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BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .

The Shambles 16 Mar 05 - 02:54 AM
The Shambles 16 Mar 05 - 02:56 AM
The Shambles 16 Mar 05 - 03:02 AM
Mark Cohen 16 Mar 05 - 03:33 AM
robomatic 16 Mar 05 - 04:25 AM
beardedbruce 16 Mar 05 - 05:08 AM
robomatic 16 Mar 05 - 05:48 AM
jacqui.c 16 Mar 05 - 07:11 AM
The Shambles 16 Mar 05 - 08:04 AM
mack/misophist 16 Mar 05 - 10:37 AM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Guy Who Thinks 16 Mar 05 - 10:51 AM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 11:04 AM
Big Mick 16 Mar 05 - 11:20 AM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 11:34 AM
jacqui.c 16 Mar 05 - 11:34 AM
robomatic 16 Mar 05 - 11:36 AM
Bill D 16 Mar 05 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Uncle DaveO 16 Mar 05 - 11:45 AM
Azizi 16 Mar 05 - 11:54 AM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 12:16 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 16 Mar 05 - 01:00 PM
Raedwulf 16 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM
CarolC 16 Mar 05 - 01:48 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 02:05 PM
CarolC 16 Mar 05 - 02:28 PM
Joe Offer 16 Mar 05 - 02:30 PM
Raedwulf 16 Mar 05 - 02:34 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 03:23 PM
Wolfgang 16 Mar 05 - 04:31 PM
robomatic 16 Mar 05 - 05:01 PM
Joe Offer 16 Mar 05 - 05:19 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM
Once Famous 16 Mar 05 - 06:11 PM
Raedwulf 16 Mar 05 - 06:28 PM
Once Famous 16 Mar 05 - 06:32 PM
The Shambles 16 Mar 05 - 06:37 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 16 Mar 05 - 07:04 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 07:42 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 07:56 PM
robomatic 16 Mar 05 - 08:38 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 09:05 PM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Mar 05 - 09:08 PM
Little Hawk 16 Mar 05 - 09:14 PM
Ebbie 16 Mar 05 - 09:26 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 05 - 09:45 PM
robomatic 16 Mar 05 - 11:23 PM
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John on the Sunset Coast 17 Mar 05 - 01:22 AM
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Subject: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 02:54 AM

What exactly is antisemitism? The following article has a stab at explaining what it is and what it is not. Perhaps - if certain prayers are not answered and this thread does not get closed or deleted and posters to the thread manage not to respond to obvious provocation - we may all become a little bit better informed about this subject than we are now? That is the object anyway.

http://www.counterpunch.org/neumann0604.html


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 02:56 AM

This thread was recently closed Anti-semitism


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 03:02 AM

The following introduction from the site linked to above.

I think we should almost never take antisemitism seriously, and maybe we should have some fun with it. I think it is particularly unimportant to the Israel-Palestine conflict, except perhaps as a diversion from the real issues. I will argue for the truth of these claims; I also defend their propriety. I don't think making them is on a par with pulling the wings off flies.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 03:33 AM

Shambles, the article is not about antisemitism at all, and should not be used as the springboard of a discussion about antisemitism. The article says that Israel is evil and the Palestinians are good. Other articles say that the Palestinians are evil and Israel is good. So what else is new?

If you really are interested in discussing antisemitism as a historical entity, then it's best to leave Israel out of the discussion, at least to start with, since antisemitism has its roots in the Middle Ages or earlier. But then, of course, you wouldn't get to bash Israel.

By the way, I am Jewish and I abhor much of what the present Israeli government has done recently and is doing, as well as much of what the Palestinians and other Arab states have done and are doing. I am also American, and I abhor much of what the present American government has done recently and is doing, as well as much of what our current "enemies" have done and are doing.   

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 04:25 AM

Was this thread started because someone started a thread a couple days ago mis-labeled anti-semitism but really about his lack of success in an even "previouser" thread?

Here's a link to another article which I'm not sure I agree with, but it has something to say:

anti-semitism


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:08 AM

I doubt very much if many will read to the end of the posted article.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:48 AM

I agree with Mark that the article linked by Shambles is not suitable as a topic as stated in the thread title. And BB (if he is talking about the article posted by Shambles). That article is a sort of self-righteous and slightly weird article espousing the author's Israel agenda and has eff-all to do with anti-semitism. It sounds as if he /she started to write one thing "I propose we have fun with it" and ended up with another.

This thread may be polluted at inception. Nevertheless I'll make the obvious observation that while not every anti-Israeli opinion is anti-semitic, a hell of a lot of Anti-Israeli invective is. Typically, you can tell the difference because somewhere the promulgator will say: "I'm not anti-semitic, but...."

At the risk of starting thread drift, I'll say from personal observation, there really IS sexual harassment. And there really exist cases of folks claiming sexual harassment as a way of gaming the system. This is not a dig at sexual harassment laws, this is an observation that there are people who will game ANY system.

