a-lot-of-opinions said: I feel like compared to other historically marginalized groups, Jewish people in the present day aren't treated nearly as badly as other marginalized groups today. I mean look at the horrible stuff Israel gets away with. And if anyone dares make a valid criticism against Israel, they're branded as anti-Semites. Anti-Semitism is not a huge problem like it was a few decades ago
This is long but it’s because it’s like…trying to teach someone something in a day that takes years?
Jews ≠ Israel. To conflate all Jews with Israel is antisemitic. Because I guess none of us oppose Israel’s actions or anything.
You’re also conflating non-PoC Ashkenazi Jews in the US with ALL Jews. Ashkenazi Jews in the US (at least those who have no PoC background) have access to white privilege. That’s not true of ALL Jews (and it’s not true of them in all geographical locations). Jews of color, like a friend of mine who is Black and Jewish, get to experience antisemitism ON TOP OF racism.
Some people who criticize Israel ARE antisemites. Criticizing Israel doesn’t make you an antisemite, but it doesn’t make you automatically NOT one either. Some of the ways people go about criticizing Israel ARE antisemitic. Do me a favor and google “antisemitic comics” in google images and you’ll see antisemitism is alive and well, and you’ll notice many of the offensive comics are critical of Israel. Go ahead and google “antisemitism Europe,” “antisemitism on the rise in Europe,” “antisemitism shooting,” “antisemitism violence,” “antisemitism hate crime” and tell me it’s not a huge problem.
There have been SEVERAL violent attacks against Jews within the last few months, a mass shooting targeting Jews happened in the US less than two months ago. Of course, pretty much only Jews on tumblr have blogged about it. Hate crimes happen against Jews every year around the world. In the wake of the UCSB shooting, two Jewish hate crimes occurred on the same day in Europe (one in Paris, one in Belgium). You also ignore that Ukraine especially has incredibly antisemitic politics coming back into fashion, and Greece where neo-nazis have been gaining a political foothold. Also go on Stormfront or look up information on Neo-Nazis and KKK members. You’ll find plenty Neo-Nazis right here on tumblr. And people love to downplay this, but CORE to the racial ideology of KKK members and Neo Nazis, aka WHITE SUPREMACISTS, is a hatred and mistrust of Jews. They are obsessed with Jews who they see as a threat to the white race. As important as white supremacy seems to be to SJ tumblr, I never see anyone non-Jewish address how important antisemitism is to White Supremacists. For some white supremacists like Glenn Miller, a former KKK member who shot up a Jewish Community Center and Jewish retirement home in April, Jews are public enemy number one. This is true for not all white supremacists, but a large number of them. Progressives in the US aren’t talking about this. I guess they don’t care about violence done to Jewish people. I would argue they are complicit in it because if their silence is deadly, their gaslighting of antisemitism and liberal participation in subtler forms of it is even deadlier.
Violence and antisemitism is incredibly virulent in Europe especially, where Jews aren’t even seen as white, and I really don’t see how you can argue they have it better in Europe (esp Eastern Europe) than other groups. In the US, non-PoC Ashkenazi Jews DO have more wealth and education and ARE treated better certainly than PoC, but it’s ridiculous to argue antisemitism is not a big problem anymore. Especially in the South and rural areas in the United States. When I moved to a rural area in California in high school, I found people used “Jew” as an insult for people they didn’t like or were making fun of. My brother, who was religiously Jewish and more openly Jewish than I was, was confronted with stereotypes and bullying for being Jewish. People even made fun of him and made jokes during the lesson on the Holocaust, something the teacher did nothing about. Students were never disciplined for their antisemitism that I ever saw.
Then you have the fact Jew jokes are incredibly common in the US even. Card Games Against Humanity is full of Jew jokes. In an episode of Totally Biased, a progressive comedy show run by Kamau Bell, where he invited a comedian and feminist to discuss offensive jokes (more specifically rape jokes), everyone was using Holocaust jokes as a de facto example of an “dark/edgy humor” type of joke that is totally permissible and okay, to compare to rape jokes which they saw as unacceptable. Kamau Bell, a progressive person who comments on oppression, tells Hitler jokes and thinks that’s totally fine. I have seen none of this discussed on tumblr.
