate is love. War is peace.
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Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
29. .
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Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
30. You completely ignore the fact that Jews are complicit in
manipulating the term. The accusation is is used to throw douse any discussion deemed too critical, that fly in the face of the official take on everything Jewish. Look at what happens to Norman Finklestein whose both parents were in concentration camps. He is the devil incarnate, the anti-semite extraordinare, for his views on the Holocaust, speaking engagements get canceled because Jewish organizations pressure universities to cancel speaking engagements. The CBC got tons of flake when he was a guest on a panel.




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cracksquirrel Donating Member (251 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Poor Norman...
Jews... complicit... manipulation... "everything Jewish"... Jewish pressure....
You get a gold star.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. typical stupid response. nt
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cracksquirrel Donating Member (251 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. *shrug*
I fail to see how pointing out the ridiculousness of "Jewish manipulation of anti-semitism" is stupid, but alright, whatever butters your toast.
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OrechDin Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #33
40. I saw your point quite clearly nt
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Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. No I pity those who don't see the wool being pulled over your eyes.
"The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the worlds most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a victim state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States has likewise acquired victim status. Considerable benefits accrue to this specious victimhood in particular, immunity to criticism, however justified."

- (Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry published by Verso (London and New York, 2000) p3).

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
34. A couple comments.
1.) I can't say I know a lot of people that are into bashing "semitic peoples as a whole", usually it's either muslims or jews, although no doubt as Mike points out, such people tend to have lots of "inferiors" to consider in deciding how to distribute their animosities. In the case of hating muslims, it is not called anti-semitism except as in #2 below.

2.) In most cases, non-standard usage of "anti-semite" etc. appears to be either a feeble joke or a feeble deflection, that is it does not appear to be a serious argument. It may be I am not reading in the right places.

3.) It is obvious on its face that Jews and Israel are separate entities, not even informally identical, and thus anti-semitism is not the same as dislike, in whatever degree, of the Israel state, which is again not even informally identical to hatred of the country Israel and its denizens. These are all separate things that one may like or dislike independently.

4.) Generally, hatred of Jews will encompass hatred of Israel, the state or the country; but the opposite is not true. One may easily dislike the Israeli state or nation without disliking all Jews, and without disliking any Jews because they are Jews, or any Jews in particular.

5.) It is inherent when one uses a term for propaganda purposes that one erodes its meaning. This makes us all stupider. Words are what we think with, and the precision of meaning in words is what allows us to think precisely and well. The propagandist opposes clear and precise meaning when it does not serve his end, and thus may be relied on to savage language at times. Thus, anyone who attempts to distort the meaning of a word for political purposes is trying to make you stupider in a certain way. Since most propagandists wind up believing their own bullshit to one degree or another, they wind up making themselves stupider.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
36. Okay, so what do we call all the people who hate Arabs?
Edited on Sat Aug-05-06 01:34 AM by Chulanowa
Arabs are, after all, semitic. And plenty of people hate them soley for being Arabs, no matter their religion. Do they get lumped in with people who hate blacks, Mexicans, and Samoans in the blanket term "racist"? If so, why does there need to be a distinctive term fort hatred of Jews? Why can't people who hate Jews just be racist, like people who hate other races are?

All the arguing over a word that was invented by a guy who clearly was unaware that the Maltese are semites too is a little silly.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. "Arabs are Semitic" is a very difficult statement.
Edited on Sat Aug-05-06 09:23 AM by igil
It's mostly true but also usually misunderstood.

Arabic and Arab culture squelched a lot of other cultures in the ME and N. Africa. Most of those peoples were Semitic. So Arabs = Semitic only in the sense that they've mostly conquered and assimilated other Semitic peoples.

The assimilation continues in S. Arabia, where some non-Arabic languages have survived and will soon be dead, no doubt, under the onslaught of Arabic. And with the few remaining Assyrians. And they didn't absorb the Jews, mostly.

'Anti-Arabist' or 'anti-Arab' is the word you want. It exists, because it's been used; but it hasn't been used much.

On edit: Lest somebody assume that because I didn't talk about Arabs in Arabia, they're a minority at this point; Semitic, of course.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #37
43. Hmmmm...
"Squelched", "onslaught"... Interesting word usages. :)

Personally I use "Racist" for all of 'em. So far as I've seen, the term anti-semite isn't a term actually applied to antisemites of ANY sort, it's only a "shut the fuck up" tool used by varying people - not just Jewish people.

And honestly the term has lost a lot of any punch it once had, due to overeagfer application. I've been called an antisemite for finding "Seinfeld" to be the most mind-numbingly boring show I have ever watched. After being told this, I decided to disregard any further accusations made against myself with hte term.

They'll have to invent a term for someone who despises scientologists for me :) Antihubbardist?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
38. I partly disagree.
But do so amicably.

Part may be to make anti-Semitic attacks difficult to condemn. As you point out, an Arab defaces a synagogue, well, "I can't be anti-Semitic, I'm Semitic!" is a defense. In some universes. I have no doubt this occurs sometimes. But it focuses on a thug or a vandal (not that I think Vandals were necessarily all that bad, and certainly no offense is intended to people descended from Vandals :-)

But part is to garner sympathy, and to use the word as a cudgel. It dilutes the term, which may be an added benefit, but I don't think they're thinking in those terms. I think the reasoning is often something like: If you punch a Jew and say something racist, you're an anti-Semite and most people act like you just boiled your baby and ate him; but if you punch an Arab and say something racist, the reaction is generally more muted. So say both are anti-Semitic. Then if you punch an Arab and you're labelled as anti-Semitic, you're a pariah.

So on the one hand, it's a shield. On the other hand, it's a bit of me-too-ism, to use the word as a weapon.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
39. The confusion is inherent in the term, too.
This needs to be noted. When you set out to coin a word that means "a person who is bigoted against jews" and come up with something that naively means "a person who is bigoted against semites", knowing full well that a.) not all jews are semitic, and b.) semitic jews are a small subset of all semites, you have already badly confused the meaning you are seeking to denote with the term.

This sort of confusion about the denotation of words is a hallmark of propaganda, but simple sloppy thinking will do the job nicely too.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
44. Painting all people who oppose Israeli actions as "Islamic Jihad" crowd.
how so very simplistic.

Reminds me of the righer wingers who lobbed the "commie" label at all those who opposed the Vietnam war.
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