Similarly with anti-semitism. There are folks who will simply substitute zionism for Judaism as a way of advancing their agenda. There are also folks who will respond with any jibe they do not like as 'antisemitism'. There was a cute Seinfeld scene where he tried to convince his uncle that his uncle's girlfriend was an antisemite, mainly because Seinfeld was trying to manipulate his uncle. When it didn't work out, Seinfeld inveigled his uncle to take her back. "But she's an anti-semite" says the uncle. "Can you blame her?" says Seinfeld.

The latest case in the world of televised talking heads was over whether Patrick Buchanon was anti-semitic based on comments he made over Israel and the Israel lobby "amen corner".


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: jacqui.c
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:11 AM

The dictionary definition of a semite is

1. a person regarded as descended from Shem.

2. a member of any of the peoples speaking a Semitic language, including Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, Phoenicians etc.

3. same as Jew: a loose usage

Maybe if the term was 'anti-Jewish', which is what is being talked about here, people might think a little more carefully before discussing this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 08:04 AM

If you really are interested in discussing antisemitism as a historical entity, then it's best to leave Israel out of the discussion, at least to start with, since antisemitism has its roots in the Middle Ages or earlier. But then, of course, you wouldn't get to bash Israel.

Mark it is not my object to bash anyone - simply for us all to be able to discuss the subject and be better informed as a result. The historical aspect of anti-semitism is of great interest - as looking back should help in this understanding but more importantly may help us all in the future.

Does the term actually mean the same as being 'anti-Jewish'?


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: mack/misophist
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 10:37 AM

Essentially, yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 10:42 AM

I just saw a terrific show by Chuck Brodsky, a Jewish folksinger. He talked a lot about Jewishness and had some songs that touched on Jewish issues, as well as many other great subjects. I loved it. I loved him.

I detest Israel's political and military policies of the last five decades and regard Israel as a fascist state which is engaging in a form of subtle genocide on Palestinians.

"Anti-Semitic" is the most abused and manipulative hateword in history at this point. It is used to muzzle legitimate comment on Israel's destructive policies. It is used to intimate people and to destroy their careers. It is used to blackmail people and silence them. It is the tool of those who are themselves guilty of the very thing they accuse others of...blanket hatred of others based upon a narrow tribal/cultural/group identity.

The article is a good one, and it was written by a Jew. He is a Jew with the courage to address this issue, and he will no doubt be roundly condemned by various other Jews for daring to shed light upon this sacred cow of modern Zionism...called "Anti-Semitism".

It's a misnomer anyway. Sephardic Jews are Semites. Palestinians are also Semites. European Jews are for the most part not semites, although they are Jews. To be a Jew can be seen as a religious trait, a cultural trait, a question of who one's parents were, etc... To be a semite is simpler. It just means you are descended from a specific group of tribal people from the ancient Middle East. And that applies to the Sephardic Jews and the Palestinians and various other Middle Easterners.

The ridiculous sitation we have in the World now is a political group of largely non-Semitic Jews persecuting various actual real Semites in the Middle East, while accusing anyone who criticizes their aggressive actions of being "Anti-Semitic"!

That's doubletalk. It's the great big phony lie, used to cover over the landgrabbing policies of Zionism. And it's so bad that almost no one except someone born and raised a Jew dares to openly challenge it in the media, for fear of being labelled an "Anti-Semite" of all things. Shades of Joe McCarthy and Josef Goebbels.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: GUEST,Guy Who Thinks
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 10:51 AM

Words mean what people think they mean. "Antisemitism" was evidently coined to mean any and all kinds of animosity against Jews as distinguished from Arabs or anyone else.

Historically. Arabs and Jews are both "Semites" in anthropological and especially linguistic terms. But that doesn't matter. As someone already pointed out, the literal etymology of a word has nothing to do with its ordinary common usage.

However, since the concept of "Semitism" in general is much more widely known in the West than it used to be, many people, Arabs especially, have begun to feel that the English word is misleading.
Since this is becoming an important, if perhaps erroneous perception, the suggestion that "Judeophobia" be brought into wider use in place of "antisemitism" is a useful one.

But since the entire complicated subject of Arabs, Palestinians, Jews, Israel, Palestine, religion, sociology, ethnicity, and race is politically and emotionally contentious, one can see that "Judeophobia" will in turn be rejected by persons claiming that "phobia" originally meant "fear," and "fear" is not necessarily the issue.

All you can do is say what you mean as pecisely as possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:04 AM

Good point. So if someone criticizes an aggressive Isreali political policy and land theft, would it not be more useful to say that they are anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist or anti-Likud, for example?

I mean, if I was anti-Jewish then how could I possibly like Bob Dylan and Chuck Brodsky so much? I'm not anti-Jewish. I'm anti-Likud, anti-Zionist, anti-Sharon. So are many Jews.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:20 AM

Shambles, you have set up a false premise. What you are really doing is trolling for a response that you can then use to advance your pathologic need for validation as a martyr. I say this because your stated intention (which is one worthy of discussion, IMO), is not reflected in the article you present as the basis for the discussion. When the reaction comes, you will use it to advance the same old bullshit ideas you have been trying to advance.

Just thought I would let you know how transparent you are.

