A note for leftists who oppose the Israeli state (TW: Nazis and anti-semitism)

1. Israel does not control the US. The US controls Israel. That tiny country doesn’t have all our politicians in their pockets; there are no Magical Jews(TM) who control the New World Order. Britain chose Palestine as the place for the new Jewish state because it was an advantageous spot in the Middle East to have a military superpower. The US supports Israel for the same reason.

2. The Nazi holocaust wasn’t “overhyped.” Just because other holocausts in history have been under-represented and underreported, does not mean that the torture and slaughter of 10 million people was over-hyped. That’s a false dichotomy. Let’s not forget the reason why the US joined WWII: Imperialism. They didn’t give a toss about the holocaust; they just didn’t want to lose power. No country joined WWII to save the Jews, and Jews weren’t the only people murdered in the holocaust.

3. The state of Israel isn’t “Jews.” It is an imperialst state, behaving the way that empires have always behaved. I am Jewish, yet I am not Israel – I have never supported Israeli policy or even the existence of the state (or any state for that matter). Just like opposing the Israeli state isn’t the same as being anti-Semitic, Jews are not Israel. There is nothing inherent about being Jewish that makes me more likely to want to slaughter and steal land from Palestinians.

4. Anti-Semitism isn’t radical. Hating anybody because of their culture or ethnicity (and yes, Judaism is also an ethnicity) is bigoted. Screaming that “Jews control the world!!” doesn’t make you unique or edgy. Saying “Hitler had the right idea” doesn’t make you a groovy anarchist (by definition, if you support Hitler, you are not an anarchist).

5. Not all Jews are white. Ashkenazim (white European Jews) are not the only ethnic devision of Jews. When you claim all Jews are white, you are stripping the identity of and negating the existence of Mizrahi, Indian, Ethiopian, some Sephardim, and many others. Many of these Jews are not even allowed into Israel because of the colour of their skin; instead they waste away in refugee camps.

6. If you are not Jewish, stop saying “Jews.” I know this is amusing because I just said it several times, but I am Jewish. “Jew” is a term that is, more frequently than not, used in a derogatory way by non-Jews (goyim) towards Jewish people. Just say “Jewish people.” I know it’s four syllables instead of one, but as long as you don’t have a speech impediment, it shouldn’t be a problem. Whenever I hear a goy say “Jew,” I cringe and wait for some anti-Semitism to be vomited forth. Seriously, stop.

****Please read my Comments Policy before commenting****

~ by owlcat on 19 February, 2013.

10 Responses to “A note for leftists who oppose the Israeli state (TW: Nazis and anti-semitism)”

  1. Good post there Sitakali, I’ve always found this a difficult area to explain succinctly. On point 5, perhaps it should include what one *should* say. I’ve always use the word “Jews” to describe “a group of people who are followers of Judaism”, in much the same way I’d use Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. What word would be better?

    • Hello thar Craig. Yes, I probably should have explained an alternative. Generally “Jewish people” is the best alternative term; generally the fact that you are referring to their religion would be figured out based on the context of the sentence. Unfortunately, the term “Jewishs” isn’t a word, and might confuse people.

      I find it especially problematic when goyim say the word “Jew” when talking about politics. Generally, saying “Muslims, Jews, and Christians” doesn’t bother me, but it might bother others, I’m not sure. I usually just say “the Abrahamic religions” or “followers of the Abrahamic religions,” partially because that also describes their relationship to each other. Just saying “Jews” by itself tends to make me cringe, even in the context of “Jews follow the Torah.” I can’t really explain it – it’s a visceral reaction, caused by years of listening to (and reading) anti-Semitic bullshit.

  2. The following comment has been disemvoweled to serve as an example. For more on disemvowelling, please read my Comments Policy.

    10 mlln!

    Tht’s fr lp frm th nw sttld pn 4 mlln. Whr dd y ck p 10 mlln frm? Ths s (n f th rsns) tht ppl fnd th Jws s ntrstwrth, th cm p wth rndm fgrs nd blv y hv mnpl n sffrng.

    Qt yr Jw whnng.

  3. Actually I use “Jewish” but are you going to stop calling me “goy” or “goyim”?
    Are the Polynesians here going to stop calling me Pakeha or Palangi?
    The words are not inherently derogatory unless used with intent.

    • I’m glad you use the term “Jewish” already. The difference between “Jew” and terms like “goy” and “pakeha” is that the first one is used in a derogatory way towards a non-privileged class of people. Goy and pakeha are descriptive terms like “white.” Despite some white people insisting that pakeha is indeed derogatory, I have yet to find any evidence of that being the case, and when I ask Maori people who speak Te Reo, they state that it is not, and never was, derogatory.