I encounter antisemitism with in the SJ movement all the time. It was really hurtful to me before I was as educated as I am now because I absorbed misinformation about Jews on here and was pressured to minimize my experiences and believe Jews are no longer oppressed. Many progressive leaders have been antisemitic either very explicitly or more subtly and it’s often not something anyone cares about. Prominent SJ bloggers have gotten away with being obviously antisemitic or talking over Jewish people and spreading misinformation. The line of choice for many progressive people and SJWs is “if it happened to the Jews, people would care,” or “the Holocaust is treated so much better than x atrocity due to white privilege” Ignoring the fact that when it happens to Jews, people don’t care. And when it doesn’t happen to Jews, people blame us anyway (antisemites were saying the UCSB shooting happened because of a Jewish conspiracy). Or they evoke the worst Jewish atrocity in history or flippantly down play antisemitism to make a point. And there are tons of people who deny the Holocaust happened or minimized its impact, or joke about or sympathize with Nazis or Hitler. Or use the Holocaust as a tasteless thought experiment or prop in a story (i.e. Fault in our Stars). Among progressives, there is an understanding that utilizing the oppression of others to compare to yours or make a point about yours is wrong: but this rule does not apply to the Holocaust or Jews.
On the other hand, of course I’ll concede that the Anti-Defamation League has targeted Palestinian activists by launching unsubstantiated claims of antisemitism against them and other people who criticize Israel. I, and many young American Jews, are extremely critical of the ADL and do not agree with them. It’s also really frustrating that often, when Jewish people try to talk about antisemitism completely separate from Israel, there’s often someone who tries to silence you, often by bringing up Israel when it’s irrelevant or derailing the conversation through other means: “you have it better than other groups,” “antisemitism is over,” “you’re ignoring your white privilege.” Israel and white privilege are relevant to some conversations regarding antisemitism, but not every conversation. And the ways in which they are relevant seem lost on many people. Most people don’t understand that not all accusations of antisemitism are to excuse Israel and even the access to white privilege non-PoC ashkenazi jews in the US has is conditional and dependent on geographical location and context.
I also find it funny that you’re acting like antisemitism doesn’t exist while defending an antisemitic tweet (or at least invalidating my reaction to an antisemitic tweet). Further, the idea antisemitism could disappear in a matter of decades is laughable. Non-Jews seem to think that the holocaust just came out of nowhere and POOF antisemitism happened and POOF faded away after the Holocaust ended. As if antisemitism hadn’t existed for hundreds of years and multiple killings and discriminatory practices toward Jews hadn’t been occurring for centuries leading up to that point and continuing afterward throughout the world. Do you really think the Nazis just randomly thought, “why don’t we slaughter millions of Jews” and then suddenly everyone loved Jews after that and everything was hunky dorey? Why are Jews not allowed to talk about the trauma of the holocaust as a marginalized group? Why are Jews expected to act as if the Holocaust is over and done with and has no baring on their present day lives? If you live in the US, my guess is you were taught the Holocaust just happened, and you weren’t taught about antisemitism as an incredibly old and pervasive form of discrimination leading up the the Holocaust and continuing onward; moreover, you probably never learned the history of antisemitism in the US. I know I didn’t. But hopefully people realize that not everything you’re taught in school is the truth.
Do you also think Israel is the only country that’s gotten away with human rights atrocities? And they aren’t getting away with it because they’re Jews. But you know, every time some Jewish people do anything, whether good or bad, someone attributes it to the people being Jews. Whether “Jewish privilege” is to blame or “Jewish conspiracy” or something inherently evil about Jews as a people. The kind of argument Neo-Nazis and KKK members make is not too different from the one many non-Jewish progressives make. And yet progressives criticizing Israel don’t bat an eye at the same arguments as long as they come from the left, even if it’s from people who know very little about the situation in Israel/Palestine and its complex history.