There is some reason to believe, based on the posts so far, that we might get a legitimate discussion here, in spite of the fella behind the screen, so let's see where it heads.

I agree with with contention that antisemitism is used in a much narrower context than what it means. To my way of interpretation, it is not possible for Palestinians, and other Arabs, to be antisemites. They themselves are Semitic. What they are is opposed to the Israelis to the point of obsession. I believe the same can be said of the Israeli attitude towards the Arab States. It seems to me that when the circumstance occurs that both sides in a conflict make legitimate claims that cannot be refuted by a reasonable person, then outside interests must step into the negotiations.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:34 AM

Well-stated, Mick. So you figure that's what Shambles is up to? Hmmm. Well, we shall see.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: jacqui.c
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:34 AM

But what outsider would be accepted by both sides and what would be the chances of either side agreeing to any solution put forward?

As long as people see themselves as belonging to a specific group, be it ethnic, religious or whatever, with different views on the way life should be lived and the rights of others, I can't see any real solution.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:36 AM

LH: You wrote:

"I mean, if I was anti-Jewish then how could I possibly like Bob Dylan and Chuck Brodsky so much? I'm not anti-Jewish. I'm anti-Likud, anti-Zionist, anti-Sharon. So are many Jews. "

The answer is: you have no trouble with Jews in positions that are essentially powerless. You have no problems with 'court Jews'. You have problems with Jews in power positions. You have trouble seeing Jews as anything other than occasional equals or frequent subordinates. Power positions bring with them power problems. Every state regardless of ethnicity has power problems. But you find it easier to pick on the one Jewish state that has power problems tied essentially into its existence.

You are not alone. Possibly that ties in with Patrick Buchanon's issue as I mentioned above.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:39 AM

I sure am glad I was working and/or distracted when that other thread was born & died so that I missed it entirely. I am grateful that most folks here are aware of my personal attitude about discussion and controversy, but I still regret misjudging the appropriateness and timing of some of my remarks.

And in that regard, Shambles, I wish you had hesitated before starting THIS thread. Even if your intent is honest and driven by sincere curiosity, feelings about the subject are pretty tender right now, and references which lead back to those other awkward threads just tend to stir up animosity. It is not a matter of 'right' to post or censorship, but simply a plea for taste, restraint and allowing a cooling down before fanning those flames once more.

That's all I will say about it publicly.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: GUEST,Uncle DaveO
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:45 AM

Little Hawk said, in passing:

European Jews are for the most part not semites, although they are Jews

I don't understand what is meant here. Are you saying that European Jews for the most part are converts to Judaism, or that their ancestors were?

The main stream of Judaism (as a group-membership matter) flows through descent. "For the most part" that is how you become a Jew. Yes, there are and have been converts here and there, but not to amount to any appreciable percentage of the Jewish population. That being the case, it follows that European Jews "for the most part", along with Sephardic Jews "for the most part" and Ethiopian Jews "for the most part" and American Jews too, "for the most part" are going to be descended from the ancient people described as the descendants of Shem.

Of course there are and have been converts the other way, Judaism to Christianity (in fact a whole lot more than Christianity to Judaism) many by coercion in some historical periods, some by actual conviction, and some for economic or social reasons. Such a convert, though no longer professing Judaism, is still a Semite.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:54 AM

Slight thread drift {but not really]

Since one of the Biblical Noah's sons was mentioned, I decided to see what I could find on the Internet about another son of Noah-Ham and Hamites.

Imagine my surprise when I read a number of entries that said that Hamites were "African people of caucasoid descent who occupy the Horn of Africa (chiefly Somalia and Ethiopia), the western Sahara, and parts of Algeria"..

Beware of what you read on the Internet! That is TOTALLY contrary to what is usually given as the meaning of that referent.

However, the Catholic Encylopedia website had the following information:

"I. CHAM
(A.V. Ham). Son of Noe and progenitor of one of the three great races of men whose ethnographical table is given by Genesis 10. Wherever the three sons of Noe are enumerated in the Bible, Cham is placed between Sem and Japhet. We may gather, however, from Genesis 9:24 that this enumeration is not based on their age, since Cham is there spoken of as the "younger son" of Noe, as compared, apparently, with both his brothers. The only incident of the life of Cham after the deluge, which is recorded in the Bible, is that related in Genesis 9:21-24. Cham sees his father under the influence of wine lying naked in his tent. He tells his brothers, who respectfully cover the patriarch. The sequel makes it plain that Cham was, on this occasion, guilty of great irreverence. For when Noe hears of the conduct of his sons he blesses Shem and Japhet, with their posterity, and he pronounces a curse, not on Cham, but on his son Chanaan and his descendants, predicting that they will be the servants of their bretheren. (For a fuller treatment of this point see Chanaan, Chanaanites.)