      That being said, I personally have no problem with marginalized groups having their own derogatory terms for privileged classes. For example, the word “cracker” is used in the US by Black people towards white people. It actually means “slave master” (cracker refers to the crack sound of a whip), so if you look at the history of the term, you realize that it is describing the way in which Black people were originally oppressed by whites. Derogatory words used against the privileged usually have a culture of anger about oppression, whereas derogatory words used against marginalized groups are part of a culture of seeing the other as inferior.

      The problem with intent is that it does not change the cultural history of a word. You can use the n-word against a Black person with good intentions, but that doesn’t change the fact that it means “you are an inferior slave,” and it is not yours to use (unless you too are Black and wish to reclaim it). So yes, some words are inherently derogatory.

      Words have powerful psychological effects on people. Regardless of their intention, if a goy uses the word “Jew” when describing Jewish people, I cringe and brace myself for an attack. This is a behaviour learned from a lot of experience, and one well-meaning goy is not going to change that word’s effect on me.

      • The meaning of Pakeha is much debated but is often used in a derogatory manner.
        I have been to by a Maori speaker,of Maori,that it means “white ghost” but we will probably never be sure.

        White always amuses me as no part of me is white except a couple of scars.
        Pink with brown patches would be more accurate.

        And I totally disagree that any word is not mine to use.
        English has a long history of taking useful words from all sources and incorporating them.

        The idea that one group can claim a word as their sole right is just plain silly.
        Many whites were slaves and bonded servants don’t forget and the Africans sent to America as slaves were rounded up and sold by their own or warring tribes mostly to Arab traders.

        I’ve been trying for decades to find out if our family,Webster,sept of clan MacFarlane,has any Jewish connection to account for the general pro Jewish,pro Israeli attitude within it.

        • I do not know if you’re white or not. White generally has to do with how you’re perceived and treated – if you have the privileges that come with being white, then you’re white. White refers to a race, not to a literal colour, just like many Black people are more brown than black.

          You can disagree. English is indeed a constantly evolving language. But you cannot, just by disagreeing, change the fact that some people are constantly oppressed by words throughout their life.

          Language is extremely powerful, and marginalized groups that claim words that have been used against them are taking that power into their own hands. That’s not silly at all.

          White people are not oppressed for being white in this day and age, anywhere in the world. White people in the US were indentured servants, which is not the same as slaves. There were white slaves in Rome, but that history is ancient and has little bearing on the present – not to mention, they weren’t enslaved due to their race, but due to their class. It was white people who enslaved other white people. Even if you have indentured servants in your lineage, that does not make you marginalized as a white person today. You can be marginalized for being working class or poor, but that has little to do with being white.

          The “Black Africans had their own slaves” subject is addressed very well here, better than I could explain it. I highly suggest you read it.

          If you find out that you are Jewish, it is up to you how you wish to approach the subject of anti-Semitism. But I suggest that before you make any assumptions about Jewish culture, you first participate in it. Remember that there are many Jews around the world who oppose the Israeli state, and that Zionism started out from a tiny extremist minority that was fostered by British imperialism.

  4. I did write a long reply to this but after several re-readings I feel that we have such different world views that it is beyond my skills to debate through text.
    I do hope you achieve happiness.

  5. I don’t like it when Jewish people talk about “goys” and “goyim”. Sounds to me like someone seeking attention and special treatment. It sounds like racist thinking. I couldn’t tell who is Jewish by looking at them. Most of them look like Caucasians to me.

    • Okay, well first, you’re ignoring Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Sephardic Jews, and many others when you say most Jews look white. Second, Judaism is an ethnicity and a culture, and it is very real, even for white Jews. Third, “Goy” is not a derogatory term. But even if it was, it wouldn’t be loaded with decades of genocidal hatred, Nazism, and Neo-Nazism.

      “Jew” is a word used by goyim who say things like “Hitler was right” and talk about how Jews are controlling the global economy and are all greedy psychopaths. “Goy” is a word used to say things like, “He doesn’t go to Synagogue. He’s a goy,” or, “she has a goyish nose” (because yes, there are still physiological differences that can be found even between white Jewish populations and non-Jewish white populations).

      You cannot be racist against people who don’t experience oppression. Nobody was put in a concentration camp for being a goy.

      People of all cultures have words to describe people who don’t belong to their culture. This shouldn’t surprise you, nor should it upset you. You are creating a false equivalence when you equate the word “goy” with the way that “Jew” has been used.

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