II. THE CHAMITES
The natives and tribes which descent from Cham are enumerated in Genesis 10:6-20. They are divided into four great families: Chus, Mesram, Phuth, and Chanaan. The Cushites are found in the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris, in Arabia, and also in Africa. Mesram is Egypt. Phuth, less known, seems to have occupied regions west of Egypt, particularly Libya. Chanaan comprised the numerous tribes whose country was subsequently occupied by Israel. The Chamites were, consequently, spread over an immense extent of territory. They founded the greatest empires of antiquity, Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Phoenicia. In Asia they were early replaced or subjugated by Semites. In Africa they have been likewise overcome, in the course of time, by the races of Sem and Japhet."

-snip-

That passage end with this highly debatable, highly inflammatory statement:
"This subjection has meant, in general, the triumph of a higher civilization, purer morals, and a more spirtual religion.
(See Lenormant, "Hist. ancienne de l'Orient", I, 96 sq.) "

end of quote

IMO, such a "my way is the best way" world view is one of the main reasons why the world is in such a terrible fix now...

See this link for more information:
Hamites

If interested, googling Punt, Cush, and Cushites can also provide further information that Hamites historically refers to black skinned people.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 12:16 PM

Yes, Dave, I am saying that most European Jews are descendants of converts to Judaism, going back to the conversion of a king to Judaism, and through him, his whole nation. That nation was called the Kazars, and they were located in southern Russia. They were not Semites. The nation converted en masse to the Jewish faith because the king did. That's how it worked in those days. The Kazars were later scattered by one of the periodic invasions of Mongols, and they scattered into many European nations, and became the source of the modern European Jew...not a Semite at all.

In a rather similar fashion, the Roman nation converted en masse to Christianity when their emperor Constantine became a Christian, for example. That sort of thing happened in ancient times, when religion was tied in directly with political authority.

robomatic - I regard your explanation of my position as spurious and completely beside the point, but I suppose you had to come up with something, right? :-) I don't regard Bob Dylan as "powerless". Seems to me that he is more powerful musically at this point in history than any of us on this forum are. And he's way richer. Money is power, isn't it? I only object to people being in power when they badly misuse their power...as Sharon has done. I don't give a rat's ass whether or not people in power are Jewish...nor do I require "court Jews" to assauge my conscience. I treat Jews as I do other people...if I like a Jewish singer, it's because I like his MUSIC and the way he presents it! I would happily vote for a Jew as the political leader of my nation any old time if I liked his policies and philosophy well enough...not because he WAS a Jew, but because of what he stood for. But no political party would risk running a Jew for the top spot in the USA, would they? So who is prejudiced against Jews, robomatic?

I have trouble seeing anyone else as anything BUT an equal, robomatic, and that's why you and I don't agree on Israel. I want no subordinates. I want no superiors. I want no Master Race. I want no Promised Land set aside for a Chosen Few in their ancient holy book. I want no One True Faith and no One Messiah. I want no one God that categorically denies the Gods of other people. I want equality and tolerance of cultural differences, sharing of cultural understandings, celebration of differences, in fact. Our differences serve to show how much we really have in common.

I choose not to regard Israelis as more special, more valuable, or more martyred than any other people on Earth, and I do not regard their actions against Palestinians as being above criticism because of something the Nazis did to their parents or grandparents over 55 years ago! I think the policies of Israel are an absolute disgrace to freedom-loving Jews everywhere, and I am joined in that opinion by many Jews, including Jews in Israel. Those who can see beyond their own parochial community identity to a greater brotherhood of humanity will grasp what I am saying. Those who can't, may not.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 12:29 PM

robomatic, I have to ask..are you Jewish? If so, what does it mean in your estimation of your place in the human race?

I mean, I'm English-Scottish-Czech in background, with probably a trace of European Jewish ancestry on the Czech side...but I don't think of myself as any of those, really. I was born Canadian, but I don't place a huge amount of importance on that either, though I do love Canada. My religion is totally unique to myself, and has no name.

The point is, I belong in my mind to NO pre-arranged tribal identity or group. I'm just human. That leaves me free in a certain sense to seek equality, wouldn't you say? It makes me no real threat to anyone. I would recommend to other people to follow this course, and they will avoid such foolish things as wars and endless racial conflicts with one another.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 01:00 PM

Whatever the dark designs determined by some - we do seem to be having an interesting and developing discussion on anti-semitism. Which is good, as this is what I thought the closed thread was about when I opened it. I was about to make an attempt to pose the same question there and hopefully steer that thread into a more positive direction - when that thread was closed.

It is sadly only too obvious that positivly intended threads can be turned into less positive ones and I still believe that less than positivly intended one can develop into more positive areas.

However this cannot happen if they have judgement imposed upon them by anonymous volunteers and these threads are closed or deleted .


Words mean what people think they mean. "Antisemitism" was evidently coined to mean any and all kinds of animosity against Jews as distinguished from Arabs or anyone else.

The following from the link that Robomatic provided.

Hatred against Jews remained nameless up until 1897 despite the destruction it had wrecked to hundreds of communities and thousands of lives. In that year the term anti-Semitism was coined in Hamburg by Wilhelm Marr, whose aim was to disassociate his hatred from any religious stance such as that utilized by Christian Judeophobes. Marr's pamphlet soon numbered many editions. The religious component was replaced by racism, and the words Jews and Judaism by Semite and Semitism.

It goes on to explain the problems with this term....


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 01:26 PM

In contrast to one or two of you, I thought it was an extremely well written & thought provoking article (one or two bits that struck me as spurious or false, naturally), & yes, I read the whole thing. Whatever Shambles' motivation (& Mick, I'm not exactly a fan of Roger's!), I think accusing him of trolling is unfair. I found it well worth the effort to read it.

Other than that, I shall say only that, for the most part I agree with both the author & with Little Hawk (why can't you all be more like LH, eh? Apart from the Shatner fixation, obviously... ;-) ). Anything more than that, & I shall probably get past voluble accusations of Nazism & anti-semitism (on the basis that I abhor any attempt at genocide & refuse to distinguish one in particular as being "worse") resurrected.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 01:48 PM

The answer is: you have no trouble with Jews in positions that are essentially powerless. You have no problems with 'court Jews'. You have problems with Jews in power positions. You have trouble seeing Jews as anything other than occasional equals or frequent subordinates. Power positions bring with them power problems. Every state regardless of ethnicity has power problems. But you find it easier to pick on the one Jewish state that has power problems tied essentially into its existence.

Robomatic, this from you makes no sense when applied to Little Hawk. If he only criticized power figures who are Jewish, or powerful entities and/or countries that are Jewish, you would probably be right about him. But he does not. He regularly criticizes all powerful people, entities, and countries whom he sees as abusing their power.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 02:05 PM

Robomatic's point is that LH's comment is equivalent to saying: "How can I be a racist? I love Amos and Andy, Aunt Jemima and Sambo, too!"


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 02:28 PM

I agree with you, GUEST, that there are people who do that. But when talking about power figures, if someone dislikes, or is critical of power figures who abuse their power, and they include in their criticism, powerful Jews along with the many other kinds of people who abuse power as Little Hawk does with great regularity, I think you have to be making assumptions about Little Hawk not based on the evidence in order to make such an accusation against him.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 02:30 PM

I think it is foolhardy to attempt to redefine "anti-semitism" to include Arabs, or to question use of the word because Arabs are also considered to be "Semites." The term was coined in the late 19th century, to describe anti-Jewish prejudice that was rampant in Europe and the U.S. at the time, and the term has become part of our language. Arabs were not part of the equation at all at the time the phrase was coined. You'll find an intertesting (and contentious) discussion of the meaning of the word "anti-semitism" here (click).

Still, it has become difficult to determine what is objectionably anti-semitic, what what is a legitimate political statement against Israeli policy. I think that some anti-semites try to legitimize their prejudice by masking it under an objection to Israeli policy. Some pro-Israelis do the opposite, labeling all objections to Israel as anti-semitic.

There HAS been some nasty anti-semitism posted here at Mudcat, and we don't want to cater to that sort of bigotry in any way - so, we generally delete it as soon as we see it. We don't want to interfere with legitimate discussion of legitimate issues, but sometimes it's difficult to distinguish what's bigotry and what's discussion - especially when threads get long and contentious. Sometimes, we may make mistakes in what we close or delete, but we try to do the best we can. I do think it would be helpful if people where more careful in how they express their ideas on the Arab-Israeli conflict, so that their opinions are not perceived as racisim. I also think it would be helpful if people would give other people the benefit of the doubt. Most of the truly racist statements made here are made anonymously, not by our regular participants.

The "anti-semitism" thread that was closed (click) had very little to do with a discussion of anti-semitism. It was just another personal squabble that got out of hand, and the time came for it to be closed. It was closed because of personal attacks, not because of anti-semitism. If you wish to discuss personal-attack censorship at Mudcat, perhaps it would be more appropriate to discuss it in the Censorship thread.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 02:34 PM

Guest, Robomatic's point is baseless. He's been around here for long enough to know LH's usual line of reasoning. He doesn't have to agree with LH, but his line of rebuttal makes no sense, neither does yours.

LH possibly does love all of those people in your "quote". Or possibly he hates all of them (I mean, Amos! Do you know what Amos is like... ;-) ). But he loves or hates them because of what they do with the power that they have. Neither because of the power that they have, however great or small; nor because of the race that they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 03:23 PM

Thank you, Raedwulf. Exactly as you say. Neither because of power, race, or any other outer feature of identity, but simply because of what they do with their power.

And I don't hate them...I simply object to their political behaviour and disapprove of it. I've come to the conclusion that it's not healthful or wise to hate people, and when I feel the tendency rising in me to do so I try to get over it as quickly as possible by remembering that they are no doubt doing what they think is best at the time. I don't hate George Bush, for instance, I just disagree with most of his policies strenuously. :-)

I decided as an adult, after an early family life in which I was afraid to speak out, to be forthright and speak out whenever I see injustice. That usually results in offending somebody, because there are probably no people on this Earth who have not practiced injustice upon someone else at some time, and tried to pretend otherwise. A major crime against one group is quite often followed by a major crime being committed BY them on someone else. It's emotional reaction-counter-reaction. Man kicks dog...dog bites neighbour...neighbour has road rage, makes cop angry...cop gets drunk and yells at his wife...wife bitches at her kids...etc...and the hate goes round and round. It's a cycle that can only be broken at some point by forgiveness, in my opinion. And forgiveness can only be accomplished by admitting to one's own dark side and surrendering a bit of prideful ego defence in the process. It takes far more actual courage than vengeance does...and it achieves far more useful result. Vengeance achieves no useful result whatsoever, but it's so appealing to the adolescent mind that it has fostered an entire ongoing movie industry.

The World can't really afford to be run by the adolescent mind much longer.

That last Hollywood movie "Million Dollar Baby" was surprisingly good and realistic for a change...because it did not attempt to emotionally resolve a tragedy with the usual trite and predictably hyped-up "vengeance" solution (in which the crippled female boxer would have miraculously gotten back on her feet somehow after months in the hospital, gruelingly re-trained herself into topform against all odds, and then have massacred the woman who had treacherously crippled her in the ring, in a bone-crunching and bloody finale for the world championship, suitable to fully satisfying everyone's bloodlust and desire to get even...)

Nope. They didn't do that. It was surprising. I know it certainly surprised the audience in the showing that I saw. They don't write stories like that on TV, do they?


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 04:31 PM

I don't hate them...I simply object to their political behaviour (Little Hawk)

Their? That's how anti-semitism has started. (I know you don't mean what you say in that sentence)

"I hate Jews" did sound so ugly and plebeian in the Germany of the late 19th century, "I am an anti-semit" just sounded so much nicer and academic. That's how that term started and that was exactly what was meant. To understand 'anti-semitic' from the meaning of 'semite' was a rhetoric trick (I think) from Sadat: How can I be anti-semitic when I'm a semite myself?

All that discussion from that angle is wrong and completely ahistoric.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:01 PM

LH:

You asked a question and I answered it. I appreciate your response, well written as always, but I think it gives away your perception that Jews think of theselves as superior or deserving of more than equality. I do not share that perception. And if I may be so bold as to mention other threads, you seem to be very willing to launch highly critical barbs at Israel when there are several other hot issues going in the world. And we have also gone over your highly original interpretation of what constitutes terror versus what constitutes war.

In short, you are making statements that don't always mean what people using different definitions from you think they mean.

As to the story of Khazars, I'm familiar with it but I'm not familiar with it being factual. This seems to be more of your highly original take on various subjects. If people are all equal, what does it matter where European Jews come from?


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:19 PM

Whose political behavior do you object to, Little Hawk - the behavior of ALL Jews, or ALL Israelis, or what?
A generalization like that leads to bigotry. Specificity is necessary for intelligent discussion.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 05:53 PM

I didn't actually mean to say that I thought LH WAS an anti-Semite, just that his love of Bob Dylan doesn't prove anything! It is the oldest spurious argument in the world about race: some of my best friends (or some public figures I admire) are X. Big deal!


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Once Famous
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:11 PM

I am a Jew who has faced hatred because of that fact.

both to my face and even here by many. Yes, Mudcat is a haven for anti-Jewish sentiment, believe me!

Please read Alan Deshowtiz book The Case for Israel.

Israel is the one shining light of democracy in the middle east and yes, Little Hawk we do give a major flying fuck about what happened 55 years ago. Please deal with the fact that the well-educated American Jewish dollar will continue to help support Israel's cause.

I have no problem with Israel and I have told many Jews about the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments found on Mudcat to which they cannot help but be appalled.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:28 PM

But, Martin, the thread isn't about anti-Jewish or anti-Israel sentiments. It's asking what anti-semitism means? Do you take the linguistically correct definition (anti Semitic races, which includes not only non-Jews, but races that Israel/the Jews of Israel currently appear (to many non-Jews) to be persecuting), or the populist understanding (anti Jewish)?

Serious question.

R


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Once Famous
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:32 PM

Serious answer. go fuck yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 06:37 PM

Will the term racism not suffice to describe those who are prejudiced against Jews?

Is such a specific term now and still thought to be required for this - because racism is generally (wrongly) and specifically thought to be confined to black racial issues?

Or is because those who are specifically prejudiced against Jewish people are unsure whether this prejudice should be on racial or a religous grounds? .......Or is it on both?


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:04 PM

Ah, Martin---always taking the high road.   You will probably win a debating prize in the hereafter---surely not in this world.

I was going to add to this by making a few points about the historical signifigance of the years after WW2 / creation of Israel/ Arab hositlity/ Palestinian opportunities to remain in Israel (1948)/ but that would have been a digression from the main topic. That is just semantics---sure---semites are what everyone claims---Anti-Semitism, however, is directed against Jews and should be more properly termed Anti-Jewish. Not Anti- Israel (totally different issue). Anti Israel, by that token, is not Anti Jewish---except for those who do not know better.

Last evening I saw an interview of Kissinger by Charlie Rose--a whole different thread could be started on that fiasco--Kissinger's views on Israel are, to me, fairly honest and proper. Unlike his views on most of the other things he had to say. Those, basically, makes him the chief hawk of all the hawks. Example: " I agree with all wars that the U S is or has been in---we do what we have to do". That was when he was asked how it was that he wants everyone to settle things peacefully and we do aggression unilaterely. Lots of applause for HK--strange.

Some of the audience questions in the Q&A were rather antagonostic to dear Henry---but, strangely, for NYC, most of the audience seemd to side with HK.

Less said about Charlie Rose and his softball questions--the better.   I enjoyed it when everyone (as always) is told to turn of cell phones---so who's rings in the middle of everything---Charlie Rose.    He said he is embarassed---doesn;t know how the damn thing works. Brilliant---Kissinger---to his credit--replied---"...ahh Charlie it rings only when I am making a brilliant statement".   

I think Tom Lehrer had it right---When they gave Kissinger the Peace Prize nothing seemed funny anymore. Or the comic who said---Kissinger's best dinner conversation is when he is dining alone in the Hall of Mirrors

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:42 PM

Hmmm. No, I am not referring to all Jews or all Israelis. I am referring specifically to only those Jews or Israelis who support certain aggressive political attitudes and policies normally referred to as Zionism...particularly those who issue the orders. Those policies involve displacing various other Semites off their ancestral lands by force and occupying those lands, and expanding further upon those occupations by settling those lands.

The reason I pick on Israel particularly is because I think Israel has gotten more of a free ride in the USA media than they deserve for several decades now, because if anyone questions their free ride that person is usually accused of "anti-semitism". It pisses me off when people get a free ride merely because they have suffered greatly in the past, and because people are scared to get called "Anti-Semite" for stating the obvious.

This is why I am also quick to point out knee-jerk political opportunism by self-consciously "victim" groups like Afro-Americans or Native Americans as well...when they use the injustices of the past as a coverup for their own virulent bigotry against a whole people (in that case..whites). It disgusts me, because I fought hard FOR Black and Native American rights in whatever way I could, and then I have to see them behaving in as blind and hateful a way as the society that persecuted them when I was a youngster. Plus, in the case of Native Americans, I felt literally like one of them, and adored their culture and religion as if it were my own. Still do, in fact.

I basically get fed up with any special interest group that develops an overly large case of "holier-than-thou" syndrome, and uses it to trample all over people. I've seen Jews do it, I've seen blacks do it, I've seen Christians do it, I've seen Native Americans do it, I've seen feminists do it, I've even seen gays do it. And I'm not against any of them in any intrinsic sense, in fact I'm FOR all of them in a lot of respects...I'd just like them to be fair and equitable toward other people, and not go way overboard on their "victimhood" complex to the point of victimizing other people.

There's plenty of violence and wrongdoing in this world, but why would I go on and on about how bad Arab terrorists are, for example...when everybody knows it already, and everybody says it, and it's totally friggin' obvious??? Nobody really NEEDS me to say what is already said constantly all over the media and what everyone knows anyway. Will it help for me to say yet again how bad the Nazis were? Or how evil Jim Jones was? Don't we already know???

I'd rather expose what is glossed over, swept under the carpet, and denied by a whole lot of people. I'd rather point out that the emperor is walking around naked. I'm trying to simply balance the scales of perception here.

I've seen a ton of prejudice against Jews all my life, here and there. I've heard the nasty jokes, and I've seen the envy (in some cases) of the success achieved by Jews in various professions and industries. Yeah, I can understand that being Jewish can feel insecure under those conditions. Perfectly understandable.

But I will not allow it to terrorize me into silence if I think it's being used as an excuse for justifying expansionist Zionist policies in Palestine.

Do I think that some Jews see themselves as superior to other people? Yes...I get that impression with some Jews. I couldn't exactly say how many. I get that impression with some whites, some blacks, some Native Americans, and some Japanese too. I have really no idea what proportion it would be in either case.

I guess part of the problem here is that if I say something negative about an Israeli policy, then I am interpreted as being negative toward ALL Jews. Well, that is just not the case. And why would it be? Jews are like other people, after all...they come in all types of personalities.

I find the Jewish holy books (Old Testament, in Christian terms) a bit worrisome in philosophy, because they DO set apart one race of people as the Chosen People, and that concept sounds pretty scary to me. It's a good theoretical justification for genocide or lesser crimes. I don't know of any other major religion that is as exclusively racially based in its oldest religious texts as the Jewish faith was. I don't see how such a notion could help but encourage people to believe they are superior to others.

But then, what major religion's majority of adherents do not tend to feel, inside, that they are superior to others, even if they don't say it out loud? :-) It's a common problem, that's for sure.

No, robomatic, it doesn't matter in the least where European Jews came from, since all people are equal in value...but it does render a political cause launched IN modern Europe by those people to "reclaim" lands that their supposed ancestors lived on (but really didn't) a bit ridiculous, wouldn't you say? And it renders the very term "antisemitism" misleading, which is the subject that kicked off this whole thread in the first place.

And I know...any time the word comes up... get ready for a shitstorm!

I should forget about all this unending squabble (which will not be solved by me, that's for sure), and just spend my time doing things that are a whole lot more fun and more productive, I suppose...but I'm a sucker for stating my mind and communicating with people.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 07:56 PM

Even "anti-Israel" could be misleading, Bill, because there are some very different factions and opinions in Israel. I think anti-Zionist is about the only term that fits the shoe in this case, if you mean oppostion to recent Israeli government policies.

If you mean, on the other hand, "hatred of Jews", then anti-Jewish would definitely be the correct term....as you said.

Antisemitism clearly means whatever people think it means these days...and it must frustrate the hell out of Semites who happen to be Palestinians!


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 08:38 PM

Dear LH: Again you write very well. I hope you realize that while I still disagree with you on some points your erudite responses are a pleasure to read. (And of course that whole Shatner thing, I was wondering why you wouldn't bring up that well known Jewish Canadian along with Bob Dylan - is he more of a 'power' player? ;-))

Let's see if there is general agreeement on this much:

1) Anti-semitism is a relatively recent word invented to particularize sentiment against the semites then most numerous in Europe: Jews.

2) The term itself specifies a group of 'races'-for want of a better word not actually limited to Jews.

3) Usage of the term typically is taken to mean Jews to this day, but its use has expanded and its connotation shifted greatly due to the wave of anti-Jewish feeling in Europe throughout the 20th century, a counter-reaction to this sentiment in the light of the Holocaust, and a counter-counter-reaction to this sentiment in the light of the founding of Israel and the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 09:05 PM

WHAT??? Shatner is Jewish???? You gotta be kidding. Wait....

(off to Google)

Hmmm. Well, you may be right, but I'm still not sure. He has some relatives with the surnames Rutenberg and Cohen, so you probably are right. Born in Montreal. Gosh, I wonder if he's related to Leonard Cohen! If so, Leonard has not admitted to it.

I have lived in Canada most of my life, known of William Shatner most of my life and have NEVER heard anyone mention that he was, or was not Jewish. Not once. Evidently, it's a non-issue...as it should be. :-)

But really, man, you caught me napping me on that one! LOL!

Look, if it was a POWER thing...according to your theory...I would just have to HATE Shatner! The man is Power personified. He oozes authority and command status. Women throw themselves at his feet heedlessly. Men watch in mute frustration, knowing they cannot possibly match his charisma, his talent, and his panache.

But I love the guy. This disproves your theory decisively. :-)

On that note, I think I shall leave this fine thread to meander along on its merry way, because I only have so much time to spare in my rapidly passing lifespan, and I've basically said about all I really should have to say on the matter anyway.

(Good 3 part definition of antisemitism, by the way...)


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 09:08 PM

Little Hawk said, in part:

most European Jews are descendants of converts to Judaism, going back to the conversion of a king to Judaism, and through him, his whole nation. That nation was called the Kazars, and they were located in southern Russia. They were not Semites. The nation converted en masse to the Jewish faith because the king did. That's how it worked in those days. The Kazars were later scattered by one of the periodic invasions of Mongols, and they scattered into many European nations, and became the source of the modern European Jew...not a Semite at all.

That's interesting, if true. Can you give me one or more independent citations as a matter of history, LH? Not just as to the conversion of the Kazars, but that most European Jews are their descendants?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 09:14 PM

I'll look into it, Dave. In a bit. In the meantime, can you try a Google search on it too? I'm sure there's info out there about it. Try a search on "Kazaria", which was the name of the kingdom. It was located north of Turkey, more or less. The people were called Kazars or Khazars...from which later came: cossacks. They seem to have played a major role in Poland at a later date, and in some other parts of Europe too.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 09:26 PM

Just to keep the record straight: Marvin Gibson is not attacked because he is a Jew but because of his behavior.

Carry on.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 09:45 PM

I did a search on the Khazar theory and found it's mostly neo-Nazi sites propagating it. Kind of makes me wonder where Little Hawk does his research.

And BTW, Shatner is Jewish.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: robomatic
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 11:23 PM

Yeah, the Khazar theory I don't believe is rooted in anti-semitism. I don't know its origins, but it was popularized in a book by Koestler, more well known from his book "Darkness at Noon" (which I really liked). In the 70's he wrote a book called "The Thirteenth Tribe" about the Khazars, whose leader supposedly made his ?Turkic? tribe convert to Judaism to differentiate them from Christians and Muslims, but subsequent research seems to indicate that it is more myth than reality. Neo nazis have glommed on to it because they have a real need to believe all sorts of crap.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: Nerd
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 12:53 AM

If the Khazars all became Jewish when their king converted, and the name "Cossacks" is a later form of "Khazars," then why weren't the Cossacks Jewish? That part's a bit confusing, no?

Interesting, by the way. I always knew Shatner was Jewish; I think Jews tend to play "Jew, not a Jew" so we find these things out. Leonard Nimoy is a much more observant Jew than Shatner, by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: A discussion - What is antisemitism? .
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 01:22 AM

We have been through this discussion several times before. I will leave you to rehash it. My only comment is that the term anti-Semite has specifically meant anti-Jewish since the 19th century. Anybody who uses it in any other way has their own agenda...an anti-Semitic agenda.


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